Bienes, Nicholas Peter 1952-
BIENES, Nicholas Peter 1952-
(Judith Gould, a joint pseudonym)
Born Klaus Peter Peer; name changed to Klaus Peter Bienes upon adoption; name changed to Nicholas Peter Bienes upon U.S. naturalization; born January 9, 1952, in Leoben, Austria; son of Heinrich (a coal miner) and Dora Peer; adopted son of Gunther (a U.S. soldier) and Erna (a homemaker; maiden name, Peer) Bienes. Education: Attended high school in Germany and Maryland. Politics: "Depends upon the candidates." Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Motorcycling, collecting nineteenth-century European antiques and paintings of the old masters, animals (especially dogs).
Agent—Renaissance, 9220 West Sunset Blvd., Ste. 302, Los Angeles, CA 90069-3501.
Programming Methods, Inc., GTE Division, New York, NY, in technical software publishing, 1973-76; freelance writer, 1976—. Military service: U.S. Army, Armored Division, 1970-73; served in Germany; received Army Commendation Medal.
NOVELS; WITH RHEA GALLAHER, JR.; UNDER JOINT PSEUDONYM JUDITH GOULD
Sins, New American Library (New York, NY), 1982.
Dazzle, New American Library (New York, NY), 1989.
The Texas Years, Macdonald and Co. (London, England), 1989.
Never Too Rich, Dutton (New York, NY), 1990.
Forever, Dutton (New York, NY), 1992.
Too Damn Rich, Dutton (New York, NY), 1995.
Till the End of Time: A Love Story, Wheeler (Rockland, MA), 1998.
Rhapsody: A Love Story, Dutton (New York, NY), 1999.
Time to Say Goodbye, Dutton (New York, NY), 2000.
A Moment in Time, Dutton (New York, NY), 2001.
The Best Is Yet to Come, Dutton (New York, NY), 2002.
"LOVEMAKERS" TRILOGY; UNDER JOINT PSEUDONYM JUDITH GOULD
Love-Makers, New American Library (New York, NY), 1986.
Texas Born, Dutton (New York, NY), 1992.
Second Love, Dutton (New York, NY), 1997.
Sins became a television mini-series, starring Joan Collins, broadcast by Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. (CBS), 1986; the same novel was adapted to an audio version in 1992.
Writing under the joint pseudonym Judith Gould, Nicholas Peter Bienes and Rhea Gallaher, Jr., create romance novels that focus on the rich and powerful in contemporary America. In Too Damn Rich, the setting is a New York City art auction house, where assistant curator Kenzie Turner is shocked to find out her planned promotion to department head has been sabotaged by Bambi Parker, who provided more personal attention to the auction-house owner, corrupt billionaire Robert Goldsmith. "But Kenzie's problems pale beside those of young and beautiful Countess Zandra von Hohenburg-Willemlohe," noted a Publishers Weekly reviewer. It seems the Countess has fled to New York to escape hired enforcers seeking revenge on what the reviewer called her "deadbeat gambler brother." The lives and fortunes of the art-house denizens eventually come together, though in a way the Publishers Weekly critic deemed "clichéd [and] oversexed." Booklist reviewer Denise Perry Donavin, however, enjoyed the book's subplot on terrorists stalking the auction house, calling their eventual attack "a startling tour de force."
The "Lovemakers" trilogy, following the fortunes of Hale family, began with Love-Makers and Texas Born, and concluded with Second Love in 1997. In this book, Hale granddaughter Dorothy-Anne Hale-Cantwell presides over what is now a family fortune of international hotels, resorts, and airlines. After her adored husband is killed in an airplane crash, Dorothy-Anne finds her hotel chain the target of a hostile takeover, "singled out by Asian drug lords who want to… corner the world heroin market," according to a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Meanwhile, Dorothy-Anne finds her "second love" in the form of Hunt Winslow, a married senator who seems to reciprocate her interest. The Publishers Weekly writer, while calling the Gould style "pedestrian," acknowledged that for fans of the romance genre, Second Love offers "steamy sex, glamorous locales and seedy underworld maneuvering." Library Journal reviewer Annelle Huggins called it a "fast-paced, character-rich story of good vs. evil."
Till the End of Time: A Love Story finds Leonie Corinth facing life on her own after divorcing her millionaire husband. Leonie's plan is to leave upscale Manhattan to renovate historic homes in upstate New York. Her architect, Sam Nicholson, becomes her personal partner as well in a story that Alexandra Baker of Booklist said has "all the right components: romance, a beautiful setting, deceit, and strong-willed, independent characters." Library Journal reviewer Huggins, who had praised Second Love, found Till the End of Time lacking in comparison: the "Hale saga was much more entertaining," she said. But a Publishers Weekly reviewer found the novel entertaining enough, citing "its ability to tug, oh, so gently, at the heartstrings."
Bienes once told CA: "My writing is influenced by Disney movies, in particular Pollyanna and In Search of the Castaways. I admire the books The Secret Garden and Jane Eyre, and novels by Mary Stewart and Victoria Hill, then Sidney Sheldon and especially Harold Robbins, my personal hero."
The author's background is that of "an Army brat with a screwed up childhood." Bienes added: "I was an Austrian coal miner's son, adopted at the age of six by a half-Jewish U.S. soldier, whose own father perished in Auschwitz. I thrive on New York City's frenetic energy and live in constant decorating turmoil."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, October 1, 1992, Kathryn Broderick, review of Forever, p. 195; July, 1995, Denise Perry Donavin, review of Too Damn Rich, p. 1859; November 15, 1997, Margaret Flanagan, review of Second Love, p. 542; October 1, 1998, Alexandra Baker, review of Till the End of Time: A Love Story, p. 307; September 15, 1999, Alexandra Shrake, review of Rhapsody: A Love Story, p. 240; May 1, 2000, Alice Joyce, review of Time to Say Goodbye, p. 1651; July, 2001, Patty Engelmann, review of A Moment in Time, p. 1990; June 1, 2002, Patty Engelmann, review of The Best Is Yet to Come, p. 1646.
Books, January, 1992, review of Never Too Rich, p. 18.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 1992, review of Forever, p. 1205; June 1, 1995, review of Too Damn Rich, p. 728; October 1, 1997, review of Second Love, p. 1471; October 15, 1998, review of Till the End of Time, p. 1479; September 15, 1999, review of Rhapsody, p. 1432; May 15, 2001, review of A Moment in Time, p. 638; July 1, 2002, review of The Best Is Yet to Come, p. 902.
Library Journal, November 1, 1992, Michele Leber, review of Forever, p. 117; July, 1995, Elizabeth Mellett, review of Too Damn Rich, p. 119; October 15, 1997, Annelle Huggins, review of Second Love, p. 91; November 15, 1997; October 15, 1998, Annelle Huggins, review of Till the End of Time, p. 97; June 15, 2000, Annelle Huggins, review of Time to Say Goodbye, p. 114.
Publishers Weekly, October 5, 1992, review of Forever, p. 52; June 12, 1995, review of Too Damn Rich, p. 45; March 11, 1996, review of Too Damn Rich, p. 58; October 13, 1997, review of Second Love, p. 55; October 12, 1998, review of Till the End of Time, p. 57; September 13, 1999, review of Rhapsody, p. 55; June 19, 2000, review of Time to Say Goodbye, p. 59; July 23, 2001, review of A Moment in Time, p. 49; July 29, 2002, review of The Best Is Yet to Come, p. 51.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), December 27, 1992, review of Forever, p. 5.*