Review: Once a Soldier (Rogues Redeemed #1) by Mary Jo Putney

Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Zebra (June 28, 2016)

From 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...


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

One of my favorite things about this author (and this novel) is the attention to detail that the author pays to the overall setting of her story. In fact, while reading this particular story, I actually had to stop and make sure that San Gabriel wasn't exactly a real place. 

That being said, I often felt that the trials of this fictional place overshadowed the romances that she was trying to build. Yes, there was a lot of "if only" and some tension between the characters, but I felt as though it didn't do the overall story justice. I would have liked there to have been more of a balance between the characters finding themselves falling in love while dealing with the dangers presented to San Gabriel instead of one taking precedence over the other.

And since I pride myself on honest reviews - I have to put it out there that the romance involving the Princess... it was easy to see from almost the start of it how it would end up. I couldn't invest myself in her "lost love" as I was fairly certain I knew how her story-line would end. Even though I was right, I wouldn't say that that fact reflects poorly on the author - just that this particular story-line may be becoming a tad overdone throughout the genre as a whole. 

Overall - I do feel that this novel is intriguing enough for the reader to continue on with the series, if for no other reason than to see how the other soldiers mentioned in the beginning make out. I, personally, will continue on as I am also a fan of Ms.Putney's overall ability to tell a good story. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

Once a Soldier is available from

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