Author: Mary Jo Putney
Narrator: Beverley A. Crick
Title: Once a Spy
(Rogues Redeemed #4)
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: September 24th 2019
Where I got It: Audible
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...
Accidently read the book after that which was okay. It was nice to backtrack to see Suzanne and Simon fall in love.
The story follows Suzanne and Simon. Tired by all his years in the British army as a spy, Simon resigns his commission after Napoleon abdicates. Hoping to find new meaning in his life, he returns to England where he discovers his cousin's widow. Suzanne Duval was the Comtesse de Chambron. Now she is working as a seamstress in England. The two decide to marry because they both believe they are beyond love and lust. A nice friendship and a marriage of convenience will work. They didn't expect or want a true marriage, but as Suzanne joins Simon in searching for his long-lost friend and foster brother, they realize that love and passion are possible. However, Napoleon's escape from Elba will bring peril to Europe and this couple.
A little bit of the mystery was ruined since I did read book 5 before this one. I for sure say read this one before, but this does stand well as a standalone from the rest of the series.
I liked this couple. One of my favorite couples in the series 100%. They went through some terrible things. He was a spy during a bloody war. She was in France during the Reign of Terror. Lost her hubbie, title, lands, and freedom. On the way to escaping her boat was taken over and she was taken to be a whore in a harem. They are both really damaged. I loved watching them rekindle their friendship, get married, fall in love, and then lust. It was sweet. I loved how much they talked to each other and trusted each other.
I adored the side characters as well. They were very well-rounded and I wanted them to be safe and happy too.
However, I struggled a little bit because the pacing was all over the place. Things would drag to the point of me wanting to fall asleep and then jump to heart-racing fast where I couldn't listen fast enough and then it would drop to slow and tedious.
Also, I felt the treatment and recovery that Suzanne went through after her terrible experiences....seemed wrong. It felt like all she needed was a good man. True, Simon is awesome and patient and kind...but I feel like she needed a therapist or something. Love can't always fix deep-rooted issues and traumatic experiences.
The narrator was fantastic as per normal. I could sing her praises.
In the end, I liked many parts of this, but there were some things I struggled with for sure. The series was fun and I enjoyed it overall. But for this, I will give it 3 stars.
- #34 for Audiobook challenge
- #34 for Audiobook challenge
- #19 for Romance Bingo - Horse on the cover