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The Third Son (Kings of Cardenas #1) by Elise Marion

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

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Historical, Romance, Victorian, Mystery

Rake. Rogue. Scoundrel. Each of these words has been used to describe Damien Largess, youngest prince of Cardenas. But when he steps into a glittering ballroom on the night of his twenty-fifth birthday, the roguish young prince’s life will be forever changed. Beautiful. Graceful. Sensual. When Esmeralda steps into king’s ballroom to perform for the prince’s twenty-fifth birthday, every eye in the room is upon her. One pair of eyes intrigues her most of all … those of Prince Damien, seeming to stare straight through to her soul. The two know nothing can ever come of their love; he is a prince, and she a Gypsy dancer. Yet, neither can seem to resist the passion that sparks when they are together, or the unmistakable call of destiny forcing their lives onto the same path. However, love is not the only thing destiny has in store … With a deadly plot against the royal family surrounding him in danger and intrigue, Damien will face a decision he never thought he would have to make. Will he step up to claim a responsibility that should never have fallen to the third son? Or will he abandon it to risk all for love?

4 out of 5 (very good)

The Third Son is the first book in the Kings of Cardenas series, and quite obviously deals with the third son, Damien. Now, he is only the third son by mere minutes, but his status as 'spare' has been made quite clear to him. His eldest brother will be king, and the middle brother (his twin) will become General to the armies. So, he wiles away his time, doing nothing much apart from making a reputation for himself. Esmeralda is a gypsy dancer, who owns a local tavern that she inherited after her father died. Her family own and dance there, but are called to the palace for Serge and Damien's birthday celebrations. It is literally a case of lust at first sight, but Damien's fascination for Esmeralda quickly turns into more. Not only do you have the love story, but you have the mystery/suspense side of it with trying to figure out who the unacknowledged brother was when you get given multiple options by the author.

This is a great story, with a twisted and convoluted storyline, where I had no idea if they would actually end up together or not when everything seemed to be against them. The characters are all well written, whether you like or loathe them, and the circumstances are just far-fetched enough to keep the story interesting and intriguing. The pace is very smooth, with natural highs and lows incorporated into it.

Definitely recommended by me, and I look forward to reading more in this series, and by this author.

* Verified Purchase - March 2013 *


Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

I first picked up a pen with with dreams of writing at the age of 12. I’ve been writing ever since and have found a love of romantic stories both sweet and sensual. I am a woman with two jobs. My first job consists of taking care of home and family, which includes a busy Army husband, three rambunctious kids, and two very active dogs. When I’m not doing that I’m stretching the imagination with stories of people from all walks of life (and worlds) falling in love. I love coffee, chocolate, music (listening and singing), shoes, jewelry, and food! I am always in the kitchen whipping up something new or watching the pros do it on TV. I am now also the owner of Mosaic Stock, a stock photographer service that provides a diverse array of images for authors, publishers, and cover artists to purchase for use on their book covers. You can find out more about that at:

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#Historical #Romance #Mystery #4Stars

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