Federation space lieutenant Aria Pantel is haunted by her past and being hassled in the present by the arrogant Dr. Hansel Heinrich, a lover turned pain in the ass from the Academy now a fellow crewman. Light years away from her Martian home with only her best friend to remind her to take care of herself, Aria's universe begins spiraling further down a black hole when an unidentified ship blasts across their bow. The captain says to leave it alone but the invader risks destroying the humanoid settlement on the planet below, one inhabited by strapping, primitive men which Aria has grown fond of spying on. This latest threat couldn't be the Quillian aliens, not seen since they lost the war a decade ago, right? Such a thought might send Aria back to her coping vices.
Will she open herself to resources that can heal her heart, save the settlement, and all the while keeping Hansel from mucking it all up?
Similar to how Radiance
by Grace Draven portrays the enemies-to-lovers trope, The Martian Connection
presents characters who gradually develop romantic feelings and gain a deeper understanding of each other's perspectives. The Martian Connection
explores the themes of home and belonging just like The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet
by Becky Chambers. The characters in both stories are searching for a sense of place and identity in a vast and unfamiliar universe. And like Grimspace
by Ann Aguirre, The Martian Connection
features emotional intensity, physical desires, conflict, and chemistry between the characters that contribute to the novels' passionate and steamy romances.
First edition published by: CHOU! Books, 2023. Author: Dana Celeste. Cover artist: Mollyroselee and Dana Celeste. Formerly titled: Space, Sex & Therapy.
Published under the pen name Dana Celeste (aka Daniel G. Chou).
Romance for an adult-only audience. At least three intimate scenes with the reader present, euphemistic language for act and body parts.
Tags: female-lead, sexual content, military, war, enemies to lovers, spicy, space, consent, therapy, happy ending
"Fantastic worldbuilding...paired with a realistic depiction of bitter exes forced to work together for the greater good."
--Silver winner of the Webnovel.com WPC #249
, Feburary 21, 2022
"I really enjoyed how good this opening chapter was...everything that I was looking for."
review by reader Kimbearly. 5/5 stars
"Daniel Chou has risen to new heights with this fantastic, intriguing story...a sizzling imagination."
review by reader Ken Thompson. 5/5 stars
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