Books by Eileen Goudge

ONCE IN A BLUE MOON by Eileen Goudge
Released: Oct. 6, 2009

"One thing you can say about Goudge (The Diary, 2009, etc.): She knows the bestseller formula and sticks to it."
Two sisters, one a marginally successful bookstore owner, the other a recovering drug addict, reunite after 30 years. Problems ensue. Read full book review >
Released: May 2, 2006

"The book has a likable (if a little dull) cast and few surprises; the big finish—a wedding (or three)—is a foregone conclusion."
Four college chums struggle with adulthood and relationships long after graduation in this feel-good novel from Goudge (Otherwise Engaged, 2005). Read full book review >
WISH COME TRUE by Eileen Goudge
Released: June 23, 2003

Another Carson Springs murder, given more than due diligence by Goudge (Taste of Honey, 2002, etc.). Read full book review >
TASTE OF HONEY by Eileen Goudge
Released: June 10, 2002

"Mind candy with just the touch of tartness to make it a comfort read instead of saccharine overdose."
The second in Goudge's projected trilogy (after Stranger in Paradise, 2001), again set in Carson Springs, the fictional Californian paradise where storm clouds soon give way to sunshine. Read full book review >
Released: June 25, 2001

"An agreeable page-turner despite the creaky plot and clunky prose."
A widow falls in love with a much younger man, then decides to bear his child in a paradise implausibly haunted by an avenging serial killer. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2000

"A fast-churning suspenser for Goudge's legion of fans."
Another grip-the-reader from the popular Goudge (One Last Dance, 1999, etc.), whose melodramas explore contemporary family crises: this time, the plight of three women who must confront the past when a child is seized by her estranged father. Read full book review >
ONE LAST DANCE by Eileen Goudge
Released: June 21, 1999

Death in a closeknit family brings disturbing revelations of infidelities and betrayal as Goudge (Thorns of Truth, 1998, etc.) offers an absorbing and persuasive, if sometimes predictable, take on sibling rivalry. A few days before Dr. Vernon and Lydia Seagrave are to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary, Lydia picks up a gun and shoots her husband. And when the police arrive, she provides no explanation for her action. Younger daughters Kitty and Alex live near the family home on the California coast; eldest sister Daphne, a novelist, has to fly in from New York, leaving her husband, Roger, behind to take care of their children. As the three sisters struggle to understand what motive Lydia could possibly have had for killing their father, whom she claims she still loves, they find old rivalries resurfacing. Daphne has always been her mother's favorite, Kitty has sided with Daphne, and Alex was her father's pet. Now, she can—t forgive her mother and won—t help Daphne and Kitty as they try to understand Lydia's uncharacteristic behavior. Their father may have been a pillar of the community, but it seems he led a sordid private life, seducing his wife's best friend as well as others close to the family and affecting his daughters' happiness with his arrogant, manipulative conduct. Throughout the investigation and its disclosures, the sisters— lives change in other ways as well: Daphne finds herself falling in love again with Johnny, her high school sweetheart, now an assistant D.A.; single Kitty, wanting to adopt, also falls unexpectedly in love; and now-divorced Alex discovers, as she accepts the truth about her father, that she is ready to resume her marriage. All will be resolved, with, of course, romantic outcomes for all. A sunnier tale of a Daddy Dearest, by a writer who knows how to entertain in a lively and credible way—despite those too neatly programmed happy endings. (Literary Guild super release; Doubleday main selection) Read full book review >
THORNS OF TRUTH by Eileen Goudge
Released: April 15, 1998

Goudge's fifth adult romance (Trail of Secrets, 1996, etc.) is a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs sequel to Garden of Lies (1989). As readers of that earlier novel know, Rose Santini Griffin and Rachel Rosenthal MacClanahan were switched at birth on the night of a hospital fire. As a result, Rachel grew up surrounded by Manhattan luxury, while Rose was a virtual prisoner of a cruel Brooklyn matriarch. Now in middle age, these two women's lives continue to intertwine. Rose's son Drew has proposed to Rachel's beautiful but seriously disturbed daughter Iris. Rachel thinks Drew will be the answer to her prayers for Iris, but Rose is not so sure. And she has another grudge against Rachel, who knows nothing of their real relationship: Sylvie, Rose's biological mother, has asked her to keep their true connection a secret. But when Sylvie suffers a fatal heart attack, there's enough time for deathbed revelations to expose long-buried truths. Meantime, several romantic subplots thicken the broth: Widowed Rose learns to love again in the arms of sexy, sage Eric Sandstrom; Rachel has to find her way back to estranged husband Brian, while Drew and Iris sort out their own emotional tangle. A likable cast keeps this plot-driven novel from seeming too contrived, and Goudge's adroit handling of sex and love should keep her legion of fans well-sated. (Literary Guild featured alternate selection) Read full book review >
TRAIL OF SECRETS by Eileen Goudge
Released: March 1, 1996

``Oh, what a tangled web we weave . . .'' Such is the dominant theme of this latest Goudge saga (Blessing in Disguise, 1994, etc.). It's 1972 when Ellie, a good girl from the Midwest whose parents kicked her out when she got pregnant (it was her ``first time''), returns to the Manhattan apartment where her hooker sister Nadine has been baby-sitting Ellie's infant daughter Bethanne. But to Ellie's horror, while she's been working the late shift selling movie tickets, Nadine's been beaten to a pulp by her pimp, who- -worse yet—made off with Betanne (telling Nadine, who later dies of a drug overdose, that blue-eyed babies are hot on the black market). Waspy Kate Sutton—wife of the also blue-blooded Will, co- owner of an antiques store, and someone who's been craving motherhood for years—is so elated when her husband's attorney suddenly ``locates'' an adoptable baby that she forces herself to ignore the revealing photos and news bulletins about Bethanne's kidnapping. As it happens, the child grows up as Skyler Sutton, a lovely, smart, gifted equestrienne who's been told by the Suttons since the age of six that she was abandoned by her ``real'' mother. Meanwhile, Ellie's never forgotten Bethanne, of course, but she's managed to put herself through night- and then graduate school, become a psychologist, and marry Paul Nightingale, a neonatologist who has trouble dealing with Ellie's desperate, always doomed attempts to become a mother again. When the 23-year-old Skyler/Bethanne meets Tony Salvatore, a friend of Ellie's and a mounted policeman from the wrong side of the tracks (but with a heart of gold), all hell breaks loose: Secrets leak, wounds reopen, another baby is born—and Goudge plays fix-it with her customary zeal, providing far-fetched but satisfying conclusions. A relatively guilt-free, toothsome treat: Goudge doesn't aim too high, but then again, unlike overshooters, she hits her mark. (First printing of 125,000; Literary Guild main selection; $125,000 ad/promo; author tour) Read full book review >
Released: June 13, 1994

Goudge (Such Devoted Sisters, 1992, etc.) delivers a tight novel about step-family relationships and publishing that does not push any boundaries but does entertain. Grace Truscott, the 37-year-old daughter of a now-deceased senator who was instrumental in passing the Civil Rights Act, has grown up to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer in New York City, despite having witnessed, as a child, her father's accidental killing of his black secretary's husband. She decides to write a biography of her father, determined to include everything she knows, but sets off a firestorm when she contacts the secretary's daughter, Nola Emory, to corroborate the facts. Her own mother, Cordelia Truscott, tries to stop her from writing the truth since she is raising funds for a library memorializing the senator and fears the book will adversely affect donations. At the same time, Grace is struggling to resolve an amorous relationship with her Jewish editor Jack Gold, a man 15 years her senior. Both Grace's son and Jack's daughter muck things up as often as possible—he by hinting that he may go live with his father, she by crankily refusing to be civil. The often-thwarted romance with Gold is sweet, but it is hard to swallow that a wildly successful and confident woman would be waiting wistfully for a marriage proposal. Descriptions of New York restaurants, name-dropping, and current references will date this book quickly, but the image of Norman Mailer performing a see-saw barrel act in a fundraiser circus is priceless. There are few surprises here, and a number of stereotypes, but Goudge compensates by moving along at a snappy pace. (First printing of 150,000; Book-of-the-Month Club main selection; $150,000 ad/promo; author tour) Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1992

In a satisfying follow-up to Garden of Lies (1989), sibling rivalry rears its ugly head—ruining the life of a Hollywood starlet and, nearly, the daughters who succeed her. They were creatures of 1950's Hollywood, only 16 months apart in age and almost as alike as twins—except that Eve, the prettier one, would kill for a movie role while Dolly, her older sister, would merely ruin Eve's reputation for one. When the quickly successful Eve not only marries her sister's former lover but finds herself up for a starring role in yet another major motion picture, Dolly does what any self-respecting Hollywood actress would do—she reports her sister to the McCarthy Commission. Blacklisted, Eve becomes an alcoholic and, 12 years later, kills herself—leaving behind a teenaged daughter, Annie; 11-year-old Laurel; and Val, her drunken lout of a husband. When Val begins making passes at Annie, the teenager runs away with Laurel to New York, little knowing that her Aunt Dolly, who runs a successful gourmet chocolate business there, is desperate to find the girls and make up for the harm she did their mother. Years later, after Dolly has given Annie a start as a chocolatier and Laurel as an illustrator, these sisters, too, find themselves at war—this time over young New York restaurateur Joe Daugherty. Joe marries angelic Laurel but longs after self-sufficient Annie, causing a bitter, unspoken rivalry between the sisters until, with Aunt Dolly's help, Annie learns to love an equally handsome and successful—and even sexier—suitor. If Goudge's style is unusually reserved and mild-mannered for a modern urban potboiler, her descriptions of Annie's luscious chocolate truffles should more than satisfy. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for April) Read full book review >

For Goudge, a writer who's dedicated most of her career to teen romances, this hard-cover debut represents a kind of authorial coming-of-age. It is the stuff that mini-series are made of (indeed, ABC plans one), at worst patently—and, on occasion, clumsily—manipulative, at best warmly down-to-earth, † la Susan Isaacs. How better for a commercial soap to begin than with a baby switch during a maternity-ward fire? The swap's carried out by distraught Sylvie Rosenthal, whose own daughter came out looking far too like her lover, a Greek gardener named Nikos. So her real girl grows up Rose Santini in an Italian section of Brooklyn, raised by the vicious Santini matriarch, Nonnie. Rose finds solace in her friendship with schoolmate Brian McClanahan, who becomes her fiancÇ just before shipping off to Vietnam. Meanwhile, back at the Rosenthals, Sylvie brings up Rachel (by blood, a Santini) among Bergdorfs and Bendels; medicine is Rachel's chosen course, via a mangled abortion and a stint at a hospital in Vietnam, where she falls in love with and marries. . .guess which GI? Still, Rose keeps the torch burning for her errant Brian, even when a wonderful lawyer slavers at her feet. And in the end, siblings and loves get sorted out when Rose (now a lawyer herself) defends Rachel against a malpractice charge. Goudge has to struggle to maintain the credibility of her theme—the embracing of difficult, dangerous lies—and seriously mars Rachel's sympathy-quotient in the abortion section. But there's little doubt that she has a knack for this kind of thing, and that with practice, the ranks of the diva women's book writers will open unto her. Read full book review >