If you have read any of Mary Jo Putney’s “Lost Lords” series, you will enjoy this novel. “Once a Soldier” is the first in a new series called “Rogues Redeemed.” Meaning, this new series is related to the Lost Lords. This book is about Will Masterson, the Lord in question, and Athena Markham, a character that is, literally, at 6 feet tall, larger than life.
Having lost his young wife, Will went to war against Napoleon to do something useful with is life. At the end of the war, after Napoleon is forced to abdicate, he is asked by his commanding officer to accompany a group of soldiers returning to their fictional country.
That country, known as San Gabriel, was supposedly located between Portugal and Spain. It is there that he meets Athena, at the end of a gun. That hostility doesn’t last long, of course, as the San Gabriel castle and country begins to celebrate the end of the war.
This story is basically about Will and his troops helping the locals protect San Gabriel from enemies not content to end the war.
Needless to say Will and Athena are attracted to one another. There are other romances in this story as well. However, I will not be mentioning much beyond that fact so as not to spoil the story for those who have not yet read it.
Towards the end of the story, Will and Athena end up in England where we once again meet Will’s half-brother and his wife — characters straight out of the Lost Lord series. In fact, meeting them all again was actually fun.
If I have any complaints against this book it is the fact that San Gabriel is a fictional country mixed in with a real war. As such, I think it would have been more authentic had Putney used a real location. Regardless, it was a fun book and I definitely would recommend reading it.
I give this book 4 stars out of 5.
Published by Kensington Books (Zebra)
June 2016 (Paperback 343 pages)