To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book. This one's got 2 parts.

Well, Reynaud is alive. *gasps* *gasps* Huh? Hmmm ... Really? ... Sadly, from the blurb I already knew that he's alive but what I was interested most was to know how he survived and was he the betrayer of the Spinner's Falls (the question did arise in the last book)? ... And ... No, he isn't. But, his survival is another matter entirely and I won't comment on them.

So, Reynaud comes back to find eveything's changed in 7 yrs. His sister remarried and lives in the Colonies, his father died, the new Earl and his niece live in his mansion. Reynaud looks like a savage, sporting tattoos and earrings. Living with Indians does that to one! ... Ermmm, I thought the 1st 5/6 chapters were really gripping, interesting but after that not so much *sigh* ... Well, just let me proceed and get to the point. He faints upon arrival and Beatice takes care of him. His uncle, of course, isn't happy with the situation and with a few cronies we've seen in the earlier books ie: Lister and Hasselthorpe, he's planning to do the usual, remove him/do anything to rob him of his title. There are murder attempts on Reynaud's life, which he survives too (the uncle? probably). Reynaud meets Vale who accuses Reynaud of treason. They fight and make up etc etc. Their interactions are funny, specially because Vale can be hilarious upon occasion. I've noticed it in TBaB as well. Now, they're trying to call Munroe to London and discuss, put their heads together to find out who the betrayer is (duh!) and yes, Sam and a very pregnant Emeline is already there. Tante Cristelle, Reynaud's aunt is helping him with the money and the help he needs to fight for his title. Oh, BTW, Melisande is also pregnant ... Just, errr, improvements about the earlier books.

But, I digress. Lots going on without a doubt! Now, Reynaud met Beatrice, the current Earl's niece the very first day of his arrival. This meeting was quite interesting. Then it's plain to see that they're attracted to each-other. Have to mention, Beatice was fascinated with an old portrait of Reynaud's for a long time. Now, having the man near is, of course, wrecking havoc on her senses. She is definitely into it, because even though this man has changed so much, he still can make her stomach flutter. And, Reynaud, well, he has to prove he's not insane (PTSD and other traumas of being a slave to the Indian's for such a long time has taken it's toll on him; he's always in the defense mode with his knife) in order to get back his title. So, with the Tante's advice, he decides that Beatrice is his and plans to seduce her, then marry her. I didn't quite like it, the way Reynaud is trying to dominate Beatrice. I mean, I usually find it 'good lord hot' when heroes try to make heroines understand the meaning of the word mine in the bedroom (or in other places, doesn't matter). But here, it's not the same. It feels like Reynaud's taking advantage of Beatice's naivete and of course her hidden tendre for him. First seduction happened when Beatrice's childhood friend Jeremy died and she was grieving. I was like WTF?! Man, honestly, I really was intrigued by Reynaud at first but now, I'm not so sure ... *exasperated sigh*

But, there are other things show that underneath his grim, savage exterior, Reynaud actually cares for Beatrice. Questions come to mind at this point but I won't ponder upon those. When there was a 2nd attack on Reynaud's life, the attackers stabbed Beatrice accidentally and later, he took care of her. That part was nice. I was enjoying their earlier banters (before they became lovers) though I quite didn't agree on how Beatrice was always asking Reynaud about the Indians and his past life, knowing he's not really easy with it. She was polite, mind you but still. I was like, enough already! Let the man settle first! :/ Now, Reynaud has asked her to marry him and she said yes. Beatrice, being a romantic, hoped for love but now knows it might not happen with Reynaud as he said, love has got nothing to do with his wanting her. It's something more primal than that. She couldn't deny that she feels the same way about him. Just can't say no to him. Beatrice agreed also because of Jeremy, something to do with a bill for the war veterans. All in all, the progression of their relationship felt rather hasty IMO.

There are new secondary characters I'm liking. New because most of the other secondary characters we met in the other 3 books. One is Beatrice's best friend Lottie. She's married. Her husband, although was in with her love in the beginning, now seems totally oblivious of her existence. She gets frustrated and leaves him. And, then there was Jeremy Oates, Beatrice's childhood friend. That man broke my heart. A war veteran and badly wounded, Jeremy lost all hope when his parents started treating him so much as rubbish and his faithless fiancee abandons him after his return. Only Beatrice cared and visited him regularly. I was hoping the man would get something closer to HEA cause he deserved it. He was a perfectly nice man with a REALLY sad life. Although he was slipping away steadily, I hoped for his recovery, possibly with a loving, feminine hand. But, alas! EH killed him even before I got the chance to take it all in. I was so sad, felt like bawling. :( ... Somewhere in my mind, I thought, maybe something with Lottie, with her sad excuse of a husband's equally sad demise? (yah, I know I'm terrible!) ... *sigh* ... Just reminded me once again how life can be so unfair to people undeserving of its punishments. After his death, I've lost much of my interest in the story.

Well, the Four Soldiers is finished. I have to say it with a lot of uneasiness that, I wasn't happy with the ending. I've already mentioned it earlier, after the 6th chapter, things started annoying me and the story slowly started falling flat for me. I had issues with Reynaud and his actions/crazy dodo behaviour (it was all about his title and money until the kidnapping ... bleh!), I had issues with the dialogue (sorry but I know EH can write much more funny/intense/interesting dialogues), I even had issues with the ultimate revelation- the betrayer of Spinner's Falls.

So, of course the betrayer was revealed and the story ended. Seen all the earlier characters - Sam/Emeline, Vale/Melisande, Alistair/Helen, Rebecca/O'Hare, Daniel, Tante Cristelle and so on. Some were mentioned throughout the books while others at the end, maybe just to wrap it all up.

The plot had four of them working together and a kidnapping (again!). The h/h confessing their love (couldn't believe the reasons why Reynaud won't love Beatrice back, the whole why/why not just didn't pull me in), Lottie and her husband getting back (have no idea why they even split in the first place, this part seemed just too unimportant with the story development) ... Well, some scenes were nice. There was one love scene I particularly liked. And yes, I loved the way Alistair handled the Lister problem. God, that man is so ewww! And, in the end, "the fairytale book handing ceremony". I don't know why the heck they had to present Emeline with anything (don't care that she's pregnant, the woman didn't even do anything with the book, TTT will tell you why!). It's Melisande who translated it, Helen transcribed and Beatrice did the binding (yah, she's the mystery bookbinder I talked about in TBaB, something like a hobby for her). But, they made 4 copies (blue, yellow, lavender and scarlet; hence the cover color lmao!) so each of them gets a copy. El fin! Really, nothing else to add. Or maybe, I just don't wanna talk about it anymore.

So, the whole series fell short of my expectations, doesn't compare to the Princes Trilogy at all. It was fun but I wasn't overwhelmed or WOWed. Don't get me wrong, the writing is very good, the plot(s) well-thought out; it's just that I know she can write superb stuff, so ... *make your own conclusion here* ... In the end, 3.5 stars.

Of course, the book features the last fairy tale called "Long Sword" (ehmm!). Quite nice! Guess I'll be seeing more fairy tales in EH's next series. :)