Earthly Pleasures

Karen Neches, Author . Simon & Schuster $14 (311p) ISBN 978-0-7432-9248-1

Neches presents in her appealingly unorthodox debut a heaven where angels lust, drink and follow terrestrial celebrity gossip. Skye Sebring is a greeter in the Hospitality Department of Heaven who finds herself drawn to the Earthly Pleasures TV channel (“reality TV for Heaven dwellers”) after she welcomes the handsome, reformed playboy Ryan “Bad Boy” Blaine to the pearly gates. The lawyer son of a former president, Ryan’s stay in heaven is cut short (his death is more of the brush-with-death variety), but he can’t forget Skye, who reminds him of someone he knew. The feeling is mutual for Skye, who follows Ryan back to Earth, where it’s pretty apparent there’s something strange going on with Ryan’s wife, Susan, who is planning a huge gala wedding follow-up to their earlier low-key impromptu nuptials. As Skye investigates her connection with Ryan and Ryan looks into what’s causing his wife’s strange behavior (he also forms a radio call-in show habit), a tangled story of cold ambition and true love unspools. Neches’s funny and sweet novel shows that to err is human and angelic as well. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 11/12/2007
Release date: 02/01/2008
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4165-6464-5
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