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Stranger in Paradise (Carson Springs #1)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  549 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Caressed by the golden California sun, a perfectly round valley nestled in a ring of hills flecked with orange groves lies thirty miles or so east of Santa Barbara. Settled by the Spaniards four hundred years ago, it remains an idyllic, near-mystical site where the local convent still houses nuns whose prayers mingle with the hum of their famous honey bees. It is here that ...more
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published June 25th 2001 by Viking Adult (first published 2001)
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I enjoyed this book but don't know if I'll read the other two books in the series. It was a good story about a woman finding herself later in life and her relationships with her family as she tried to do so. I liked the characters. However, it wasn't compelling enough to make me read the rest of the series unless I had nothing else to read.
I didn't finish this book because the writing was so disconnected. I got about halfway through before putting it down for good.
First of trilogy - entertaining but somewhat fluffy
Somewhere along the way I had picked up this book in paperback, but I put off reading it because it was part of a trillogy. And then while browsing for a library brok I found that the others were available including this as an ebook. So since I couldn't find the paperbook I read the digital copy. I had read one other book by this author years ago, 'Woman in Red' which I enjoyed so I'm not sure why I never picked up other by Goudge. I guess my other favorite authors kept me busy enough.

While the
First in the Carson Springs series. Good read!! I'm looking forward to the next in the series.
Very good don't miss book two Taste of Honey
Susie Lee
Jan 01, 2008 Susie Lee rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: patti & paulie
best right to the end
Oct 02, 2008 Norabee rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of books-in-a-series
A Little Bit “Melrose Place”

This was a well written story about a fabled town - Carson Springs - a place that I would love to visit one day, if only it were real! The author creates a tight, plot driven character study and I enjoyed it but there were a lot of characters, probably because this is a series and others will have the spotlight in future novels. This was kind of like a night-time soap-opera, a little Knots Landing, a little modern day Peyton Place...

The story centers on Samantha Kile
"Stranger in Paradise" was a really sweet, sentimental story about family. Sam Riley, a widowed mother of two grown daughters, was looking forward to a humdrum existence. But little did she know that life had quite a bundle of surprises in store for her. Never in her wildest dreams would she ever have predicted that at 48, she would be pregnant, much less by her new son-in-law's son! The news of their romance and the impending birth of their child spreads like wildfire in town, to the point wher ...more
Julie Barrett
first part of the trilogy:

Stranger in Paradise, This book is about Samatha and her life, her new boyfriend, her daughters: Alice and Laura, and other relatives.
Smaatha's daughter Alice had just married West Carpenter-he's only a few years older than herself, 50's. Her sister is Audrey and she's at the wedding festivities also. Very detailed descriptions of the countryside, flowers, orchards, etc. Very lush ground.
Love the little shops throughout the town, as Sam walks by and remembers her past
I selected this book because it is the first in a trilogy; I like getting involved with series characters, and I found the California setting inviting.
The book opens with a New York runaway's travelogue as she travels cross country by bus, with Carson Springs, CA, her destination, merely happenstance. As it turns out, sixteen year old Finch is the only female character with any substance. Sadly, I found the others lacking backbone, integrity and worth.
My favorite portion of this novel is the so
This story takes place in the fabled town of Carson Springs, CA which is a town I would have loved to visit if it were real. You are privy to the goings on of a great deal of people, so it makes it interesting. The story mainly focuses on Sam who (at the beginning of the book) watches her daughter marry a man 28 years older than her, just 6 years older than Sam herself. Once you get past that, you see that there is something going on between Sam and her new son-in-law's son. Woo! It sounds prett ...more
Could not read another page. This book is full of tired cliches, predictable characters, and meaningless drivel.
Another good 'beach' read! This is a Carson Springs novel - book 1 of a trilogy.
Family saga--older woman/younger man/runaway teen. Good romance and family.
Story of a middle aged widow with two grown daughters. The widow falls for a young handsome man. One daughter is married to a man twice her age and the other daughter is divorced and can't have children. Into the mix comes a teenage runaway girl that the divorcee takes in. The daughters grapple with their mother's new love and surprise pregnancy. The divorcee finds love of her own. Takes place in a small town in California where you get all the gossip about a lot of the residents and shop owners ...more
Jessiaca Evans
Not a bad read! I little slow to get into!

Eileen Goudge is what one might consider a guilty pleasure. I always like to read something lighter after tackling a much longer and more involved book. She is good at writing the stories of sisters, daughters and family rivalry. One can always count on her for escape and entertainment. Set in a fictional California paradise, with interesting characters. I was glad to know there were more books to read in the series. Carson Springs sounds like a town I'd want to visit.
Ok story. Some of the things were hard to believe like the pregnancy or that a woman who had only been with her husband would be so free right away with the younger man. Some made no sense like who the killer turned out to be. The problems that these people had were mostly self made and not exactly burning issues. But the characters were interesting enough. This author seems to have trouble creating situations that make logical sense.
Eileen Goudge is one of my favorite authors, but I am disappointed with this first book in a trilogy. Two May-December relationships, a murder or two, hidden family secrets along with many characters mentioned that had nothing to do with the story line. Will they come to life in the next book? Don't think I will be spending my time finding out. Too wordy and slow-moving to meet my tastes. Sorry, Eileen.
Dale Harcombe
Two and a half stars. This is a light read and I found some parts of it awkward and a little unbelievable. But at the time I was desperate for anything to read and couldn't get to a library so kept going.Okay but not brilliant.
I loved this book . . . I believe in the concept of family, the ups & downs, ins & outs about how everything hopefully seems to work out. To say more would reveal more of my feelings which I'm not ready to share with the world.
This is a pleasant read. Again, no Woman in Red. It's the first book of a series - just started the second book so I'll reserve comment til I've finished that one.
I liked it, but I'm not enjoying the second book in the trilogy and dumped it. This one was interesting but kind of scattered and all over the p,ace.
Good mix of emotion, inner struggle, mystery, and romance. Showed the views from all character's perspective and the growth of each.
Excellent read! Loved the characters. Learned to live your life now and not worry about everyone else.
got this from my local library book sale, not a normal type read for me, but i shall keep reading...
Mary Beth
Good story about a California family going through changes created by death, marriage and birth.
Jamie Morris
I loved the down-to-earth characters in this series. I had to read all 3 books and still want more.
Perfect beach read , however not nearly as good as her other books
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I began writing at the age of eight, and wrote my way through the lean years, more than one marriage, single motherhood,and moving to the Big Apple on a wing and a prayer, with fifteen women's fiction novels to show for it. Every life experience I've weathered has found its way into my novels in one form or another:bad exes, births, deaths,divorces, pregnancy scares,true crime (I was nearly kidnap ...more
More about Eileen Goudge...

Other Books in the Series

Carson Springs (3 books)
  • Taste of Honey
  • Wish Come True (Carson Springs Novel)
Garden of Lies The Diary The Replacement Wife Woman in Red Once in a Blue Moon

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