The Forbidden Rose

The Spymaster Series, #3

Marguerite de Fleurignac, is the leader of La Flèche, savior of the sparrows trying to escape the horrors of revolutionary France. Nearly caught in a trap set by her enemy, she stumbles into the arms of a sinister looking man. Not ready to give up all her secrets to the scarred intruder/rescuer she claims to be a governess, and refers to herself as Maggie Duncan. She knows that the game is up, but she must make her way to Paris to discover who set the trap, and to insure her flock seeks safety.

British spy William Doyle, currently known as Guillaume LeBreton, is the best spy in the British Intelligence network. He is on the hunt for the creator of a sinister list, when he comes upon the Maggie. Maggie can lead him to his mark, which he is ruthless enough to utilize without remorse.

Each will use the other as an ends to their means. Can they handle the consequences of their emotions?

In the beginning I loved the descriptive prose used by Ms. Bourne, but that didn't last very long, as I soon found it tiresome. The characters talked a lot without really saying nor accomplishing anything. I just couldn't get into the book, because the storyline seemed to ramble on. It was a real struggle for me to finish, because I was bored with most of the characters and the plot lines.

I like an intelligent, passionate heroine, they don't have to be perfect, but they must feel intense emotions for their causes. Marguerite was not such a heroine, she came across as foolish, she was supposed to be a great smuggler and treasonist. I didn't feel that she even cared for those she was helping, she seemed to hold most of them in a condescending contempt. I felt that she had NO passion for her cause. I wished that she exhibited more fervor for what she was involved in, she was very lackluster.

At least with William I knew exactly where he stood. He was a spy first, a man second, though Maggie seemed to make him forget that. But he was passionate about his job, he was well-informed, and worked at being the best. For that I respected his character.

My favorite character was Adrien Hawking. He by far had the best personality, and I could feel his emotions and expansions as a character, watching him grow into his part. If I ever do read another Joanna Bourne story, I really hope she pairs him with a strong, intelligent, independent woman, because she will have to be able to stand up to his strong personality.


Book Blurb for The Forbidden Rose

A career is blooming...

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.


Night Owl Reviews Jun, 2010 3.00