My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is the first of Marilyn Pappano’s work that I’ve read. When I picked it up, I’d been in the mood for an easy romance. Heaven on Earth is a bit heavier than what I’d bargained for. The romance around which the plot is built is pretty typical – sexy Private Investigator Melina has an intense fling with hunky carpenter Sebastian but he’s afraid of getting hurt and she misinterprets his rejection of her, they are unexpectedly thrown together, and then a lack of communication keeps them apart far longer than it should. I mean, by the end I wanted to hit them both with the book.
The event that brings Melina and Sebastian back into each other’s lives after he ends their fling is her being hired to find three runaway children from the small town of Bethlehem, New York, one of which is Sebastian’s beloved daughter, Chrissy. The interwoven stories of the children’s experiences on the road and Melina and Sebastian’s search for them make the romance less tedious and add gravitas to what would otherwise be a rather boring romance novel. Through the children and the adults, the novel looks at the importance of a loving upbringing, abandonment issues, commitment issues, and love. I just wish the back and forth between Melina and Sebastian hadn’t gone on for quite so long after they returned to Bethlehem.