Rockets and Romance (States of Love)
Title: Rockets and Romance (States of Love)
Author: Wendy Qualls
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 2, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 97
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Read book blurb here
Julian Barlows gets his dream job at NASA, but Huntsville, Alabama is definitely NOT his dream location. Julian brings with him a boatload of preconceptions and ideas about living as a gay man in the south. The beauty of this short novella is how the author goes about changing those stereotypes and giving us a sweet romance.
Julian's initial work assignment is deciphering programming code developed by a retired programmer, or as Julian says "deciphering it is like trying to translate Sanskrit into Java" and that the code "reads like the bastard love child of Perl and that mumbling homeless guy who panhandles outside Whole Foods." (Love the geek snark)
After a bit of a rocky start, Julian and Cody soon have a comfortable work relationship, as well as one outside of the office as Cody decides to show Julian there is a strong LGBTQ presence in Huntsville. In the process of attending concerts, events, going out to dinner, they come to realize they can have a future together. I could have done without Julian and Cody's last minute miscommunication angst, which seemed somewhat out of character with their easy-going relationship, but on the whole I liked their chemistry.
I especially like the way Qualls shows us Huntsville and its various events, businesses and nightlife. This book exemplifies why I love the Dreamspinner States of Love series, with authors giving us wonderful little portrayals of the States they love. 4 stars.