Emma Barry is a novelist and full-time mama and graduate student. Her first novel, Brave in Heart, a historical romance set during the American Civil War, will be released by Crimson Romance on July 1, 2013. She’s also written contemporary single title romances: The Easy Part, about professional political operatives, and Together is Enough, a satire of higher education.
Formerly of Texas, Montana, Boston, and Washington, DC, she loves hugs from her toddler twins, her husband’s cooking, her cat’s whiskers, and Earl Grey tea.
Houston, Texas, 1964
Geraldine Brixton is ready to make history as the first female American astronaut. After a childhood traveling the air show circuit, she works as a pilot, so she’s more than prepared for the flying. But space demands more than operating equipment and the last obstacle in her way is also the most serious: math.
Beverly Fox has made a career crunching the numbers that launch men into space. Numbers aren’t her problem: limits are. From the narrow expectations of her parents to discrimination at work, Bev’s life has been cut down over and over. Only in her hidden activities after dark does she feel whole.
Wanting to do her part to get a woman into space, Bev offers to help Geri conquer math. But neither anticipates her intense attraction—or that it might be shared. Together, they could soar to everything they’ve ever wanted, but will their secrets bring them crashing back to Earth?
Houston, Texas, 1961
Eugene Parsons requires perfection from his staff. Anything less would be an unnecessary risk—and Parsons hates both risk and distraction. Nothing is more distracting than the brilliant, beautiful computer scientist on his team, but he’s determined to ignore his attraction since he needs her to get America to the moon.
Charlie Eason is used to men underestimating her. It comes with being a woman in engineering, but anything is worth joining 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.
Anne-Marie Smith wanted normal: a loving husband, two beautiful kids, and a well-kept house. But when she catches her husband cheating, she decides that normal isn’t worth it. Now in a new city with a new job, she’s trying to find her new normal—but she knows it doesn’t include the sexy playboy astronaut next door.
Commander Kit Campbell has a taste for fast: fast cars, fast planes, and even faster women. But no ride he’s ever taken will be as fast as the one he’s taking into orbit. He’s willing to put up with the prying adoration of an entire country if it will get him into space.
But Anne-Marie and Kit’s inconvenient attraction threatens both normal and fast. As the space race heats up, his ambitions and their connection collide and combustion threatens their plans… and their hearts.
It's not personal—it's politics.
Michael Picetti: a cynical Democrat who has seen too many failed campaigns. It's not his first primary, and it's been a while since he's truly believed policy and public good trump all.
Lydia Reales: young, hard-working, optimistic…Republican. Getting her candidate in office means everything to her, and leaves zero time for a love life.
Both are determined that opposites don't attract—at least when it comes to crossing party lines. As aides for opposing presidential candidates, Michael and Lydia are competing in an industry that requires total loyalty to their side. It doesn't matter that with each teasing encounter they're more and more attracted to each other. It doesn't matter that casual flirting escalates to a powerful physical connection. It doesn't matter that they might not be able to step away from each other without consequences.
As the campaign rages on and a reckless affair becomes a relationship, the inevitable reality sets in. In the end, loyalty to the campaign has to win. It doesn't matter at what cost.
Compared to love, politics is easy
Union organizer Millie Frank's world isn't filled with cocktails and nightclubs…until she's turned into an unwitting minor celebrity. As if being part of a hostage situation wasn't traumatizing enough, now her face is splashed across the news. But Millie's got fresher wounds to nurse—like being shot down by the arrogant bad boy she stupidly hit on.
Parker Beckett will do whatever it takes to close a deal for the senate majority leader, including selling out union labor. Charming and smart on the surface, he's also cynical and uncommitted—an asset on the Hill. But something about Millie has stuck with him and when negotiations bring her to his office, Parker breaks his own rules and asks her out.
Parker can't understand how Millie has retained her idealism in a place like D.C. Millie can't believe what Parker's willing to sacrifice in order to pass a budget. But as they navigate their political differences, what grows between them looks a lot like a relationship…and maybe even a little like love.
Theodore Ward is a man of deep passions and strong principles - none of which he acts on. So Margaret Hampton ends their engagement, breaking both of their hearts in the process.
Years after their estrangement, ardent but frozen Theo attempts to reconnect with Margaret. She is no longer trusting of the idea of romantic love, having become pragmatic and wary during decades alone. But with the drumbeat of the early days of the Civil War in the background, how can she refuse?
The courtship that results is hasty, reckless, and intense, fueled by contradictions between Theo’s willingness finally to change and Margaret’s fears about the future. Two smart, stubborn, fiery people will need to overcome the hesitancies of their hearts and the perils of battle if they’re ever to find happiness.
Sensuality Level: Sensual