Kate French has just returned from a ten-day trip to London searching for antiques to add to her store, “French Kiss.” Late for a meeting, she searches through her underwear drawer while half listening to her twenty-something daughter. Finally she gives up, or more appropriately gives in, to a clearly uncomfortable red lace thong her mother thought would ignite some passion in her forty-year-old daughters’ life. With a fleeting “thank god nobody else on the planet will likely ever see it,” she is out the door.
Feeling nauseous as she drives to her appointment, Kate chalks it up to jetlag and missed meals and stops at a local mall to grab a quick bite to eat. As she quickly pulls into a parking spot, she realizes she may have cut someone off, a good-looking someone about her age who happens to be wearing a Grateful Dead T-shirt, of all things. Fighting off increasing nausea and the discomfort of the ten-years-too-young thong, she forces herself to put one foot in front of the other. While fighting the urge to duck between cars and “adjust,” she notices the man she cut off two aisles away from her. He is staring right at her, and she looks right back at him, fully expecting to see an angry face. However, he is far from angry as their eyes lock, and she feels suddenly unsettled. Clearly the thong is affecting her judgment; she has to sneak another look - was that a smile she saw? Snapping herself back to reality, she realizes she feels faint as a tightening in her chest overtakes her and she falls to the ground.
As she begins to float back, she realizes the Grateful Dead T-shirt guy is pulling on her skirt, and she attempts to scream and strike out at him. “You don’t want all of Princeton to see that red lace do you?” “Oh God…the thong…just leave me here so I can die of embarrassment…” After an interlude of pulse-checking and symptom discussions, she feels crushing pains in her chest once again, and she begins to go under. He promises to look after her and begins CPR and rides with her in the ambulance but loses her as she is transferred to another hospital.
Kate wakes in the hospital and makes a quick recovery from her heart attack. Her “knight in shining armor” makes for a great story, but she is not one to believe in romance. On release, her doctor warns her of crazy emotional symptoms that often plague heart attack survivors. She feels none of those, although those around her seem to be infected with the - that is, until her “knight” appears to return the London wares she lost in the parking lot chaos. Are these the symptoms her doctor warned her about, or is it possible that after all these years she is capable of finding romance?
Just Like Heaven is best read on a long lazy afternoon as once you start it you won’t want to put it down. Another great book by Barbara Bretton!