Author: Nora Roberts
Published: 2007, Putnam
Category: Romantic Suspense
My summer Nora Roberts fix. Woo hoo! I got to read it a little early, but it’s on sale soon---July 10, I think.
Phoebe MacNamara is the top hostage negotiator with the Savannah police. She’s called in to talk down a suicide jumper on St. Patrick’s Day and meets the jumper’s boss, Duncan Swift (who had just fired the poor schmuck and now feels terrible about it). Duncan is so impressed with Phoebe that he sets about persuading her to go out with him, even though she’s resistant because she’s trying to manage a demanding career and rather screwed-up family (she’s a single mom with an agoraphobic mother). Soon, Phoebe clashes with an idiot cop and makes a serious enemy. Then she’s the victim of an assault in her own station house and soon she realizes that someone is stalking her---a man from her past is determined to destroy her.
I don’t know exactly why, but the instant I start reading a Nora Roberts book I fall immediately into the story. Often with books you just push through the first 20 or 30 pages because you just know it’s going to get good soon. There’s none of that here; I’m sucked in the NR vortex from the very start. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to her writing style (I have read a lot of Roberts books) or maybe it’s just because she’s a good writer. I started reading on a Friday afternoon and didn’t really want to do anything at all until I’d finished it. It’s nice and long and meaty, chock-full of interesting characters, all with involved backstories. Not just the two protagonists, but a wide cast of friends and family. The action is good and pretty nonstop---the pages just melted away as I was reading.
Phoebe is one tough chick, a real no-nonsense kind of heroine. I loved this bit---Phoebe's daughter, Carly, is asking if Duncan is Phoebe's boyfriend:
"'Cause Sherrilynn's big sister has a boyfriend, and he makes her cry all the time. She lays across the bed in her room and cries all the time, Sherrilynn says."Hee! Love it. Phoebe's also really good at telling people off---she's professional and intelligent, but when someone pisses her off, they know it. ;)
"And I bet Sherilynn's big sister enjoys every minute of it." Phoebe reached down to cup Carly's face. "I'm not much of a crier myself."
And Duncan was fabulous! There’s a blurb on a lot of NR books about her “fueling the dreams of millions of readers” or something (I’m paraphrasing) and it’s so true. All of Roberts’s heroes are pretty damn perfect. Duncan won the lottery, so he’s a multi-millionaire but he hasn’t let the money go to his head. He’s a smart businessman, but doesn’t get too caught up in the greedy business world. He’s just a lot of fun and I ate him up like a giant Hershey bar. There was a while there where he disappeared and I was like, “Commmme back, Duncan!”
So this may not make it onto my list of absolute favorite NRs. But it’s a damn good read. I loved the Savannah setting---especially good for a hot summer weekend.