Once A Soldier by Mary Jo Putney

Once a Soldier (Rogues Redeemed, #1)Once a Soldier by Mary Jo Putney

Barbara’s Rating: 3 of 5 stars    Maybe 3.5 stars —

  • Series:  Rogues Redeemed #1
  • Release Date:  6/28/16

It seems I am like a number of other readers and reviewers of this book. I love Mary Jo Putney, and I cannot tell you why this book didn’t just suck me right in as her other books do. I read all of the Lost Lords books and loved them. I always wanted Will Masterson’s story to be exceptional – but – it is just – well – ordinary. The book starts off exciting and it ends with excitement, but the middle of the book just plugs along. It takes place in a fictional country, which is fine, but the things the characters did are against ALL of the rules of Regency times – and probably any other country of that time. I mean, can you imagine any place, during that time period, where it would be acceptable for two couples to go on an overnight ‘camping’ trip alone – totally unchaperoned? Yep – me neither.

What an exciting beginning. Our hero, Will Masterson, along with several other men have been captured by the French and are awaiting execution by hanging. They are locked in a cold, damp basement with no way to escape. What will they do! Never fear, Will figures out a way — after all — if he didn’t, there wouldn’t be any more story! 🙂

After that exciting beginning, the story goes into some descriptions of the end of the war and Will’s orders to escort a contingent of soldiers to their home in San Gabriel (a fictional country between Portugal and Spain). Besides escorting the soldiers, Will is to evaluate the situation in San Gabriel and report back. This portion of the book moves along slowly with the hero meeting the heroine and others in San Gabriel. He arranges for a friend to bring much-needed supplies to San Gabriel and then there are many discussions with the heroine, the friend, etc. talking about San Gabriel’s defenses, planting grapes, making wine – all sorts of things. It is a way they are getting to know each other. Will and Athena are instantly attracted, but they let their attraction grow slowly.

Then, we reach the conclusion where it gets exciting again with an attack by a renegade, retreating French general who wants to rule San Gabriel by conquering them and then forcing their ruling Princess to marry him.

Will is injured while defending San Gabriel – and – then – like magic – all of Athena’s objections, angst, etc. disappear and she decides all will be wonderful. It just happened too fast.

BTW – there are three romances in this book and all three get their HEA’s.

Bottom line is that the story idea was a good one, but the book was a bit slow and didn’t just suck me in and keep me up all night reading it. I had no trouble putting the book down and taking a break from the story. I had really hoped for something more spectacular for Will.

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