"She knew only one way to get away..." Excerpt from WHEN NOONDAY ENDS

When a new attorney accepts a case of a woman accused of attempted homicide, he finds himself entwined in age-old secrets and a family who will stop at nothing to conceal them—even murder.

Last week I shared a glimpse into the psyche of our female protagonist, Shelby, an abused woman caught up in the secrets of her ex-husband's family. I thought I’d give you one more peek into her life before I move onto romance. Because as much as I love my mysteries, you know how I love romance. :)


When they got home, she carried Justin inside and lowered him into his crib. He stirred a bit, opened his eyes, and then shut them again with a soft smile on his lips. He must not have slept in the last few days. She layered the blanket over his tiny body. “It’s okay, sweetie. Momma will figure out how to fix this.”
She turned to walk out of the room and bumped right into Carlin. He reached out and steadied her, pulling her against his chest. She cringed, but allowed him to wrap his arms around her. She’d refused to have sex with him since she’d moved in, insisting that he had to prove that he wouldn’t abuse her anymore. Of course, the first time he got jealous he was beating her again. Or trying. She would never let it happen again without fighting.
 What had she been thinking? She knew he would never change, and she didn’t even love him. She’d just gotten lazy at trying so hard to make it as a single mother.
Carlin was always sorry afterward, but that’d wear off next time he got drunk or assumed she was having an affair. Why he always accused her of cheating, she never knew; she’d never given him cause to believe she was cheating. Nor had she ever cheated on him. She didn’t want or need a man. Even when they’d separated, she hadn’t dated.
Yeah, she recognized a cute guy when she saw one—like that lawyer. But he was a rich kid too. He’d probably be the same way.
As Carlin stroked her hair, she could hear his soft sobs. He was so weak. Probably the reason he hit her. The strength he didn’t have inside came out through his fists, as though he had to prove he was a man. In some sick, demented way, he probably did love her, but she couldn’t trust him anymore. He’d turned a vicious hand on her too many times. She needed to get away from him for good, and she knew only one way.

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