To Desire a Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt

This book follows To Beguile a Beast as part of Hoyt’s Legend of the Four Soldiers series, which I’ve read out of order, since I haven’t yet read the first two. I don’t think the order really matters, even if I’ve read the conclusion before I read the beginning.

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One-Sentence Synopsis
A soldier presumed dead by his friends returns home after 7 years of captivity to find his title belongs to another and a lovely young woman lives in his house. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
These books feel a little bit darker than most historical romance. Even the Maiden Lane series is fairly dark, but this one deals with subjects of war, which can be harsh. PTSD was a theme in these novel, and I think the author handled it well. There were moments that made me uncomfortable, but I felt that that the discomfort added to the reading experience. There was also discussion of veteran care and how soldiers come back from the war changed. It was definitely a story with themes relevant to current issues.

The Romance Factor
Poor Beatrice. While I know the whole “He can never love me” thing is done in so many romance novels, it was particularly powerful in this one because Reynaud as much tells her he can never be under anyone’s control again. Even though the reader knows what’s up, it’s actually not hard to see why she believes she can’t have the love she’s always wanted. 5/5

emotionally-compromised

The Steam Factor
Sexy times were definitely sexy, but I was a little put off by their first sexual encounter which happened in the wake of a death and seemed very matter of fact and painful for Beatrice. 3/5

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Final Thoughts
Even though I’m reading the series backwards, this book was still entertaining and can be read as a standalone. Even though the mystery has been solved (did I mention there was a mystery that threads through these novels?), I think I’ll still enjoy seeing how it started.

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