Barbour, Nov 2008, $10.97
In 1836 wealthy Emilie Gayarre has finally learned the truth about her heritage that ironically even the family servants knew. She no longer believes the truth will set everyone free though she believes it helped her father whose deathbed confession cleared his conscience before he met the Lord. Still part of her remains in denial even as she knows it is true that dad told her the truth that her biological mother was a slave.
Although still in shock, Emilie leaves New Orleans by sea to return to teaching the kids of Fairweather Keys, Florida. On the Caribbean crossing, she meets Naval Commander Caleb Spencer. They are attracted to one another, but she conceals her mixed heritage while he struggles to overcome his family’s dark past starting with his mother the pirate, his grandfather’s illegal activity and worse his father the politician; their felonious escapades have stymied his military career. As they fall in love, she fears her students will be sent to other Keys for their education by an activist judge since there is no school-building on Fairweather. She also worries how her Caleb will react to a slave’s blood flowing through her at a time he struggles to surmount his family obstacles while someone wants to cut him out permanently of his Caribbean inheritance.
The sequel to BELOVED CASTAWAY is a fabulous historical romantic action adventure thriller that holds the readers’ captive from the moment Emilie and Caleb meet as each is attracted to the other, but hiding something from their beloved. The story line starts as a straightforward Americana romance but splits into two subplots following the separate escapades of each lead character learning to accept their ancestry before merging back together into a dynamic finish. As always Kathleen Y'Barbo provides an entertaining deep soul searching tale that in this case at times is more an action historical story than a romance.