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Book 1: The Third Son (A FREE novel!)
Rake. Rogue. Scoundrel. Each of these words has been used to describe Damien Largess, youngest prince of Cardenas, most frequently by his ridiculously somber eldest brother. Damien is perfectly content to spend his days drinking at the card tables, and his nights in the bed of his scheming mistress, especially since doing these things seems to vex his high-handed brother to no end. 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 the center of the King’s ballroom to perform for his youngest son’s birthday, every eye in the room is glued to the tall, lithe Gypsy dancer. One pair of eyes seems to burn straight through her, and though she has worked endlessly to shield her heart, she finds her defenses slowly slipping away in the presence of the handsome prince. She cannot resist his devastating charm, nor is she immune to the earth shattering desire in his kiss. As she falls rapidly under his spell, Esmeralda dares to hope for a future she would never have thought possible.
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. Would 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?
Princess Isabelle has spent her entire life bending to the will of those who have planned her life out for her. Sent into hiding when she was just an infant to protect her from the rebellion in her own homeland, Barony, she was betrothed to Prince Lionus from the neighboring province Cardenas when she was just an infant. Despite the forced engagement, Isabelle has loved Lionus all of her life. When a devious plot against the royal family results in her husband’s death, Isabelle is left with a broken heart and an uncertain future. Only one year after his brutal murder, she has no choice but to choose a new husband and return to her homeland to take her place as queen and repair the war-torn land.
Prince Serge has secretly loved Princess Isabelle his entire life. The fact that she was promised to his brother has brought him no end of pain and suffering. The second born son of the king, he has resigned himself to a life of living in his brother’s shadow. After a deadly plot against the royal family leaves Serge hovering on the edge of death, he awakens from a coma one year later to find that his older brother has died and his youngest brother has taken the throne in his stead. His future is now uncertain, but Serge is determined to find his own way in the world now that he has been given the gift of new life. When it is suggested that Princess Isabelle take him as her husband, Serge begins to hope that all of his most secret dreams will now come true.
Despite unexpected spark of desire between them, Isabelle resists the new path her heart is taking as she clings desperately to Lionus’ memory. Can Isabelle let go of her past and learn to love Serge in return, or is she destined to a life tied to one man as she mourns the other?
Once united as king and queen, Isabelle and Serge face the monumental task of rebuilding her broken homeland and rescuing it from the clutches of those seeking to destroy it. Can the pampered princess find the strength to stand beside her husband and fight for her people? Will the second son of a king finally get the chance to prove his worth? Can either of them learn to let go of the ghosts of the past and find love?
Book 2.5: The Lady Knights of Barony
With the war in Barony at an end, peace reigns and rebuilding efforts continue beneath the steady vigilance of King Serge and Queen Isabelle. The lady knights have returned home, unchanged by new titles and lands. But with a rash of kidnappings spreading across the province, the lady knights will find themselves torn apart by the machinations of a mad man.
Ava Longley, captain of the lady knights, never expected to become the target of an obsessed murderous madman. When a kidnapper is sent to abduct her, Ava sees it as the perfect opportunity to bring the mastermind to justice. To Julian Vincent, Lady Longley is no more than the means to an end. However, when sparks fly between them, Julian is faced with an impossible decision.
After being sold into slavery by her king and washing up onto the shore of Cardenas, the friendless African Amazon, Mudiwa Akua, was taken in by Barony’s female soldier’s regiment. When her tranquil existence is disturbed and she finds herself on a ship bound for the exotic island of Martinique, Mudiwa faces certain death and possible enslavement for the second time in her life, dredging up ghosts of a past she had long thought forgotten. When planter Isaac Prideux comes upon a mysterious African woman, beaten and half-dead, he takes it upon himself to care for her. He never imagined doing so would shake up his monotonous life so completely.
After the highly honored title of onna bugeisha—the feminine equivalent of a samurai—begins to lose its power in Japan, Hanako Kiyomi sees no choice but to flee. But when her deserted husband comes searching for her, Hanako escapes him the only way she knows how: marriage in name only to a stranger. Lord Garrick Overton has always admired the cool, stoic Hanako from afar. Marriage to the woman he’s desired for years seems like a good idea; until she proposes the marriage be in name only. As he sets out to win her heart, he faces not only a tough task but a begrudged man that will stop at nothing to win back what he has lost.
Their courage will be tried. Their hearts will be put to the test. Can three headstrong women maintain their independent natures while surrendering to love?
Tatiana Angelo always dreamed of a life of opulence and glamour. When her cousin became the wife of the King of Cardenas, she was swept away by the intrigue and decadence of palace life and became the jewel of the royal court. Catching the eye of a rich and titled lord seemed like a dream come true, but a few months after their whirlwind elopement, Tatiana found herself abandoned by the man she once thought loved her. Now, all she wishes to do is return to her previous life, one of simplicity and freedom. When Adrian Wilshire enters her life, Tatiana is certain she’s found in him the freedom and passion she desires. Despite the scars left on her heart by her past love, she throws caution to the wind and opens herself to the possibility of a future with him. But when the truth of his identity comes to light, the pain of his betrayal is too much to bear. Yet, despite her anger and sadness, she finds that turning her back on him will be harder than she could have ever imagined.
A few months ago, Adrian Wilshire was nothing more than the illegitimate son of a courtesan and titled lord. After years of hard work, he’s finally saved enough to begin the modest but quiet life he’s always craved, hoping that in doing so he will finally leave the ghosts of his tormented past behind. When he sets eyes on the vivacious Gypsy dancing under the moonlight, Adrian knows that he has finally found the woman that could make his dream of a happy life complete. But the strains of a responsibility he never wanted weigh heavily on him, as the demands of an estate left to him by his father press in on him from all sides. Can he live his life trapped in a gilded cage he despises and still keep the heart of a woman who desires freedom above all else? With his vengeful half-brother bent on destroying everything Adrian has inherited, as well as his life and love, Adrian will find keeping the balance between duty and desire even more complicated.
Can Adrian fight the dangers of the present and the ghosts of the past while claiming the fickle heart of the Gypsy Rose? Can two broken hearts find comfort in each other and lasting love? Elise Marion’s Kings of Cardenas saga continues with a story of heartbreak, passion, deception, and love.
As a young man, Desmond Brandon was a dreamer. When his sister married the king of Cardenas, the son of a Gypsy dancer and a sailor became a titled lord with more wealth, land, and power than he could have ever hoped to possess. It wasn’t long before he discovered the true nature of both his adulterous wife, and the gilded cage of the royal court. With the stars dashed from his eyes, Desmond cultivates a reputation for himself as a conscienceless rake, one that he wears over his jaded heart as a badge of honor. When Desmond visits The Red Rose, a high-end brothel that caters to the tastes of the wealthy and titled, he never expects to find the woman who will turn his world upside down. Yet the beautiful Ana is not what she seems. Despite the mystery surrounding her, Desmond finds himself enthralled by her. As feelings of passion begin to develop into something more, the Gypsy lord will be forced to face the things he’d hoped to forget.
Anastasia Harden does not want to keep the truth of her past from the man she loves, but the revelation would tear them apart. Yet, when that truth becomes a danger to them both, she is left with no choice but to reveal all. Faced with the possibility of losing everything, Anastasia will learn that the wild heart of a Gypsy is not so easily captured, or tamed. Will the jaded Gypsy lord return her love, despite her deceit? Or will the truth tear them apart and doom them both in the process?
Elise Marion concludes the Kings of Cardenas Series with this stunning story of love, deception, passion, and intrigue.
Once the courtesan of a prince, and then the wife of a king, Davina Keane now finds herself divorced, banished for treason, and sentenced to a life of loveless marriage to the man who aided her in her crimes. Now a penniless widow, she has sunk as low as could be and faces a life of poverty; prostitution being her only other option besides living on the street. Desperate to save herself, Davina makes one final attempt at forging a new life … by marriage to Rafe Rothwell.
A widower and father of three, Rafe has been looking for a wife ever since his first one perished. It’s too bad no one will have him, as he and his children (known notoriously as the Raucous Rothwells) have a reputation for being difficult to manage. He’s long given up his search when Davina Keane appears at his door, seemingly prepared to take on the role. Though his needs are practical at first, Rafe finds himself faced with the truth: he wants more from her than just a manager of his home and hearth.
As an arrangement of convenience becomes something more, Davina is faced with the possibility of losing her husband over the truth of a past she kept secret when entering the marriage. Will love be enough to erase the mistakes of her past, or will they threaten to upend her newfound happiness?
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