by Virginia Kantra

August 2006
ISBN: 0-425-21108-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

Home Before Midnight by Virginia Kantra is the story of Bailey Wells and Steve Burke. Both thought they had escaped the small town life of Stokesville, N.C. to never return, but life has dealt the cards differently than they planned, and now both are back and about to embark on a path of intrigue that will keep readers glued to their seats.

Bailey always lived in the shadow of her older prettier sister. Bailey was the girl who always was a bit shy, and not as confident as she could be. This attribute played perfectly into the hands of true crime writer Paul Ellis. He could manipulate Bailey and have her be totally unaware of the manipulation until the horrid night when Bailey discovers Helen Ellis on the bottom of the family pool.

Steve Burke is the responding police officer to the 911 call to the Ellis home. The superiors of the Stokesville Police Department want to call Helenís death an unfortunate accident and avoid nasty publicity, but Steve is like a dog with a bone and is determined to find the true cause of Helenís death accident or murder.

Steve is suspicious of both Bailey and Paul and believes one or both to be responsible for Helenís death. As he investigates his feelings for Bailey begin to blur and when faced with the dead body of the popular writer, Paul he begins to believe Bailey that someone has something to hide and will go to extreme lengths to keep the secret hidden.

Throughout ome Before Midnight Ms. Kantra has kept the sexual tension between Steve and Bailey high, and believable. When combustion finally happens readers believe it to be comfort sex, but discover that there is underlying love. Ms. Kantra also did a superb job of keeping the true villainís identity hidden until the last few pages of the book.

Even though we finally discover whose secrets are uncovered the climax of the book was as page turning as the beginning of the book. I donít believe I have read Ms. Kantra before, but I didnít even finish Home Before Midnight before I was researching her backlist, and being anxious for her next release.

Home Before Midnight is a must read for fans of romantic suspense.

Reviewed in October 2006 by Sandi.

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