Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.The Astronaut and the Star by Jen Comfort
Published by Montlake on March 1, 2022
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook (347 pages)
Source: Kindle Freebie
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
An out-of-this-world romantic comedy featuring an astronaut tasked with training a Hollywood actor for a space flick.
Astronaut Regina “Reggie” Hayes wants to be the first woman on the moon—it’s all she’s ever dreamed of. But after a PR disaster, Reggie is off the list for a lunar mission. To rehabilitate her reputation with NASA, she agrees to a different kind of assignment: astronaut “training” with a Hollywood action hero.
Jon Leo is a charmer. With credits that include an underperforming sitcom and a campy action flick called Space Dude, his upcoming role in a prestigious movie could prove he’s a star. But Jon isn’t just big muscles and an otherworldly smile—he’s also a total space nerd. He’s pumped about his own personal space camp…until he meets ice-cold Reggie.
Although Reggie and Jon are polar opposites, their mutual attraction is undeniable, and it only takes a few weeks in close quarters for them to give in to its magnetic force. Jon is set on convincing Reggie this is a match made in the heavens, but her future is in space, and his is among stars of the Hollywood kind. The odds of successfully launching a real relationship outside the confines of the training base are anything but optimal.
Reggie, content with keeping things casual, is forced by a sudden turn of events to confront the possibility of losing Jon forever. Now, she’ll do whatever it takes to win both the man and the moon.
Proceed With Caution:
This book contains violence.
The Astronaut and the Star follows goth astronaut, Reggie, who doesn’t have the best reputation with the media. She’s desperate to be the first woman on the moon, but she knows she won’t be selected for the mission if no one wants to work with her. Then there’s rising Hollywood star, Jon, whose upcoming role as an astronaut puts him in Reggie’s hands to learn the tools of the trade…and more.
The set-up for The Astronaut and the Star sounded super fun, and forced proximity is one of my favorite tropes! Unfortunately, it just seemed…forced. None of it makes any sense, and I had trouble believing any of this would be happening. They’re suppose to be filming a kind of behind-the-scenes promo for Jon’s upcoming film, showing him going through astronaut training for the role. Reggie also hopes this special will show the selection board that she’s not a total media mess. None of that happens.
First of all, Jon isn’t allowed to do anything or touch anything or really participate in any of the scheduled activities. Reggie is quick to shut down any attempts by him to be involved, constantly reminding him how expensive the equipment is to keep him from damaging anything. Even when they’re on a “mission” together, he’s just watching from afar, or not even that. There are times she gives him random busy work. What part of this is fake astronaut training?
On top of that, the film crew isn’t enough around most of the time! What are they recording?! When they are there, nothing is happening and they’re trying to figure out their angle. Shouldn’t someone have thought of some potential story-lines ahead of time? Or maybe they should be there filming when Reggie and Jon are actually doing something? It was all very weird, like the author had this grand idea on getting Reggie and Jon in the same space, but then did nothing with it.
Of course, this is also a grumpy-sunshine romance. Reggie is the goth ice queen who doesn’t do relationships. Jon is the overeager puppy himbo who wants love, not just sex. That’s all well and good, but again, it didn’t quite work. Jon is very open with his attraction to Reggie, even when she constantly rebuffs him and reminds him that she doesn’t want to get involved. Obviously, we know them getting together is inevitable, but that doesn’t mean Jon has to overstep her boundaries to “convince” her to change her mind. It felt kind of icky at times.
Then The Astronaut and the Star ends with a tacked on minor suspense plot involving a conspiracy theorist. There was no build up to this. It came out of nowhere as a way to put our potential lovers in a life or death situation to make Reggie realize her true feelings. I do think this side plot could have been fun and exciting if it had been introduced earlier. Like little things going wrong and increasingly getting worse until it’s revealed who’s behind it and that they’re crazier than you assumed! But no.
I’m just super disappointed in The Astronaut and the Star. It has such an amazing premise, but that’s all it ended up being. Nothing flows or works together. It’s like taking a bunch of pieces from different awesome puzzles and trying to force them together.