FicCentral received a free copy of this book from AToMR Tours.
Series: The Minstrel Series #3
Publisher: ESB Publishing (Self-Published) on June 25, 2014
Genre(s): Romantic Suspense (Adult)
She's heartbroken. He's heartless.
Gabriele Baumann-Smith is deliriously in love with her young husband Lennon.
Except, it turns out that Lennon Smith isn't his real name. In fact, he's full of secrets: a cottage on the southern British coast, an old girlfriend and... an identical twin brother.
Callum Jones—not his real name—can't believe his brother's widow came to England. He'd warned Mick—Lennon—that an inheritance could put the girl's life in danger, and he was right.
“Mrs. Smith” is the last thing Callum needs to worry about right now. She's beautiful, sure, takes his breath away at times. But when she looks at him, who does she see?
Gabriele's heart is battered and bruised. Can one brother fix what the other left behind? And will they live long enough to find out?
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Gabi and Lennon were young, in love, and ready to spend the rest of their lives together. But just one year after their wedding, it all came crashing down when Lennon was killed. Needing some time away from everyone, maybe some closure, and more understanding about who her husband was, she finds herself staying in the beach cottage she never knew he owned. But the man she married wasn’t the man she thought he was, and as his secret past comes back to haunt her, she finds herself running from danger with her late husband’s twin brother and learning there was more to his death than she ever could have imagined.
It’s rare for me to pick up a book partway into a series I haven’t read, but the premise of this one was interesting enough that I couldn’t help it. Even so, I expected to feel like I was missing something from the previous books, but that wasn’t the case at all. If characters from before showed up, I never realized it, so it was easy to feel like I was getting the whole story.
Gabi’s grief is practically tangible, and with the regular switch between past and present, it was easy to understand all she’d lost. Of course, losing one’s spouse is devastating no matter when it happens, but it was especially tragic that their life together came to an abrupt end so quickly after it had started. Finding out that Lennon had hidden big parts of his life from her just made it that much worse, and while I half-expected her to be angry about it, it made more sense that she handled it the way she did. After all, grief is such a consuming emotion that there’s little energy left for anything more, and her despair coupled perfectly with her confusion and curiosity.
Unfortunately, I never really felt like I connected with Gabi, despite all the heavy emotion being doled out. I’m not sure if it’s because I knew what was coming before she did or because of some other reason. The writing was good, the plot was exciting, and the new romance with her late husband’s twin brother should have added another degree of heat to things. However, even as I grew to like Callum more and more — once he got past his initial scare tactics with Gabi — I just couldn’t get into their relationship as much as I wanted to. I can’t pick out anything about the story that was really lacking except my participation in it, so I suspect that in this case, the problem was me.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it, though. It kept me interested, turning pages as quickly as I could to see what would happen next. I think perhaps I should give it another try later, maybe even grabbing the first two books in the series to start completely fresh, and see if it speaks to me more on the second go round.