Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: High Noon by Nora Roberts

Dear Ms. Roberts:

High NoonMost readers say the same thing about you and that is you consistently deliver good, solid reads. But as with all authors, particularly those with ginormous backlists (and yes, ginormous is now an official word), some books are better than others. When I started this book, I was a little apprehensive wondering if this was Eve Dallas redone. While I saw hints of Eve Dallas, mostly in language idiosyncracies, Lt. Phoebe MacNamara is a character all her own and High Noon is one of the best Roberts books I’ve read.

Phoebe MacNamara is a negotiator whose life has been marred by tragedy. You wouldn’t know it to see her in action, talking jumpers off the edge and hostage takers into the light. While Phoebe is out saving strangers everyday, she can’t seem to save her own family. When Phoebe was a young girl, she and her family were taken hostage. She was able to prevent physical harm to her family but her mother became agoraphobic and has not left the house for decades. Phoebe’s daughter has an absentee father. A close family friend hasn’t been able to shake off the vicious verbal abuse Phoebe’s grandmother heaped on her for years.

Duncan Swift first meets Phoebe when she is called in to talk one of his employees out of jumping off the side of a building. He’s impressed with the way she handles herself and wants to get to know her better. Phoebe isn’t interested at first, but Duncan is persistent. He’s intrigued and believes that given the chance, she’ll return his interest. In order to convince Phoebe that they could have a life together, Duncan must make every woman in Phoebe’s life fall in love with him too. It’s a negotiation of the heart and the mind for him.

What made High Noon so memorable for me was that the entirety of the story was about saving lives, those of the hostages and Phoebe’s family and that emotions and fear can hold you hostage more effectively than a man with a gun. It’s a story of how Phoebe saves and is saved herself. The central romance was very strong and nicely balanced against the action. My one complaint was that it did seem similar to the Eve / Roarke dynamic in some ways. Duncan is a caretaker much like Roarke is. I suppose with a backlist of 170+ novels, its hard not to have one compared to another. This story, regardless of some similarities, goes on the keeper shelf. A-

Best regards


Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jennifer McKenzie
    Jul 17, 2007 @ 14:53:36

    Oh Good! I’ve been reluctant to buy Nora for a while. This one sounds like one I’ll have to check out.
    Ginormous thanks to you for reviewing it.

  2. Ciar Cullen
    Jul 17, 2007 @ 14:57:55

    This review seems right on to me, and since I’m not the biggest JD Robb fan (I like Nora better–okay, I hear the boos), I wasn’t bothered by similarities to those characters. She’s still the only author I buy in hardcover (fortunately I just received an early birthday gift card Chez Target).

    It’s fun to see the evolution of even the bestselling authors. I just reread an oldie but goodie, The Reef, perhaps my all time favorite book of hers. I’m not sure why–perhaps the setting, or what was going on in my life when I read it. Just got in my heart and stayed there.

  3. Nora Roberts
    Jul 17, 2007 @ 15:49:34

    Thank you, Jane. I’m really delighted you enjoyed the book.

  4. EC Sheedy
    Jul 17, 2007 @ 17:44:13

    I started HIGH NOON last night, and I’m lovin’ it! Nora, I see you are posting, so I’m going to say it directly–you are an amazing story teller! I have endless respect for your talent and creativity.
    That said, it’s back to HIGH NOON!

  5. Rosie
    Jul 17, 2007 @ 18:55:23

    I really enjoyed this book because it just spoke to me personally. That Duncan Swift is one memorable guy.

  6. Josie
    Jul 17, 2007 @ 19:13:41

    I can’t wait to read this one – I don’t often buy Nora in hardcover anymore (except for the InDeath series) but I’ve heard so many good things I’m definitely making an exception!

  7. Karen W.
    Jul 17, 2007 @ 20:20:34

    Just adding to the chorus to say I loved it too!

  8. Bev Stephans
    Jul 17, 2007 @ 20:55:41

    Your review changed my mind. I will now buy this book.

  9. Shayla Finn
    Jul 27, 2007 @ 18:25:53

    I have an extensive Nora Robert’t book collection and I have to say that although I think all her books are amazing, High Noon is definitely a top three favorite! I couldn’t put it down. I think LT Phoebe MacNamara’s character represents such strength, courage, and incredible determination. Nora’s books always seem to inspire me in some shape or form. High Noon gets two thumbs up from me!!

  10. Pat M
    Jul 28, 2007 @ 14:24:11

    I have read and own nearly all of Nora Robert’s books and am a huge fan of J.D.Robbs series. I bought HIGH NOON as soon as it came out. I have just fininshed reading it and I think that it is one of her best books. My only complaint is that I feel it was left unfinished. A sequel is needed to let us all know what happens to the rest of the family. All and all though it was excellent.

  11. Read for Pleasure
    Jul 30, 2007 @ 03:01:35

    Nora Roberts review in (though not by) the NY Times

    Today’s New York Times “TBR: Inside the List” column includes an extended quote from a review of Nora Roberts’ High Noon. Lately I’ve noticed Dwight Garner (senior editor of the NYT Book Review) occasionally making note of the gender and genre balance of his reading and his reviews (at least in his blog…

  12. LP
    Feb 19, 2008 @ 22:50:30

    Please consider a sequel! I’ve never read Nora Roberts’ books, but I’m hooked thanks to High Noon. I’d love to see what happens with Phoebe, Duncan and crew…(Dave/Ava, etc.)

  13. What Is Wrong With the C Review | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    Aug 19, 2008 @ 06:22:53

    […] and her third book, Midnight Awakening, a wonderful take on a tired genre. I loved Angels Fall and High Noon by Nora Roberts but was less than enthused about Tribute. I’m not going to stop reading […]

  14. Janet
    Mar 27, 2009 @ 09:21:40

    I recently finished reading High Noon and loved it! Seriously, I wasn’t really a fan of Nora Roberts prior to completing this book, but now I can’t wait to get my hands on another. Also, I saw that High Noon is being made into a Lifetime movie..? I hope that they do it justice!

  15. Darlin
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 03:47:46

    Am i the only person who thought after reading the book the movie was crap. Where’s Ava character. SO crappy. I hate it

  16. Renie
    May 01, 2013 @ 13:55:13

    I love Eve and Roarke. I want more of them. I love J.D. Robb and Nora Roberts books except the extreme supernatural ones. I can take a little but not much

%d bloggers like this: