Christa's Reviews > Tribute

Tribute by Nora Roberts
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Jul 30, 08

bookshelves: library
Read in July, 2008

I am so glad that I read this book! I love so many books, but I honestly can't remember when I have read one that I enjoyed more than Tribute. I found it to be exceptional. It has great writing, wonderful characters, and a good storyline. I found the heroine, Cilla McGowan, to be very likeable, as were several other characters, particularly her father and her ex-husband, but the hero made the book. I have seldom read about a hero that I enjoyed more, and Ford Sawyer has to be the best beta hero I have ever encountered in a book. Although the novel is romantic suspense, the suspense doesn't come strongly into evidence until about a third of the way through the book. The first part of the book is spent developing the characters and building their relationships. The book grabbed me and pulled me in from the beginning and was just so enjoyable that I read most of it with a smile.

Janet Hardy was a sensational Hollywood star who had been on the stage since she began with Vaudeville at the age of four. She became addicted to alcohol and drugs at an early age when her mother and agents gave them to her to help her sleep, keep her awake, etc. Janet spends her life yearning for love, and looking for it constantly. She buys a Virginia farm, feeling that it is a place of peace and warmth. She loves to spend time at her farm and holds fabulous parties there. Her life is one that veers between brilliant light and dark shadow. Tragedy strikes her life when her eighteen year old son, Johnnie, drives while intoxicated and perishes in a car crash along with one of his passengers. The other young passenger is paralyzed for life. Janet seems unable to recover from this blow to her life, and she spends quite a bit of time alone on her farm. In 1973, about a year and a half after Johnnie's death, Janet is found dead at the farm at age 39. Her death is ruled as an accidental overdose of pills and alcohol, but many believe it was a suicide. There are also rumors of murders and conspiracy theories.

Thirty-five years later, Cilla McGowan has just purchased her grandmother's beloved farm from her difficult mother, Janet Hardy's daughter. Twenty-eight year old Cilla saw the farm once, several years ago, and she feels drawn to the place. She is determined to take the terribly neglected farm and make it once more into a home of beauty. Cilla has spent the last few years flipping houses on the West Coast, and she has a dream of living in her grandmother's house and running her own business as a contractor. Cilla jumps in and begins to work on the house, doing much of the labor herself. In the attic, Cilla comes across a number of old love letters written to her grandmother, but unsigned. The last letter, written ten days before her grandmother's death, is very bitter, and indicates that this affair with a married man ended badly after resulting in pregnancy. The letter has a threatening tone, and Cilla begins to wonder what this may have had to do with her grandmother's death.

In the meantime, Cilla meets her handsome neighbor, graphic novelist, Ford Sawyer, and his ugly but loveable dog, Spock. Both Ford and Spock are too adorable for Cilla to resist, and even though she doesn't believe she has room in her life for a man, she is soon spending time with them both. Ford is kind, patient, and willing to just spend time with Cilla until she is ready for a more intimate relationship.

Soon Cilla's ex-husband pays a visit and stays to help out with the house. Cilla's father lives nearby, and although she has never really known him, he starts to spend time with her. Cilla is happy with the progress on the house and with the people who are now part of her life, until events indicate that she has an enemy who wishes malice to her and her new home. As Cilla tries to forge a new life for herself, she is suddenly beseiged by threats, vandalism, and acts of violence. Cilla and Ford believe that the current threat to Cilla has a possible connection to the death of her grandmother. While Ford tries to keep Cilla safe from harm and figure out who is behind the sinister acts, she must decide if there is a permanent place for him in her new life.

Tribute kept me thoroughly hooked and entertained. I loved the sweet, touching romance that developed between the hero and heroine. I admired Cilla, but I thought that Ford was incredible. The author portrays him as a handsome, virile, sexy man, but more than a bit of a geek. He has some sweetly endearing traits such as being terrible with tools - he says he saves lives by staying away from them, and he is happy to let Cilla deal with emergencies that require their use. He has always been so adorably dorky that he actually finds it cool to be a police suspect when things first start to go amiss at Cilla's. At the same time, Ford is very protective towards Cilla, and will go to whatever lengths it takes to keep her safe. He is not afraid to let her know how much he loves her, and he makes certain that she knows he will be there for her no matter what. Ford's dog, Spock, was also loveable, with his "happy dances" for food and his imaginary cat chasing. This was just a great, enjoyable read, and I didn't find anything about it that I did not like.


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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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jenjn79 I completely agree with you about Ford! He's one of the best heroes I've ever read. I wanted to suck him out of the book and keep him for myself.

And I enjoyed all the house rehab stuff - I'm one of those dorks who watches those shows on tv ;)

This was just a fun book to read.


Christa Isis, I also enjoyed the parts on the house rehab and reading the descriptions of how it was coming back to life - I watch those shows too. I liked the way that Roberts wrote Steve's character as a host of one of them. Ford's house sounded like a completely wonderful place also.


jenjn79 I'd really love it if she wrote a book featuring Steve. He was a cool character as well. Plus, I'm a sucker for tattoos ;)


Christa Steve would make a great hero for another book. I would have liked it if he would have been a more prominent character through all of Tribute instead of just at the beginning.


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