Not every love story has a happy ending. Some just change your life.
Liz Atwater’s happily ever after was torn from her the instant her husband, Jack, was murdered. She is forced to pick up the shattered pieces of her life and raise her three young sons alone.
Reynolds Carter’s picture perfect Hollywood life ended the moment the paparazzi got hold of his girlfriend’s cheating scandal. As he watches his life unfold in the tabloids, he comes to a crossroads in his career and his purpose.
When Reynolds takes on the challenge of a new project, his world collides with that of Liz. Neither of them expected their professional relationship to evolve into friendship, or love.
But life is never simple.
Faced with complications from family, friends, and colleagues, Liz and Reynolds are left to decide whether two people from such different worlds can find happiness together.
Can they get past the pain, fear, and guilt and risk their hearts to love again?
Not every love story is just a happy ending. Some completely change your life.
Past Heaven is a story about tragedy and second chances. It is a truly moving love story about a woman who goes through the most horrific of losses, and maintains the strength to live again.
I fell in love with this synopsis pretty much immediately, because I still love finding more classical romances with mature characters. Laura Ward’s story begins with Liz on the most heartbreaking night of her life, forever changed, and barely breathing. At the same time, across the country, Reynolds is living the life, as one of Hollywood’s sexiest, and in demand actors, but he’s completely unsatisfied. When Reynolds one day realizes that the life he’s been living is as fake as the stories he tells on screen, he decides to go back home to figure out his next move.
After months of rebuilding her life for herself and her kids, Liz opens her front door one day to find a dream on her front steps. When Reynolds offers Liz a chance of a lifetime – one that will give her the security she needs to build a future for her family, as well as honor her once beautiful past, she is unable to refuse. What she doesn’t bargain for was the complication of falling for a movie star.
“I feel drunk around him. Wrecked. Intoxicated by his presence. I can’t think straight and everything is happening so fast…”
As Reynolds spends more time around Liz and her family, he realizes what is real, and everything he’s been missing all the years he lived in plastic Hollywood. His feelings grow stronger everyday, but he has to fight to make Liz believe that they have a chance, and that he’s worth the pain of letting go.
“You know all about life surprising you with the stuff nightmares are made of, but sometimes, life surprises you in the best possible way.”
Past Heaven was truly a moving love story, and I really enjoyed watching these two grow from friends, to more than friends, and fight to overcome their fears and past heartbreaks. I loved Liz, as I always love single moms in books, and I loved seeing her balance raising her family and finding love. I thought the author did a great job of capturing that reality. I also really liked Reynolds, as I always do single guys who fall in love with a woman with kids and baggage. There were moments in the beginning of the story when I thought the character development could’ve been fleshed out a bit (I thought the timeline passed quite quickly, and any emotional growth was told instead of shown), but once I passed the halfway mark, I flew through this book.
Without getting into too much detail, I’ll say that Laura Ward touches on a social issue that isn’t addressed regularly in fiction, let alone romance, and I want to tip my hat to her for incorporating real life into her art. This book had a great message of survival and bravery, because it’s so easy to just give up on love, and not risk losing it. The romance between Liz and Reynolds was touching and sweet, yet still sexy, and anyone who loves a classical romance will love this book. It truly was a fairytale that warmed my heart.
“The time had come for me to live with a heart that did not just hurt but also fully loved.”