Lieutenant Phoebe MacNamara is a Hostage Negotiator for the Savannah-Chatham Police Department. She is 33 years old, divorced, and raising her 7 year old daughter, Carly, as her ex-husband is neglectful and sadly, disinterested. Believe it or not, HE left Phoebe. But I digress...Phoebe lives in a veritable mansion replete with foyer, courtyard, graceful terraces; luxury by anyone's standards. An "inheritance" of sorts, that was levied upon Phoebe, is carefully, albeit painfully, explained throughout the layers of richness provided by Ms. Roberts. Amidst the grandeur of the home lie ghosts that won't rest or allow anyone any peace.
Phoebe is a self-contained woman. She is dedicated to her job, tremendous at it, with masterful verbal skills critical for maintaining rapport with hostage takers, strong of mind in spite of a past that still haunts her (along with her agoraphobic mother and younger brother), and cherishes every moment with sweet Carly. Still waters is she. Love? It isn't even a genuine consideration for all its hangups and complexities (and her baggage, if she's being honest). That is until she agrees to let Duncan Swift buy her a drink.
Tired of being a bartending cab-driver, Duncan hit the jackpot...literally. He won a lottery of $138 million dollars! It is going to take supreme effort on my part NOT to go on endlessly about Duncan. The owner of two bars in his hometown of Savannah, Duncan has a troubled past of his own. The product of "good intentions", Duncan was ignored and ultimately resented by his parents, but at least his dad had the dignity to walk away (if asking for $25,000 to stay away means walking away). When mom does it...*shudders*...Duncan had to lick his wounds and make a better man of himself. Making light of his enviable, bountiful position, "idle rich" is what he refers to his status, Duncan is anything but idle. Not only did he build his home from the ground up, he's invested in several projects to support Savannahians and he's keenly purposeful while exuding aloofness. Luck, my as#! Duncan is determined, Duncan is charismatic, Duncan is simply to die for.A mistake, she told herself when she watched him walk away. It was probably a mistake to make any sort of a date with a lanky, charming man with soft blue eyes, especially one who had those little tugs going on in her belly when he smiled at her.Still, it was only half an hour, only a drink.And it had been a long time since she'd carved out half an hour to make a mistake with a man.
The burgeoning romance was toe-curling fantasy, but please don't let my gushing adoration of Duncan fool you into believing this is merely a love story. It's a touching love story without a doubt, but there is an atrocious back story of terror and survival."Probably best to save the variations. I'm not sure you're ready.""Oh really? Don't think you can use that kind of maneuver on me. I'm a cop."He stepped off, onto the pier, held out a hand for hers. "Variation Seven's been known to cause temporary unconsciousness.""That's a straight dare.""Can't blame a guy for trying."As they walked, she angled her head to study his face."Variation Seven?""I'm required by law to give the previous warning before use. Now that you've been warned, I'm in the clear."
At the age of 12, a pivotal event in Phoebe's life served as the foundation for her profession as a negotiator. That experience serves her well, has earned her a reputation above reproach, but it doesn't prevent animosity from a misogynistic lower-ranking officer. Ms. Roberts took me to the edge of my seat; riveted by tension and desperation to set things to right. Just when you think a crime against Phoebe is solved, Nora Roberts sets up a fresh assault; catches you unexpected and thrusts you into a heart-pounding climax. Not only did I release an audible exhalation upon the finale, but I texted Lisa with a few capital letters (OMG!!!), and went on to text another girlfriend that she HAD to read High Noon...by noon! :D
Can you tell I liked this book? Believe it or not, this is the first review I've written without having drafted it onto paper first! I hope it grabbed your attention, regardless. Roberts delivered a dangerous, suspenseful, well-crafted thriller and introduced a man so swoon-worthy, I've had to readjust my list of fictional heroes. A man's man in Duncan, an unswerving heroine in Phoebe and another book to add to my list of favorites.
Ray Charles knew what he was singing about!