Bingo Square: Red
Cilla McGowan is the granddaughter of Janet Hardy, a legendary actress who died from an overdose – suspected suicide – before Cilla was born. A former child star, Cilla is sick of Hollywood and all it has to offer. She manages to persuade her mother (who is still stuck in the Hollywood machine) to sell her Hardy’s old farmhouse so she can do it up, and maybe find herself a home in the process.
While gutting the property, Cilla meets her neighbour, Ford Sawyer, and the two begin a romance. Ford writes and illustrates graphic novels and is inspired by Cilla to create a new heroine for a series. Meanwhile, Cilla discovers some old love letters to her grandmother, which speak of an affair with a married man and a possible pregnancy. Cilla determines to find out who the man was, but before she can do much investigation, a friend of hers is viciously attacked in her barn, and several acts of vandalism occur on the property. Perhaps someone doesn’t want the truth about their affair with the infamous Janet Hardy to come to light…
This is a light, easy read and the mystery is intriguing enough to keep readers interested. I think part of it is obvious but the rest of it was a nice surprise. It kept me guessing. There’s a little bit too much info at times on Cilla’s house project. Maybe Roberts did a lot of research about interior design and building work and wanted to show it off. It’s not boring exactly, it just goes on a bit and I felt like some of that time could have been used on character or plot development. It also gets a bit repetitive with the attacks/vandalism and the police not taking her all that seriously. But overall I enjoyed it and thought the characters were relatable and interesting. The romance between Cilla and Ford felt natural, especially as it wasn’t something Cilla was particularly looking for. Though as usual for such books there’s a proposal that seems a bit premature. Get to know each other a bit more first, maybe?
She’s good at what she does though, Nora Roberts, isn’t she?