Review: Earthly Pleasures by Karen Neches

Posted May 14, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Welcome to Heaven. Use your Wishberry to hustle up whatever you want. Have an online chat with God. Visit the attractions such as Retail Rapture, Wrath of God miniature golf and Nocturnal Theater, where your nightly dreams are translated to film.

Your greeter might just be Skye Sebring who will advises her newly dead clients on what to expect now that they’re expired. “Heaven is like a Corona Beer commercial” she assures her clients. “It’s all about contentment.”

So different than Earth where chaos reigns. Unfortunately for Skye, she’s been chosen to live her first life. She’s required to attend Earth 101 classes, which teach all of the world’s greatest philosophies through five Beatles songs.

Skye has no interest in Earthly pursuits, until lawyer Ryan Blaine briefly becomes her client after a motorcycle accident. Just as they are getting to know each other, he is revived and sent back to Earth.

She follows his life via the TV channel “Earthly Pleasures” but discovers he has a wife as well as a big secret. Why then does he call a show for the lovelorn to talk about the lost love of his life?

I read this book about a week ago, but waited to review it b/c I had mixed feelings. I’m glad I waited b/c it was my expectations as a reader of romance rather than the book itself that was effecting my opinion. This is not a romance in the fact that you can expect to read a HEA between the hero and heroine. As a matter of fact, there is only one scene that the h/h are actually together. That aside, I really enjoyed this book. It was hilariously funny and I’m glad that I read it. Here’s one of the many passages that made me laugh out loud while reading this book.

Saturday was always a brisk day. People on Earth had more time to drown, wreck their cars, or fall off roofs. The only day busier than Saturday was Monday, which ushered in the cardiac arrest and stroke victims. Apparently the prospect of facing another long workweek eked the life out of many people on Earth.

Skye Sebring enjoys her work as a greeter in Heaven. As a greeter, it is her job to make the transition as easy as possible for the people who have left Earth for Heaven. As a greeter, she has seen a variety of people. When Ryan Blaine turns up in her cubicle, she is astonished to see the man that many people in Heaven watch on their TV channel, Earthly Pleasures. Before she can begin adjusting Ryan to his new life, he disappears back to Earth. Thus begins Skye’s obsession with Ryan Blaine.

Ryan Blaine wakes up in an ambulance with a fuzzy image of someone named Skye that looks astonishingly like his wife, Susan, before the car accident that changed everything. Ryan has been having a hard time adjusting to his new wife and feels adrift as he tries to reconcile Susan before and after the accident.

There are several side stories that are happening simultaneously. There is also the back story of Ryan and Susan’s romance. I thought that Neches did a great job of tying all these stories together. The reader will understand what’s going on long before it’s revealed. I really did enjoy this book, though I didn’t like the ending at all. For that reason, I give it:

3.75 out of 5.

This book is available from Simon & Schuster. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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4 responses to “Review: Earthly Pleasures by Karen Neches

  1. That sounded good until you got to the part where they don’t end up together. Even if its not a romance, if there is a main couple in the story then they shld end up together.

  2. Rowena

    Hmm…this is the book that Izzy read last week. I remember this book, I’d like to check it out in the near future. I have too many books to read right now though.

    Great review Casee!

  3. Dev

    I loved this book ~ except for the ending, that is. I’m just hoping that Karen writes a sequel to this. Although Skye and Ryan get their HEA, it didn’t happen the way I wanted it to. I wanted to actually read it, visualize it, etc. That’s my only hangup about this one. Otherwise, it was excellent.

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