ARC Review: Once Dishonored by Mary Jo Putney

Title: Once Dishonored

Author: Mary Jo Putney

Series: Rogues Redeemed (Book 5)

Page Length: 368

Publication Date: Sept. 29, 2020

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation

Synopsis: Bestselling author Mary Jo Putney’s romantic Regency-set series features soldiers, spies—and the special redemption only love can bring…

A man who has lost his honor has nothing…

London, 1816. As a Royal Navy officer, Lucas Mandeville, Lord Foxton, has fought his share of battles on the high seas, followed by long years of imprisonment. But on this night, he’d rather be on the burning deck of a ship than in a ballroom, where it is just a matter of time before someone challenges him because of what happened on the Continent.

A woman who has lost her reputation is nothing…

When dark-haired beauty Kyla Douglas arrives, a whisper of scandal ripples through the ton. The disgraced divorcee’s entrance is an act of daring. Which is exactly why Lucas asks her to dance…

A couple who stands together has everything…

Unexpectedly, Lucas offers Kyla his aid in finding the evidence to regain her good name—and her beloved young son. Together they investigate the wicked conspiracy that destroyed her life, and in the midst of danger, find a deep love that will redeem them both—if only they can live long enough to build a future together.

LINKS:     Goodreads     |      Amazon     |    Book Depository

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My Review:

The fifth book in the Rogues Redeemed series, Once Dishonored is a story of redemption. Lucas has returned to London after years away. Struggling with a tarnished reputation, Lucas immediately connects to Kyla Douglas, a recently divorced woman whose reputation is even more sullied than Lucas’. When Lucas learns that the cause of her dishonor is her greedy and vicious ex-husband, he determines to help this vulnerable woman regain her reputation, her child, and her life.

Will Lucas and Kyla restore their reputations and find a way to be together?

I love the romance in this story! Lucas and Kyla are characters that have gone through so much in their lives, and both struggle to find themselves in a judgmental and rigid society. Shunned and judged by others, Lucas and Kyla feel a connection almost instantly. What develops is a slow-building relationship built on trust and admiration. I love that Lucas and Kyla have such respect for each other. They share their deepest shame and darkest secrets, and it only makes them grow closer to each other. They are unflinching in their resolve to help each other, and their chemistry is fantastic!

I also found it interesting that, even though they are two of the most honorable people in the story, they are disrespected and judged by less honorable people. Kyla fled an abusive relationship and is persecuted for it, and Lucas gave his life for his country and is judged harshly for escaping when he was a prisoner of war. This says a lot more about the conditional society in which they live than is does about Kyla and Lucas.

Further, it frustrated me that women had no voice and no legal rights during this time. Kyla’s husband does some terrible things to her, and there are no ramifications because Kyla has no voice. The men hold all of the power. Putney brings to light important messages about the rights of women and the oppression of women and children, which I appreciated.

Another aspect of the story that I liked was the representation of strong, independent women and forward-thinking men. Lucas and Kyla find themselves embraced by people who accept them and appreciate them. This lovely group of people not only aid Kyla in exposing her ex for the liar he is, but they also provide unwavering support and understanding.

A story laced with dynamic characters and strong messages about gender inequities, Once Dishonored is a great novel for readers who enjoy strong historical romance. Though this is the fifth book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone. Thanks so much to Netgalley and Kensington Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance, of course! 😉
  • The dynamically developed characters.

Favorite Lines:

I think we both share the state of not knowing quite who we are.

Your life has been shattered. Rage and grief are inevitable and likely necessary. But at some point you need to step beyond the anger toward your future/ What is possible? What matters most to you?


Readers who enjoy historical romance will enjoy this love story. I think this will appeal to fans of Mary Balogh, Julia London, and Sabrina Jeffries will love this book!

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