Amy Valentini returns to the blog today with the second in her Seekers of the Past series, and Emma and Sam are now looking to find more answers about Emma’s ancestors and perhaps a key to the treasures left behind. Please read on for my review of
For the Sake of Honor
Not a Sam and Emma heavy storyline, our couple has learned from their past mistakes that every day is precious, and were married in a quiet ceremony not long after the end of the last book. Still determined to discover the origins of the treasures found that day, treasure that resulted in the death of Emma’s best friend and most probably caused the death of her Grandfather, Emma is determined to get to the bottom of the secrets and things unsaid in letters from a confederate era ancestor, unveiling her family history and perhaps finding more clues that will prove her feeling that she and Sam have been ‘linked’ through the ages. The moments with Emma and Sam are as electric and compelling as I had come to expect from them, marriage hasn’t slowed them one bit – and the excitement in their discovery of several journals, logs and diaries fairly sparks between them, encouraging the reader to be excited as well. Of particular interest are ship’s logs and journals from one Daniel Embry, and a journal from the then teenaged girl Emily Embry introduces the story of Anna Pelt and Joshua Embry, her brother and governess, and their struggle for happiness. Emily’s journals are particularly intriguing as she and Emma are near doppelgangers, the connection just feels ‘right and necessary’ to Emma, and a reason to get lost in their story.
And lost she does: the story of Anna and Joshua being one that encompasses childhood love and friendship that grows into more as she and her mother are hired by Justin Embry, patriarch of the family when arriving from England. Without a husband or married name, Anna’s mother chose to claim her status as indentured servant to the Embry family, allowing Anna to live, play and learn with the family’s children. But times change and Anna’s mother died after an illness, leaving Anna at loose ends: considered part of the family by the family, their home is the only one she knows – and her growing affections for Joshua are hard to resist. But when he’s sent off to England to ‘learn and experience the world’, she’s had two years of missing him, despite knowing that he will return with a fiancé, one arranged by his mother when he was a child. Thus becomes the struggle between what is desired, what is right, and what bears more weight on the soul: honor or love, and his discovery of a choice to make that really couldn’t be any other, disregarding contracts, appearances or even fears. We dive into this story as if a fly on the wall, Emily’s retelling of the events leading to the love story of Anna and Joshua providing introductions to the Embry family that mere history books and census materials can’t compare. And we meet characters: Daniel the sea captain, upright and forthright, protective and good-natured, with an underlying sadness. Angeline the now-nineteen year old young woman with a wedding coming in a few months to he childhood sweetheart, one who sees Anna as a sister and her good nature and kindness simply shine through, and lastly Emily – the child with a love for horses and seafaring – wildly impetuous, full of laughter and mischief with an oddly mature way of looking at the world and the people around her. Her curiosity and joy in new things an uncanny mirror of Emma’s own attitude toward her work and discoveries.
Emma is both lost in the story and completely relating to it – finding connections to the past and experiencing them in ways that are unexpected, and I think, perhaps wholly appropriate for one who has chosen archaeology as their profession. To ‘live’ in the moments of those from the past, experience their joys and sorrows, investing in their futures by recognizing each moment as a brick in their foundation of who they are and where they go next: Emma is finding her own deeply buried bricks, slowly unearthing the people of her past that were instrumental in her present life. The correlations between Emily and Emma are present in ways unexpected, and the introduction to the concerns and events of this early ancestor bring a personal stake to the story, one that feels even more present to Emma in the now. Best of all, Sam seems to understand and appreciate her excitement, even as he’s trying to redirect her questions about his own family and the fractures within it, a mention of Pierre Laffite, a privateer and blacksmith who, with his brother Jean, were instrumental and successful businessmen in New Orleans, defending the city in the Battle of 1812. This connection will prove important to both Sam and Emma, this name in a log from Daniel Embry, and with more information to unearth, the search for the origin of the Spanish gold is on the right track. Taking information and emotion from the first book, carrying through in a path that is unexpected but all the more impactful for the unusual direction, the story of Emma and Sam as they delve into the past is engaging and intriguing – I can’t wait to see the next steps.
Title: For the Sake of Honor
Author: Amy Valentini
Series: Seekers of the Past #2
Also in this series: Seekers of the Past
Genre: Colonial Era, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Historic Elements, Mystery Elements, Setting: American
Published by: Self-Published
Published on: 25 September, 2018
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo
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?
A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.