As daytime TV's favorite bad girl, Sunday Cavendish, Mary Lisa Beverly has earned three Emmys and a dangerous stalker. While walking in Malibu, she nearly becomes roadkill when a car tries to run her down. The police investigate but have little to go on. Deciding to opt for a change of scenery, Mary Lisa returns to the Oregon hometown she hasn't visited in three years.

Her family relationships are dysfunctional at best, so Goddard Bay stirs up mixed emotions. One surprise is that despite a legal run- in years earlier, Mary Lisa now finds police chief Jack Wolf surprisingly sexy. Tough-guy Jack, too, has the hots for the woman he once thought a petty criminal. But there's trouble. Hollywood is the land of fantasy and illusion, and unfortunately for Mary Lisa, someone seems to be confusing her with her bad-girl character.

Coulter's newest heroine goes on a roller-coaster ride, both in life and as a soap opera character. One of the compelling aspects of this clever book is the plethora of interesting characters that populate both Malibu and Goddard Bay. Coulter can always be counted on for a great read. (Aug., 354 pp., $7.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith