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Fortune's Son [NOOK Book]


She is the ultimate gamble...

Beautiful young widow ...
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Fortune's Son

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She is the ultimate gamble...

Beautiful young widow Susannah, Lady Messingham, refuses to belong to any man again. Until she inadvertently draws handsome Lord Philip Drake into an exhilarating game of terrifying stakes and unimaginable rewards...

And he'll risk everything on a toss of the dice...

Philip is a seasoned gambler who knows all the tricks and isn't afraid to use them. He'd do anything for Susannah, including sacrificing his honor and his freedom...

Praise for The Highest Stakes:

"A sweeping tale of romance, betrayal, intrigue, and the power of true love." — RT Book Reviews

"Compelling...Allow yourself to be transported." — The Racing Journal

"Brava to Ms. Lee on a brilliant first novel. Well-rounded characters, excellent research, realistic dialogue, and a unique plot." — Romance Reviews Today

"Lee writes beautifully and passionately ... the plot moves at a rapid clip with extraordinary twists and turns, leaving the reader wanting to know more." — Rundpinne

Emery Lee is a member of Romance Writers of America, Georgia
Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society. Her love of romance,
combined with meticulously researched historical settings, compelled her to fictionally explore the Georgian era in her own distinctly 18th century voice.
Fortune's Son is the second title in a trilogy begun with The Highest Stakes. She is married with two children and resides in central Texas.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lee (The Highest Stakes) returns to the world of Georgian London's gamblers with this scanty romance. Susannah, the widowed Lady Messingham, needs money. Her options are gambling, tutored by dashing gamester Philip Drake, and becoming the odious Prince of Wales's mistress. The choice is obvious, and the attraction between Sukey and Philip sizzles, but the two goad each other into one terrible decision after another. Lee heaps on historical detail (and cussing of the "filthy sodding whoreson" variety) at the expense of story; a subplot involving Philip's sexless marriage, which could have filled its own book, is crammed into a handful of pages, while a bishop interrupts Sukey's humble confession of adultery to praise Westminster Abbey's architecture at Wikipedia-esque length. Readers will likely give up on pathetic Philip and sulky Sukey long before they find their roundabout way to a semblance of a happy ending. (Nov.)
RT Book Reviews
Lee brings the atmosphere of the Georgian era to life with lush descriptions that beg the reader to see, hear, feel and touch it all. She sweeps through a decade, bringing together an older heroine and younger hero in an atypical story.
Historical Novel Review
this proves to be a very enjoyable read with a multi-dimensional (and, surprisingly, male) protagonist
At Home with a Good Book and the Cat
This was really a lot of fun, the story picks up from the get go and never lets up.
Maggi Andersen Blog
One of my favorite historicals this year!
Love Romance Passion
This novel will appeal to those readers who enjoy the damaged hero/nurturing heroine as well as the older woman/younger man tropes. If you like card games (like Blackjack) and gambling, this is definitely "the" book for you. I'm also recommending it to those who like to read romantic historical novels, more specifically, during the Georgian era.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402256455
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 420,025
  • File size: 1,014 KB

Meet the Author

Emery Lee is a life-long equestrienne, a history buff, and a born romantic. Combine the three and you have the essence of her debut novel: a tale of love, war, politics, and horseracing. A member of Romance Writers of America, she lives with her husband, sons, and two horses in central Texas.
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Read an Excerpt


Newmarket, 1751

Philip Drake, Earl of Hastings, awoke to the cockerel's crow with the anguish of a thousand anvils ringing in his head. He shifted in his chair with a groan, his entire body feeling as if it had been pummeled. He blinked in confusion at the shambles of his surrounds. Broken glass covered the flagstones. His coat, cravat, and tie wig littered the floor.

When he inhaled, his stomach lurched from the pungent odor of brandy that had, since last evening, lost even the faintest appeal. He realized he'd never made it to his bed after—now regrettably—having knocked back nearly a full bottle of his favorite poison.

He shook his head to clear the cobwebs, but gasped, seizing it between tremulous hands, as the demons gleefully struck their hammers anew. Holding his body completely inert, he shut his eyes again, waiting for the reverberations to subside. The broken glass, the spilled brandy, all bore witness that it had not been just some ghastly dream. The entire scene of the day before replayed itself in his throbbing head.

He thoughtfully considered how little he knew of his nemesis. Why had Roberts challenged him? Why had he not dropped his gauntlet before another noted turf man? March, Portmore, Hamilton, or certainly Devonshire, could have covered such a wager with barely a dent in their coffers. Had he been singled out? He laughed bitterly to think a man of his vast experience of the world could have been so completely gulled.

Having no answers to these questions, he resolved to address the immediate problem of money, or, better said, the lack thereof. He sat behind his desk to compose two missives, the first to the mysterious Roberts, with the hope of buying some time, and the second to the Duke of Cumberland, who had long coveted the Hastings's brood mares. He signed and sanded the billets, impressing the wax seal with his signet, and then rang for a footman to dispatch them.

By an unwritten code, a gentleman must settle his debt of honor promptly. An obligation of this magnitude might be granted three days' grace, but even with such a reprieve, calamity hung like a noose about his neck.

With a groan, he raked his hands through already disheveled hair, racking his brain in desperation to find some way out of this morass of... he finally admitted... his own damned making.


Midafternoon saw a speedy reply from the Duke of Cumberland, with a summons to Palace House. Philip knew it impolitic to refuse a royal invitation, though his mood was far removed from roistering with the duke and his racing cronies.

These votaries of the turf included the Dukes of Grafton, Bedford, Devonshire, and Ancaster, Lords Portmore and Chedworth, Sir John Moore, Captain Vernon, and others. The duke's cabal included some of the most powerful and influential men in the land, the horse racing, wine-tippling, debauching men-about-town who referred to themselves as the "Jockey Club."

Philip endured the hours-long bacchanal filled with ribbing over his defeat nursing his port, while bumper after bumper was tossed to the health of king and present company. After the mandatory salutes, dozens of bottles followed suit, swiftly emptied in inebriated encomiums to the swiftest horses and the fastest women.

While Lord Coventry extolled the alabaster skin of Miss Maria Gunning, the Duke of Hamilton followed with words of veneration for the statuesque figure of her sister Elizabeth. Lord Portmore marveled at the lively eyes of Mrs. George Pitt, until the toastmasters, with wigs now askew, cravats dangling, and waistcoats unbuttoned, finally degenerated into vulgar tributes to their mistresses and other "frail beauties."

"To the fair Fanny Murray," spoke Sir Richard Atkins, raising his glass in a poetic declamation. "A salute to a whore be only a farce, lest it praise milky white tits and a plump, ripe arse."

"Hear! Hear!" The room roared. Glasses clinked. Wine sloshed.

Rising in the spirit of one-upmanship, Captain Vernon followed with a lascivious leer, "To our lewd Lucy Cowper, pray she ne'er gets the pox, our purses would be fuller, but withered our cocks."

"Now there's a bloody poet for you!" The room rang with ribald guffaws.

"Alexander Pope may rest undisturbed," Philip remarked wryly to Sir John Moore, who was eager to join the debate whether Lucy Cowper, Fanny Murray, or Nancy Parsons should wear the crown as London's most coveted courtesan.

"Order! Order!" cried Sir John, rising from his seat and declaring in stentorian tones, "With such a dispute in the house, I move for a divide."

Philip's mind was far from the raucous revelry. Cumberland had purchased the mares. Although he knew he need not long await the duke's gold, it would still not be enough. Even full dispersal of the remaining racing stock might only bring half the sum he required to settle his immediate debts if his multifarious creditors were to call in his loans. His finances were already balanced as precariously as a house of cards, and one small breath of scandal over the racing wager would be enough to blow it all to hell.

Philip was pulled abruptly from his morose cogitations by the unexpected arrival of Prince Frederick. "Gentlemen, I am moved to forestall these proceedings."

"Insufferable prig," Cumberland murmured under his breath, but not quite low enough.

The prince scowled at his brother, the duke. "If you gentlemen are naming the toast of London, you overlook a most exquisite specimen of womanhood."

"Mayhap the Lady Hamilton?" someone sniggered. "He has certainly examined that specimen at close range."

Ignoring the remark, the prince took up his glass and cast a pointed look in Lord Hastings's direction. "This lady of whom I speak is a nonpareil, the epitome of ageless grace and beauty. I nominate Susannah, Lady Messingham."

Turning to Philip, Sir John remarked, "How now, Hastings? It appears word travels fast. Whilst the duke may covet only your horses, 'twould appear our worthy prince would have your mistress."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Georgian delight!

    I think it is important to first point this out Romantic Historical Fiction, is not a mistake, it is a deliberate choice to categorize a sub-genre of historical fiction. Historical Romance is much too broad a brush. Emery Lee is an author who writes historical fiction with an emphasis on romance. While her stories are relationship driven don’t be fooled by the covers, there is serious research and substantial scholarship behind her writing. Lee’s talent is how she takes you into the decadent, lush Georgian time period and can impart a wealth of information which is intelligently presented in her own unique style. She sweeps you into the England of George II. Fortune’s Son is a powerfully emotional love story set at the time when the Hanoverian King was anything but secure on his throne.

    With the absolute glut of Tudor’s reheated, I cannot tell how happy I am to find a book that is, a) not about the Tudors. b) A brilliantly executed work of historical fiction. Emery Lee’s Fortune’s Son, is part sequel and part prequel. Beginning and ending 1751. We find Phillip in a state of financial ruin... But how did he get there? How did Sukie and Phillip meet? How did they live their lives from 1739 to 1751? Get ready and enjoy the ride. This is a standalone novel but I recommend that you also read The Highest Stakes.

    While there is so much more I won’t go into here. I will say that I enjoyed Ms. Lees intelligent take on this historical period, the world of high stakes gambling, that was not just cards and dice, the English would wager on anything and everything and it was fascinating. I think that Ms. Lee has a rare gift and I am looking forward to reading her books for years to come

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013


    Couldn't finish reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    By: Emery Lee Published By Sourcebooks Casablanca Age Recommen

    By: Emery Lee
    Published By Sourcebooks Casablanca
    Age Recommended: Adult
    Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
    Rating: 5
    Series: Georgian Gamesters #2

    "Fortune's Son" by Emery Lee was another one of this authors historical fiction romances. You will find this this novel is the 'follow up' to 'The Highest Stakes... and is the 'Georgian Gamesters #2. This is a wonderfully written story "about a tumultuous love with fighting for." "Fortune's Son" is one of those historical romances that will be hard to put down until the very end. You will find this novel very realistic with characters that are all well developed and captivating. As you read you will soon seen that love is the 'high stakes' game of life that is between the two main characters...Susannah and Philip. This author is able to presents to the reader such that you can 'see, hear, feel and even touch it all.' Be ready for some twist and turns that will be surprising. Get ready for a very enjoyable read that only this author can give to its reader.

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  • Posted December 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellence in Historical Fiction

    If more historical fiction were written like this, I'd be reading more of it!

    Intelligent, elegant, and intimate in characterization, Emery Lee has delivered yet another exhilarating book in her historical fiction series, making a name for herself in the ranks of those who write the best historical novels in the business. Gambling, horse racing, poverty, prison and passion~ want more?

    "Fortune¿s Son" is rich in authentic Georgian detail that brings the settings and circumstances alive for a reader. Emery¿s story focuses on the gambling life of ne¿er-do-well and overreaching Philip, Earl of Hastings, and its secondary epic love story between Philip and Susannah, Lady Messingham is just as absorbing. Don¿t assume either of these storylines is told in the ordinary "fluffy" manner of some other historical fiction novels.

    Ms Lee has a gift for writing, absolutely, and she is scholarly. This sets her a notch above. Her characters are complex. I wonder if they are skeletons drawn from actual figures of Georgian England. Significantly, one thing I loved about her writing is that I forgot to care so much about the gowns and surroundings because I was so swept up in the richness of her characters and the action of her novel; and I can tell you that¿s highly unusual for me! I¿m nearly always engrossed in the interiors and fashions described in historical fiction; that's not to say Emery didn't salt her novel with them, just the same. It's just that she didn't need them to carry her book.

    Main Characters

    Philip Drake, Earl of Hastings ~ I loved his impetuous nature balanced by his passion for true friendship, love and humanity. A gorgeous man, earthy, but with a conscience. His gambling in all areas of his life was his downfall, but not always his ruin.

    Susannah, Lady Messingham ~ my favorite character. A strong woman who was widowed, abandoned by lovers, husband and fate. She was independent, determined and strong, but not cold and emotionless.Generous in spirit, she opened her home and heart to others. Saw the best side of Philip against all odds.

    Wicked Lords, Moneylenders, Bishops, Jailers, Whore-mongers, Tricksters and Card-thieves... these various characters were colorful in description and disguise! So interesting that I hope we see many of them in this series by Ms Lee.

    Why I recommend this book?
    Emery Lee is an emerging author/storyteller of intelligence and depth. She has character-building skills that engender a close relationship and emotional connection with her characters. That alone guarantees a fabulous read! She also has a strong plot to keep readers tied to those characters.

    I live for a well-written, well-researched book that draws me into the characters¿ psychology and emotions. That¿s great reading to me. In a historical novel, that¿s all we can ask for, along with period detail, which this book has in abundance.

    Recommended for those who love historical fiction with intelligence and a realistic love story.

    5 race you to the moon stars

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2011


    FORTUNE'S SON by Emery Lee is an exciting historical romance set in 1739 - 1751 Georgain England.It is the next installment to "HIGHEST STAKES" and is the story of Philip Drake and Susannah,Lady Messingham, who where secondary characters in the previous book,but played a very important in that story. "Fortune's Son" has romance,betrayal,love,high stakes,secrets,gambling,sacrifice,redemption,a bit of carelessness,forgiveness and a bit of sensuality.Philip,after years of gambling and infamy attempts respectability with his earldom, while he finds love,he finds himself in threat of debtor's prison. Susannah,a young widow,in need of funds,decides to enlist Philip's gambling skills to teach her how to win at the gambling tables. They find not only their hearts are involved,their freedom is also at risk. Philip,in "Highest Stakes" is not very nice,oh well,you must read "Highest Stakes" to realize his bad side. He struggles with self-serving,sacrifice in "Fortune's Son" he seeks redemption in the end. Susannah,refuses to ever belong to another man,falls prey to her heart. Together, Philip and Susannah learn love,sacrifice and that life is a roll of the dice.Immerce yourself into the world of Georgian England,gambling,love,with this pair of lovers as they struggle through twelve years of life. Another great read. A must read for any historical,romance,Georgain era and any one looking to be taken away into the world of early gambling vices and its aftermath.Received for review from the author and the publisher. Details can be found at Sourcebooks Casablance,an imprint of Sourcebooks,Inc. and My Book Addiction and More.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Love is the Ultimate Gamble...

    Seasoned gambler Philip Drake knows every trick and uses most of them. After years of infamy, he's ready to accept the mantle of respectability with his earldom- until a devastating racing loss and the threat of debtors' prison force Philip right back into his gaming ways.

    Susannah, Lady Messingham, is a woman with a past who refuses to belong to any man again. But Philip's skill catches her eye and she persuades him to teach her how to win at the tables. Their new partnership turns into an exhilarating high-stakes game that entangles them in terrifying risk and unimaginable rewards.

    Immerse yourself in the risky side of Georgian England with a pair of lovers who aren't afraid to risk it all on a toss of the dice.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2011

    Author's commentary

    FORTUNE IS FICKLE...EVEN UNTO HER OWN Passion, drama and excitement fill the pages of my follow-up to THE HIGHEST STAKES. Set deep in the world of 18th century gaming, FORTUNE'S SON immerses the reader in a time and place where nothing is sacred and virtually anything might be wagered on the turn of a card, or a roll of the dice. Beginning with their first chance meeting over a Hazard table, and with motives known only to themselves, FORTUNE'S SON chronicles the tumultuous romantic journey between a young but seasoned gamester and a widowed courtier, who refuses to be the next Royal Mistress regardless of the cost. Experiencing the agonies and ecstasies of the gaming tables, Philip Drake and Lady Susannah Messingham precariously navigate their way in the high-stakes world of card sharps, courtesans, and the intriguers of Georgian England. As their tale of passion and drama plays out, they are led through hardship, heartbreak and loss before final culmination in redemption and enduring love. With romance, a bit of adventure, and the excitement of gaming coupled with a supporting cast of the wits, gamesters, sporting men, and roués of Georgian England, I promise great fun and a riveting read!

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