Title: When Noonday Ends (Nantahala, #2)
Author: Carmen DeSousa
Publisher: 5 Prince Publishing
Date Published: December 26, 2012
When a new attorney accepts a pro-bono case of an abused woman suspected of attempted murder, he ends up with more than he bargained for. She’s the ex-wife of one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Ashville, and her in-laws will stop at nothing to conceal family secrets—even murder.
Unable to ignore his attraction, he gets closer than he should. But when all evidence points to the woman he’s falling in love with, he will risk everything—his reputation, disbarment, maybe even his life to uncover the truth
In this story of the Nantahala series we read about hero Tom Turner and heroine Shelby Castle. Tom was involved in the first book so if you haven’t read Land of the Noonday Sun, I highly recommend you read that one first, as things will make a little more sense in this one.
Tom sees Shelby for the first time in a courtroom and is drawn to her immediately. His friends and family think it’s because she looks like his ex-fiancé. Tom sees something in Shelby that no one else sees – innocence. He has to decide whether or not he wants to take her case. However, once he has made up his mind to defend Shelby, her ex-husband Carlin (whom she is accused of killing) is released from the hospital and drops the charges. Tom assumes his job is done and that is the last time he will see Shelby.
The plot thickens. Next thing we know Carlin does in fact die and Shelby is once again arrested. From here the story continues to take twists and turns that you don’t expect. Carlin’s father, Clayton will do anything to protect Shelby and his grandson so he hires a hot shot attorney to represent Shelby. While Tom really wanted this case, he is okay with it because now he can act on his attraction to Shelby. We are also are introduced to June, Shelby’s crazy ex mother-in-law as well as Shelby’s protective, older brother, Andy who actually admits he killed Carlin to try and get Shelby released from jail the second time around.
Shelby is a woman who has been physically abused by her ex-husband and is sick of all these men trying to run her life. She just wants to get away from everything and protect her two-year-old son Justin. She finds comfort and safety in Tom. He falls hard and fast for Shelby and treats her with nothing but love and respect, which is different than she is used to from a man in her life.
Carmen does a fantastic job of balancing the romance and mystery of the story. You will find yourself reading as quickly as you can to get to the end of the story and figure out who committed the murder and what will happen to Shelby and her son. I loved all the surprises in the story and thought the ending was perfect. I enjoyed revisiting old characters such as Chad, Cassandra and Michelle. I hope we get to see Michelle’s story next! There were lots of teasers about her love life in this one. If you are looking for a romantic mystery that keeps you wondering until the end of the book, I recommend you try When Noonday Ends!
Reviewed by: Amy R.