Once a Soldier by Mary Jo Putney
Napoleon has been ousted, now the pieces need to be picked up and put back together again. No country went unscathed, most of all, little San Gabriel. Romance is to be found, but at what cost and whose heart will be broken?
Publisher’s Description: As heir to a title and great wealth, Will Masterson should have stayed home and tended his responsibilities. Instead he went to war. Now, after perilous 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 to appeal to a man, Athena Markham has always gloried in her independence. But 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. For neither will back down from death, and only together can they find happiness and a love deeper than any they’d dared imagine…
Nervous Nellie’s nervousness necessitates knowledge of the novel (or, in other words, SPOILERS).
Nervous Nellie says…
Regency romance, little sex but not much. No cliffhanger, but a lot of war-like bloodshed.
I’m going to be blunt. I liked the characters, but…
Athena, though a strong woman full of confidence, was constantly flogging a dead horse with her illegitimacy issues. It felt untrue to think of her being weak to that concept when she fought in more than one battle of a deadly war.
Will Masterson was a good character and he played the hero very well. I didn’t feel he was failing in his role at all. He was an officer and a gentleman.
Justin Ballard was good hero, but I assume that his story wasn’t supposed to steal the spotlight of Athena and Will, even though it still did. He was kind of wishy-washy; however, I imagine he would have been a stronger character if this had been his story.
Princess Sofi was an excellent example of growing into her own when she had to step up and rule a country. Again, though, it felt like her romance was stealing the limelight from Will and Athena.
This story felt like a trilogy wrapped up in one book. There is a lot going on and it felt like all the scenes were crammed into a tight little space. I liked the story, the characters and the imagery, but it was a lot to absorb. It also felt like the story was being bogged down in places.
This is only my opinion, remember. It may be an excellent read for someone else, but now you have my thoughts.
If you like this book…