Tuesday, May 12, 2009
"4 1/2 Stars! TOP PICK! The third legend in the Four Soldiers quartet is a magical love story that reads like a mystical fable and a very real and highly passionate romance. Hoyt has found a unique niche that highlights both her storytelling abilities and her considerable talents for depth of character and emotion."
—Kathe Robin, Romantic Times BOOKreviews
As promised, an excerpt from TO BEGUILE A BEAST!
They always screamed.
Sir Alistair Munroe scowled at the woman and children on his step.
Behind them the rain suddenly let down in a wall of water, making the
children crowd against their mother's skirts. Children, particularly
small ones, nearly always screamed and ran away from him. Sometimes
even grown women did. Just last year a rather melodramatic young lady
on High Street in Edinburgh had fainted at the sight of him.
Alistair had wanted to slap the silly chit.
Instead, he'd scurried away like a diseased rat, hiding the maimed
side of his face as best he could in his lowered tricorne and pulled
up cloak. He expected the reaction in cities and towns. It was the
reason he didn't like to frequent areas where people congregated. What
he didn't expect was a female child screaming on his very doorstep.
"Stop that," he growled at her, and the lass snapped her mouth shut.
There were two children, a male and a female. The lad was a brown
birdlike thing that could've been anywhere from three to eight.
Alistair had no basis to judge since he avoided children when he
could. The female was the elder. She was pale and blond, and staring
up at him with blue eyes that looked much too large for her thin face.
Perhaps it was a fault of her bloodline--such abnormalities often
denoted mental deficiency.
Her mother had eyes the same color, he saw as he finally, reluctantly,
looked at her. She was beautiful. Of course. It would be a blazing
beauty who appeared upon his doorstep in a thunderstorm. She had eyes
the exact color of newly opened harebells, shining gold hair, and a
magnificent bosom that any man, even a scarred, misanthropic recluse
such as himself, would find arousing. It was, after all, the natural
reaction of a human male to a human female of obvious reproductive
capability, however much he resented it.
"What do you want?" he repeated to the woman.
Perhaps the entire family was mentally deficient, because they simply
stared at him, mute. The woman's stare was fixated on his eye socket.
Naturally. He'd left off his patch again--the damned thing was a
nuisance--and his face was no doubt going to inspire nightmares in her
He sighed. He'd been about to sit down to a dinner of porridge and
boiled sausages when he'd heard the knocking. Wretched as his meal
was, it would be even less appetizing cold.
"Carlyle Manor is a good two miles thataway." Alistair tilted his head
in a westerly direction. No doubt they were guests of his neighbors
gone astray. He shut the door.
Or rather, he tried to shut the door.
The woman inserted her foot in the crack, preventing him. For a
moment, he actually considered shutting her foot in the door, but a
remnant of civility asserted itself and he stopped. He looked at the
woman, his eye narrowed, and waited for an explanation.
The woman's chin tilted. "I'm your housekeeper."