Love and survival in the shadow of Waterloo…

Wearied by his years as a British intelligence officer, Simon Duval resigns his commission after Napoleon’s abdication. Hoping to find new meaning in his life, he returns to England, where he discovers his cousin’s widow, Suzanne Duval, the Comtesse de Chambron. Working as a seamstress, living in reduced circumstances, Suzanne has had a life as complicated as Simon’s. While both believe they are beyond love, their sympathetic bond leads him to propose a marriage of companionship, and Suzanne accepts.

She didn’t want or expect a true marriage, but as Suzanne joins Simon in a search for his long-missing foster brother, warmth and caring begin to heal both their scars—and a powerful passion sparks between them. Then news from France threatens to disrupt their happiness. Napoleon has escaped from Elba and Wellington personally asks Simon to help prevent another devastating war. Only this time, Simon does not go into danger alone. He and Suzanne will face deadly peril together and pray that love will carry them through.

Titles in the Rogues Redeemed series include – Once a Soldier – Once a Rebel – Once a Scoundrel – Once a Spy

Title:  Once A Spy
Series:  Rogues Redeemed #4
Author:  Mary Jo Putney
Genre:  Regency Romance
Published:  September 24, 2019
Publisher:  Kensington Books – Zebra
My Rating:  4 stars

Even though I have not yet read the entire series, ONCE A SPY easily drew me into a unique Historical Romance that kept my attention throughout Simon and Suzanne’s story.  I will go back to the earlier books since now I would like to know what came before this story.  (time, it’s always about not enough time to read all the books I’d love to read)

The Cover Description really gives you a good idea of this story, enough to decide if you will pick this one up.  My reactions to this story are somewhat divided.  I enjoyed the slow building of emotions between Simon and Suzanne.  I cannot imagine the horrors that Suzanne went through, yet I can accept that for her a marriage of companionship, friendship and support would be very tempting given what was done to her.  Simon has the patience to care for Suzanne, as a friend, but his feelings are changing as he grows to love the strong woman she’s had to be.  I enjoyed them together as friends, and eventually as a couple.  It felt, for the most part, believable and a natural transition from friends to lovers.

There were times that I had to strongly remind myself that I was reading a romance set in a time of history where the reactions, the gossip, the lack of sympathy for what Suzanne had endured would have been the norm.  I don’t know that we’ve come that much further in modern times, but I certainly hope so.  The slow burn was the right choice for this couple.  They had to learn to like, trust, and be comfortable with each other before moving any further in their relationship, at least, in my opinion.

Overall, I enjoyed ONCE A SPY and will return to this world again.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

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