Review of “Tribute” by Nora Roberts

Roberts, Nora. Tribute. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008.

Hardcover | $26.95 USD | ISBN-13: 978-0399154911 | 451 pages | Romantic Suspense

3.5 stars

I found myself picking up Tribute after finding myself in one of those rare situations where I wasn’t one hundred percent sure what I wanted to read next, and only knew that it should have a contemporary setting. I also wanted to give Roberts’ stand-alone romantic suspense another shot, since I’m feeling some withdrawal from the In Death series, and I haven’t found a suitable series to read while I await the next book’s release and subsequent processing at the library.

In retrospect, this may have been a poor choice to start with, but it was one of a bunch I had on hand, and I think it is conceptually interesting and gets a few things right. I liked the idea of a granddaughter exploring what happened to her movie-star grandmother, especially since there’s something so fascinating about the tragic personal lives of classic Hollywood stars. And while the execution of some of the elements feels a little rough, and the reveal a little underwhelming, I enjoyed the dream-sequence moments where Cilla and Janet interact, transporting Cilla to various points in Janet’s life.

It also allowed for great development for Cilla in her relationships with other characters, particularly her relationship with her mother, given that the relationship is somewhat strained because of their differing desires where Janet’s house is concerned. But it was great that this digging into the past ultimately provided closure, as that was the root for a lot of familial issues.

I also felt like the romance was quite enjoyable for what it was. Ford is an example, along with Carter from Vision in White, of a well-written Roberts hero. I love that he’s a graphic novelist, which is a profession I don’t recall ever seeing in a romance novel before. He’s also incredibly funny and intelligent, and just all-around a great person. It also doesn’t hurt that he has an equally quirky dog, Spock, who I would argue, almost steals the show.

This is definitely not the best Roberts I’ve read, especially in terms of its advertised subgenre, but there are plenty of things it does well that will appeal to new-ish readers exploring Roberts’ backlist for the first time.

2 thoughts on “Review of “Tribute” by Nora Roberts

    1. I say it depends what your favorite subgenre is. I adore the In Death books she writes as JD Robb, and those are futuristic romantic suspense…although 49 (soon to be 50) books is a big commitment. If you’re looking for stand-alone romantic suspense, I like The Witness and Shelter in Place. I’m not the biggest fan of most of her paranormal series, but I really like the current dystopian/paranormal one she’s wrapping up this year, Chronicles of the One, and the Three Sisters Island trilogy. I also recently really liked Vision in White, first in the Bride Quartet, but I’ll have to get back to you on the rest of them. Also, check out Maida Malby’s reviews on Goodreads, or you can also find her on Facebook. She’s also an author, but she’s one of the reader friends who got me into Nora, and she’s more of a veteran fan who might be able to give you an even better perspective.

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