Jill Dunlop's Reviews > The Forbidden Rose

The Forbidden Rose by Joanna Bourne
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Jul 04, 10

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Read from July 01 to 04, 2010

The Forbidden Rose is loosely connected to Joanna Bourne's other novels The Spymaster's Lady and My Lord and Spymaster. Marguerite de Fleurignac finds herself living in the woods after her home is burned down by mercenaries of the Republic. France is in an upheaval with noblemen and women fearing for their lives. William Doyle, a British spy is trying to locate Maggie's father as he believes him the man responsible for traitorous acts involving the death of important men. He discovers Maggie hiding amongst the rubble of her former home and offers to escort her to Paris under the disguise as a humble book peddler with his helpful servant Adrian Hawker.

The Forbidden Rose is a very complicated book filled with intrigue and passion. It is set during a very tumultuous time of the French Revolution. There are very complicated plots afoot. Maggie is involved with helping those who have been targeted by the Republic flee France. Doyle works as a British spy and wants to put an end to the Terror. There are other factions at work as well which make this a very complicated and confusing story. I am not really one for spy stories, but Bourne's writing is so compelling that I cannot seem to help myself. I was much more interested in the romance between Doyle and Maggie than I was the French intrigue. However, the backdrop of French turmoil created a very poignant and intense setting for this romance.

The characters are extremely well drawn and are what make the story come alive. This book was much more sensual and explicit than Bourne's previous two books, which I found somewhat surprising. For those who are fans of her character Adrian Hawker, who appeared in the previous two books, will be very happy to learn that this book delves more into Adrian. The Forbidden Rose takes place previous of the other two books and gives the reader insight into how Adrian came to be the way he is. I didn't enjoy The Forbidden Rose as much as I have Bourne’s previous books and I think this is due to the complexity to the spy plots. I had a hard time following things. Plus, I found myself trying to remember Doyle from the previous books and had trouble recalling the details. It makes me want to go back and reread The Spymasters Lady and My Lord and Spymaster. If you are a fan of Joanna Bourne you won’t want to miss The Forbidden Rose.
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07/02/2010 page 128
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