Lunar Eclipse by Gun Brooke is a beautiful combination of speculative fiction and romance.
This is the story of Moon de Cruz and Captain Beaux Lestarion. Moon has been a slave for all of her life. She was bought and lived as a servant on a cruise ship going from planet to planet for most of her young life. When that ship was attacked and destroyed by pirates, through a set of almost miraculous events, Moon manages to flee in an escape pod. She is the only survivor. She eventually crash lands onto an uninhabited world. Though she is sometimes lonely, she also enjoys the fact that she is finally living as a free person on a lovely planet. About four years later this idyllic life is threatened when a space ship arrives filled with businessmen and miners intent on finding and taking the resources of what they think is a totally uninhabited planet. The captain of the ship also lands with the group and Moon, who is watching them from a distance, immediately takes notice of her. Moon feels she must keep these folks from hurting what she feels is her planet, but she also feels a real attraction to Beaux that complicates everything.
This story touched my heart. I’ve read several of Ms. Brooke’s romance novels before, but this is my first time reading any of her speculative fiction. I must say I am very impressed with how well she makes this world seem real. Her world building skills are well represented in this book. Part way through, I was almost wishing I could live on this planet myself. The two main characters are very likeable and easy to connect with. The chemistry between the two is very evident from the moment they first set eyes on each other. The story flows easily and kept my interest all the way through. There is even a plot twist that surprised me and made the story more interesting.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and can recommend it to anyone who loves a wonderful romance set into a speculative fiction story.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.