"The Second Son" by Elise Marion

Title: The Second Son (Kings of Cardenas, Book 2)
Elise Marion
Length: 105,000 words
Sub-Genres: Historical, Mystery/Thriller
Source: Review Copy

Set in a world of kings and queens, palaces and royal courts, warriors and battlefields, book two of Elise Marion’s ‘Kings of Cardenas’ family saga continues with a story of love, passion, and destiny.

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?
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My Thoughts
One exciting adventure filled with royal politics, lots of action, and a healthy dose of romance.
The story was beautifully written and had me hooked from the first page. There is plenty of drama and Prince Serge and Isabelle must overcome many obstacles before they can find love in each other’s arms.  
Isabelle is a sweet woman who is tired of being pushed around and starts to do some pushing herself. She has a strong heart as well and even though she really loved Lionus she also knows that Serge is a good man. I loved the relationship between these two and watching how it developed slowly but surely throughout the course of the book.
Serge is a sweet man who is used to living in his brother’s shadow, but when he finally gets a chance to win the heart of the woman he has loved for so long and become more than just the second son he does everything he can to prove his worth. I enjoyed seeing Serge fight for what he believes in and finally be able to prove his worth. He really was a great character that had a lot of depth.
I highly recommend this to anyone who love an action filled historical romance.


  1. Katie,
    Thanks SO much for your awesome review and for featuring my book on your blog!


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