Houston, Texas, 1961
The race to the moon is on, and engineer Eugene Parsons has two enemies: danger and distraction. Nothing is more distracting than his attraction to the brilliant, beautiful computer scientist on his team, but he’s determined to overcome it since he needs her to help America win.
Charlie Eason is used to men underestimating her. It comes with being a woman in engineering, but it’s worth it to join the space race—even if she can’t figure out what’s behind the intense looks one tightly wound engineer keeps sending her. But life isn’t as unemotional or predictable as code, and things soon boil over with the intriguingly demanding Parsons.
With every launch, their secret affair grows thornier. The lines between work and play tangle even as Parsons and Charlie try to keep them separate. But when a mission goes wrong, they’ll have to put aside their pride for the greater good—and discover that matters of the heart have a logic all their own.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Earth Bound is the second full novel in the Fly Me To the Moon series (considered book 3 in the series) by co-authors Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner. My fascination with this series knows no bounds. Even if math and physics aren’t your thing, the authors have been able to take the parts of the story that require these things and make them readable at a level that everyone will understand. For me, the intense dramatic scenes that made up some of the story, meetings and discussions between the scientists on the logistical challenges of getting a man into space were some of the best scenes. Things I never thought of, and the science of what was possible then, how things were done, was really quite something to read about. This is world building at its finest, creating a picture of what it was like during that time for the men and women tasked to beat the Soviets in the space race. And then there are the personal agendas of the men and women in the room – the managers who are looking at the bottom line, the engineers who will be blamed for any failures, the astronauts and their egos. It all falls into place marvelously in a tightly woven tale. Of course, a key aspect to the story is Charlie, a super smart mathematician who has disappointed her parents by choosing to go work for the US Space program instead of following a career path at a university. A woman in a man’s field in the 1960’s, she’s used to being overlooked, to having her physical appearance mean more than her brain, and takes all of these things in stride. It doesn’t stop her from doing her best, and devoting herself to her job, in this case, as deputy director of the computing department. She’s got some smart women who work under her as well (a nod to remember that some of the best code breakers in WWII were women) and together they play a significant role in getting the missions underway and salvaging some of them too. For Charlie, Parsons is a man after her own heart, with the same work ethic. And more importantly, he’s a man who sees the real her. Eugene Parsons is a man with a persona not eminently likable. He understands the gravity of his work, has no patience for fools (or self-absorbed astronauts), and has a temper. He seems an unlikely romance hero. But the truth of the matter is that he has a soft underbelly, one that stays hidden from view until Charlie exposes it. The conflict comes naturally, with the hierarchy of their working positions causing them to sometimes be at odds with each other. And for Charlie, keeping her affair with Parsons under wraps is necessary to maintain the level of respect from her male colleagues that she struggles to achieve. Yet when an astronaut’s life is on the line, their true feelings can’t be hidden. I enjoyed how the story played out, the dramatic scenes becoming real page turners as the mission becomes a life or death endeavor. Combining that with some very sexy love scenes between the couple, and the eventual finding of their way to a compromise and happy ending makes for a wholly entertaining story. 5 stars, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next!
I absolutely adore this series! I love the writing, the characters, the time period and the way it takes me back and makes me remember what it was like to live when the race into space was going on. Yes, I was young back then but I remember it well. In this story we meet Dr. Charlie Eason when she comes in to be interviewed by Mr. Eugene Parsons. He is sure she is perfect for the job even though she is female and in the early 60’s females were more often relegated to secretarial jobs than those as deputy director dealing with important issues. Charlie wants to make a difference in the world and is ready to move on from what she had been doing in academia. She knows it won’t be easy but is ready for the challenge. Mr. Parsons is focused on the job and only on the job to the point that he is somewhat feared by those who work with him. Charlie and Eugene intrigued me both professionally and as people. Their backgrounds, how they ended up choosing their professions, their work ethic, and what they did at work interested me. How they could compartmentalize and do such intense work impressed me. How they became more than colleagues took my breath away…and when things fizzled I was more than sad and hoped the relationship could be salvaged. I was also impressed by the camaraderie of the females in the computer department. The problems the team worked to solve and oh so much more. Again, I love this series and can hardly wait to read book four! Thank you to the authors for the copy of this book to read in exchange for my honest review.