Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Survival is hard enough in the outer colonies—what chance does love have?
Life can be harsh and lonely in the outer colonies, but miner-turned-farmer Abraham Bauer is living his dream, cultivating crops that will one day turn the unforgiving world of Alkirak into paradise. He wants more, though. A companion—someone quiet like him. Someone to share his days, his bed, and his heart.
Gael Sonnen has never seen the sky, let alone the sun. He’s spent his whole life locked in the undercity beneath Zhemosen, running from one desperate situation to another. For a chance to get out, he’ll do just about anything—even travel to the far end of the galaxy as a mail-order husband. But no plan of Gael’s has ever gone smoothly, and his new start on Alkirak is no exception. Things go wrong from the moment he steps off the shuttle.
Although Gael arrives with unexpected complications, Abraham is prepared to make their relationship work—until Gael’s past catches up with them, threatening Abraham’s livelihood, the freedom Gael gave everything for, and the love neither man ever hoped to find.
I really loved this author’s Chaos Station series (which if you haven’t read you should) so I was excited to try this new stand alone book of hers. The story starts off with a bit of action as Gael finds himself in a seriously bad situation and has to make a major change to gain control of his life. He’s desperate when he answers Bram’s ad and doesn’t expect more than a bit of safety and a fresh start. What he finds is a kind man and a chance at a life he never dreamed he could have.
One of things I enjoyed the most about this book was the pacing of the story. There are a few dramatic events to keep the plot moving along but it’s mostly a sweet and quiet story. Another strong point was fantastic character development. Both of the main characters are shy and lonely and all they really want is to have a quiet, happy life. Watching them work together to build this was so touching. They start with a tentative friendship but as they get to know each other they start to fall in love. It was a perfect slow burn romance with a nice bit of hurt/comfort.
Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed with sci-fi stories because the world building is too much for my brain. It was perfect here. There was enough to let me imagine the unique planet of Alkirak but not so much I got overwhelmed with the details. The author creates a unique planet and paints such detailed imagery that the reader can feel both Bram’s isolation on this remote planet and his love and pride for his home.
The ending was just perfect and made even my Grinch heart get filled with all of the feelz. I was so happy for these two and the family they build together.
We’re about half way through the year and I’m already starting to think about which books are going to make my “Best Of” list and chances are high this book will make that list. This is one I strongly recommend.
Cover: This cover was done by Garrett Leigh and I like it a lot. It is perfect for the story and captures the vibe of the story perfectly.
ebook, 293 pages
Published August 13th 2018 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626498296 (ISBN13: 9781626498297)