Friday, August 18, 2023

Joanna Bourne’s THE FORBIDDEN ROSE – Superb Prequel to the Spymaster Series set in France!

For those who haven't yet read The Spymaster's Lady or My Lord and Spymaster, this book comes first in time—a kind of “prequel”—though it was written later. It’s the story of how Doyle and Maggie met.


Set in 1794 in France, it's a tale of English spies and French undercover work transporting royalists out of France during the time of the French Revolution and Robespierre.


Marguerite is a wonderful young woman who, though raised as an aristocrat, has adapted to the times and is now doing important work that has her wearing many faces. British agent Doyle is after her father who he believes has provided names of English to be murdered by those in control of France. When Doyle realizes he has taken the man's daughter, he keeps her, hoping she'll lead him to her father.


Doyle has never allowed himself to get involved with a woman in the field. Ah, but Marguerite de Fleurignac aka Maggie is no ordinary woman! He gets aroused just looking at her and he admires her intelligence and fierce determination.


In this story, Bourne gives us another strong heroine and another drool-worthy hero. The Doyle who is in the background in the other books in the Spymaster series is now on center stage. The dialog is very witty and at times very humorous. Bourne has mastered the art of suspense and her language is very colorful and fits well the era.


Meticulously researched, as always, Bourne delivers up a detailed, well-told tale. I recommend reading all in the series. Just read this one first!


The Spymaster Series in the order I recommend reading them:


The Forbidden Rose (France 1794)

The Spymaster’s Lady (France and England 1802)

Rogue Spy (England, 1802)

My Lord And Spymaster (London 1811)

The Black Hawk (Paris, beginning in 1794, flashbacks to 1797 and 1802, and London 1818)



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