My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I received this book free as part of the Dreamspinner Press Valentine’s Day promotion. Thank you Dreamspinner!
Peter is abandoned by his mother and left to live with his aunt and cousin Michael in the small town of Daisy, California. Michael means the world to him, so when they both fall in love with the same man, Bodi Kovacs, Peter is okay with stepping aside as he knows Michael will take good care of Bodi. However, when tragedy strikes Bodi’s family, Michael and Bodi’s secret relationship is revealed and the entire town passes judgement on them. Michael flees, joining the military and leaving Bodi behind.
In the aftermath of Michael’s death, Peter and Bodi find themselves drawn together by the memory of a man they both admired and loved. It’s Peter’s turn to take care of Bodi now and give him the life that Michael wasn’t strong enough to fight for.
If you didn’t guess from the title, Mourning Heaven is one hell of a tear-jerker. The tale of Michael and Bodi’s destruction at the hands of small-town bigots left tears in my eyes many times, but it’s Bodi’s redemption that’s really the best part of this story. If the pain came without the payoff, this novel wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining but the conclusion is a satisfying one that makes the heartbreaking scenes worth crying for.
Peter comes into Bodi’s life and is determined to fix the damage Michael left in his wake. Peter’s a stronger man than Michael ever was and its very satisfying to see him stand up to his aunt and others who blamed Bodi and Michael for something that wasn’t their fault. Lane shows the good side but also the inherent flaws of most people – even Michael, the man that Peter held up on a pedestal, is far from perfect.
Mourning Heaven packs a strong emotional punch and isn’t for the weak-hearted. If you’re looking for fluff, this won’t be your game, but if you enjoy angst in spades you’ll find plenty to love here. Peter and Bodi love beating themselves up about Michael’s death and Daisy has plenty of hate for them, but their strength of nature and the healing power of love provide a good counterbalance. The setting and events are fully believable for small-town America, but some may find the insults and intolerance depicted a little too true-to-life.
I absolutely have to recommend a book that made me feel this strongly. I’ve read a lot of books and it’s pretty hard to make me cry at fiction these days, but Mourning Heaven had me reaching for the tissues with one hand as I turned the pages with the other. I was compelled to read on as I needed Bodi and Peter to find happiness and the ending certainly didn’t disappoint. Mourning Heaven was a powerful novel and one that I’ll definitely re-read in the future.