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The Forbidden Rose (The Spymaster Series) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
Book 3 of 5 in the Spymasters Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bourne (The Spymaster's Lady) returns to the French Revolution for her latest romance, this time matching up an English spy and a French aristocrat. Marguerite de Fleurignac, a noblewoman who smuggles émigrés to England, encounters William Doyle in the charred remains of her chateau outside of Paris. She needs sanctuary and agrees to let him escort her through the French countryside. Though she pretends to be Scottish and he claims to be French, no one in this book seems able to keep secrets: William knows Marguerite's identity, she and the French secret police both know he is hunting her father, and everyone, including the secret police and the British, knows everything about the smugglers. Nonetheless, the romance is sweet, and once William and Marguerite admit their love, the ensuing adventure story is everything a spy thriller should be. (June)
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From Booklist

The lady was going to lead him to the list. At least that is what William Doyle, British spy, believes when he finds Marguerite de Fleurignac hiding in the ruins of the Chateau de Fleurignac. The lady might call herself “Maggie Duncan,” but William knows she is the daughter of the Marquis de Fleurignac, the same French nobleman whose list names British officers who are being murdered one by one. All William has to do is convince “Maggie” that he is “Guillaume LeBreton,” traveling bookseller, and that he can get her safely to Paris. What William doesn't know is that Marguerite has a few secrets of her own—secrets that could very well get them both killed. RITA Award–winning Bourne delivers another addictively readable installment in her loosely connected Spymaster novels, a flawless romance in which an espionage-steeped plot is deftly balanced with a lusciously sensual love story. --John Charles

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Product Details

  • Series: The Spymaster Series (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reissue edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425235610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425235614
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #782,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Katie Babs VINE VOICE on June 1, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Forbidden Rose is where Joanna Bourne continues to amaze with her thought out, somewhat complex plots and characters who will take a beating and even after all the danger and life threatening action that comes their way, they refuse to be down for the count and live to fight another day. If there is such a thing as swashbuckling spies, I would say Joanna has placed her claim on it.

Marguerite de Fleurignac has been hiding in the French countryside where her family's chateau has burned to the ground. As a noblewoman, she must be careful because she is being hunted by those who want to kill her. These are important members responsible for the revolution who arrest anyone for any reason and send to the guillotine to die. Marguerite has just cause for concern, because she and her ex-lover, Jean-Paul, who is the son of the botanist of the Royal Gardens, are part of an underground network called la Fleche, where they help smuggle émigrés across the channel and into England. Marguerite's father is a mad genius hiding in Paris and is also being hunted by a select group of individuals because he maybe responsible for a group of assassinations in England.

Guillaume LeBreton, and his twelve-year old servant boy Adrian Hawker, come across Marguerite and basically hold her hostage for her own safe keeping. She lies and tells them she is Maggie Duran, a former governess. Guillaume is actually an English spy by the name of William Doyle who works for the British Service and has been sent on a mission to find Maggie's father. He knows who Maggie is as soon as they meet and will gain her trust and protect her from the men who work for her cousin Victor de Fleurignac, a very high ranking official and a close friend of the bloodthirsty and righteous Robespierre.
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For those who haven't yet read THE SPYMASTER'S LADY or MY LORD AND SPYMASTER, you should know this book comes first in time--it is a "prequel." Unfortunately it was written later so for those of us already fans to the series, we knew how it ended before it began as this is Doyle's and Maggie's story (and they are in the other books but later in time).

Set in 1794 in France, it's a great tale of English spies and French undercover work transporting royalists out of France during the time of the French Revolution and Robespierre. Marguerite is a wonderful young woman who, though raised as an aristocrat, has adapted to the times and is now doing important work that has her wearing many faces. British agent Doyle is after her father who he believes has provided names of English to be murdered by those in control of France. When he realizes he has taken the man's daughter, he keeps her, hoping she'll lead him to her father. Doyle has never allowed himself to get involved with a woman in the field. Ah, but Marguerite de Fleurignac aka Maggie is no ordinary woman! He gets aroused just looking at her and he admires her intelligence and fierce determination. He wants her for his own.

Bourne gives us another strong heroine and another drool-worthy hero. In an interview I did of her on my blog, she siad that Doyle is her favorite character and that this is her best work. I loved it.

Doyle, who is in the background in the other books, is now center stage. The dialog is very witty and at times very humorous. Bourne has mastered the art of suspense and her language is very colorful and fits well the era. Meticulously researched, as always, Bourne delivers up a detailed well-told tale.
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At least for me it is. It should be noted that while it's technically the first book in the series, it was written third.

Twists and turns and daring-do; brilliant characters, outstanding language and writing.

If you're iffy on buying the book and have a Kindle or one of the Kindle For apps, please just download the sample. Love it and know that it gets even better.

AND is actually is an historical novel, not just some book that happens to take place during a certain period in history.
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Marguerite de Fleurignac, who once graced the halls of Versailles, has been left to forage in the French countryside following an attack on her family's chateau that saw her ancestral home turned to ash. But Marguerite has more to fear than wrath against once-powerful French aristocrats -- as the head of La Fleche, an organization responsible for ferreting those "sparrows" out of the country that find themselves condemned by the Committee of Public Safety, she stands to be branded a traitor to the Republic. La Fleche has been betrayed, and so Marguerite desperately goes to ground, hoping to see her network of spies and contacts safely dissolved -- but escaping the clutches of the radical Jacobins determined to make an example of her organization, and leaving behind the life-saving work that has consumed her life since the onset of the Revolution is more difficult than she'd ever dreamed. When a bookseller stumbles upon her gutted hiding place, Marguerite is sure she cannot trust him -- but equally determined to use him to guide her to Paris and her father. But the merchant is more than he seems, and Marguerite never expected his unwanted presence to blossom into an attraction that threatens everything she holds dear...

William Doyle, one of the British Service's top agents, was sent to the de Fleurignac chateau to find Marguerite's father, the man believed responsible for providing lists of British agents to the French government, who are then assassinated. With the Service bleeding its best and brightest, the lists must be destroyed, and there is no one better to lead William to the mad listmaker than his daughter Marguerite.
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