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Once a Soldier

(Rogues Redeemed #1)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,528 ratings  ·  320 reviews
Rogues Redeemed

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
Mass Market Paperback, 343 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Zebra
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3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,528 ratings  ·  320 reviews

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Christine Wallflower & Dark Romance Junkie

After a taut silence, the rifle was lowered and a magnificent Amazon stepped from the shadows. Now that Will didn't have a weapon pointing at him, he realized that the rich, low voice belonged to a female.

I honestly can't do this book justice, all I can say is that it isn't your typical HR.
This book surprised me all round. At first glance it seems like every other historical romance I've read but that wasn't the case at all. The two main differences? The romance was secondary don't get me wro
I drifted off twice while reading this.

The hero and heroine meet and because insta-lust would be too exciting, they just kind of really like each other. Ok, so they are quite lovely together and talk and share and calmly talk some more.
My kingdom for a scorned other woman, devious uncle, or some other over-the-top villain! I bemoan these tropes but at least they give the story some life.

Also, I love myself some wine but reading over and over about how this fictitious country has the best and ho
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading Mary Jo Putney at least 20 years ago. And I will always read her books. If only the new writers had half of her talent. She has a distinctive style that is evident in her latest book. The conversations, the maturity, the characters, have Putney written all over it. I love this feeling of "meeting an old friend" when I read her books. It is....rather comforting.

Once a Soldier features Athena, an extremely tall Amazon like woman and Will, a war hero and a baron. The story took p
Aug 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
Originally posted at Desert Island Book Reviews

I wanted to like this book. I wanted to be able to say that I enjoyed it, because I like historical romance and, in the past, I’ve liked Mary Jo Putney’s work. Unfortunately, however, I barely made it through this book.

Once a Soldier is purportedly a historical romance, but it’s missing both accurate historical details (it’s set in a fictional country and the characters frequently do things that are unbelievable for the time) and a compelling romanc
Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks

While preparing to meet the hangman's noose at sunrise, a group of captured men reflect on what they would do if they were saved from their impending deaths. With the toss of an empty liquor bottle by English officer, Will Masterson, the men have a reprieve from execution and flee to safety. Before going their own ways, they agree to keep in touch in the future by way of a book shop in London. Will Masterson goes back to his troops where he survives to see Napoleon's surrender. Just when he's ab
Sissy's Romance Book Review
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
'Once a Soldier' by Mary Jo Putney is book one in the "Rogues Redeemed" This is the story of Will Masterson and Athena Markham.
Will and some other men had been taking and would be put to death at dawn. They all but said what they would change about their life if they could make it out. When the men all came together to escape they formed a alliance with each other and called themselves Rogues Redeemed.
Once Napoleon surrendered Will had one more assignment that has lead him to meet Athena.
Jacob Proffitt
Aug 15, 2017 marked it as unfinished
At not quite 60% I'm going to call this done. I'm kind of figuring out why by writing this review, so I hope there's some clarity by the end, here.

I like all of the characters immensely. Will and Athena are meant for each other (perhaps a little unrealistically?) and I love their banter and mutual admiration. The secondary characters are nearly as strong and I want them all to end up happy. And together. Unfortunately, there are barriers. Even more unfortunately, the biggest is a huge negative m
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
It's hard to explain why this book, by a wonderful author, was one I could easily put down and not stay up reading 1/2 the night. The book is well written, but for me, something is lacking. Maybe the chemistry between the hero and heroine or the pace of the story.

Major Lord Will Masterson has served in Spain and Portugal during the Napoleonic war. Before he heads home to England, he is asked to accompany some troops from San Gabriel (fictional country between Spain & Portugal) home and evalu
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
This may have been the first book I read of Mary Jo Putney, but I really enjoyed it.

Will Masterson, having been at war for years, finds himself in a mountain town, San Gabriel, when the war ends, but his mission is to protect it, not expecting to meet a beautiful English woman, Athena Markham, among the locals. The story evolves into a suspenseful adventure that throws the two of them together. There is also a romance between the secondary characters which adds to the story. Two for the price o
Disclaimer: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. So here are my thoughts:

The book is set in the fictional San Gabriel, a small island country in between Spain and Portugal during the Napoleonic Wars. When I saw the historical setting for the story, I knew it was a book I wanted to read.

The story centers on a romance between Athena Markham, an illegitimate child of a wanton Briton called "Lady Whore" and Will Masterson, a British war hero. Athena is serving as an ad
2.5 stars

This was my first time reading Mary Jo Putney so I’m not exactly sure if all her books follow a similar suit as this one did but, WOW THIS BOOK WAS BORING. The amount of time spent, WASTED on the most minute details was insane. I didn’t need a complete breakdown of how the leads were going to repair a bridge or plant grapes but that’s exactly what I got. In fact, I skipped over a majority of these mundane sections and didn’t once feel disconnected from the rest of the plot, what little
Regan Walker
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: exotic-locale
Adventure in Spain and Portugal

The story begins in Portugal in 1809 as five men are imprisoned in a cellar, awaiting a firing squad in the morning. Among them is Major Lord Masterson, “Will” to his friends. With some knowledge of their surroundings, he finds an escape tunnel and all five men gain their freedom, going their separate ways but agreeing to send letters to Hatchard’s Bookstore to keep in touch.

I have to say, I like the set up for the Rogues Redeemed series.

Five years later, in 1814,
DNF at 40%. This was boring as hell and I really like Mary Jo Putney.
Barbara Rogers
Maybe 3.5 stars --
It seems I am like a number of other readers and reviewers of this book. I love Mary Jo Putney, and I cannot tell you why this book didn’t just suck me right in as her other books do. I read all of the Lost Lords books and loved them. I always wanted Will Masterson’s story to be exceptional – but – it is just – well – ordinary. The book starts off exciting and it ends with excitement, but the middle of the book just plugs along. It takes place in a fictional country, which is f
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The first book in The Rogues Redeemed Series is a wonderful start. Not only do you get a thrilling new story you have a hero who was a character in The Lost Lords series.

Will is a soldier and a Baron who is finally going home to England after years of fighting in the war against Napoleon. But before he goes home he agrees to go to the small kingdom of San Gabriel and evaluate and help rebuild this small country that had suffered so much in the war with the French. When he arrives he discovers a
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
This is billed as a Regency romance, but it reads far more like a nonfiction account of how to rebuild a city after war. Our hero, English Major Will Masterson, is asked to accompany a troop of cavalry back to their home country, San Gabriel (a made-up country plopped down between Portugal and Spain). San Gabriel's king and heir were both taken by the French, and the young Queen-presumptive, Sofia, must begin the work of revitalizing her country now that Napoleon has been exiled to Elba. The rom ...more
Ermione Pickwick
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it

Ok, I'm struggling with this novel. I cannot make up my mind about it. There is honestly nothing really out of place, the characters are truly well-rounded and interesting, the plot is perfectly developed and it is also somewhat different compared to most of the historical romances I know.

However, it didn't really catch me. I was reading and thinking "this is nice, why I'm not empathising with it?", the answer is "I don't know".

I guess that, thinking about the love story between the protagonist
Great Story! This was a fantastic historical romance novel that takes place around the end of the Napoleonic wars. I really enjoyed the fact that it had strong female characters. You meet Athena Markham and Princess Sofia Alcantara (she actually has a lot more names) residing in the small kingdom of San Gabriel. In addition, Major Will Masterson is enlisted by his British commanding officer to accompany some of San Gabriel's troops back to their homeland following Napoleon's surrender. Will is h ...more
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I have read six of the seven Lost Lords books and enjoyed them all. I was glad to find out that the Rogues Redeemed series continues the characters, especially since I have been waiting for Will Masterson's story.

However, this was a slow read for me. It has never before taken me a week to read a Mary Jo Putney book. Other than that, I can't figure out why else this is my least favorite of her books I've read.

Athena was an okay character. I think the beauty she inherited from her mother
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, putney-m-j
This review is based on an ARC provided by the author and/or the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

This was a nice historical romance. It wasn't the Atypical bodice rippers that I grew up with in that he really valued her opinions and friendship on top of wanting to rip that bodice LOL. It was kind of slow starting off, but the tensions grew.
Kate McMurry
Review of audiobook version of this exciting, fast-paced historical romance

Lord Will Masterson is a 32-year-old, wealthy, British aristocrat who could easily have chosen to sit out the Napoleonic wars, safely at home. Instead, he spent many dangerous years on the continent fighting the French. And now that Napoleon is finally vanquished, instead of returning home to England, he takes a dutiful detour by accepting one final mission, which leads him to the fictional, micro-nation, San Gabriel, loc
Jun 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, arc
Disclosure: I requested this ARC through Netgalley. Thank you to Kensington Books and Mary Jo Putney for the opportunity. Yes, this is an honest review.

* * *

In the opening chapter of the book, a group of 5 men are locked in a room with no probable escape route. Guards are at the door, and death is certain in the morning. On this, their last night together, they decide to talk about what they would do differently if they had another chance and another day to live --

Maybe it's Fate or the Divine,
Bambi Unbridled
Mary Jo Putney is back with a new series that spins off from her original Lost Lords series. Where the Lost Lords all attended Westerfield Academy together, this new Rogues Redeemed series will focus on a group of spies who found themselves facing death together during England's fight with Old Boney.

Just a bit about the Rogues, they find themselves imprisoned in the basement of a home by French soldiers, and are expecting to meet a firing squad at dawn. As can be expected, the conversation turns
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Napoleon has just been exiled to Elba, and as a precarious peace settles on Europe, Will Masterson decides it’s time he went back home. Will has had enough of war, but to his chagrin, his trip will be delayed as he is asked to escort cavalrymen to the kingdom of San Gabriel. While he is there, Will is also to evaluate how Britain can best help the tiny country of San Gabriel ravaged by Napoleon’s troops. Upon arriving at his destination, he is met by a rifle-toting Amazon aptly named Athena. Ath ...more
Marilyn Rondeau
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
In a new series by the ever-great Mary Jo Putney, I’m happy to have once again been able to start right at the first book in her new Rogues Redeemed series. However, I can’t say that her hero Will Masterson was truly a ‘rogue’ . He struck me much more as a hero than any kind of rogue.

Will was heir to a title and wealth but after the death of his wife and infant child, he was so devastated that the last five years he didn’t care what happened to him and decided to fight against Napoleon. After m
Chessela Helm
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As soon as I read the first Lost Lords book, I wanted Will's story. I got through all of them and was like 'surely Will has a story! He's the best!' so I was thrilled to see he met his match in this series. And he definitely does meet his match. Athena is smart, powerful, and brave. What more can you ask for? It was interesting to see things happening outside of Britain, and it was great that we finally got the last of the lost's story alongside Will. Loved this one! I couldn't get into the seco ...more
Terrific start to the new series. The book begins with Will a prisoner along with five other men, awaiting execution by the French. Thanks to a bit of luck brought on by a thrown wine bottle, Will discovers a way for all six men to escape. Drawn together by their experience, they make a pact to stay in touch.

Five years later the war is finally over and Will looks forward to going home to England. Before he leaves, his commanding officer asks him to escort a group of soldiers from San Gabriel bac
Wow that book was just a tumble down a hill with a rough landing. It started off so well. I was intrigued by the town and the politics and the history. Let's not forget that we start off with five handsome men trapped together which is the start of this exciting series. I was happy that the heroine was a tall, Amazonian woman with "unladylike" skills and who had held her own in a war. I liked when they met and their original rules for courting and flirting. I liked the reveal about her past and ...more
I believe this is the first book I have read by this author. I enjoyed it. It does not move at a fast pace, but is a,steady read. The story is about Will and Athena, and a princess named Sophie,and Justin. Will who has been a ranked soldier for a very long time, goes one step further to lead a group of soldiers to their home in the mountains, which turns out to be a beautiful kingdom with a princess, and her friend Athena. They have fought against French soldiers and hidden the princess, and the ...more
Jan 02, 2017 marked it as abandoned
I'm quitting about 40% in. This was so very boring and felt anachronistically contemporary. It also had two of my personal pet peeves in romance novels: a fictitious country and royal family and a prominent secondary love story. I'm so disappointed that I couldn't invest myself in this. Mary Jo Putney wrote one of my all time favorite historicals, The Rake, but the last few of her books I've picked up have just not been for me at all.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Mar 08, 2016 05:34PM  

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She writes young adult fiction as M.J. Putney.

Mary Jo Putney was born in Upstate New York with a reading addiction, a condition for which there is no known cure. After earning degrees in English Literature and Industrial Design at Syracuse University, she did various forms of design work in California and England before inertia took over in Baltimore, Maryland, where she has lived very comfortably

Other books in the series

Rogues Redeemed (4 books)
  • Once a Rebel (Rogues Redeemed, #2)
  • Once a Scoundrel (Rogues Redeemed, #3)
  • Once a Spy (Rogues Redeemed, #4)