I hadn’t even heard of this book or author about a week ago. I was browsing through the Romance package on audible when I found the audiobook and found the premise fascinating enough to try. And this has been such an incredible surprise.
First thing that gets to me is just the sheer amount of research that must have taken for the author to write this book. I obviously can’t be sure that all of the details of space travel, life in a shuttle or even the procedures at NASA mission control are all accurate, but it’s written in a way that makes it believable. The terminology used all across the book can be confusing at the beginning but we quickly get used to it and then it’s an easy ride. The writing also has a lot of whimsical quality to it, with many discussions about the utter beauty of being in space and how humanity is but a small part of the vast universe, and the importance of space exploration. It was all very profound and leaves the reader also to do a bit of soul searching and it was a one of a kind reading experience for me. The pacing is actually slow in parts, especially when not much is happening either in the shuttle or on earth, but there are many lovely conversations. I didn’t particularly understand the need to have each chapter interspersed with old interviews, but they did give an insight to the main character before the beginning of the story. The book is also wonderfully diverse which was a pleasure to see. The audiobook narration is great, and I really appreciate the narrator for bringing slightly different nuances for every single character.
Both Curtis and Patrick are amazing characters – two people who have overcome tremendous hardships in their lives to achieve their ultimate dream of being a part of space travel. Curtis is a celebrity astronaut who may have been cocky and arrogant before, but is much more subdued this time around. While his initial introduction to Patrick doesn’t go well, their constant communication is inevitable and they quickly come to love their conversations. Patrick’s dream of going to space was thwarted due to his invisible disability, but his sheer determination to be a good support for the astronauts, both as a spacecraft communicator and an engineer, is amazing. He maybe a bit shy and introverted, but he also understands his team very well, especially Curt. I really enjoyed the dynamics between everyone in the team, and it definitely felt like they would be friends for life.The development of their friendship which slowly turns into love without Curt ever having laid eyes on Patrick, is beautifully written and I couldn’t help but fall in love with their story. Maybe the story takes place in less than a month, but it never feels like instalove, it just feels completely right and perfect. They connect on a very deeper level and just like the characters, we end up waiting for that moment when they finally get to meet. And what a moment that was…. the sheer joy that they feel on looking at each other is absolute perfection and will remain one of my all time favorite romantic scenes.
If you are looking for some sugary sweet romance that’ll probably give you toothache, you should definitely read this one. It’s a very low angst, low steam, age gap love story that’s full of feels and will leave you with a smile on your face. And it has one of the most unique settings that I’ve ever encountered in a contemporary romance, so I think everyone should give this book a try.