The Greek Villa

The Greek Villa

5.0 2
by Judith Gould
     
 

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When Tracey Sullivan's father dies, she is compelled to investigate the whereabouts of the mother who abandoned her years before. Soon she becomes embroiled in the dark and deadly secrets of an aging actress who won't let go of her past-or the handsome young agent in her clutches.

Overview

When Tracey Sullivan's father dies, she is compelled to investigate the whereabouts of the mother who abandoned her years before. Soon she becomes embroiled in the dark and deadly secrets of an aging actress who won't let go of her past-or the handsome young agent in her clutches.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A young journalist and aspiring novelist takes a job on the Greek island of Santorini and is plunged into peril and mystery in this contrived but lively romantic drama. Tracey Sullivan, a cub reporter at a Miami television station, lives with her beloved father and is engaged to Fortune 500 scion Brian Rutherford Biggs III. On the very same day that she learns Brian has been two-timing her, she is called to report on a suicide, only to discover on air that the victim is her father ("That... that car they just pulled out of the river... I... I know that car. The driver's name is... The driver's name was... one Thomas Sullivan of Coconut Grove"). In going through her father's belongings, Tracey discovers a photograph of the mother she never knew, who bears a remarkable resemblance to famous actress-turned-writer Urania Vickers. Another implausible coincidence-Urania and Tracey share an agent, the handsome Mark Varney-gets Tracey a gig as Urania's ghostwriter in stunning Santorini. Mark is on the premises, too, to Tracey's delight, but the spoiled, possessive Urania has him firmly in her grasp. Meanwhile, back in Miami, Tracey's friend Maribel investigates Tracey's father's death and Brian's corporate connections, and little by little unravels an elaborate scheme that eventually threatens Tracey's very existence. Elements of the gothic and the supernatural (an amulet, a mysterious tower, eerie cries in the night) crank up the melodrama a few more notches. Gould's loopy plotting is over-the-top, but readers willing to suspend disbelief will get plenty of bang for their buck. (Oct. 7) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A mother's little ghostwriter digs up family secrets galore. Tracey Sullivan, peppy research assistant for a Miami TV newsroom, has big dreams of writing bestsellers, but not much spare time. She's gotta work for a living, even though she has a rich boyfriend. Brian Rutherford Biggs III is fun, virile, and unbelievably good-looking, with the "swept-back profile of an aerodynamically-designed hood ornament." And he just bought a killer boat, with "aerodynamic Euro-styling and a swept-back radar arch." Brian's one cool breeze, all right, though down-to-earth Tracey wonders if he'll ever introduce her to his parents. Meantime, there's sex and booze. But does this book have a plot? It certainly does. And it revolves around the as-yet-unwritten memoirs of bitchy B-movie star Urania Vickers, who hasn't delivered the promised manuscript to Greenleaf Books, a publisher recently been absorbed by one of those hydra-headed, multinational conglomerates that doesn't give a whistle about authors or fine literature. Just the bottom line. Heartless bastards! The plot thickens faster than stale tapioca in the Floribbean sun: Tracey has to pay the mortgages on her father's property after his mysterious suicide, and a subsidiary of her boyfriend's financial empire is calling in the notes. Really heartless bastards! Poking around in Dad's papers reveals a mysterious family link to Urania-can this washed-up movie star actually be her mother? Tracey jumps at the offer of big bucks to ghostwrite Urania's book-to-be. Trailing after the bejeweled movie star to innumerable glamorous international locales oughta be a blast. And maybe, just maybe, mommy will love Tracey again. But not so fast. There was an identicaltwin sister, brain-damaged in an accident, who pretended to be Urania and caused no end of trouble. Not even being shut up in the tower of Urania's villa on Santorini has cured her. Gee whiz! Which twin is which? Will Tracey's real mother please stand up? This latest from bestselling Gould (The Best Is Yet to Come, 2002, etc.) is-well, indescribable.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451210470
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA)
Publication date:
10/28/2003
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.26(d)

Read an Excerpt

Its beauty took her by surprise. It was a headless, armless, and legless torso of a life-size male mounted on a black pedestal. The chest muscular, the abs well defined, although the waist was thicker and fleshier than the bodies beautiful of today. An athlete or a solider rendered immortal through an artist's chisel, she thought. Yet it was so lifelike she could almost imagine the complete body.

"Pity he's half castrated, don't you agree?" asked a masculine voice from behind her.

"Oh!"

Startled, Tracey whirled around, one hand poised over her pounding heart.

"Do you make a habit of sneaking up on people from behind?" she snapped accusingly, eyes glaring up from under her thick lashes at the man who'd addressed her in perfect American-accented English.

A second later, she regretted her tart reply. One look at him and her first befuddled thought was, Lordy, Lordy! This is where that word hunk comes from.

And her second thought, following directly on the heels of the first, brought a bright scarlet blush. Well, he certainly doesn't leave much to the imagination.

The "he," in this case, was in his early thirties and wearing nothing but a revealing turquoise bikini, unless she counted the damp white towel that hung from around his neck. Since his black hair was slicked back and wet, and he was dripping water all over the place, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that he was the swimmer she'd heard in the pool.

Also, he was barefoot, which explained how he'd managed to approach her so quietly.

She immediately pegged him as a visiting soap opera star. Not that Tracey had much time to watch the soaps, but working at WMAI-TV she'd caught enough of what the competition was broadcasting to recognize the look. For starters, a man had to be tall, dark, well built, and handsome.

And this guy fit the bill all right. He had it all. In spades.

The body without a spare ounce of weight, packed with enough muscle to make him a shirtless heartthrob, but not uber-muscled, so he looked like a steroid freak. His kind of physique, slender, perfectly proportioned, and with almost nonexistent hips, would ensure he looked equally edible dressed as undressed.

His face was super-photogenic and with all the daytime soap and male model prerequisites: square chin, ruthless cheekbones, and killer eyes one shade paler than cobalt blue.

In fact, although Tracey drew a blank trying to place the face with a show, she could swear his voice sounded familiar. She'd heard it before.

On daytime soaps, she thought. Yep. No doubt about it. Had to be. "I was talking about the sculpture," he was saying. Tracey turned around and stared at it blankly. What only moments ago had seemed an almost living, breathing entity had been usurped by the real thing and been relegated back to the pantheon of lifeless chunks of stone.

Copyright � 2004 by Judith Gould.

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The Greek Villa 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Bought this book when I traveling and in need of a good read. I barely spent any time with the people I was visiting!! Every second I was reading this book!! The characters are stupendous and many parts kept me at the edge of my seat!! Finished it in about 3 days!! Can't wait to read other books by Judith Gould!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Tom Sullivan is a David willing to battle Goliath. He also raised his daughter, wannabe writer Tracey, a TV gopher, by himself. Tracey respects and loves her dad believing he is a great role model. Perhaps her only complaint is his refusal to discuss her mother with her. On a particular active news day, Tracey is assigned to report on a car accident that looked like vehicular suicide. Ironically, the victim turns out to be her father.

Tracey looks at Tom¿s papers until she comes across evidence that implies she is the daughter of film legend Urania Vickers. She even shares a literary agent with Urania, Mark Varney. When he offers Tracey a chance to ghostwrite Urania¿s novel, the American accepts and travels to the Greek Island of Santorini. Tracey hopes to find love on the island, but when she does it is not with the person she expected.

THE GREEK VILLA is an engaging contemporary romance that has a touch of mystery as to whether Urania is Tracey¿s biological mother (read the book). Tracey and Mark make a charming couple as they fall in love on this Greek paradise. However, the tale belongs to Urania, whose on display public ego would allow her to run for Governor of California without leaving her isle home though inside she worries about the cash needed to maintain certain lifestyles.

Harriet Klausner