Tag Archives: historical romance

New Release! A PIRATE’S ONE AND ONLY by Amy Valentini w/#excerpt

A PIRATE’S ONE AND ONLY

Book 5 of the Seekers of the Past series

Amy Valentini

 Available now at Amazon
and Free to read at KindleUnlimited
Continue the Journey to Where the Past Meets the Present
and Love Lives Forever
Having survived a devastating fire that left her scarred and alone in the world, Gabrielle Hawkings seeks to make her own way. Suffering the horrible remarks and stares, and believing no man will ever love her, she is surprised when a handsome stranger not only shows her kindness but attention quite foreign to her.
Capitán Tomás Alvarez is by his own admission a pirate and a wanted man but is innocent of the crime for which the British seek him. Visiting Kingston is dangerous at best but he will risk it all to see the beautiful Gabrielle again. When the authorities use her as bait, he must do what is necessary to protect her so neither of them ends up at the end of a noose.
Join Emma and Sam as they search for the origin of the mystery gold. And thrill in the love that grows between two people who carry scars on their skin as well as their souls and heal each other in the process.
*** Each book in this series can be read as a standalone historical romance with the first and sixth books set in the present.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Excerpt:

Tomás Alvarez deplored the manhandling of any woman so when he saw the drunken oaf clutching the young woman and slobbering all over her while she screamed for him to release her, he knew he had to halt the assault. Had he not been standing in the middle of the town and not wishing to draw attention to his presence, he would have snapped the man’s neck and left him lying in his own filth. Any man who assaults a woman was lower than low in his mind.

Now he was looking down into bright sky blue eyes in an angelic beautiful face surrounded by silky blonde hair the color of spun gold. A pert little nose, cherub mouth, and smooth skin rounded out the beauty of this little woman. Smoothing a strand of wayward hair from the side of her cheek, he noticed scarring on her neck. Who did this to her?

Before he could react in any fashion, she stiffened in his arms, her hand came up to push his hand away, and she demanded to be released. Not one to deny her, he assisted her to an upright position but when she pushed off his lap to stand, she wobbled as if her legs would not support her.

“Please, little one, let me,” he implored her as he scooted to the side and helped her take a seat alongside him.

“I am sorry. My scarf—”

He noticed how she tucked her chin and pulled her hair in close around her face. Suddenly, he understood. Her scars embarrassed her. This saddened him for she was a beautiful woman and her scars were nothing. He wanted to soothe her ego and tell her to hold her head high, to be proud but he knew how such a thing could plague one’s thoughts.

Glancing around, he saw a piece of brightly colored cloth lying on the ground nearby. He stood, moved to it, retrieving it then he shook it out and brought it to her.

“Tis yours?”

She glanced up at him, nodded then took the cloth, and looked away. Wrapping the scarf around her neck, he knew she wore it to cover her scars. It was then he noticed she wore long sleeves even though the temperatures were far too high to warrant them. Had she more scars?

“Thank you. You have been most kind…” She peeked out at him from under smoky dark lashes, the color of which fascinated him since her hair was like captured sunshine.

“Capitán Tomás Alvarez, at your service,” he said with a slight bow of his head then glanced around to make sure no one overheard him giving his name. “And who do I have the pleasure of addressing, mi linda?”

“Me—no, my name is not Linda,” she said, her delicate brows which matched the color of her lashes knitting together in confusion.

He laughed making her frown harder.

“No, no, mi linda means my pretty one,” he said smiling at her and receiving a chuckle and grin in return.

“Oh! My mistake…my name is Gabrielle,” she said once again averting her eyes and tucking her chin.

This time Tomás was not going to allow her to hide so he tucked two fingers under her chin and gently lifted until her eyes met his.

“My honor to meet you, Gabrielle and yes, you are very pretty…beautiful,” he said in a low voice as his gaze dropped to her lips and he wondered if they tasted as sweet as they looked.

Once more she reacted by pulling away. His hand dropped and his heart ached for her pain and desire to hide even as his mind pushed back fury at whomever or whatever caused it.

“Thank you, Captain. I appreciate your assistance,” she said looking around as if looking for something or someone.

“If you are looking for the beast who attacked you, he has been dealt with and is in the hands of the authorities,” he told her. “May I see you home safe, Gabrielle?”

As if he had just proposed something wholly inappropriate, she jumped to her feet with her hands fluttering around her scarf then tugging at her shawl to cover her further.

“That is quite all right, sir, I am here for shopping and wish not to return home yet. I shall be fine. Thank you again.” She turned to leave but he caught her hand, stilling her.

“Might I accompany you, in case you feel ill at ease on your feet again?” he asked still holding her hand and surprised she was allowing it.

Gabrielle slowly removed her hand, her fingers trailing along the tips of his and he swore the sensation traveled straight down his spine and ignited a fire in his loins which had him wishing he could sweep her off her feet, return to his ship and sail away before anyone stopped him. He did not know what it was about this innocent-looking young woman but she enchanted him the moment she opened her eyes.

“I suppose it would be all right,” she remarked looking around them. “As long as we are in full view of others, that is.”

He was about to comment on her not trusting him when she gave him a smile which told him she just might and was teasing him. Then it was gone and she tucked her chin once more. He wished he could explain she had no need to do so for he found nothing unattractive about her.

Standing, he gave her a quick bow and waved her to start. He joined her walking just one pace behind her and to the side to allow her to lead while he followed. His action must have surprised her for she kept peeking at him over her shoulder as if to see if he was still there. He grinned watching her. She was a delight.

When they reached a small shop with hats in the window, Gabrielle stopped and looked at the items then glanced at him.

“You shall probably not enjoy this shop,” she said.

“If you enjoy it, I shall,” he told her with a grin then opened the door and waved her inside.

The quiet chatter of women inside told him he was probably going to be quite a surprise to them. Tomás chuckled and stepped inside to the sound of a collective gasp.

~*~

Gabrielle did not know what to make of this handsome and charming man. There was a kind gentleness to him but somehow, she knew there was an underlying dangerous side as well. Perhaps it was his swagger, his commanding demeanor, or simply the small gold hoop earring he wore in his left ear. He made her nervous but not in a scared way. No, it was something she had never experienced before. It was something rather thrilling, which made her insides quiver when he touched her. Something which had her wishing her scars gone more than ever before and made her palms dampen as if in anticipation of something exciting.

She watched him enter the small shop filled with ladies’ items of clothing and accessories and grin when the women inside gasped as they turned to look at him. She had no doubt they had not noticed her.

“Greetings, sir, may I assist you,” one of the women exclaimed as she hurried over to him.

She was an older woman, probably the owner of the shop. Gabrielle nearly laughed aloud at the way she was fluttering her hands in front of her breasts and blushing like a schoolgirl.

“Not me, madam, but my lovely friend here,” Tomás remarked as he turned slightly, placing his hand on her elbow and drawing her forward. “I believe she requires your assistance in making a purchase.”

The woman’s gaze shifted to Gabrielle and as she did, her smile waned.

“Ah yes, welcome, madam,” she said, her gaze narrowing on where her scars peeked out from under her scarf near her jawline.

Under her scrutiny, she immediately wished to retreat and began to step backward but Tomás did not allow her. His grip tightened slightly on her elbow and he pulled her closer.

“Madam, you shall show my friend anything she wishes,” he said in that particular voice which held so much command Gabrielle thought even the King of England would do as he ordered.

“Of course, sir. Is there anything in particular you wish to see, my dear?”

She knew the woman was only turning her attention on her because of Tomás but she did not care. There was something about him, which gave her increasing confidence.

“Yes, please, there was a scarf in the window last week which I wish to purchase as a gift,” she told the woman turning to peruse the display. “It had colors of green and gold.”

“Ah yes, I have some, in the back here. If you will follow me,” the woman said indicating a table toward the back against the wall.

Gabrielle stepped up to follow her expecting Tomás to stay near the door but he surprised her by placing his hand near the middle of her back and walking along with her, pushing past tightly set displays including one of undergarments. She heard the other women giggle behind her when one of them remarked how she would not mind modeling anything at all for him. She smiled thinking how they must think she belongs with him. It was a powerful feeling having other women being jealous of her for a change.

Not wishing to dawdle or take up any more of the captain’s time than necessary, she quickly made her purchase, and foregoing a perusal for her own pleasure concluded her business, and headed for the door. Tomás caught up to her, holding the door and allowing her to precede him in exiting the shop while bidding the women good day.

“So where to next, Gabrielle,” he asked once they were outside on the street again.

“I have taken up quite enough of your time, Captain Alvarez—”

“Please, say not my name quite so loud,” he interrupted her in a low voice while glancing around them over her head. Since he stood over a head taller than she, it was not difficult for him to do.

“Why ever not?”

“Well…perhaps I shall just say the authorities here might not be pleased I am in port,” Tomás said with a sly grin and a naughty wink.

She gasped in response. Perhaps he was just as dangerous as she had thought…perhaps even one of the notorious pirates she had heard whispered sometimes frequent the port of Kingston.

“Ah, now I have worried you, Gabrielle. Please, trust me, I would never allow any harm to come to you because of me,” he said in a low voice near her cheek which sent a shiver over her.

Not a shiver of fear, however…no, it was something else she did not recognize. The sensation intrigued her. He intrigued her.

“I must finish up my shopping and return home now,” she said turning to head in the direction of the McGillicuddy’s home, but his hand on her arm halted her.

Turning to look at him, she looked up into dark eyes shaded by thick dark lashes beneath dark brows furled together.

“Do I frighten you, Gabrielle, for tis not my intention?”

Tucking her chin, she shook her head.

“No, Captain, I simply must return for I have duties and responsibilities,” she told him, not wanting to admit he made her nervous.

She knew not why he was so attentive but she was enjoying it very much. Most men ran from the sight of her scars yet he had called his pretty one. What did he want from her?

“Then I shall see you to your home,” Tomás announced standing tall and extending his arm for her to take as if they were about to walk a promenade.

A sudden nervous laugh erupted from her before she could stop it causing him to frown and drop his arm.

“You do not wish my company anymore, Gabrielle?” he asked looking dejected.

Before she had a chance to answer, a ragtag looking young man ran up to Captain Alvarez and whispered in his ear. Tomás looked around with sudden and obvious nervousness having descended on him. He looked down at her and gave her a quick smile.

“I fear I must take your leave, my beautiful Gabrielle,” he said taking her hand and lifting it toward his lips as he bent. “We shall meet again, my sweet. Tis a promise and I always keep my word.”

Tomás Alvarez pressed a kiss to the palm of her hand, which sent fire and ice over her skin while causing her insides to quiver with nervous energy so strong she gasped.

“Adios—for now,” he said and then he was gone.

Gabrielle stood there, her hand out as if he still held it, his lips caressing it even as he disappeared into the milling crowd. Had she only imagined him? Was the entirety of the afternoon simply a manifestation of the heat and attack by the drunken man? She had felt faint earlier. Perhaps she had only imagined the attentions of such a handsome and charming stranger.

 

Available in print at Amazon too.

Happy Reading and please, if you do read it, I’d greatly appreciate if you leave a review. xox

 

Release Day for TO LOVE AND BE LOVED BY HIM!

Release Day Excitement!

The Journey Continues in Book Four of the Seekers of the Past series.

 Continue the Journey to Where the Past Meets the Present
and Love Lives Forever
Emma’s investigation of the past leads her to Emily Embry. But will it lead her and Sam to the origins of the gold? He’s beginning to believe she’s experiencing something amazing while reading the young girl’s journal, but is it real? What might they learn as they continue seeking the past?
 
Sent to England to marry a man she’s never met, Emily Embry is determined to quit the contract made by her parents. When tragedy strikes her ship along the way, she encounters a handsome captain who captures her heart making her destiny even less desirable, even as she wishes he was the man she was marrying.
 
Beau Hawkings is a man of the sea and has no desire to settle down on land or with a wife. When he rescues the woman his grandfather contracted him to marry, he finds her desirable but his desire for freedom is greater—until she begins to claim his heart. Now his deception might be the very thing which drives her away. While both protect their hearts, they grow ever closer as fate voyages them home to where they belong—in love and loved.

Available Now in Digital and Print

at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords
And don’t miss out on the others in the series –
available wherever you buy your books!

Release of IN THE ARMS OF HER ANGEL, bk 3 in the Seekers of the Past series by Amy Valentini

IN THE ARMS OF HER ANGEL

A Seekers of the Past novel

by Amy Valentini

Available Now at Amazon in digital
and print as well as Kindle Unlimited

Continue the Journey to Where the Past Meets the Present and Love Lives Forever. 

Emma begins to wonder if there something is special—something magical—about the journal written by her doppelganger from the past. She hopes to convince Sam it’s really happening. As she begins reading again, she finds herself traveling with Daniel Embry and Ginny Blackwood. 

When Daniel encounters a thief sneaking into his room in the middle of the night, he discovers he is actually a beautiful young woman in need of his assistance to save her father. 

Haunted by her past, Ginny holds clues to a missing treasure in the form of a riddle—a riddle she is unable to decipher. The solution lies in the secrets she holds locked in her memories, but will she ever trust Daniel enough to reveal them? Danger follows them from Charleston to New Orleans. Will the answers they find lead them to what they need or be their end? And while both protect their hearts from love, will they surrender to the desire they crave in each other’s arms?

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Happy Reading Everyone!

Cover Reveal for IN THE ARMS OF HER ANGEL, a Seekers of the Past novel by Amy Valentini with #excerpt

IN THE ARMS OF HER ANGEL

A Seekers of the Past novel

by Amy Valentini

COMING SOON! 
Expected release date is planned for December 26, 2018!

Continue the Journey to Where the Past Meets the Present and Love Lives Forever. 

Emma begins to wonder if there something is special—something magical—about the journal written by her doppelganger from the past. She hopes to convince Sam it’s really happening. As she begins reading again, she finds herself traveling with Daniel Embry and Ginny Blackwood. 

When Daniel encounters a thief sneaking into his room in the middle of the night, he discovers he is actually a beautiful young woman in need of his assistance to save her father. 

Haunted by her past, Ginny holds clues to a missing treasure in the form of a riddle—a riddle she is unable to decipher. The solution lies in the secrets she holds locked in her memories, but will she ever trust Daniel enough to reveal them? Danger follows them from Charleston to New Orleans. Will the answers they find lead them to what they need or be their end? And while both protect their hearts from love, will they surrender to the desire they crave in each other’s arms?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Excerpt:

Daniel watched her squirm as she kept her eyes averted from his. When he motioned Ginny to sit, she shook her head slightly and only moved to stand behind her chair. Her hands gripped the chair back and he saw her knuckles whiten for a brief moment. It was as clear to him now as it was to Finn—she had not told him everything.

“I am willing to help you in any way I can, Ginny,” he remarked as he returned to his seat. He picked at the meat on his plate and noted the barely touched meal Finn had left behind. “Tell me about your father. If you do not, I shall simply listen to Finn’s side and something tells me his rendition will not be very favorable.”

He watched as Ginny gripped the chair again and rocked back on her heels. Abruptly, she moved away from the chair and began to pace the room. She folded her arms around her middle as if she were cold or warding off his questions.

“My father is in the business of finding goods others need,” she began in a low voice as she moved back and forth. When Ginny stopped abruptly, turning her head slightly toward him, her face was half-hidden in shadow. She kept her eyes lowered, which caused the shadow of her long lashes to fan out over her cheeks. “In truth…he is a black marketer who sometimes does business with men who can be very dangerous.”

“Like Pierre Laffite,” he suggested continuing to watch her tense yet supple body. Her new clothing fit her far better than the ones she wore at their first meeting and left very little to his imagination as to the true nature of her curves.

“Yes, like Laffite. I believed him when he declared he no longer did business with men like that after splitting with Jacob—” Ginny cleared her throat. “Jacob Shaw.”

Daniel noted the way her hands gripped the chair again after she moved to lean on it again. He was not sure, but he might have heard the wood creak against the force. Her voice had clutched and wavered when she spoke that name—Jacob Shaw—even as her knuckles whitened and her nails dug into the upholstered leather on the chair.

“So when he told me he had refused Laffite’s offer, I was very proud of him. Only, then he disappeared after meeting with a real customer. At least I believed it was a real customer because it was what he had told me before he left. I have no idea about anything anymore.” Ginny paused and drew the fingers of her right hand along the smooth creamy skin of her neck to finger the ribbon on which he knew held the charm—a simple charm, which had started his adventure involving this irresistible beauty.

“As I told you, my father must have got caught up in his business so now I need to return home alone,” Ginny said lowering her eyes avoiding his gaze.

“I thought you told me he requested you stay until he returned to the city. Why then are you going home? He may be journeying back to Charleston even now.” He had a bad feeling about the change in her tale.

“I want to go home. He left me with no money. I was on the streets and alone,” her voice rose in pitch, and she squeezed the back of the chair once more.

“Darlin’, I cannot assist you if you do not tell me the truth. If your father left the city and wished you to remain until his return, why then did he not secure the room for you until he could collect you?” he asked watching her reaction closely, for he was sure he had caught her in a lie.

Those who practiced to deceive always had trouble keeping their story straight when pressed for details. Her eyes flashed at him, a moment of panic causing her pupils to constrict before she lowered her lashes over them. There it was—proof of the lie.

“I do not know what has happened to my father. I do not know where he is or why he has yet to return. I can only believe someone is holding him against his will.”

Daniel listened quietly as she spoke. He somehow knew she spoke the truth now as she told him about the message left at the inn, about why she had not any funds to keep her in the city, and how the riddle might hold the key to gaining her father’s freedom.

“Tis strangely more comforting to know he has not returned to me because his life is in danger rather than to think he has abandoned me for good,” she said wiping her across her eyes with the backs of her hands.

Daniel stood, his chair creaking under the release of his large frame. Her eyes lifted at the sound and beneath those smoke tinted fringes, pools of azure glistened in the flickering light of the lantern hanging from the ship’s rafters. His heart pained him seeing the tears which filled her eyes. What kind of father would leave a young daughter alone in a strange city with no one to protect her? Even if he was unable to return, why had he not ensured she was safe and paid ahead for the room?

Ginny stepped away from the chair as he approached her. Her eyes widened and he saw a tremble rush over her. She responded much as child would who was frightened by the idea of a physical reprimand. Slowly, he raised a hand as he would if he were to soothe a frightened foal. Upon reaching her, he stopped in front of her and allowed his hand to rest gently alongside her upper arm. She trembled under his touch so he gently stroked her arm as he reached out to pull her forward with his free hand. He knew Ginny wanted to resist his offer of comfort for she was tense and stiff as he pulled her against him. Yet when he shifted his hand from her arm to the back of her head where his fingers slid through silky golden curls, she stepped into his embrace. He pressed her cheek against his chest and she dipped her head like a child. Her hands came up to press lightly against his sides while her cheek rested warm against him. Like a hurt child, Ginny trembled against him and when he heard a sniffle, he knew she must be crying.

Touching his fingertips to her chin, he forced her face upward. There, he saw several tears slide down her cheek. With the pad of his thumb, he wiped them away. Ginny’s eyes were large and round, her lashes spiked with moisture and her lower lip quivered slightly before she caught it between her small straight teeth. An uncontrolled tightening in his groin caused his breath to hitch in his throat as he gazed down into her angelic face. Something about this mysterious girl made him want to take care of her, but then he also wanted to sweep her into his arms, carry her to his bed, and ravish her sweet body until she begged for more. Neither of which he believed she would allow him to do right now—if ever.

As if to prove his point without him making it, Ginny pulled away, cleared her throat, and wiped her cheek. “I have more work to do in the galley,” she croaked, clearing her throat once more. “If you are finished with your supper, I shall remove those now,” she commented as she made a move toward the food dishes.

He grabbed her arm, staying her. “Ginny, if you wish to talk, I am here to listen,” he told her in a low voice not much louder than a whisper.

“As for those,” he said in normal voice as he nodded his head in the direction of the plates of food. “I imagine Finn will be back to give me his sage advice, and perhaps I will eat more as well.”

Ginny nodded. She looked down at her arm where his hand rested. Now aware he was still holding her in place, Daniel released her. She quickly turned and walked to the door. His eyes followed her sweet bottom outlined so seductively in her boy’s britches. He grinned and nearly laughed while wondering if she had any idea what a delicious temptation she presented. He doubted the sway of her luscious hips was anything other than natural.

With her hand on the door handle, Ginny turned to look at him so he quickly wiped the smile from his face and coughed to cover his embarrassment at nearly being caught appreciating her irresistible curves.

“Thank you, sir.”

“You are most welcome, Miss Blackwood,” he replied with a pleased smile. When he noticed a small smile light at the corner of her cherub mouth, he winked. “I am a very good listener, poppet.”

With a quick nod, Ginny disappeared through the door leaving him wishing he could have somehow convinced her to stay. He stood staring at the open door for long enough that when a thump from above drew his attention, he realized several minutes had passed but she had not returned, even as he had wished her to do so.

Running his hands through his hair, Daniel yanked the leather string, which he used to tie back his queue, from his hair. Wrapping it around his fingers, he moved to his seat behind the desk and dropped his large frame into the creaky chair. Twirling and curling the leather piece, he thought about the strange girl who had literally fallen into his life, and who continuously seemed to find her way into his arms as well. It had been four years since any woman had captured his attention the way Ginny Blackwood had from the first moment he grabbed hold of her as she hurried past carrying Pete’s coin purse. She was wild, sharp-witted, quick to speak yet full of secrets, and more endearing than any woman he had ever met including Christina Overton, the woman to whom he had planned to vow his life before she betrayed him, and then died.

Daniel opened a drawer in the desk, removed a small box, and opened it. Inside the box lay the small piece of paper he had removed from the gold charm Ginny once more was wearing around her neck. He unrolled the tender paper and pressed it flat with his fingers. The strange little rhyme was a riddle to him, but surely it must have meant something to her when she read it. She claimed not to have figured it out but needed it to save her father. If her father had written it then it surely it must mean something to him and by connection, her. Staring down at the words written in smeared ink, he quietly read the rhyme.

Beneath the shadows of the moon,

Where my angel no longer resides,

A great worth awaits a happy tune.

He scrubbed at the growing stubble on his chin with the palm of his hand. He repeated the words louder this time as if hearing them aloud in the quiet room might give him an answer. The second line, where my angel no longer resides, could easily lead anyone to think her father possibly meant her home on Saint Kitts. But then again, perhaps Evan Blackwood meant it to mislead.

He chuckled thinking how his sister, Angeline, would love to get her hands on this and solve the riddle. Folding the paper, he suddenly wished he had his sister’s patience and talent for solving puzzles so he could unravel the mystery of Ginny Blackwood, and her missing father.

In the Arms of Her Angel, book 3 in the Seekers of the Past series by Amy Valentini

Happy Reading Everyone!

New Cover! FOR THE SAKE OF HONOR, book two in the Seekers of the Past by Amy Valentini + #excerpt

FOR THE SAKE OF HONOR

Seekers of the Past, book two

Amy Valentini 

 

 Amazon  | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunesSmashwords

and available in print now at Amazon

The Seekers of the Past series continues as Emma and Sam seek answers to a growing number of questions. The discovery of gold on the family farm has left them wondering about the world, time, and love. If love conquers all, can love prove greater than even time? 

Emma discovers a journal written by the youngest member of the Embry family. The author of the journal is her look alike from the past. She begins reading the story of Anna Pelt and Joshua Embry. His return from England with a future bride has left Anna questioning her place in his world. Having loved him all of her life, she feels betrayed and discarded. When he claims to love her but honor is forcing him to marry the woman chosen by his parents, Anna believes it is because he thinks her too far beneath him—only a servant, and not good enough to be his wife. 

Can love prove stronger than honor? Can the journey to find the answers Emma and Sam seek about the past uncover more about their mysterious connection to the couple in the portrait?

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If you haven’t read the story that started this amazing journey to where the past meets the present and love lives forever, please be sure to check out SEEKERS OF THE PAST too. The print version is now at a reduced price.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Silk and Sass

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