To Desire a Devil (Legend of the Four Soldiers Series #4)

To Desire a Devil  - Elizabeth Hoyt 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.