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3.00016060387055 out of 53.00016060387055 out of 53.00016060387055 out of 53.00016060387055 out of 53.00016060387055 out of 5 3.00 (12,453 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nora Roberts Narrator: Jennifer Van Dyck Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2008 ISBN: 9781423347200
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Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a long way from Hollywood. And that’s exactly how Cilla McGowan likes it. Cilla, a former child star, has found a more satisfying life working with her hands to restore homes from floor to ceiling – and has come here to her grandmother’s farmhouse, tools at her side, to rescue it from ruin. Sadly, no one had been able to save her grandmother, the legendary Janet Hardy. An actress with a golden voice and a tumultuous life, Janet entertained glamorous guests and engaged in decadent affairs – but died of an overdose in this very house more than thirty years ago. To this day, Janet haunts Cilla’s dreams. And during her waking hours, Cilla is haunted by her melodramatic, five-times-married mother, who carried on in the public spotlight and never gave her a chance at a normal childhood. By coming to the East Coast, rolling up her sleeves, and rehabbing this wreck of a house, Cilla intends to take a shot at finding some kind of normalcy for herself. Cilla has her work cut out for her – the house, once a place of comfort and simple rural beauty, is long neglected, crumbling, the grounds choked by weeds. Plunging into the project with gusto, she’s almost too busy and exhausted to notice her neighbor, graphic novelist Ford Sawyer – but his lanky form, green eyes, and easy, unflappable humor (not to mention his delightfully ugly dog, Spock) are hard to ignore. Determined not to carry on the family tradition of ill-fated romances, Cilla steels herself against Ford’s quirky charm, but she can’t help indulging in a little fantasy. But love and a peaceful life may not be in the cards for Cilla. In the house’s cluttered attic, she has found a cache of unsigned letters, tied with a faded red ribbon, suggesting that Janet Hardy was pregnant when she died – and that the father of her child was a local married man. Cilla can’t help but wonder what really happened all those years ago. The mystery only deepens with a series of cruel and intimidating acts and a frightening, violent assault. And if Cilla and Ford are unable to sort out who is targeting her and why, she may, like her world-famous grandmother, be cut down in the prime of her life. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gina | 2/17/2014

    " Not the worst thing we've read for book club. How's that for damning with faint praise? Nora Roberts isn't a completely horrid writer, but my god, she just needs some really heavy-handed editing and an ego check. This book probably could have been 150 pages, but we got 300 pages of details on rehabbing an old house and some truly cringe-inducing dream sequences. I think the best laugh I got was when she quoted 50 Cent, and came off looking about as with-it as someone's mom saying "That bling-bling is the bomb!" I went into this assignment thinking that Nora Roberts was for bored, middle-aged moms who didn't do particularly well in high school English, and I came away with impression unchanged. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 2/7/2014

    " This is my favorite Nora Roberts book so far. I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook read by Jennifer Van Dyke who brought the words of Ms. Roberts characters to life so wonderfully. The conversation was wonderfully written and very real, there were no 'ah shucks' moments or a feeling of lets get realistic. There was not an over abundance of description but just enough to create a background of people and place that came to life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginny | 1/28/2014

    " Good story line, even though somehow I guessed "who done it", there were some twists and the romance was not heavy handed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kecia | 1/25/2014

    " This is, hands down, one of my favorite Nora Roberts' novels. The story kept me guessing until the end...as her books usually do! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne Marie | 1/21/2014

    " A chick lit easy read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alicia | 1/18/2014

    " Easy to read with a mystery involved. Great summer read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 1/16/2014

    " You can always depend on Nora Roberts to deliver a great story. Her formula is always consistent and you know what you're going to get, but you enjoy it nonetheless. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosa Hope | 1/12/2014

    " Beautiful. This book has romance, danger and humor. Perfect combo.- "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abby | 12/30/2013

    " I enjoyed this one way more than other recent NR novels I've read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 SoCalMediaSurfer- MiccilinaPiraino | 12/29/2013

    " I was caught up in this story and loved it. The story-within a story and dream scenes really made it come alive. Good characterizations and some red-herring suspense. Excellent Read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 11/29/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book, I love Nora Roberts' characters, she makes me want to move to wherever she's writing about! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Iris Hehe | 11/23/2013

    " I enjoyed the book. Not as much sex as story, but a good book. She really did a good job of hiding the scoundrel in this story. I saw several clues, but until the end, you were just never sure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patricia | 11/17/2013

    " I loved this story. I was surprised that it didn't get higher reviews on other sites. It has romance, passion, suspence and parts of it are really funny. Great read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dara | 11/13/2013

    " One of top 2 favorites of Nora's. Has more depth. Read while in the hospital with Cooper. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Blinkin'ijiot | 10/27/2013

    " She has done it better in Chasing Fire. Much the same plot line as that story, but I liked the characters and setting much better in it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lyrissa | 10/18/2013

    " LOVED it! Can't think of a thing I would change about the characters or plot. A nice romantic mystery :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Malinda | 9/30/2013

    " Easy fast read...perfect for a drive in the country or out at camp. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 8/29/2013

    " I wanted a cheesy romance; I got a book that really made me want to redecorate houses. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Missy Schaaf | 10/19/2012

    " I could not put this down - Great read!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jo | 7/23/2012

    " listening to it "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Julie Trujillo | 6/26/2012

    " One of the few NR books that I did not enjoy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marti | 6/21/2012

    " Maybe I should put more stars down, but I feel like I have read a version of this book somewhere before.....Don't get me wrong - it was good. I enjoyed the characters and the sizzle between them - the ending was not what I would have chosen.. but I can't always be right. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Noemi proietti | 6/16/2012

    " Love it...like every Nora Roberts' book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vivian | 5/27/2012

    " NR did it again with a story that drew me in and a romance that was heartfelt. I thought the ex was a bit out of left field and incongruent with the other characters but perhaps that was the point. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 4/28/2012

    " This was a really great summer read. I really enjoyed this story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hilary | 3/16/2012

    " typical nora roberts, but still love. surprised by the ending. will probably read again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roxanne | 1/21/2012

    " it's a Nora Roberts read an easy break from the day "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan Ward | 10/8/2011

    " Very good - suspense romance "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny Johnson | 9/13/2011

    " easy read with a fun mystery...very likable characters.....not a whole lot of content but that wasn't what I was looking for so it was a satisfying read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon | 5/18/2011

    " Another one of my favorite books. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cool | 5/12/2011

    " Great novel! This mystery/romance involves a former child star who endeavors to find a normal life in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as she restores a long neglected farmhouse -- once a retreat for her famous movie star grandmother who died mysteriously at the peak of her career. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacy | 5/8/2011

    " I really enjoyed the "reading" of this book during my travels. The only problem is I had to try not to really relax while driving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 5/3/2011

    " Good book. Liked the comic side of it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jess | 4/28/2011

    " About two-thirds through. Really loving it so far :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kinsley | 4/25/2011

    " One of my favorite books by Roberts. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ngarie | 4/24/2011

    " Great who done it! kept me wondering right to the end! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brandy | 4/18/2011

    " Not terrible, but glad I borrowed the audiobook instead of trudging through the whole thing!! I'm not a Nora Roberts fan. Decent story, but I had it figured out from the beginning. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maryann | 4/10/2011

    " Engaging story about a woman trying to come to terms with her family's past, her present and future. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marissa | 4/4/2011

    " This is an enjoyable book - there is a good mystery and interesting characters. I like the ancestral draw for Cilla and the entire idea of her tribute to her grandmother. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathryn | 4/2/2011

    " The first Nora Roberts I've read. I've heard that it's considered one of her weakest novels, and I enjoyed it very much. If this is "weak" I look forward to reading some of her best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 3/29/2011

    " Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley is a long way from Hollywood. And that’s exactly how Cilla McGowan wants it. Cilla, a former child star who has found more satisfying work as a restorer of old houses, has come to her grandmother’s farmhouse, tools at her side, to rescue it from ruin "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tess | 3/26/2011

    " I think she was writing her caharacter Cilla after Kristy McNichol.
    It was a good easy read, but I was dissappointed at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dee | 3/22/2011

    " Two-haiku review:

    Former TV child
    Buys movie star grandma's house.
    Death is mystery.

    Someone's stalking her.
    Trouble from all directions
    Harassment or threats? "

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About the Author
Author Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than two hundred novels. She is also the author of a bestselling futuristic suspense series written under the pen name J. D. Robb, her other pseudonyms being Jill March and Sarah Hardesty. She was the first author inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. There are more than 400 million copies of her books in print.

About the Narrator

Jennifer Van Dyck has appeared on Broadway in Hedda Gabler, Dancing at Lughnasa, Two Shakespearean Actors, and The Secret Rapture. She has been in new plays by Keith Bunin, Ellen McLaughlin, Catherine Filloux, Douglas Post, A. R. Gurney, and Albert Innaurato. Her film and television credits include Series 7, States of Control, Bullets over Broadway, numerous Law & Order episodes, Ed, Spin City, and The Education of Max Bickford.