cover image Heaven in High Gear

Heaven in High Gear

Joan Laidig Brady. Pocket Books, $18 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-671-00772-0

Heather Hurley has the hots for God--that is, she's the next lucky disciple in the inspirational fictional chronicle that began with the bestselling God on a Harley, in which a dowdy housewife discovered God (aka Joe) on a motorcyle. Heather, the lucky lady here, is a 29-year-old stripper whose fast-paced L.A. life leaves her street-smart, cynical and alone much of the time--ripe, in other words, for her encounter with the appealing, leather-jacketed stranger she meets at a bar, who staves off her anxiety attacks. She later finds out Joe's real identity and his mission: to help her take a second look at her life. He teaches her the path to a richer existence through seven individualized, if bland, commandments. Among the bromides comprising his list: ""Look only for the good in people and that's exactly what you'll find,"" and ""Believe in your many talents."" Plucky and appropriately skeptical at first, Heather eventually sees the light and develops a relationship with Joe that is on an oddly mortal plane; mystical discussions aside, their physical attraction and the earthly concerns of both lend this deity a remarkably mundane persona. Brady occasional lapses into painfully adolescent musings: ""If I were an ocean wave, I'd lap at his feet, too."" But Heather's spiritual journey can be entertaining if one is not put off by the whimsical concept. (Aug.)