Blurb for Tribute-
Virginia's Shenandoah Valley is a long way from Hollywood. And that's exactly how Cilla McGowan wants it. Cilla, a former child star who has found more satisfying work as a restorer of old houses, has come to her grandmother's farmhouse, tools at her side, to rescue it from ruin. Sadly, no one was able to save her grandmother, the legendary Janet Hardy. An actress with a tumultuous life, Janet entertained glamorous guests and engaged in decadent affairs,but died of an overdose in this very house more than thirty years earlier. To this day, Janet haunts Cilla's dreams. And during waking hours, Cilla is haunted by her melodramatic, five-times-married mother, who carried on in the public spotlight and never gave her a chance at a normal childhood. By coming east, rolling up her sleeves, and rehabbing this wreck of a house, Cilla intends to find some kind of normalcy for herself.
Plunging into the project with gusto, she's almost too busy to notice her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer, but his lanky form, green eyes, and easy, unflappable humor (not to mention his delightfully ugly dog, Spock) are hard to ignore. Determined not to perpetuate the family tradition of ill-fated romances, Cilla steels herself against Ford's quirky charm, but she can't help indulging in a little fantasy.
But love and a peaceful life may not be in the cards for Cilla. In the attic, she has found a cache of unsigned letters suggesting that Janet Hardy was pregnant when she died and that the father was a local married man. Cilla can't help but wonder what really happened all those years ago. The mystery only deepens with a series of intimidating acts and a frightening, violent assault. And if Cilla and Ford are unable to sort out who is targeting her and why, she may, like her world-famous grandmother, be cut down in the prime of her life.
Dear Author recently reviewed this book here and gave Tribute a C grade. She had problems with some of the storyline, especially the "stalking" of Cilla Ford does at the beginning of the book. I didn't have the same problem, because it wasn't for much of the book, he told her, she asks him why, he tells her, and they move on. If it'd been dragged out throughout the book it would have bothered me much more.
I enjoy Nora's single titles 90% of the time. This one is one I enjoyed. I liked the silly, cute dialogue between Ford and Cilla. I enjoyed the way the romance took its own sweet time. I liked Steve (hope he gets his own story someday). In this book, she does the one thing she excels at more than anything; making her characters real. The dialogue, the surroundings, the small town, the overall essence of the place is definitely in evidence here in the book.
The sex is sweet and hot (as per usual). There's not much of that going on though, because poor Cilla is being stalked. Okay, I have a confession to make. The one storyline that drives me absolutely batty is the whole "sins of the father/mother/grandmother/etc." I don't understand the thinking behind it and it drives me insane! That was exactly what this book was.
Cilla is being punished for something her grandmother did long before she was even born. Tormented and driven almost crazy. I hate that. But she's resilient and I like that. :)
Cilla is the cynic and Ford is the optimist. They play off each other well and the dialogue between them is quite cute. I can't find the book (I tossed it on a chair and I think the book gremlins stole it), but there's a scene in the hospital where Cilla is feeling all down and depressed and Ford is trying to get her to see the bright side of things. It's cute and funny and I liked it.
Here's a question. What was up with all of the wine drinking in this book? It seemed like every time Cilla and Ford were together there was wine being consumed. They should both be lushes by now.
Dear Author also complained about all of the rehab talk when it came to the house. I didn't find that annoying at all. To me it made the story more authentic. You could see what Cilla was doing and I thought that was pretty cool. :)
I like how she's the mechanically inclined one and Ford is the one who blows thing up (accidentally). I like the fact that he's not afraid of not having that manly talent. It was sweet.
The mystery was interesting. Maybe I'm slow, but when the baddy is revealed...I was surprised. I totally had it as someone else. Yay!
I enjoyed it. It was sweet and funny and I wish she'd do that for her trilogies. Those are getting old and need some new life.
My Rating: B