Book Review : Once A Soldier – Mary Jo Putney

Murder and mayhem, fraud and other sundry crimes have been the order of the day as my day job of transcribing court cases has consumed almost my every waking hour for the last two months.  I’ve barely had a moment to stop and smell the flowers, so to speak.  My writing had to be put on hold as I dragged myself from one crazy case to the next, typing to stiff deadlines.  Even my reading has suffered as I’ve simply been to exhausted to read by the time I am finally able to fall into bed at the end of a gruelling day.  I do want to make mention of the last one I did get to read though.

At one of our writerly get togethers I was fortunate to receive a copy of Mary Jo Putney’s Once A Soldier in my goodie bag and it was promptly added to my TBR.  Happily I finally got to it.  It did not disappoint!  I went through a phase, back in the day when Kathleen E Woodiwiss was one of the ruling historical romance elite, where I devoured historical romance reads.  The phase eventually passed and I moved on to other sub genres but it still remains a firm favourite.

Once A Soldier by Mary Jo Putney was a lovely read.  I confess, I haven’t read any of the others in the series that it’s a part of but believe me, I will.  Once A Soldier is the first in the Rogues Redeemed series and tells the story of Will Masterson and Athena Markham.  Neither has had an easy life, but things are about to get a whole lot worse before it gets better for them.

Will Masterson, as a peer of the realm, is heir to a title and great responsibility but instead of stepping into his family role he joined the war against Napoleon.  After years of fighting for his country, he is finally homeward bound when his commanding officer requests one final mission of him.  The tiny mountainous San Gabriel, who has loyally aided Britain, is in dire need of assistance.  He agrees and upon his arrival in the picturesque kingdom he meets Athena under unusual circumstances.

The status of Athena Markham’s birth will forever follow her and she will never be accepted by “polite” society.  After years of verbal abuse and societal slights, thinking she’d found love only to be mercilessly rejected she flees to San Gabriel to find solace and acceptance.  The king asks her to be tutor and companion to his daughter, and she agrees despite knowing her time in San Gabriel is limited.  But it is the only true home she’s know, where she is accepted for who she is and not her standing in life.  When the security of both the little kingdom and her charge is threatened, Athena does what she’s best at – working to find a solution to the problem.

Will and Athena find themselves thrown together to save San Gabriel and the Princess Sofia, and it is love at first sight for them both.  However, while the circumstances of her birth don’t bother Will at all, Athena is unable to move past the way she has been treated by the nobility in the past and finds herself unable to commit to a life with Will.  Can they save the day and find a way to their own happiness?  I highly recommend investing in your own copy of this lovely book to find out if Will and Athena will be rewarded with their happily ever after.

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