Another incredible book by Joanna Bourne. This one takes place chronologically before the 2 earlier "Spymaster" books but has many of the same characters. It's hard to say which one is my favorite, because they are all excellent, but this book has my favorite hero, William Doyle, aka Guilliame LeBreton. I fell totally for him. Maybe a quirk on my part, because he is described as not conventionally handsome at all, but I am a pushover for heroes who know what they want. I had to go back to The Spymaster's Lady to reread the parts where he was featured. This guy locks onto the heroine like a laser-guided missile and will not let her get away, whatever the obstacles are. And the heroine is fantastic too, smart and intrepid.
As always, the historical detail is incredible, the love scenes sensuous, the plot thrilling and complex. I think I saw some foreshadowing at the end as to who the heroine of the next book will be.
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 Bournes 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 wont want to miss The Forbidden Rose.
Fantastic! Bourne's first, "The Spymaster's Lady", is still my favorite but this one tells the stories of some of the background characters of her previous two novels. Again, excellent writing with scenes painted so vividly you can see and smell the action. I can't wait for another.
The Forbidden Rose, by Joanna Bourne is a prequel to the Spymaster books.
Takes place in the days leading up to Robespierre's down fall, and in the book Doyle and Maggie have everything to do with it. I wish I had the other books handy to read again now that I have read this one. As the young Hawk is in it, as are other characters from the other books. Bourne is now an auto buy for me, I have yet to be dissapointed with her work.
If you want a good love story, like spys, and interesting characters this is the book for you