In this sequel to A Private Affair, Maxine has finally found happiness with Taylor, a loving, selfless man who adores her and her son, Jamel. Shes never truly gotten over Quinn leaving her and going back to Nikita, his former uptown girlfriend. A week before Quinn and Nikitas wedding, Maxine discovered she was pregnant. Rather than tell Quinn and have him return out of duty, Maxine stayed silent, once again bearing the burden of Quinns defection aloneuntil Taylor.

Just as she and Taylor find their own true love, Maxines world is tilted on its precarious axis: Nikita is killed in a car accident. Knowing that she needs to be there for Quinn, Maxine takes off for New York, leaving a disillusioned Taylor behind. For once, Maxine is determined to have closure in her relationship with Quinn. She also decides to tell Quinn about Jamel. She knows Jamel cant take Nikitas place in Quinns life, but knowing about Jamel may help Quinn keep his tragedy in perspective.

In putting her demons to rest, Maxine forces Quinn and Taylor to face the emotional baggage from their own pasts. Maxine realizes that she, Taylor and Quinn will always be connectedthough Quinn is Jamels biological father, Taylor is the only father Jamel has known.

Maxine wants Taylor and Quinn to be happy, healthy and whole, but knows that in choosing the man she loves, shes going to bring grief to the other.

Donna Hill will capture the hearts of even the most unemotional reader with her frank, unabashed study of the human character when transformed by tragedy, despair and the healing power of love. (July, 256 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed by: 
Cheryl Ferguson