Sunday, April 19, 2009

Title Twenty Eight: Tribute by Nora Roberts

We've already established that I like mass market romance novels. Don't look at me like that, you snob.

Cilla McGowan, former child actress, has found her calling in rehabbing and flipping old houses. (This book was obviously written before the market tanked last year.) In her biggest project to date, she's moved to Virginia and plans to restore the Little Farm - not just any house, but the house where her maternal grandmother and film star, Janet Hardy, took her own life in 1974. An air of mystery and sadness surrounds the house, but Cilla is determined to make it shine again. Her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer (where do these writers get these names?) would like to make Cilla shine, but that's part and parcel. It's a Nora Roberts book.

When Cilla unearths a box of letters to her grandmother from an unnamed lover, she sets out to discover his identity. Of course, threats and violence ensue as someone tries to scare Cilla into leaving town. Meanwhile, Cilla and Ford are getting cozier and cozier, and he creates a new superheroine based on her. I can't even get a decent guy to ask me out on a date, but whatever.

Ultimately, the bad guy is caught, Ford proposes, Cilla says yes, and everyone lives happily ever after. It's a surprisingly good book if you can look past the formula, with interesting details, likable characters, and sharp-ish dialogue. I'd recommend it for a rainy Sunday or afternoon at the beach.

Shut up. Go read Proust or something.

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