"Police Lieutenant Phoebe MacNamara found her calling at an early age, when a violently unstable man broke into her family's home, trapping and terrorizing them for hours. Now she's Savannah's top hostage negotiator, who puts her life on the line every day to defuse powder-keg situations. Sometimes those skills come in handy at home when Phoebe deals with her agoraphobic mother, still traumatized by the break-in after all these years, and her precocious seven-year-old daughter, Carly"--Containers.
After she meets the charming and wealthy Duncan, who woos Phoebe and endears himself to her family, it seems that everyone is increasingly able to put the past to rest. But their newfound stability is threatened when Phoebe is assaulted at her police station and an unknown stalker leaves ominous objects on her doorstep.
The book was suspenseful at times, with a good dose of romantic escapism thrown in, so I kind of see the appeal, but this isn't really my kind of book.
The main character in this book is a hostage negotiator for the police department in Savannah. She meets the love interest by talking his former bartender down from the roof of a building. I learned a lot of fascinating aspects of hostage negotiation from this book, something I never expected to be interested in. I cared about the characters right away and I loved how the central character had both a prickly and a vulnerable side to her. The climax of the book was very suspensful and the romance was crafted perfectly. Highly recommend!
The plot is laid out above and I will say that the characters were interesting by the end of the novel. Unfortunately, it seemed like two much was going on with the thriller plot to allow Roberts to flesh out the characters early enough for me to really connect. By the time we got around to Duncan's backstory I wasn't even that interested in learning about it which is a shame. Too many characters and way too many subplots made this a messy read for me; I think the bones of the plot were good, but the editor should have put this book on a diet.
I find it interesting that the problems suffered by Phoebe's mother did not get resolved in the blink of an eye through the intervention of the hero; for that alone the book probably deserves 3.5 stars.
P.S. The Lifetime movie was actually pretty decent, too. I haven’t been impressed with most of them.
She's Phoebe MacNamara, a hostage negotiator who is battling a few issues. Being a lone parent, having an agoraphobic mother, being chained to her house due to a complicated will and having to fight some pretty sexist workmates.
They meet when she tries to talk down a ex-employee of Duncan's. Duncan is entranced and decides that he's going to get her into his life. She's not sure he wants to deal with all her issues.
Then to complicate things it looks like someone has it in for her, or maybe several somebodies. The story kept me guessing until the very end and I really enjoyed it.
I've seen some reviews where they didn't like the more mystery feel but I found it a good read, I actually regretted putting it down.
In High Noon, the characters are wonderful. Phoebe is a strong single mother, who also happens to be a hostage negotiator. She is driven to keep her family safe after a turbulent childhood which left her mother confined to the house because of fear. She doesn't have much time for dating as her daughter always comes first in her life.
Duncan meets Phoebe during a crisis with one of his employees. He is wealthy yet down to earth. He works hard yet has a sense of humor and fun which he shares with his best friend's family. He's drawn to Phoebe immediately and sets about trying to get to know her better.
Phoebe is threatened by one of her fellow police officers and then strange warnings are left at her home. Someone is out to get her and make her pay for a mistake they think she made in the past. She and Duncan try to make connections while keeping their families safe. It comes to a head in a hostage situation where Phoebe's extensive training is tested.
I really enjoyed this book because I felt the characters were very real, very normal. The conversations between Phoebe and Duncan could have happened to any couple across the world. The plot was great but the characters made this book. The only thing it lacked was some sort of epilogue to tie it all up.
Police Lt. Phoebe MacNamara is a hostage negotiator. She meets Duncan Swift while trying to prevent the suicide of a bartender Duncan just fired. It's love at first sight for Duncan--or at first acquaintance, anyway, because he's entranced with her strength and skill (and beauty, of course). It takes Phoebe a little longer.
Phoebe really has too much going on to think about romance, anyway: a house she can't afford but can't move out of, a mother who's severely agoraphobic and can't leave the house, a 7-year-old fashionista of a daughter... to top it off, she's training cops in rudimentary hostage negotiation, and is catching a lot of flack from one particular misogynistic but well-connected cop.
And then she's brutally attacked in the stairway of the police station, and threatening messages and dead animals start showing up on her doorstep.
Duncan, well... Duncan won the lottery a few years ago. And he owns parts of several businesses. His best friend is a lawyer, and he's adopted his friend's family as his own. Basically, he's got plenty of free time to spend acting like the perfect man.
*sigh* Yeah, we're getting to why I'm giving a new Nora Roberts book only four stars. I... you could say I'm a fan. I'm not a squeeing fangirl for Nora the way I am with Crusie or Butcher or Pratchett or Kinsale or Gaiman, but I own every single one of her books and have read most of them multiple times, I moderate an email list, used to run a fan website, did a short stint as a moderator on ADWOFF, and have been to several signings at TTP. Yeah, I'm a fan. I tend to like her books a lot.
But too many things in this book just went nowhere. Phoebe's mother's agoraphobia, for example. Okay, she has agoraphobia, she can't leave the house. It eventually gets explained why she's not doing anything about it, but then it's just left hanging there. The house is apparently completely impregnable, so there's never a worry that she'll HAVE to leave the house for her own safety, and we never find out the terms of the will, so there's never a worry that if Phoebe marries Duncan she'll lose the house. I don't consider that a spoiler--it's not a major part of the plot--I consider it fair warning.
And the romance... just wasn't. It was love admiration at first sight for Duncan (though that's better than just lust, I admit), and Phoebe just seemed to bow to the inevitable presence of Mr. Perfect in her life. There was no development of emotion between them--Phoebe just kept listing obstacles and Duncan just kept using his money and charm to remove them.
Part of that, I admit, is my own preference--I can't think of anything more boring than a "perfect" hero. Never argues, never complains, never has a thought in his head that doesn't mesh exactly with the heroine's. *yawn* I can see how this fantasy would be appealing to some people. Just not me.
Worse yet, the romance/family plot and the suspense plot really didn't overlap except only briefly. I'd expected the villain to break in or bomb or burn the house, so that there would be a point to Phoebe's mother's agoraphobia, but there wasn't. There wasn't a point to the daughter being obsessed with shoes, either, and that could have tied in so easily. There wasn't even a romantic conflict over the danger in Phoebe's job. Perfect man Duncan just calmly supported her.
The suspense plot was great, though. It kept me guessing, and I enjoyed the resolution very much.
It's as if this were two stories, loosely connected: a suspense novel, and a slice-of-life women's fiction story. I'd have preferred the suspense novel to stand alone. Cut out all the agoraphobia, and Duncan's friend's family picnics, the fashion-conscious 7-year-old (that's my own prejudice, but it got on my nerves), and the romance, such as it was. That would bring the suspense story down to 350 pages, and I'd probably have given it 5 stars.
This story is really good, it has a lot of twists, some of them expected and some of them just great. I always enjoy Nora Roberts as a romance writer, she has added a lot of the thriller/suspense to this book that was fabulous to see mixed in. I think I fell in love with Duncan and his easy way of making everyone around him so relaxed and safe at the same time even though he really didn't do anything, Phoebe was the hero over and over again. I wanted to see Meeks say something to her in the end.
Nora Roberts never fails to deliver action, suspense, intrigue, chemistry, and romance. The plot development and action were well written. The suspense kept building and building as the stalker grew more violent and brash. I was never sure who the stalker was and neither was Phoebe until just before the final showdown (hence the title, High Noon). The family dynamics and history added another interesting storyline which added another dimension to the characters. The chemistry between Phoebe and Duncan was believable even if it did happen very fast. He was a great character, honest, loyal, loving and putting Phoebe's family right up there with her. He was the prince on the white steed, but not mushy or unbelievable. My only complaint was the abrupt ending. I would have loved an epilogue of what happened after that final scene where the showdown takes place. I assume they got married, but would love to have had something end the story a little less abruptly. A great romantic suspense novel for anyone who likes reading this genre.
With one exception, Phoebe has the respect of her peers. Her home life includes her seven-year-old daughter and an agoraphobic mother. Duncan Swift meets Phoebe when she talks one of his employees off a rooftop. The attraction is mutual, and Phoebe, who has been committed to travelling her life solo, finds that having a loving partner can enhance life and ease some of the burdens. Then she is brutally attacked in the precinct house and disgusting messages appear on the steps of her home and life begins to take a terrifying turn. There was a blizzard near my home, but this book kept me in good company during the storm