The Second Man
by Emelle Gamble
by Emelle Gamble
GENRE: romantic suspense
Jill Farrell’s college reunion is coming up, but she wants no part of it. The man she once loved, Swedish exchange student Max Kallstrom, is rumored to be attending, but that doesn’t tempt her as Max disappeared from her life the night before the graduation, and has never been heard from since.
When her ex-husband, Andrew Denton, knocks on her door and announces he wants to make nice, and, “oh, by the way, one of their class alumni might be a murderer”, Jill’s resolve to avoid the event hardens.
Jill shuts Andrew’s efforts to reconnect down, and tries to put Max out of her mind.
And that’s that, until a second man knocks on her door, and the emotions of a time long ago overtakes her. Max Kallstrom tells Jill she’s the reason he has come to California. He asks her to please let him explain why she hasn’t heard from him for fifteen long years.
She’s willing to listen to what he has to say, but immediately realizes that her memories must guide her through a wrenching and dangerous few days. While her heart remembers a handsome young lover, she and her classmates are all different people now, and the reality of a murdered friend proves she can’t trust everyone.
What’s not so clear is if she should trust anyone . . . especially Max Kallstrom.
The tea kettle hissed and a chill skittered down her back. A second later, the doorbell rang. Jill nearly jumped out of the chair. She put her hand to her throat.
Get a grip.
If it was Andrew again, she was going to threaten to have him arrested for postal felonies, or whatever the crime was for people messing with other people’s mailbox.
Jill blinked and hit the front porchlight and peered through the peephole.
Please don’t be Andrew.
But it wasn’t her ex.
It was another man. He wore a sports coat and jeans. Relaxed and in profile, he was looking out at the street instead of at the door. His thick, dark hair curled around his collar.
It was a man she had not laid eyes on for fifteen years, but Jill realized with a jolt that she would recognize the curve of his face as long as she lived.
It was Max Kallstrom.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
She took her first stab at writing a novel in an adult education class in Mobile, Alabama when her kids were in bed for the night. As ‘M.L. Gamble,’ she published several romantic suspense novels with Harlequin Intrigue. She now publishes novels of Ordinary Women in Extraordinary Situations with SoulMate Publishing and Posh Publishing …works ranging from women’s fiction to thrillers and romantic suspense.
Always intrigued by the words ‘what if’, Gamble’s books feature an ordinary woman confronted with an extraordinary situation. Emelle celebrates the adventurous spirit of readers, and hopes each will enjoy the exciting and surprising journeys her characters take.
Emelle lives in suburban Washington D.C. with her hero of thirty years, Philip, and two orange cats, Lucy and Bella. Like all good villains, the cats claim to have their reasons for misbehaving. Her children are happily launched on their own and are both contributing great things to society, their mother’s fondest wish.
Emelle welcomes any reader interested in emailing her at email@example.com and hopes they will visit her website, www.EmelleGamble.com or her Author Emelle Gamble FaceBook page.
Emelle Gamble social media links:
Amazon Author Page
Amazon links for other titles:
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Secret Sister Audiobook
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3.5 out of 5 stars
The Second Man by Emelle Gamble is a contemporary romantic suspense novel that centers around Jill Farrell, whose personal challenges make her uninterested in attending her college reunion until her best friend twists her arm. Things get even more complicated when not only her ex-husband, but also the man who broke her heart shows up, ready to be part of her life again. Unfortunately, a mysterious death is casting a pall on the festivities, and danger mounts while Jill struggles to figure out who to trust, and her life may depend on her making the right decision.
One can’t help but feel for Jill who has dealt with multiple life-changing losses in her life, especially as she faces the tragedy of her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease. The drama and angst that accompanies the reappearance of two different exes is a little frustrating for me, especially considering the finger-pointing that takes up a vast majority of the story.
There are nice twists and turns to keep one guessing about the villain, and an escalation in the tension, but the connection that flares between Jill and Max felt a bit rushed for me and I didn’t quite understand the motives of many of the players in this story. Despite this, I think that those who like murder mysteries will enjoy the surprises and red herrings that are sprinkled throughout and find this a quick entertaining read.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review