Legend of Four Soldiers series, by Elizabeth Hoyt 3in1 review

It’s time for a blitzkrieg review! Maybe that has too much of a negative connotation…review-blitz? lighting round review? Since I have been reading at the speed of light (8 books in 7 days = speed of light, it’s science) it is only fitting I do a quick review round.

I just finished the first three books in Elizabeth Hoyt’s Legend of Four Soldier series, and the fourth is set to release this fall. Here is what I thought in a nutshell:

B Grade for all of them. No squeeing from my corner, but no waves of dislike, thought they were “good books,” but would only re-read one.

Sigh, I’m not ‘splainin this very well, am I?

Here is the thing-the characters were fresh and new, even slightly unconventional because:

  1. none of the 3 heroines were virgins (gasp!)
  2. one of the heroines had been deeply in love with her previous husband, who returned her love (double gasp!)
  3. one of the heroines started out as another man’s Kept Woman, Mistress, member of the Demimonde, etc etc etc
  4. one of the heroes was “comical looking,” never described as attractive, just funny looking (wtf?)
  5. one of the heroes was missing one eye, 2 fingers on one hand, and had half his face burnt off

Since I read SO MANY romance novels, I definitely appreciate when an author goes off the beaten path of romancelandia a little bit, and mixes things up. But EVERY hero and heroine? I mean EVERY one of them had to have something weird? I think reading all three back to back in two days maybe was a bit much for me.

Not to say I didn’t like them, I just didn’t lurrrve any of them. I found that I have a surprisingly strange affinity for the “old school” romance tropes and traditional characters of yore.

Onto specifics…

Book 1: To Taste Temptation

tastetemptation

Emmeline totally reminds me of one of my favorite characters of all time, Jane Austen’s Emma. Emmeline is forever speaking of men’s annual incomes, guiding younger girls through treacherous social waters, facilitating matches, and is very secure with her good standing in society. However she is still rocked by the losses of the three closest men whom she had loved most dearly and always expected them to be there for her: her father, her husband, and her brother.

Speaking of her brother, Reynaud, he served in the Colonies but was killed after a massacre at “Spinner’s Falls” during the French and Indian War. The American scout from his troupe, Samuel, is our Hero and he has come to England because the massacre at Spinner’s Falls was no accident! They were betrayed! So he prances around London in his moccasins determined to find the traitor so he can finally rest easy.

Emmeline and Samuel are so opposite that of course they are attracted to each other. And HOT DAMN are the love scenes sizzling! I can’t think of any other “traditional full length” romance novels I’ve read recently that seemed so…erotic. Maybe it’s a new to me publisher?

Overall it was a fun read, although Emmeline’s main reason for not wanting to be with Samuel reversed itself a little too quickly for me at the end, I would still say it was a good book. That is all.

Book 2. To Seduce a Sinner (PS I love the titles)

seducesinner

 So this was my favorite of the three. I was intrigued by plain and quiet Melisande as Emmeline’s best friend in the first book and I was so happy to see she was the next heroine! So now she has been in love with the “comical looking” gentleman (whom I mentioned before) named Lord Vale, for the past 6 years, but he didn’t even know her name! For shame man! And of course Lord Vale also was part of the troupe at the Spinner’s Falls massacre so with Samuel on newlywed cloud 9 bcak in good old America, Vale has to take over the investigate to exorcise his demons. Although he acts the entertainer in Society, he has depths that no one recognizes, except Melisande of course!

Again, their sex scenes were very provocative, but overall I just really liked Melisande, and the scene at the end where Vale gives her a gift that represents her from the outside and inside I was in romancelandia heaven. Sooo cute.

Book 3. To Beguile a Beast

beguileabeast

And here we have the gorgeous blonde Fallen Woman, Helen Fitzwilliam, paired with the disfigured man, Sir Alistair Monroe. The scars, of course, received from his torture by Indains following the Spinner’s Falls massacre. And NO the traitor has not been found yet!

There have been ooodles and oodles of raving reviews of this book around the ‘net, so again while I wasn’t OMGobsessed with this book, I still thought it was quite good. It’s just not my escapist fantasy to clean a disgusting old Scottish castle with a mean and ugly man living it. Also – Yes, this is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, and Yes I thought Ms. Hoyt handled Alistair’s disfigurement well, how he needed to cope with it, and how Helen was able to look past it.

Lastly I am VERY MUCH looking forward to the release of Book Four: To Desire a Devil (have I mentioned I adore these titles?) in November 2009. Because it has one of my favorite romance/soap opera plot points of ALL TIME: the hero COMES BACK FROM THE DEAD! Lalalalala – that is me skipping and signing with joy. Oh I adore heroes who come back from the dead, and this time it is Emmeline’s brother, Reynaud. Can’t wait!

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7 Responses

  1. You know I think I gave these all varying degrees of ‘B’ as well. However, you bring up an interesting point. I read them as they were released so didn’t think much about the ‘quirks’ of each character. Huh. Interesting. I’m not at home so I can’t look at my spreadsheet to see what I said about them.

  2. None of the heroines were virgins! YAY!
    Very excited for the 4th book this fall.

  3. My favorite was book 2 as well. I thought it would be book 3, given how much I love Beauty and the Beast stories but the third ended up being SUCH a meh read for me. I gave it a 5, even.

  4. Oh, I love these books, specially the book 3. Can’t get it here in Singapore though. Must order online, so it is damn expensive.

  5. Interesting. Your review almost makes me want to give Hoyt another shot. But overall, her style doesn’t seem to work for me.

    Would it be tragic if I just picked up book 2? Or do these books *have* to be read in order?

  6. Rosie: you’re so good with your spreadsheet!

    KB: i am really building up the 4th book. can i just say again how much i ADORE heroes who come back from the dead?

    Ana: yay Melisande and Vale. I need to go back and reread your review of Beguile a Beast, but I am still very excited for the 4th book!

    Singapore Travel: oh my gosh, i can’t even imagine a world where books are hard to get, that is my nightmare.

    Kati: the books do not have to be read in order at all. not in the slightest. if you do try the 2nd one i hope you like it! but i am absolutely holding out for the 4th.

  7. LR I’m a rank amateur with my spreadsheet compared to people like Kristie(j) and Rosario. I just keep track of what I’m reading because I can’t remember them all any more. *g*

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