Friday, January 30, 2015

Review Tour: Past Heaven by Laura Ward

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

"I wasn't running away, I was running to temper the misery, to be strong in the face of fear, and to be the person I needed to be."

Past Heaven by Laura Ward is the second amazing novel from this new author and I cannot wait to see what else she publishes!  I thought that I wouldn't love another one of her books as much as I loved Not Yet but Past Heaven surpassed all of my expectations and then some!  This book was 5+++ Hollywood Stars and I highly, highly recommend that you read this amazing story filled with heartbreak, love lost but found again and the idea that in the face of a tragedy that rocks your very foundation to the core, you can find the will to move on with your life in the most unlikely of circumstances.  

"No matter the social status or physical beauty, when someone fell in love-a soul to a soul love-no greater fear existed than the loss of that love."

Liz loved her husband and her three boys with everything that she had in her, but her life as she knew it was torn from her in what seemed like a moment when her husband was shot and killed right in front of her.  Unable to continue actually living her life without Jack by her side, Liz began existing; showing affection only to her three boys for whom she remained stoic and strong; while recoiling from any sympathy or compassion that others tried to afford her.  It was when move star Reynolds Carter came into her life with an idea that would shape both of their futures for the better, the only thing on Liz's mind was to keep Jack's legacy alive for his children, never once to she expect that she would find the passion of true love again.

"We're human. We make mistakes.  They key is to not make the same ones over and over again.  If something goes wrong, you change course.  Why don't you think about changing your course? What could it hurt?"

Reynolds Carter was a movie star that everyone adored and admired from afar.  After his live-in young actress girlfriend confessed to having sex with her co-star on a movie; he began to re-evaluate his life and what fame really meant to him.  Realizing that there are few people in Hollywood that have morals or that were true friends, he sought solace at his childhood home where his parents tried to comfort him and show him that there was more to life than making trivial movies.  After reveal information about their past and seeing a new report about Liz's late husbands work regarding institutions, he flew to Baltimore to try and convince her to allow him to write a screen play about her late-husbands life's work.  Apprehensive about allowing such a project but in need of a job to support her family, Liz agrees to work with Reynolds on this project as long as she had full veto power over any and all content.  An agreement that formed a friendship that transcended anything either of them could have imagines.

"Today is both the beginning and ending of our journey.  The wait is over and I want you every day in the future."

As both Liz and Reynolds began to have feelings for each other, they each fought against it for entirely different reasons, Liz because she thought it was too soon after Jack had been ripped from their lives, and Reynolds because he was burned by a woman who he thought he loved and would eventually marry.  The reasons holding them back slowly begin to disintegrate as they become close friends and an important part of each other lives.  Reynolds has an admiration for everything that Liz has done with raising her 3 boys despite the sorrow and grief that she still feels and Liz becomes enamored with the man beyond the movie actor persona that the world gets to see.

This book is full of laughs, from all three boys who at times have the funniest things spew from their adorable mouths to the most heartwarming and tear jerking actions and who can forget the never ending non-filter babble of her best friend Cindy who will fight like a ninja to protect her friend from any further heartbreak no matter what the reason or cause.  I laughed, I cried and I hoped while reading this book that Liz and Reynolds would find the future that they both yearned for and completely deserved so that they could leave the heartache of the past behind.  I will say again that this book was utterly amazing, I cannot find enough words to describe how much I absolutely loved it and I know you will too!

When I heard Laura Ward had another novel in the works I was jumping for joy! Her debut novel knocked me off my socks and she did not disappoint in her sophomore release of Past Heaven. It’s a beautiful tale of losing the love of your life and getting a second chance at love in the least expected place.  I love Ms. Ward’s style of writing where she just pulls you into the story and doesn’t let go into the very end.  She creates such great characters that you want to fall in love with and adds personal touches that you can tell are near and dear to her.  Past Heaven is defiantly a must read story and Ms. Ward has quickly become one of my favorites authors and one that is an automatic one click for me! The story is told in dual point of view and is a complete story.

The story starts with the tragic murder of Elizabeth Atwater husband, Jack.  He was killed by a disgruntled individual who disagreed with a change that Jack was fighting so much for.  Jack’s company worked hard to close state ran mental hospitals that were dumping grounds for the mentally ill and he fought hard to get those individuals the treatment they deserved.  Liz is devastated by his murder and now must raise three young boys on her own.  They are the only thing that keeps her going and she knows she must be there for them.  She quickly turned to running to work out her frustrations and was able to find some inner piece along the way.

“I used that time to let go and then get it together for my boys.  Running had saved me.  I wasn’t running away.  I was running to temper the misery, to be strong in the face of fear, and to be the person needed to be.”- Elizabeth

Reynolds Carter is Hollywood’s sexist man alive. He has spent years working in Hollywood and has meaningless relationships after another. After his current relationship comes to end he feels like he is at a crossroads in his life.  Tired of the same old game, he decides to head home to Baltimore to regroup.   He decides he wants to look into writing and producing a film and comes across Jack Atwater’s story.  He is immediately drawn to it and knows he has to bring this to the big screen.  He reaches out to his widow Elizabeth and they decide to co-write the screen play.

“Jack Atwater had been a real life hero; an everyday man who had bettered the world of everyone around him.  I had to learn more about him. This was the only way to do that.  Jack’s story was mine to tell. This was what I was missing in my life.”- Reynolds

At first they start out as friends but as time goes on, they get closer and their relationship starts to blossom into something more.  But with the possibilities of a relationship comes a heavy dose of guilt for Liz.  She feels like being in another relationship with someone other than Jack is something she cannot do.  He was the one and only love of her life and being with another, she tarnishes his memory. 

“I was empty inside. I refused any tenderness because I couldn’t give any in return.  Any love I had left went to the boys.  My feelings no longer mattered, but preserving Jack’s memory did.”- Elizabeth

“If I turned to Reynolds, my relationship with Jack would really be over.  I still needed him.  I can’t lose what I have left of him.”- Elizabeth

Reynolds also has his own baggage that he cannot get rid of.  His past relationships keep coming up and leaves Liz thinking the playboy image is all he has to offer and she is not interested in that.  Even though Elizabeth was so different than his past girlfriends there was something more, something real that attracted him to her and he would not give up that easily.

Liz and Reynolds love story is not an easy one and has many twist and turns and obstacles.  Can Liz work past the guilt of loving someone else?  Will her children accept another man into their home after their father was killed? Can Reynolds find happiness in Baltimore away from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood?  Can the Hollywood hottest star find everything he is looking for in a regular housewife?  You will have to read Past Heaven to find out!  4 Huge starts for me!

Not every love story has a happy ending,
but the great ones, no matter how they end,
change your life.
Love is the only thing more powerful in this world than death.
Love transcends. 
And in the end, all any of us can hope for,
is a love that is past heaven.

The first thing I have to say is Laura Ward is an amazing author.. she has completely blown me away with Past Heaven and her first story Not Yet.  I would have never guessed this was only her second story because she is brilliant and everyone should pick up her books!  This book took me to a whole new level of respect for her as a writer.. she simply broke my heart and slowly pieced it back together. The level of intensity she portrays in her writing is simply amazing.  I am thankful I took a chance on a new Indy author like her when I picked up Not Yet many months ago and because of that I knew when I decided to read Past Heaven that I wouldn't be disappointed.  Thanks for sharing your amazing story with us once again and keep on moving lady you have a long road ahead of you in this crazy book world!  I would give this story 5 heavenly stars!  Ladies you will need some tissues and a change of panties because she will give you so many emotions while reading this you will simply be thanking her by the end.  

Liz thought her life was complete when she married her husband Jack.  He was the perfect man and she had 3 amazing sons.  But when tragedy strikes her to the core she doesn't know how to move on from such a devastating loss.  But she slowly starts to piece her life back together because she has to be strong for her boys because now that is all she has to live for.
When she gets approached to do a movie about Jack, she doesn't know what to think but when she finally decides that this is what he deserves because he helped so many sick and unfortunate people her life will once again be turned upside down.

Reynolds is the hot movie star who is burned out with the big Hollywood life and wants to do something about it.  He finds himself wanting to write a screenplay for a movie and what better way to do that then write about a man who changed many lives?  What he will find will be more than he expected.  He will finally get what he is looking for but is the movie that finally gives him the piece of mind he has been wanting or is an amazing woman and her family?

Liz will have her doubts and Reynolds will have his as well.. but when they start to dig through the life that Liz thought was so perfect she will find secrets she didn't want to know.. and this will throw her in turmoil once again.. but this time will she be alone?  Can she love again or trust that Reynolds will be there for her after this movie breaks?  Can they find love Past Heaven?

You need to go get this book... it is standalone and no cliffy!  The main characters will blow you away but the side characters, the children they will play a huge roll in this book as well and it was great seeing how this story unfolded and seeing the demons fought.  Thanks Laura I look forward to so much more amazing stories in the future.. you are the reason I will always give new authors a chance!

LAURA WARD is the author of PAST HEAVEN and the New Adult novel, NOT YET. She lives in Maryland with her loud and very loving three children and husband. Laura married her college sweetheart and is endlessly grateful for the support he has given her through all their years together, and especially toward her goal of writing books. When not picking up toy trucks, driving to lacrosse practice, or checking spelling homework, Laura is writing or reading romance novels.

Twitter — @laurarosnerward
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