Monday, May 3, 2010

The Forbidden Rose-Joanna Bourne

The Forbidden Rose
Joanna Bourne
Berkley, Jun 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN 9780425235614

As the French Revolution explodes across Paris and the countryside, the hunt for aristocrats to receive kisses from Madame Guillotine grows intense. As do a few courageous souls trying to smuggle the émigré across the Channel before they lose their heads.

Marguerite de Fleurignac is a noblewoman who risks her life trying to help her endangered compatriots reach England. However, she fears her masquerade as a governess is now in trouble as her chateau has been burned to the ground. When she meets English spymaster William Doyle, she pretends to be Scottish governess Maggie Duran while he masquerades as Frenchman Guilliame LeBreton. However, he knows who she really is as he searches for her father while she knows who he is and the objective of his task. The French secret police are aware of both of them and their conflicting missions.

Like My Lord and Spymaster, this is a superb historical espionage thriller with a strong romantic subplot; that is he key to this strong French revolution saga as the growing love between the distrusting masquerade duo enhances the prime spy mission. With a nod to the Scarlet Pimpernel, fans will relish the irony that everyone knows who everyone else is, but pretends otherwise.

Harriet Klausner

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