Emery Lee has a way with making history come alive, while adding a strong element of romance that span years through heartbreak trials and errors and in the end forgiveness and love stronger then ever. Luck never made a man wise. ~Seneca, Letters to Lucilius Philip Drake a titled peer, but now impoverished, gambles with chance and dances with lady luck at the tables at night to win his fortune and free him from his father's grasp. His life changes when he meets Lady Susannah Messingham, Susannah's life has taken a hard turn now that she's a widow, but when she sees Philip she's drawn to him and asks him to teach her how the win at the card table. Their journey leads them through many obstacles that will redeem them in their love and heal their broken hearts. Off the bat, I did not like Philip Drake at all in The Highest Stakes. You could see the great man he could be, but his greed and lies always got in the way, so I was a little leery when I learned his story would be told. But I enjoyed The Highest Stake, and took a chance. I was surprised at the turn Emery Lee gave the readers, by telling Philip's backstory and history. You learn about how Philip came to be, and my heart unforzen bit by bit by the younger Philip, whom was clever, and brave, who was the man that I saw hidden by the mask of lies he wore. It was sad how Philip became and how his bitterness overtook his life. Not that really cleared up all his misdoings his done, he still thought to much about money and his self, and does he get his just desserts? Yes, he does. This was what Philip needed, a huge wakeup call to shock him to his very soul. Emery's gift of storytelling gives her characters very human elements- the best was how their able to redeem themselves, their no where near perfect, but their perfect in their heartfelt want to change and fight for those they love. Philip's changes from good to bad to good again is a hard journey, but one we all go through in life, through the hard times and the good times. Susannah shows how one's able to redeem oneself. I liked Susannah in Highest Stake and wondered what she ever saw in Philip. Susannah had her own heartbreak early on in her life, and being older then Philip made her have a wall between them in the beginning. When we first meet Susannah, she has a good head on her shoulder, but could be brass, and impulsive, which leads her into alot of trouble that forces Philip to get her out of the fire. Lee's subtle foreshadowing that I so love, shows in the past and is portrayed in the future. With the mature growth of Susannah, when she leaves Philip in fear of heartbreak and pain, only to learn the truth. She grows stronger from the her mistakes and learns from them, the sides are switched with now Susannah's being the rock for Philip and what he also needs to ground him. She proves her love for Philip going the distance for him, and finally healing not only his heart, but he own. I love this dramatic change between the two, the book focus on them, with still a big cast, but Sukey and Philip being center stage. The weak part I found in the book was the author's play on the back and forth of the past and present. I wish there was more time in the present to see the effects of what Philip did and how he's to "see the light" making the ending feel a tad rushed. This doesn't hinder the rest of the amazing book. Fortune's Son is an great addition to the historical rich and beautiful romantic series.