All's fair in love and war...
As heir to a title, Will Masterson should have stayed home and tended his responsibilities. Instead, he went to war. After years fighting the French, he intends his current mission to be his last. But all his plans are forgotten when he arrives in the small mountain stronghold of San Gabriel and meets her.
Knowing herself to be too tall, strong and unconventional, Athena Markham has always gloried in her independence. Yet for the first time in her life, she finds a man who might be her match.
Two of a kind, too brave for their own good, Athena and Will vow to do whatever it takes to vanquish San Gabriel’s enemies, while finding a love deeper than they’d ever imagined.
A thrilling historical romance for fans of Mary Balogh and Stephanie Laurens.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Set at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, US author Mary Jo Putney’s Once A Soldier is an exotic and exciting romance, set in a small fictional country rebuilding after a costly war. The novel explores the duality of being desperate to go home, yet also overcome with the need to help those around you. Putney writes an array of strong characters, including our leads Will Masterson, a British heir who spent years fighting the French, and Athena Markham, a woman determined to defend the country from its enemies (and who is, in many ways, the perfect match to Masterson). This is a charming historical novel and a strong opener for Putney’s series of romances, Rogues Redeemed, centred around loveable rogues determined to improve themselves. But well-crafted story aside, this is also a novel about first impressions and outward appearances, and just how misleading they can sometimes be.
Putney begins her Regency-era Rogues Redeemed series (a spin-off of the Lost Lords series) with a man who survived the horrors of war meeting a most unconventional heroine. Several years after nearly being executed as a POW, Will Masterson agrees to undertake his last wartime mission, leading a small troop of cavalry to the tiny country of San Gabriel, an ally of the English located between Spain and Portugal. Once he arrives, Will meets Lady Athena Markham, a very tall and stunning Englishwoman who is a companion to Princess Maria Sofia of San Gabriel. Will is attracted to Athena's bravery and beauty, and she's not immune to the handsome and charming soldier. But Athena is reluctant to get involved with a man for a brief fling and especially unwilling to follow in the footsteps of her mother, a famed courtesan. Working together to help protect San Gabriel, Will and Athena begin to realize that their initial attraction has led to greater emotions. Putney's multifaceted and well-developed characters add depth to this romance, which is complete with the trials of war and the promise of future series installments.