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Prince Damien, the spoiled youngest son of the king of Cardenas, finds that his world will never quite be the same again when a fiery Gypsy girl, Esmeralda, comes dancing into his privileged life.
Rake. Rogue. Scoundrel. Each of these words has been used to describe Damien Largess, youngest prince of Cardenas, most frequently by his ridiculously sombre 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 centre 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 defences 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?
I picked it up on free Kindle Download in early March, and at the time of writing this post it is still available for free download HERE.
It forms part of a series of books.
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Okay, this is a difficult one. Over and above some errors/bug bears (see below), there wasn't really anything fundamentally wrong with it.
However, I failed to engage with the characters other than on a superficial level right until the very end of the work.
The pace of the plot was a bit ponderous in places, but not all the time. The villain was predictable, and there just really weren't any surprises of real jeopardy in my opinion.
For all the haters out there, that seem to dislike negative comments that I make .... ~~PLEASE don't get me wrong because of the above, I didn't hate the work at all ~~ towards the end I'd started to engage with Serge and Isabelle in particular. Given that they were secondary characters, it was a little surprising that was the case. Why didn't I fully engage with Damien and Esmerelda. I don't know the answer, despite quite a bit of thinking about it .... anyone got any suggestions?
Anyway, the good news is that books two in the series: The Second Son, carries on with the story of Serge and Isabelle, so I won't be giving up on it any time soon, I need to find out where they are going ... even will to pay good old cold hard cash for it too.
Given the above, 3.5 rating would be appropriate, I would love to feel I could give it more though. I will award 3 stars for Amazon and Good Reads, it just didn't cut it for upgrade to 4 because of some of the errors/bug bears. I have higher hopes for the next one.
There were a few, but nothing horrendous or major. Given the fact that they started at just 1% into the piece it could have been a better delivered product, but nothing that can't be put right. I have underlined the questionable bit where quoted.
- 1% - "It all made since now and the process of his life all came together to form one clear picture" - sense. Also, comma after "now" perhaps.
- 9% - "....weaved as they danced., The pace quickening.." - no comma required as well.
- 11% - "And what as this talk of ledgers" - "of". Call me old fashioned, but I don't like to see a conjunction forming the beginning of a sentence (blame my old English Tutor). Although I do concede that it's quite on out-dated notice that I hold.
- 19% - "....she was obligated to attend" - in my own personal view obliged would have been better.
- 22% - obligated again ... may be it's me.
- 26% "artfully" used twice within a few sentences.
- 37% - "Iabelle's ribbon was now fluttering on the handle of this lance, and he raised it to this betrothed in silent salute." - his.
- 48% - "...moving her fingers town to the waistband ..." - down.
- 58% - "Damien was caught offguard by Lionus' question" - in the context of the paragraph it should be Nicolai's question not Lionus.
- 75% - "I think perhaps you should say, ...." - it should be stay if you read the whole paragraph.
- Can't remember exactly where, but some where after 75% "...her younger to cousin to come.." - an extra "to" in there, should be: her cousin to come.
- Now this next bit is probably nit picking by me, but it bothered me .... at some point Peter Pan was mentioned. There is no actual date that the novel is set (I quite like to see a date by the way, then you know where you stand!), but I had gained a feeling it was dated earlier than the beginning of the 20th century - Peter Pan was not published until 1902.
- More a bug bear, it fell somewhere in between historical and fantasy for me - I might have felt happier with the work as a whole if it had been clearly fantasy with no real life mentions, i.e. America, Peter Pan.
I think I need to work as a Beta Reader .... can't help noticing errors etc., so if anyone would be interested in my acting as a free Beta Reader/Editor get in touch.