by Nora Roberts

Hardcover, 2008



Cilla, a former child star who has found more satisfying work as a restorer of old houses, has come to her grandmother's Shenandoah Valley farmhouse, tools at her side, to rescue it from ruin. In the attic, she finds a cache of unsigned letters suggesting that her grandmother was pregnant when she died and that the father was a local married man. When Cilla becomes the target of a series of intimidating acts and a frightening, violent assault, her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer, steps in to help her sort out who is targeting her and why.


½ (383 ratings; 3.7)


Audie Award (Finalist — Romance — 2009)
RITA Award (Finalist — 2009)

Media reviews

The sensuality in this prose is too lush to bother with sex. The dialogue and dream sequences are there strictly to establish plot points. And the plot, the plot is there to … to what? To remind readers of their desire for fame and beauty (and a rehabbed house), comfort them about their sexual
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anxiety (best to skip it, eh?), their sense that our own real non-hallucinogenically intense world is too complex to be interesting. Cilla longs only for the normalcy her readers already possess (a wealthy and well-appointed version, of course, because who wants to read about poor people?). And her readers, presumably, long only for the next Nora Roberts novel.
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1 more
Roberts really knows how to tell a great story.

User reviews

LibraryThing member jjmachshev
Reviewed for; book release July 2008

WOW…just WOW! I just finished Nora Robert's new book "Tribute" and my heart is still racing. I don't know how La Nora does it, but she has written yet another sure-to-be-bestseller that is truly a romantic suspense. The story softly, quietly
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pulls you in as the hero and heroine become real to you and you begin to feel their excitement, uncertainty, happiness, anxiety, joy, fear, and finally their triumph. It's a stunning emotional rollercoaster of a ride that you won't want to miss.

Cilla is a former child star, the granddaughter of a Hollywood icon who died tragically at age 49 and the daughter of an actress. She rejected the life of glitz and glamour and now, in her late 20s, after a myriad of false starts, she’s finally found what she needs…renovating her dead grandmother’s farm into a home for herself and a career as a contractor. She doesn’t have time in her schedule for a man or romance even if that handsome guy across the road with the funny dog seems to be growing on her. But it doesn’t take long for her to figure out that at least one person, if not more, have decided she needs to leave, one way or another.

Ford writes and draws very successful graphic novels. He tried the big city lights, but figured out he did his best work back home in rural Virginia. Now he’s got the perfect house, a job he loves, and Spock, an ugly but vastly entertaining and intelligent dog. Then he spots his new neighbor across the way and she inspires a new character for him, interest in her renovation work, and soon she just inspires him period. As the threats against Cilla turn physical, he discovers a possessiveness and protectiveness he’s never known, and a love he didn’t plan on.

You’ll fall a little in love with Ford, and you’ll root for him to ‘get his girl’. The slower pace and small town flavor give a strong sense of change to what Cilla is accustomed to and her gradual acceptance by the community accompanies her growing feelings for Ford. The contrast between the warmth of the secondary characters and the threat of the unknown menace will send tingles down your spine. And the mystery is well done with plenty of available suspects.

As Cilla and Ford explore their relationship, the mystery deepens and the renovation progresses. It’s a very clever and subtle use of symbolism. Both the story and the characters are strong and exquisitely detailed. The dog Spock sometimes steals the show, and becomes just one of the personalities you’ll remember long after this story is done. “Tribute” is another winner by Nora Roberts that has earned a definite spot on my keeper shelf.
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LibraryThing member npl
Great characters, a good story, and a lovable pooch all combine to make this one a hit. An ex-child-star tries to come to terms with her dysfunctional family by restoring the Appalachian mountain get-away of her famous (and infamous) Hollywood star grandmother. In the process she discovers that her
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grandmother's supposed suicide may have been murder instead. Her new neighbor becomes her friend, lover, and savior when a series of stalker-like events threaten her home and her life. Enjoy!
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LibraryThing member ethel55
Cilla returns to her movie star grandmother's retreat, the Little Farm, in Virginia. A former child star, Cilla now rehabs and flips homes for a living. As she hopes to bring the Farm back to its' former glory, she discovers old love letters, leading to many questions about Janet's death. Was Janet
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Hardy murdered? Was it suicide? With the help of handsome neighbor Ford Sawyer, Cilla weathers vandals and mysterious messages. Although better than Nora's last stand alone novel, Tribute is pretty slow moving romantic suspense.
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LibraryThing member jlouise77
Good book. Still follows Nora Robert's normal formula of scarred woman falls in love with man who is very in love and very verbal, attentive and knows how much he loves her and pursues her dispite her problems with love. This was a different story line though, about Hollywood and celebrities, so I
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enjoyed it. A little mystery in there, too.
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LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
Cilla McGowan comes from a showbiz family, and for a while was a child star. Her grandmother was Janet Hardy, a Hollywood legend who died in mysterious circumstances at her family home of Little Farm. Cilla has decided to take the house over and make it over but she's being dogged with incidents
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that are making her wonder more and more if things are as they seem. She's carved a new niche for herself flipping houses and enjoys the work.

Her neighbour Ford Sawyer writes graphic novels and finds himself attracted to her. She's not sure how to react and how to let herself love.

I loved the characters and the dialogue and the romance. The thriller aspects kept me wondering with enough red herrings to keep you going and wondering right up to the end. I did find the passages with the dreams into the past a bit overdone and almost superflous. I was kept reading and resented interruptions for this one.
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LibraryThing member lrobe190
Cilla McGowan has decided to restore the "Little Farm" a former showcase home owned by her grandmother, famous actress, Janet Harding. Cilla is hoping to live in Virginia, far away from Hollywood where she was a former child star. She meets and falls in love with her neighbor, author and
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illustrator, Ford Sawyer and they plan to marry and live on the farm. But someone doesn't want that tohappen. As Ford and Cilla try to solve the mystery of Janet's last days before she committed suicide at the farm, Cilla begins to receive death threats fromsomeone who obviously doesn't want her there.

Roberts has created another fast-paced, romantic suspense novel which is hard to put down. Ford Sawyer is a great character and is the perfect mate for Cilla. Cilla is an interesting character in that she restores houses for a living and is working on her contractor's license...not your typical heroine. Great read!
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LibraryThing member JaneAustenNut
Read September, 2008: Not very engrosing -- had to make myself finish it.
LibraryThing member busyreadin
Not my favorite Roberts. A family mystery and a romance..predictable ending.
LibraryThing member reneebooks
Roberts is a very consistent author and her skill is evident in this book and I really enjoyed it quite a bit. A lot of her recent books have had paranormal elements with ghosts and whatever but this one had none of that and I was so glad. I think she should stick to straight contemporary because
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ghosts just don't do it for me.

Cilla McGowan is a former child star with a lot of baggage. She returns to her famous grandmother's old neglected house in Virginia and decides to renovate it. Cilla is a pro at remodeling houses and I was fascinated by all the details of turning a run down disaster into a beautiful home. Roberts definitely did her homework in that area but if house renovation is not your thing, you should probably skip this book because while the story was good, it wasn't all that gripping. Ford Sawyer lives across the street and writes graphic novels. The story hinges around a mystery involving the death of Cilla's grandmother many years ago and was pretty tame but was so well written I enjoyed it anyway. Cilla is a very strong, smart woman and very likeable. Ford is what I would call a beta hero but yummy in his own way. A pretty good read all around. (GRADE: B)
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LibraryThing member cbandeli
Enjoyed this book a lot. I like Nora Roberts when she does books like this where the people are based in reality as are their situations. This is a story that could happen unlike some of hers with vampires that really stretch the imagination. I read all Nora Roberts book and haven't found any that
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I really didn't like-a fluff as they may be to more serious readers. I read for fun, entertainment and to escape my real life and go into someone else's for awhile. This one worked well for that.
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LibraryThing member phyllis2779
Very good book by Nora Roberts. Hero, slightly nerdy, was a step out f the ordinary for her heroes. Heroine, Cilla, less unique was admirable. Good plot. Evildoers were not obvious at all.
LibraryThing member Babygirl25661
Cilla is a third generation actress that comes from a normal or disfunctional family depending on how you look at it. She considers herself a washed up child actress and pretty much a failure at everything she tries to accomplish. She has never met her deceased grandmother but she feels connected
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to her and so she buys her old farm from her mother ,using bribes and heavy persuasion. Cilla fell in love with the place on her first visit just as her grandmother had 30 years before. Now neglected and overgrown with weeds, Cilla sees what the place could be or rather what it had been when her grandmother had lived there....Cilla takes the challenge of fixing up the place very seriously. It's personal to her. In rebuilding her grandmother's old farm , she hopes to pay respect to her memory and somewhere along the line she hopes to find herself as well. Even though Cilla was up for the challenge, she had no idea what she was about to discover in that old dusty attic that would change history for her and her family.

This was my first Nora Roberts and i must admit i enjoyed it alot. It was a "modern day, romance/mystery, who done it" that had me guessing for a long time. I did figure out who the mystery lover was in the middle of the novel but the other villian really had me stumped....I was surprised...Very good ending!!
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LibraryThing member miyurose
This was a mixed-bag for me. The romance part was great… Nora Roberts still knows what she’s doing there. I liked Cilla, and I liked Ford, and I really liked them together. But some parts of the book were lackluster. I didn’t particularly care for Cilla’s dream visits with her grandmother,
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and I thought the harassment could have been a little more creative. How many different ways can a “Katie” doll be defiled? But, though I did figure out who Janet was having an affair with pretty early in the story, the big bad guy was a big bad surprise.
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LibraryThing member readinggeek451
Former child actress Cilla McGowan moves to the house her famous grandmother owned in rural Virginia in attempt to reconnect with her roots and put down some of her own. While she is refurbishing the house and studying for her contractor's license, she discover old hatreds and a new love.

Not one of
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Roberts's best, but even her lesser efforts are better than 80% of the romances out there.
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LibraryThing member hailelib
I debated about how to classify this book. For me, neither the romance nor the suspense were dominate. This seems more a novel about a woman figuring out who she is and whether the path she has chosen is the right one. While Roberts is one of my favorite writers, this book would only get a somewhat
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above average ranking from me. Not sorry I read it but only recommended to Nora's fans.
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LibraryThing member dragonfairy
Tribute was a pleasing read, that kept me spellbound from page one. Cilla's struggles and triumphs were easy to imagine and I found myself wanting to know more, wanting to experience more of her little world in the Shenandoah Valley. Nora Roberts delivers another top notch novel that just begs to
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read time and time again.
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LibraryThing member Pheonix
I found this book took a LONG time to get into. I only persisted on reading it because someone whom I trust their taste in books referred me to it. But again, it took well over 60 pages to get into it. It was thus, quite tedious to read at first and confusing to follow what was going on in the
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style in which Nora wrote it.

Not her best work. Ended up turning into a good book once I got my head around what was happening and how and to whom and the storyline was well underway.

Not going to recommend this book because it's just so hard to get into, most people won't persist as long as I did to see what happens.

I also found the ending kinda rough. It's like it climaxed and then boom it was wrapped up super fast. Almost like she was tired of writing. Which was disappointing. I really dislike when authors rush the ending when the good stuff starts to happen. Good being a relative term, more, the action taking place.
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LibraryThing member nsg0223
For a long time I was a big fan of Nora Roberts and then several years ago I stopped reading her books because I just couldn't get into the story. I love her J.D. Robb books but this was the first "Nora Roberts" book I had read in a while. I found Tribute to be an quick read and really enjoyed it.
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Now I am going to have to go back and read some of her other books that have come out in the last few years.
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LibraryThing member englishgeek
Ford and Cilly are the best characters Nora has created!!
LibraryThing member jbemrose
It warmed my heart the way the main character mad a tribute to her Grandmother by restoring the house she owned. Plus she found the person that killed her grandmother and fell in love with the man and dog next door.
LibraryThing member ImBookingIt
Sometimes you just need a good, not too challenging read. I find that Nora Roberts is very consistent in delivering these.Tribute is the story of Cilla (a former child star, descended from a line of celebrities), who has retired from show business to rebuild her grandmother's house. Across the
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street is Ford Sawyer, famous graphic novelist. They meet. They become friends. Bad things happen to Cilla. They deal with them together. They fall in love. I wouldn't want to give away the ending!More seriously, it is the story of a woman coming to terms with her past. There are parts that many people would envy-- she is still a celebrity, as is her mother. She is reasonably well off from her childhood work and her ongoing small projects. She also has things working against her-- a distant relationship with her father, a highly dysfunctional one with her mother. She knows she wants out of Hollywood, but isn't sure what she does want to do, or where she belongs. And beyond that, someone is trying to scare her, maybe even kill her.I think there are two things that make Nora Roberts books work for me, both of which came through in this novel.First are the lead characters. I always find them interesting, even if requiring of some suspension of disbelief. I enjoyed being part of Cilla's mental journey, coming to terms with her past, her relationships with her parents, and deciding on what direction she wants to go. Ford is of course a little too perfect, but he's fun that way. They actually develop a friendship, and at no point are the words "I can't live without you" spoken. Second is the writing itself. Most of the time I don't notice it, which I find an advantage. Occasionally there is a description that I really enjoy. I like the small moments-- the cartoons that Ford draws for Cilla, the dog that chases invisible cats.The aspect of this book that I'd nitpick is the plethora of supporting characters. I realize there are two reasons for having so many. One is to show an entire town accepting Cilla as one of them. The other is to camouflage the bad guy. Unfortunately, it kept me from getting to know any of them.I wasn't sure whether to put this book as straight romance or romantic suspense, since the suspense elements don't dominate the book. The four stars were fairly easy to decide on-- I enjoyed the read, and it worked well within my expectations of a romance novel.
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LibraryThing member macjest
While I enjoy Nora Roberts as J.D. Robb, I've never been into her straight romance books. This book is an exception. I like the characters, I like their sense of humor, and her detailed explanations about the house and restoring it are fascinating. The mystery part of the book saves it from being
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too Harlequin also.
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LibraryThing member love2laf
Roberts is always such an engaging read, some might compare to popcorn. When I do so, you have to understand, I *love* popcorn. The suspense was good in this one, and did keep me guessing.
LibraryThing member missmufferpuff
Nora Roberts is one of my favorite authors and this book doesnt disappoint. With the ghost of Cilla's Grandmother haunting her and someone from town trying to kill her Cilla's life is way more exciting than when she was in hollywood. But with the help of her handsome next door neighbor and her
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estranged father she starts to build the life that she has always wanted. This book was interesting all the way through and to me, for someone who finds books predictable a lot of the time, I found the end very surprising.
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LibraryThing member punxsygal
The story is of former child star, Cilla, who is rehabbing her famous grandmother Janet's farmhouse. Of course, a handsome graphic artist lives across the road and a romance sparks into life. Then someone cuts down some newly planted trees and leaves a cruel message painted on the stone wall
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nearby. The vandalism begins to escalate and it seems as if perpetrator is making Cilla the target of his hatred for Janet, who died thirty years before. It was a good read after I had started and discarded several books for being too dark. I enjoyed picturing the changes to the farmhouse.
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Putnam Adult (2008), Edition: First Edition, 464 pages

Original publication date





0399154914 / 9780399154911

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