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The Forbidden Rose (Spymasters, Bk 3)
The Forbidden Rose - Spymasters, Bk 3
Author: Joanna Bourne
A glittering French aristocrat is on the run, disguised as a British governess. England’s top spy has a score to settle with her family. But as they’re drawn inexorably into the intrigue and madness of Revolutionary Paris, they gamble on a love to which neither of them will admit.
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ISBN-13: 9780425235614
ISBN-10: 0425235610
Publication Date: 6/1/2010
Pages: 392
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 57 ratings
Publisher: Berkley
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 3
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Forbidden Rose (Spymasters, Bk 3) on + 407 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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.
reviewed The Forbidden Rose (Spymasters, Bk 3) on + 156 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
reviewed The Forbidden Rose (Spymasters, Bk 3) on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed The Forbidden Rose (Spymasters, Bk 3) on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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
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reviewed The Forbidden Rose (Spymasters, Bk 3) on + 98 more book reviews
3.5 stars. A good solid spy romance just as I expected. I loved the uniqueness of the French setting. Bourne wrote two very strong characters though I do which we'd learned more about Doyle's background. At one point I became a little grumpy about him knowing so much about her but her knowing so little about him, but cheered up when she figured him out on her own. I'm particularly fond of strong female characters and Maggie was that and more. Glad I finally dusted this off my TBR shelf.
reviewed The Forbidden Rose (Spymasters, Bk 3) on + 160 more book reviews
I had already read Spymaster's Lady, etc so this was an interesting read because it actually goes back in time before those two books. You can definitely read this as a stand alone book even though it has connected characters to her other previous books. Now I am going to re-read the other two books & I can't wait to read Black Hawk her most recent book.
reviewed The Forbidden Rose (Spymasters, Bk 3) on + 108 more book reviews
Joanna Bourne writes true works of literature that are masked as mere romance novels. Sometimes this alienates me as a reader because I'm expecting certain tropes and behaviors that never occur. And yet I admire and sometimes love her novels for the same reasons!

The Forbidden Rose features an atypical couple--two people who are not the most handsome or the fairest, but rather two survivors who get by on their wits and daring. Marguerite's voice is of a removed nature. She has survived a war, the Terror, and her own personal hell. She isn't the perky heroine one sees in most historical romance novels. You know the ones who seem to be plucky and perfect while somehow a little helpless so the big strapping hero can save them from whatever hellish situation the author has created for them. Well, Marguerite is not that heroine. She is more realistic and yet all the more noble and profound because she just stoically gets done whatever needs to be done. She doesn't need rescuing and she isn't a fool. She figures out just who Doyle is right away and she'll do the rescuing thank you very much. I liked that about her. But, as I said previously, her voice is what I can only describe as removed, like one who has been through so much that she exists in a perpetual state of numbness. Perhaps there is even a little ennui mixed in with the numbness.

So, even though the language is beautiful, the story doesn't start out with a lot of passion. Doyle and Marguerite fall quickly into each other's arms and not a lot of pages are devoted to either of them doing much soul searching or agonizing about this like in most romance novels. It's refreshing and disconcerting. I didn't get into their romance until halfway through the book. I even almost stopped reading but decided I found the spy part of the story kind of interesting and kept going. I'm glad I did because the romance becomes truly romantic and beautiful by the end. I think The Spymaster's Lady is still my favorite story in the series but this one is truly original and interesting all by itself.