TBR Reviewer: Amanda
Damien Largess, the third son of the king of Cardenas, is a rogue. Esmeralda is a beautiful gypsy, and from the moment Damien meets her, his life begins to change. He finds himself leaving behind his less desirable habits to become a better man for her, but life and a family secret conspire to keep them apart.
This is a great romance with intrigue and mystery combined. A family secret leads to murder attempts on the life of the royal family. When the villain is introduced, his identity is obvious, but it does not detract from the story. The many events that combine to keep the hero and heroine apart made the story enjoyable and heart-breaking at the same time. (There are two in particular I would love to see get a happy ending.) My only complaint
is that the editing was not done as well as it should have been. There were a few mispellings and even one place where the wrong name was used, requiring a second run through of the paragraph to grasp the actual intent.
I thoroughly enjoyed the various characters (even the ones I loved to hate) and look forward to reading the next book in the series to see what happens to the minor characters as well.
followed that finger with his eyes, wondering about the softness of her touch. He wondered what that finger would feel like pressed against his lips; he wondered how it would taste against his tongue. He could have sworn he felt tiny beads of perspiration break out along his forehead.
“Umm…what about me?” he asked quickly, lest she wonder why he was staring like some dumbstruck fool.
“Well your reputation precedes you, but I can’t help but wonder if there is more to you than the stories I have heard.”
He laughed softly, a rumbling sound that caused warmth to spread through Esmeralda’s insides. “And just what stories are those?” he asked, his eyes glittering playfully. “What exactly have you heard of me?”
“Well sir, if you must know, you are known as a most disreputable rake, a drunk, a gambler, and seducer of women.”
“Well it seems that you have just about summed me up,” he said, leaning toward her across the table. “Shouldn’t you be worried then, to be left alone with me?”
Esmeralda swallowed. His sudden nearness was wreaking havoc on her sanity. His eyes had grown heavy-lidded and sensual, and he seemed to be watching her mouth quite intently. She swallowed again and forced herself to speak.
“And why should I be nervous?” she replied brazenly, forcing confidence she did not feel. “I know that you are a gentleman and would never make any sort of advances upon me.”
“And yet it is all I can think about,” he whispered, his breath warm against her cheek as he brushed his lips against it. He breathed in her heady fragrance, feeling enveloped by it as if she had reach out and grabbed him with her own two hands. Yet she had not moved, though her eyes slid closed as his lips moved achingly over her jaw and toward her lips.
He pressed his mouth firmly against hers, gently urging her lips apart with his. She was
nearly melting into him, dazed by the slow seduction of his lips on hers, intoxicated by the strong scent of his sandalwood shaving soap. His hand rested lightly on the back of her head, sending light tingles racing down her spine at the delicate touch.
His lips, his mocking, arrogant lips, worked their magic over hers, weaving a spell of seduction so strong that Esmeralda completely forgot herself. It wasn’t until she felt the touch of his tongue against hers that she was jolted out of her languid trance.