When I first started reading Land of the Noonday Sun I was a little confused, but intrigued. I knew it would be a romance novel, but it started with two broken families and I couldn't figure out which parent the story would be about. Turns out I was a little off the mark. I turned the page and realized it wasn't about the adults of the broken homes, it was about the children, now grown. Skipping forward quite a few years, we are introduced to Cassandra, a law graduate. When her life is turned upside down, providential care seems to intervene and a new door is opened for her. Land of the Noonday Sun pulled me in with the improbable and whirlwind romance that had me uttering all kinds of awes and laughs as Chad wooed Cassandra. It also had me groaning, muttering under my breath, and feeling the character's frustration when Chad's past comes back to haunt him (and I mean that in the best way). Chad is a protective, charming, sweep you off your feet kind of guy that isn't afraid to follow his feelings, especially when it comes to Cassandra. As the reader it's hard not to fall in love with him right along with Cassie.
Carmen DeSousa brought the suspense in and just the right point in the book. Just when I was feeling a happily ever after, BAM, it hit me. And it took off at lightning speed. I was hurting for Chad, after having gone through so much in life he deserved a happy ending, and he was being faced with more trials.
I won't give away the conclusion, but it was fit the modern-day fairy tale that it is.
Occasionally, the dialogue comes off as a bit unnatural and overly formal. At first, I brushed it off as in character with Cassandra's dad, and that it had rubbed off on her. However, sometimes Chad's dialogue was too formal for his character and it didn't ring true. But, since it only pops up occasionally, I feel it's more an oversight than an issue with the story, and it certainly didn't ruin the experience for me.
The christian theme in this book is a lot stronger than it was in Carmen's debut novel. We see characters bringing up Christianity in discussion of moral dilemmas and they often turn to prayer when they are faced with problems. However, Carmen does not claim to have written a christian novel. Her characters do hold to christian beliefs, but there is no underlying message or preaching of the gospel, faith is just a part of their life.
And the ending... well let's just say that the twist is gonna leave you sitting in your chair, jaw on the floor, wondering if a semi truck just hit you. Okay, maybe not that painful, but definitely that surprising and juicy.
I'm giving Land of the Noonday Sun four out of five stars. I enjoyed the story, the plot was well timed and kept me hooked, the beginning was a nice little twist to bring me some backdrop, and the ending was fantastic, not to mention the characters are very real with real life flaws. However, the overly formal dialogue that makes its way in from time to time did bring it down a star. But, no book is perfect and I highly recommend this read.
Amazon:Land of the Noonday Sun
About the Author
I love writing. As far back as I can remember I created stories—no, not to my parents—with my best friend. We would sit for hours playing with Barbie dolls, creating new adventures with the iconic toy. Then when I was eight, I actually wrote my first story. A horror story about gigantic fleas of all things, I guess I had a fear of fleas. Who knew I’d grow up to be a romantic-suspense writer?
When I was in college, I wrote my first novella. My professor wanted something that entailed drinking and fishing—he was a huge Hemmingway fan. Well, he sure received a surprise when he read my short story. It did have drinking and fishing, but there was nothing funny about it. It was sad; it was real life. Luckily, he enjoyed it, even admitted I was the first student who ever made him cry and that I had potential.
Unfortunately, it just wasn't in my future at the time. After all, I needed a roof over my head and food on my plate. At seventeen, I was on my own and a career as an author just wasn't feasible at that juncture in my life. At that time, if you didn’t live in the mecca—aka New York—you didn’t stand a chance, or at least that is what my peers insisted. So, I set out to conquer the business world, and I did. I spent the last decade and a half in sales, rising to the top of a Fortune 500 company.
Now fifteen years later, I'm back. And guess what, it's a new world where dreams really do come true. My first novel, She Belongs to Me, will be available December 2011, and from there, I have many stories waiting to share with my wonderful readers. I've waited twenty years to share my love of the written word and hope that you will be just as excited as I am.