Ridley's Reviews > To Desire a Devil

To Desire a Devil by Elizabeth Hoyt
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May 08, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: 2-star, georgian, read-2010, ebook
Read on May 02, 2010

Reynaud St. Aubyn has been traveling for months trying to get home to England after seven years in Indian captivity during the French and Indian war. Fevered and confused, he bursts into what was his father's London townhome and demands in angry French to see his father before collapsing.

Beatrice Corning, the niece of and hostess for the current earl of Blanchard, was presiding over a dull political tea for her uncle when Reynaud unceremoniously crashed the party. Despite the disheveled clothing, ragged hair and facial tattoos, she immediately recognizes him as the Viscount Hope from the portrait in the sitting room. Not only does this mean he was not dead, but he was also the rightful earl, placing her and her uncle's future in doubt.

Oh, where to begin with my moans and groans of disappointment?

Firstly, this is an unconvincing Georgian. The behaviors of the characters were a mix of Regency and 21st century mores. Beatrice and Reynaud spent as much unchaperoned time together as a modern couple might, with nary a comment from anyone. Beatrice's brotherly relationship with the crippled soldier was charming, but completely unlikely. Her friend's melodramatic separation from her husband was the height of absurdity. Their sappy reunion at the end was even more so. Not only that, but I'm still not sure why we were treated to bits of her marriage drama via her point of view. It felt like filler.

The romance between Reynaud and Beatrice is undeveloped. Her initial attraction to him is based off her infatuation with the portrait of him and the myth of who he is that she created in her mind. In short, she's fond of a fictional character he looks like. For his part, it seems like a sailor on shore leave. He's been in captivity for seven years, she's a woman in close proximity, hard-on ensues. I couldn't see how they were in love from their words or actions.

As a result, the sex scenes are cold. When he first takes her to bed, I was rather repulsed. She's distraught after finding out that a friend has died and she missed the funeral, and he takes advantage of her emotional state and confusion to marshal her into bed. He carries her up the stairs of the family townhouse, orders the staff not to disturb them, strips her of her wet clothes (as you can't properly mourn in the sunshine, it simply must be raining), then starts taking his own clothes off.
"Why are you undressing?"
"Because I intend to lie with you," he said, and took off his smallclothes.
How's that for a scorching seduction? Amazingly I was further turned off with an exchange a bit further along in the same scene.
She tore her mouth from his and looked him in the face. "Put it in me."
Yes, folks, put it in me. It's like high school sex all over again.

So the historical details are weak, the romance threadbare, the sex awkward, how about the resolution to the four book long suspense plot? It's anti-climactic, is what it is. It lacks surprise, emotional punch or anything interesting at all. Even the reveal is weak. Four books about Spinner's Falls and the resolution is a limp rag of "Oh, is that it?" But, hey, at least we got all four heroes together for hokey shenanigans.

Definitely a shame, as I generally love Elizabeth Hoyt. Hopefully she regains the magic.
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Reading Progress

05/02 page 165 "Pretty silly so far. If you don't want to work with Georgian era mores, don't write a Georgian." 5 comments
05/09 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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message 1: by new_user (new)

new_user What! That doesn't sound like Hoyt at all! How disappointing. :(


LethalLovely~Maybe I've Always Been More Comfortable in Chaos You put the disappointment & disgust I felt for this book into words I couldn't even bother with. My throw-at-the-wall moment was when Reynaud cupped his package & said "This is for you. Look your fill". What the hell?


message 3: by new_user (last edited May 08, 2010 02:13PM) (new)

new_user Hmm, so she needed to work on her dialogue, eh? Although I have no problem with the hero saying this is for you and look your fill, LOL. Maybe the phrasing's awkward?


LethalLovely~Maybe I've Always Been More Comfortable in Chaos Definitely. Reynaud treated Beatrice like one of those rubber hoohaa's guys get at sex shops. It never felt like she was a real person to him. Just someone he could emotionally abuse & have an orgasm with.


message 5: by new_user (last edited May 08, 2010 09:03PM) (new)

new_user Aw. :( Definitely needed more relationship development. Booo. That's no good. Maybe I'll skip it.


LethalLovely~Maybe I've Always Been More Comfortable in Chaos No, you've gotta read it! Don't ya wanna know who the traitor is?


Ridley If that's the only reason to read it, just read a spoiler review and have done with it.

It's not like the suspense was really woven into the story and a spoiler would ruin an emotional reveal. It was very much an, "Oh. That guy." sort of resolution.


message 8: by new_user (new)

new_user LOL. We'll see once I start the series, but typically the suspense in HR isn't central and I can happily skip. ;)


LethalLovely~Maybe I've Always Been More Comfortable in Chaos No you have to read it! Misery loves company after all. ::Lethal bats lashes::


message 10: by new_user (new)

new_user LOL! All right, maybe I'll read it for you. ;)


message 11: by Melissa (new) - added it

Melissa Great review! I remember starting this book, but stopping because i got a bit bored.


message 12: by Diana (new)

Diana "Put it in me?" I can't even...process that. Although, Elizabeth Hoyt's dialogue has never really wowed me, even in books of hers that I do enjoy; it's American slang meets a fantasy mash-up of Georgette Heyerisms and made up Georgian-Regency sounding dialect. So, yeah.

Great review, though. Thanks for the warning. I'll be taking this one off my TBR pile.


message 13: by Ridley (last edited May 09, 2010 07:53PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ridley Diana wrote: ""Put it in me?" I can't even...process that.

"Put it in me" actually shows up twice. She says it again as part of a longer sentence in another sex scene later in the book.

Each time was like a pink zebra waltzing across the stage.


LethalLovely~Maybe I've Always Been More Comfortable in Chaos Who says "Put it in me" outside of a sleezy porno? Oh wait, Elizabeth Hoyt does!


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