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The Third Son

(Kings/Royals of Cardenas #1)

by
3.79  ·  Rating details ·  955 ratings  ·  98 reviews
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 bi ...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published November 18th 2011 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published September 23rd 2011)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  955 ratings  ·  98 reviews


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Erin
May 24, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Can't believe this book is rated so highly here on goodreads. I got it free on Amazon and thought I would give it a try. The plot was...ridiculous. Spoilers ahead. Okay, I know that generally you have to suspend some belief for romance novels but really...a prince and a poor gypsy girl getting married and the only one who doesn't accept the marriage is the evil mom? And how about we talk about the conniving ex-mistress who successfully fakes a pregnancy for months so that she can take the throne ...more
MsRomanticReads

This review can also be found on my blog.

First, let me begin by saying that this author has balls! Big, brass balls. The Third Son was Elise Marion’s debut novel, and it took a lot of guts to write a tale with so many twists and turns and angst ad absurdum. It’s a wonder she isn’t tacked to the wall with pitchforks. That being said, this book was pretty amazing, in my opinion. I was expecting a fluffy, historical read set in a made up country with a made up Kingdom and made up gorgeous princes a
...more
Lady Raven RAVE!
http://www.romancenoveljunkies.com for readers

Brief Summary
Prince Damien was the youngest son of the King of Cardenas. Damien spends his evenings drinking, gambling and seducing women, as his older brother points out often. He then meets Esmeralda, the dancing gypsy girl and things will never be the same. Esmeralda can't resist Damien and they begin a fantasy courtship neither has ever felt before. But a killer is out to destroy the royal family and Damien will have to make life changing decis
...more
CK
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Prince Damien knows his eldest brother Lionus will be king, and next in line is Serge who will be general of Cardenas' military, and Damien is...the third son. He is royalty and lives a pa...mpered life; enjoying his life with no major responsibilities. He's labeled a playboy. He doesn't think marriage can make anybody happy and uses his parents marriage as an example. His world changes when he meets a beautiful gypsy girl at his birthday party. And let me tell you, they share some hot kisses! ...more
Reviewers for R.N.J
http://www.romancenoveljunkies.com for readers

Davia's Review

Brief Summary
Prince Damien was the youngest son of the King of Cardenas. Damien spends his evenings drinking, gambling and seducing women, as his older brother points out often. He then meets Esmeralda, the dancing gypsy girl and things will never be the same. Esmeralda can't resist Damien and they begin a fantasy courtship neither has ever felt before. But a killer is out to destroy the royal family and Damien will have to make life c
...more
Lisa Goodwin
Oct 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book through a kindle forum, and I purchased it, not really knowing what I was going to be reading. But from the moment I started, I couldn't put it down. I haven't really read very many historical romance novels, but if this is what they are like, I will be reading many many more, especially from Elise Marion!

There is romance, drama, sex, suspense, intrigue, a little more sex, mystery, and a little more sex.

From the beginning of this story, I was hooked and could not put it down. A
...more
Deborah (LoveToReadRomance)
This was an awesome read for me, the more I got to know Damien (the hero) the more I fell in love with him, I was so jealous of Esmeralda but she deserved some happiness, without giving anything away just let me say her life had not been a bowl of cherries. This book has some very strong secondary characters that I can’t wait to read more about them in the rest of the series. I fell asleep reading on my kindle at 2 am and woke up two hours later and my first thought upon waking was trying to fig ...more
Alesha Escobar
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Romance and intrigue always spice up a story--and this one has definitely captured my interest.

Prince Damien is a drinker, a scoundrel, and doesn't care that it embarrasses his eldest brother (heir to the throne of Cardenas). There's not much he takes seriously, especially when it comes to love, because he never met a woman that would inspire it in him--that is, until he meets Esmeralda.

Their romance takes off, but is interrupted with scheming, outward restrictions, and a violent plot against th
...more
Franjessca
Full Review posted at Book Lovin' Mamas

(Originally Reviewed on Mrs. Papillion aka "The Book Worm")
I had the privilege of reading "The Third Son" by Elise Marion when she contacted me via email.
It was a different book that I wasn't used to reading. It took me away from Paranormal for a while, and I have to say...I ENJOYED this book. I would've finished this book in a couple of days, but other obligations stepped in...one of them being, me not getting enough sleep at night due to a rocking and rol
...more
Carly Fall
Dec 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First, let me say I have never read any historical romance or period romance, so this book was a new genre for me. It also took me a while to read. Not because it wasn’t good, but because it seems the only time I have time to read is while I’m cooking dinner. I burnt dinner two nights while reading this because I was so enthralled with the story and forgot about the food. When I got to the end of this book, I had a huge smile on my face, but I was also disappointed the story had ended.

I was surp
...more
Kat
I love finding authors that are not widely known... but I am also really picky in that a book has to be engaging and pull me into the story. I have way too may "to reads" on my list to waste any time.

This is one of those great book/author finds!

Even though this was a rare time when I was able to figure out who the culprit was (i am usually clueless)...the book was written so well that it didn't matter. I was so drawn into the story as I was reading the last 30% of book- I was constantly saying "
...more
Kimberli Trenholm
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
I REALLY enjoyed this book. From the beginning to the end I never to what to expect. I actually had to shut off my Nook for a minute and cry over some parts before getting back to it and finding out what happened next. I was so relieved when it all worked out in the end... and yet it left me with a teaser to NEED the next book.
Sally Hannoush
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I experienced many emotional ups and downs in this book. I became aware on how truly mad people can become with only one word uttered on a deathbed. Lies and betrayal take up every corner leaving things beyond desperate. The promise of true happiness urged me on with all the heartache endured.
Zoe
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a fantastic story, it has such a mix of things going on. I could not put this book down. I just loved it. You know when you have read something special when a book can make you smile or cry,this story did both in bucket loads .Off to start the second son.
Erica
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
its a wonderful story of "what's meant to be, will be" no matter the obstacles in the way, love will still prevail. the story is written vividly and beautifully that it really does seem like a movie being played in your head

Gaele
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two Reviews! Audio followed by review of eBook

AudioBook Review Stars: Overall 4 Narration 5 Story 4

I had read this book back in 2012, and found so much to appreciate in the author’s writing, the premise and the twists taken as Damien finds his way to happiness and love. I love that Elise Marion started her royal tale with the third son: in royal families the third son is often the one who is left to his own devices without great expectation. Damien is no exception to this stereotype: content to
...more
Julie
On the outside, Esmeralda was everything one would expect from a sensuously dancing gypsy-girl. She was extremely beautiful and seductive, lithe and graceful, and even mysterious with her exotic, dark looks. On the inside, no one could possibly guess at the stark and vicious realities that life had dealt her thus far. On the inside, Esmeralda felt years beyond any of her peers. Only she knew the strength it took to carry on and continually fortify a mask of outward calm and confidence meeting ev ...more
Thom Swennes

“Where you are is where my home is.”
Prince Damian Largess is the third son. He, with his older siblings, Prince Lionus, and Prince Serge are the offspring’s of King Adare of Cardenas. Twenty-eight-year-old Lionus is the oldest and in the direct line to be the next king. Serge and Damian are twenty-five, the former a couple of minutes older than the latter. None of the brothers knew that this family tree wasn’t exactly complete as King Adare has another issue a year older than Lionus, and he was
...more
Ruth Hill
Feb 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was not sure what I thought of this book in the beginning. (It seems I begin many of my reviews that way!) It had all the classic elements of a romantic story--the royal rake with no responsibilities, the commoner Gypsy girl who was so beautiful and caring, the evil villain from within. And it basically followed the classic love story with a bit of intrigue thrown in. And lots of lovemaking!

I did not care much for Damien in the beginning, but I cannot say I cared much for any of the royal fami
...more
Nikki McCarver
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damien was the third son. He was not defined with a role and saddled with endless responsibilities as were his two older brothers. He did as he pleased. Yes, he was the womanizing bad boy with the looks and charm, that his older brother constantly frowned upon because of his reckless behavior. He supposed that he really should try to clean up his act, but it was such fun irritating his oldest brother. Being the baby did come with many privileges, the best of which was the unlimited amount of fre ...more
A.R. Von
Oct 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very sweet, exciting, touching and sensual story that had me in love with a majority of its characters from the start, specifically Damien and Esmeralda and their journey towards true happiness. Their story is a roller-coaster of a ride in various ways that kept me holding my breath in anticipation many times over. The Third Son is a historical romance that all fans of the genre will be captivated by from start to finish.

Damien has a reputation as a rogue and much more, none of it being good.
...more
Shilo Quetchenbach
I actually wasn't going to finish this one after reading a few pages, but then I had insomnia and it seemed like more work at 2am to choose a new book than to plow through this one. Also I was maybe kinda interested in the story, though I really really wished to rewrite it several times.

+3.5 for an interesting story.
-3 for terrible writing. ugh. I could maybe forgive the penchant for leaving off words or parts of words that plagues free e-books... but there were some terrible word choices and
...more
Sandra Nachlinger
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of historical romance
I’ve just returned from an escape into Cardenas – a land of lords and ladies, gypsies and fortune tellers, costume balls and jousts. But passion and intrigue threaten the realm.

The third son in the book’s title is Damien, the royal family’s youngest child. Because he is not destined for the throne and has none of his older brothers’ responsibilities, Damien’s life has been filled with gambling, women, and drink. But when gypsy dancers entertain at a royal celebration, Damien is enchanted with o
...more
Jean
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

** a few spoilers**

This book had alot going on in it, Back Stabbing, Betrayal, and it was Dark,
way darker than how the book description seemed.

I had an issue with, Davina, Damien's mistress.

I mean.. her being Damien's mistress could have just been mentioned, however,
there was a very "detailed" scene between the two of them in the prologue.

There was too much time spent on Damien admiring Davina from her head to her toes.

I thought that the story was supposed to be about Esmeralda, Damien, and t
...more
Mary
If this book is an example of how Elise Marion writes I love all her books even before reading. In fact I went and bought the rest of this current series for my reading list. The suspense was outstanding, leaving me wondering who the villain was until almost the end and as most people are neither all good or all bad several of the characters were either good or bad during different parts of the story. Editing needs a bit more work as she and he seem to be transposed in places and sometimes just ...more
Don
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Full of cruel surprises. I could never trust this author enough to read another of her books after how she treated Damien, forcing him to marry this witch. I read fantasies because they have good endings. If I was interested in reading reality, I would just watch the evening news and save myself the time and money. I'm still trying to figure out HOW this can be called a "historical" romance. NONE of the characters or places can be found in history. Do you really think mentioning the United State ...more
Jennifer
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Talk about sitting on the edge of your seat! I was about to throw my Nook through the window (not literally because then what woukd I do?), but I was seriously starting to think this was not going to have the HEA I wanted. These two had to go through so much. Fate threw in some difficulties, but in the end, I think it made their love even stronger and taught them to neverbtake their love for granted.

Great read.
Lisa
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An illegitimate son, a King who pawned him and his mother off on the King's brother, 3 legitimate sons and their ladies, mistress and mother make for an interesting mix of characters. Throw in a fake pregnancy, a real pregnancy and the Silver Masked Man who's trying to kill the King and you have a great mix for an intriquing read. A good book.
MaryD
Oct 30, 2015 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I tried... I really tried to read this, but I was so bored that I couldn't finish it- a rarity for me. The writing bothered me first- too stilted as if it was written for a beginning English class. I just couldn't get interested in the characters, either. I found myself skimming pages, hoping for something to keep my interest.
TJ
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story...wasn't what I was expecting just when I thought the story was going one way it went in a totally different direction. The story was more true to life than a fictional story. Like this version of star crossed lovers!
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Romance, Historic...: Giveaway of my Debut Historical Romance 10 24 Oct 27, 2011 10:31AM  

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206 followers
Elise Marion is a lover books and has a special place in her heart for sweet and sensual romance. Writing about love across all walks of life is her passion, as is reaching people through the written word. The Army wife and stay-at-home mother of two spends most of her time taking care of her children. Her second job includes writing stories about characters that people can fall in love with. When ...more

Other books in the series

Kings/Royals of Cardenas (4 books)
  • The Second Son (Kings of Cardenas #2)
  • Gypsy Rose (Kings of Cardenas #3)
  • The Gypsy (Kings of Cardenas #4)