cover image Once a Soldier

Once a Soldier

Mary Jo Putney. Kensington/Zebra, $7.99 mass market (343p) ISBN 978-1-4201-4092-7

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. (July)