Reggie desperately wants to be chosen for an upcoming lunar mission. She wants to be the first woman to walk on the moon, but she is nowhere near the short list. Between a PR gaffe and her perfectionism, the bosses at NASA don’t think she can get along with the other mission astronauts. She needs to prove she can be patient, a team player, and bring in good publicity.
Jon has had some moderate success in comedies and a low brow camp movie called Space Dude and he yearns to be taken seriously. He’s signed on to star in a Serious Film by an “avant garde” director that he thinks will be his ticket to the Oscars. The movie is set in space and the director wants him to train with a real astronaut. Jon is very excited because a) he’s a huge space nerd, and b) he’s a big fan of Reggie Hayes.
Reggie is one of my favorite kinds of women in books. She’s kind of mean. She wants to be the best and has no patience for anyone who interferes with her intended path to success. Her only friend is a Russian cosmonaut named Katya. They bonded when they trained together in Siberia and Reggie punched a bear. Other than that, she is a disaster with people, but she is determined to prove to NASA that she can be personable enough to be put in a small spacecraft with other people for an extended period. Initially, she is unimpressed by Jon as a person, except for his hotness.
A cynical part of her had wondered if Jon’s acting success was merely a product of nepotism (and, in one particular photo, bedroom eyes so potent a single picture could melt a hole in one’s computer screen— not her screen, because she’d immediately closed her browser and lowered the thermostat by two degrees, but it could happen to someone else’s).
What Reggie lacks in emotional intelligence, Jon has in spades. Reggie is truly and sometimes legitimately irritated with Jon, but he also knows that some of those grimaces are hidden smiles. It takes them a while to understand and appreciate each other, but the lust is always there.
There was a side plot I loved (Jon figuring out he has ADHD) and a side plot I didn’t love. Otherwise, this was a delightful way to spend a few hours.
CWs: Attempted kidnapping by conspiracy theorists, guns used in a threatening manner, toxic and belittling parents