IN THE ARMS OF HER ANGEL
A Seekers of the Past novel
by Amy Valentini
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?
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!