A charming romance and a one way ticket to Mars…

Twenty-seven-year-old Mila Todorov has wanted to go into space since the age of thirteen, when she followed the heroics of NASA astronaut Major Jancey Beaumont. Now, with a PhD in Engineering and as creator of a revolutionary new propulsion system, she has a chance to make that dream come true as she competes for a place in the first manned flight to Mars.

Major Beaumont cannot resist the urge to make the journey to the red planet. She knows she is the most qualified contender, but to succeed she not only needs to prove her experience is worth more than the younger, more up-to-date candidates, she needs to find the perfect partner.

KG MacGregor’s latest novel is a sweet romance set against the backdrop of a speculative but well-thought-out and well-researched “Mission to Mars.” A retired billionaire space addict, who will sound familiar to many, has put together a privately funded plan to create the first planetary station.

Robotic supply and habitat vessels will pave the way for annual “two-man” flights to start a colony. Forty thousand have applied; four teams of two will make the final cut; and in between, the candidates must pass a wide range of emotional, physical, and mental challenges, including selecting their partner from the other applicants.

The romance is a slow burn, an attraction that is meant to happen. The outcome may be obvious, but the gentle tension is enjoyable and Mila’s overwhelming hero-worship is entertaining. The twist in the tale adds a frisson of drama but the outcome is a done deal.

Mila and Jancey are great characters—strong, intelligent, determined, and the perfect role models for any girls aspiring to STEM careers. They have weaknesses and learning to do, but are as damn near perfect as we could imagine an astronaut to be. A wide range of candidates and tutors fill in the background, but only a couple of them stand out. Our heroines dominate the page.

Authors always say that you can’t write a story about happy people—there is nothing to write. But in this case I do wish Ms. MacGregor would make an exception and give us the sequel. I can’t believe there isn’t another story about the next phase of their journey together.

Well-written, delightful reading and a charming romance based on wonderful, modern women competing at the highest level… what more could we want to entertain us?

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