Anne here, and today I have the very great pleasure of interviewing Mary Jo about her new book, just published, ONCE A SPY, the fourth book in her "Rogues Redeemed" series. I thoroughly enjoyed it — so much so that I ripped through it the first time, just to gobble up the story, then had to read it again.
It's getting some lovely —and well deserved — reviews. Publisher's Weekly said: "Putney’s dramatic historical is filled with scintillating romance and tense danger."
Kirkus reviews called it "equal parts adventure and romance."
Reviewer Barbara Rogers said:"I loved that this book wasn’t about insta-lust. I loved that the love and intimacy grew over time until they were both ready for it. That made the romance so very believable."
ONCE A SPY is about a Frenchwoman, Suzanne, the young widowed Comptesse de Charbon, and Simon Charbon, half French, half English, her late husband's cousin.
When the story opens, Suzanne is living in a boarding house in a poor part of London, trying to earn a living by sewing. Simon, having heard from a friend that his late cousin's widow, a woman he'd heard was dead, is now living in London, calls on her. And in a very short time he proposes marriage — a marriage of friendship and companionship.
Both hero and heroine are worn down by their experiences, and believe any sexual life is behind them, Simon because he's tired and disillusioned by years at war, and Suzanne, because after a brief, unhappy marriage, she was captured by corsairs and sold into a Turkish harem, where her experiences have put her off sex for life.