Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Past Heaven by Laura Ward has a nice women’s fiction feel to it, but also has a great romance in the mix. The heroine is a widow with three young boys who lost her beloved husband to a shooting. Right off the bat I was impressed because the deceased husband isn’t vilified to make the heroine’s second time at love a much better and the “real” thing.
Liz is on the cusp of forty (or middle-aged as the tabloids mention in this story once she dates the hot shot forty-year-old actor, who isn’t considered middle-aged) and a widow with three boys. She lost her husband Jack, she adored during a charity event by a crazed man who blamed her husband for closing a hospital that houses physically and mentally handicapped individuals. Reynolds, one of the best actors in Hollywood enters her life after he hears about the great things her husband did. He wants to make a movie about Liz and her husband. Reynolds is more known for his blockbuster, action movies. When the big time actress he’s dating, and who he wanted to marry, ends up cheating on him with a younger up and coming actor, he has a big change regarding his career. He wants to go indie.
Liz isn’t sure what to make of Reynolds, but he comes across as a very nice guy who wants to do right by Jack and his legacy. They will work on the screenplay together in order to make it as authentic as possible. Reynolds ends up working with Liz at her house. He gets to know her and her boys and takes a big interest in their lives. Over the course of a few months, Liz and Reynolds have become more than working partners. The attraction is there between them, but Liz is still dedicated to Jack. Reynolds doesn’t want to ruin a good thing. He thinks of Liz as a friend now, and if he has to keep his feelings a secret, he’ll do that. But slowly these two are falling for one another, and after a kiss or two, they can’t deny they want more. But how can the middle-aged, average looking widow compete with Reynold’s celebrity lifestyle, the cruel paparazzi and his former witchy flame who will ruin Liz as revenge?
Past Heaven is a tender romance where the main couple get to know one another slowly before they jump into a passionate affair. This is the type of book that would be a great TV movie because it has a very uplifting message. The romance tropes are still here, but aren’t too glaring, other than Reynolds one-dimensional ex-girlfriend. It has this courtship feel to it with Liz and Reynolds, and their opinions and actions are very real to life.
The ending is very pat and a bit too saccharine with a fairy tale ending, but it’s what everything a HEA should entail. Past Heaven was a reading treat.