When an accident rocks the American Space Department, threatening the race to the moon, the agency wants to eliminate distractions, including those in the bedroom.
Astronaut Dean Garland, on track to become the first man to walk in space, is fine with that. Except the directive comes too late to prevent the biggest distraction of all: Vivian Muller… Garland. But now that he’s married, Dean is determined to follow the rules until the mission is complete.
Vivy never expected to find herself pregnant or in a shotgun marriage, much less a sexless one. While Dean might be impenetrable, though, he’s also alluring, so she’s eager to make her new husband fall for her, even if it means bending—or breaking—the rules.
Dean’s resolve to keep marriage and work separate hits another serious snag: the suit he’s supposed to wear in the killer vacuum of space isn’t reliable, and his father-in-law manufactured it. As Dean unravels the technical problem and Vivy tries to win her husband’s love, their hearts and his life hang in the balance.
Emma Barry is a teacher, novelist, recovering academic, and former political staffer. She lives with her high school sweetheart and a menagerie of pets and children in Virginia, and she occasionally finds time to read and write.
Free Fall by Emma Barry is one of the sweetest, feel good books of the year!
Thank you to Tamsen Parker who suggested I pick up books by Emma Barry! I can't thank her enough, because Emma's writing is beautiful and matches perfectly with my reading style.
Free Fall is about Dean and Vivian, an astronaut and the daughter of of a wealthy businessman, who happen to find themselves in a sticky situation. They are expecting a baby and they have to get married to "set things right". This story follows their relationship and the troubles of Dean's career.
This book really made me feel good - it's ooey gooey cute and isn't negative. It's the type of book you'd want to read when you are in a bad mood because it will pick you up. Yes, there's drama in this book (it's a romance novel, there's bound to be some kind of drama), but it doesn't make you feel bad. I love a book that lets me sink into it's words and feel great, and Emma does that perfectly.
I'm also so incredibly excited to see a book about a woman with a full figure that isn't solely about her weight. Vivy embraces her full figure, and isn't described as "fat". I can fully relate to Vivian - I've always been athletic, and as a child I was told by other kids I was "fat" because I wasn't super skinny like everybody else was in my classes. Being told to stay silent, be smaller, etc., just like Vivy was my life until I got older. It's nice to see the storyline develop with the introduction to her body type, but not revolve around her weight. Too often do we see differences (whether it's gender, sexuality, weight, etc) be used as the problem or plot line of the story, but this book embraced her as a person.
I'd like to see more of Dean and Vivian - I think they're characters are well developed and could definitely hold their own in a series! I'm not sure where we could take them, but they were very cute! These characters do develop and face issues in this story.
Now the big question - do I have any cons (since I've listed many pros). If anything, I would have liked the book to be longer! Maybe a little more drama or action between the couple themselves. That's my only suggestion to improve, because this was a really good book! It's a worth while read! The book was "long enough", but I could see this book including a few extra chapters and work just as well!
Overall, this book was truly beautiful! It's a nice read to embrace on a soft, summer day! I highly recommend this book and declare it a romance must-read! It's also not even close to an R rating (there are some sexy scenes, but nothing a PG-13 warning label won't cover). So if you love romance and a happy ending, then this book will be for you!
Five out of five stars!
I received an ARC copy from the author Emma Barry in exchange for an honest review.
I love this series. Smarts and sex, ambition and daring, glitz and glamour amid the 1960s space race. What's not to love? Alas, Free Fall wasn't my favorite installment.
The "surprise baby and shotgun marriage" trope is hit-or-miss for me (not to mention that as someone who experienced "all day sickness" well into my second trimester, I can't relate to the heroines being perpetually aroused during said pregnancies, but more power to them). So I was a bit skeptical concerning the marriage of convenience between heartthrob astronaut Dean and rebellious college student Vivy. Still, I was hopeful that these authors could make it work for me.
But as the story progressed, I never fully believed in Vivy and Dean as a couple. I believed the lust, sure, but not much else. Moreover, I struggled to connect to the characters. Vivy's woman child persona had me scratching my head, the juxtaposition of "confident and experienced sexpot" with "immature sorority girl who can't boil noodles." Her character would have worked much better as a recent college graduate. Meanwhile, Dean came across nebulous. His private persona unfortunately read as little personality. Tension arises between the couple due to the astronauts' "no sex rule" and the role of Vivy's father's company, which manufactured defective space equipment for ADS. However, the emotional impact of Dean's secrecy and Vivy's torn loyalties was somewhat muted.
Did I mention that I love this series? I do, which is why I'm bummed that I didn't love this particular entry. Nevertheless, it was well-written and sharp, and I certainly hope that it doesn't mark the end of the series.
So I liked this overall, but it lacked some of the magic that the rest of the series held for me overall. I think there are two reasons for this:
1) I'm still in a bit of a podcast backlog, so I just listened to the Elda Minger interview on Fated Mates about two weeks ago. It was hard not to think about that conversation while reading this particular story, or to think about people I know in my own life that got pregnant around this time and got married because they had almost no other choices. So some of this was just about when I read this, rather than the book itself. I was very aware of that as I was reading it, and I tried not to hold it against the story.
2) That said, it still felt like there were some things here that weren't fully developed the way I would have liked/the way I expect from this series. I liked both characters a lot, and I really liked Vivy and the way she grew through the course of the book, but I needed more from their relationship to believe they actually fell in love. I do believe they liked each other, but so much of the book involved this big secret and an inability to talk to each other. It felt like they didn't really know each other enough to be in love. The entire subplot with the space suit and her father also just felt a bit unresolved. And maybe that's because there is no good resolution there, but it also involved me putting the book aside to do some research on the early days of strict products liability in the US (it was in its infancy in the 1960s). All I could think about is the amount of lawsuits that would eventually be brought against her father's company if he kept conducting business that way. That said, I did read this for 20th century vibes for #SnowInLoveBingo, and I'm not sure what feels more 20th century America than the space race and grossly irresponsible and unsafe business practices that put people's lives at risk for the sake of capitalism.
Free Fall by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner is the latest romance in the author duo’s Fly Me to the Moon series. It’s set in the early days of the space race between the Americans and the Soviets. With a fascinating mix of fact and fiction and emotionally engaging characters, it’s a series not to be missed. Each story reads well as a standalone with a compelling romance amid the successes and failures of various missions.
When astronaut Dean Garland meets Vivian Muller at a party, their one night stand results in an unexpected pregnancy followed quickly by a shotgun wedding. Neither Dean nor Vivy was given any choice in the matter especially since Vivy’s father is a wealthy defense contractor who works with the space program. The one thing Dean and Vivy have in common is sexual attraction which should be enough to start their marriage off right, but to Vivy’s dismay, Dean’s told her he isn’t allowed any ‘distractions’ of the romantic or sexual kind due to a training accident for which an astronaut with a party going reputation was deemed at fault.
Adjusting to marriage with a stranger and no sex? No way. Vivy is determined to make the best of things and entice her husband back into the bedroom. But the training Dean is involved in to make the first space walk is no joke. With the pressure on, can Dean and Vivy survive the first few months of their marriage intact, and discover real love waiting in the wings?
Gah, I love this series. Barry-and-Turner do such a great job of infusing it with all the fun stuff of the American 60s. And none of the terrible tragedy or cataclysmic changes: it's not that they're not aware or that it doesn't linger, or hang over the narrative, like the women's movement. They manage to write in a comic mode that still makes the historical period believable.
MoC is my favourite trope so I was already pretty much sold on this novel. I loved it even more than I thought I would. The heroine and hero were wonderful, as was the depiction of their relationship. The attraction was there, even some liking; they simply didn't know each other. When they start to do so, they are beset by how very very much they like each other, the scariness of their feelings' intensity and importance. Also, there's an epistolary element and it's the bestest. If you'd like to read a more extensive review, feel free to follow the link to my blog:
This was perfectly wonderful and charming. I enjoyed both Vivy and Dean as characters. This is a lighter book in tone overall than some of the more recent ones in the series, but it still has tremendous depth and good character development. I like Vivy's vast interests and her connections with the women in her life: her old bonds with her sorority sisters and her new ones with the astronaut wives. Dean is very much the strong silent type, and the struggle he has with reconciling that with his vivacious new wife is portrayed well. I also really loved the bond and interactions between him and his dad.
Free Fall by Genevieve Turner & Emma Barry Fly Me To The Moon #6
Vivian “Vivy” Muller’s laugh drew Major Dean Garland to her side at a party they both were invited to. With little ado they made their escape only to find themselves soon wed to one another as a result of that one night they spent together. Vivy, a wealthy sorority girl, juggles being a student and an astronaut’s wife as she gets to know the quiet man she is married to. Dean finds that the home Vivy has created and her chatter provide something his life was missing. With work tense as he prepares to go up into space and secrets and rules that are impacting his time with Vivy there is often tension between the couple that is stressful to both of them. The way they find their HEA and a true relationship is a joy to read. Vivy is strong and wise and giving with a heart of gold and Dean is so much more than the seemingly cold quiet face he presents to the world.
I have to say that this series is one of my favorite ever. It takes me back in time and reminds me of my past. One scene in the book that uses a candle to announce an engagement to sorority sisters reminded me of my own “blow out” when in nursing school. These stories make me feel and care and hope and remember…I love them all!
Thank you to the authors for the ARC – this is my honest review.
Looking at the description of this, I wasn't sure I was going to like it, because a hookup leading to a pregnancy and marriage of convenience is absolutely not my trope. However, this was actually really consistently adorable. Vivy's so thoroughly charming, living how she wants without regrets. It's amazing how little she judges herself for what she's done, even with the obvious consequences; she's not quite a Pollyanna, but she does always try to focus on making the best of things. Dean, meanwhile, is gruff on the surface to protect his squishy insides which is a character type I do love a lot. The whole order for the astronauts not to have sex is ridiculous, but it works for a romance novel, adding a cute tension to everything.
This didn’t quite live up to the last two I read in the series, but it was a very solid romance. The h was just so young in such a young way. There was was definitely (deliberately?) a sense of puppy love. There was also a puppy! Nothing wrong with that, but the other two I read were more… fraught.
This was charming, this series is charming. I really liked Vivy and Dean and all their contrasts. I sort of love that they had to bond without sex, even though I fully felt both of them on their frustration.
A very interesting book. I don’t usually read historical romance, but since this book takes place when I was in 6th-7th grade, it doesn’t feel exactly historical to me. Just aged, I guess. This is one of those stories that got me on edge, almost such that I didn’t want to go on. But I’ve learned that often those plots and characters lead to some of the best reading, and that was true of this book. Vivy and Dean are characters for whom I had a lot of sympathy - they were both very much between a rock and a hard place and trying to figure things out. It’s interesting to read a “human” story (fictional though it is) related to the space program, where I remember so much of the news about it.
I'm such a big fan of this series and it saddens me to know that I only have one book left. It's evident how much research goes into each one of these but it all feels very naturally woven in and there's such a great sense of time and place, as Barry and Turner show women fighting for their own kind of independence in a way that's still accurate to the early 60's. Vivy and Dean are opposites in the best way and seeing them fall for each other was a delight, from their initial flirtation to the final swooningly romantic letter.
As always, I cannot recommend this series enough. This romance set in the Space Race era in Houston combines fascinating characters with a genuine love for space and science. Free Fall places a stoic astronaut into a shotgun marriage with a vivacious sorority girl whose daddy runs the company that makes the space suits. Dean and Vivy are mostly opposites (with intense chemistry, of course) and when she gets unexpectedly pregnant, there's only one thing for them to do. Getting hitched is only the first of their problems, what with Dean going into space soon. Vivy is such a good heroine--she feels everything very deeply and makes her choices with a degree of rebelliousness and spunk. She's also committed to finishing her degree and is forthright about her weight. Dean could have easily veered into the boring category, but the chapters from his viewpoint do show his character growth as well. (There's a scene where he deals with being a real-life astronaut that is one of the best things about space that I've ever read.) As with the rest of Barry's and Turner's books, their physical relationship is ultra hot, too. Thanks to the authors for giving me an early sneak peek!
But she checked with her body, and it turned out she couldn't find her good sense. She must have left it in her other handbag. Which somehow Dean knew, because he said, "I live down the street. Let me show you my telescope."
These two KIDS seriously! :D No but I adore this series and this book is no exception. It's very much Dean and Vivy's book and they're just not up there at the top of the list (that's Charlie and Parsons fyi) of Characters I'm Interested In (I mean Obsessed With). Every book is so different in this series and this was great in a 60s dresses and cocktail fun kind of way.
There was no problem here, don't get me wrong. This was witty and clever and lovely, but just not my catnip at all. I caught myself looking for the other characters in the scenes and loving when Parsons and Jeffries came to the podium. Somehow Vivy and Dean, while being wonderful characters, could not focus my attention as much as the others did in the previous novels.
Shoutout to the scene where Carruthers gets injured, it was great portrayal with bringing in poetry.
P.s.: I know we still have an astronaut to marry off after Carruthers but can we please get more with the engeneers and computers? I need the story of Jeffries and I need one on Dot so we can have Charlie in our lives again. Also, I would love to read the one they've pulled back with Beverly and the woman astronaut.
The Barry/Turner writing partnership continues to produce well-researched romance novels that are completely unlike any other historical romance novel I’ve encountered. Unlike most other historical romance series, these books provide a great sense of the cultural changes occurring, and nowhere more starkly than Free Fall. While both Star Dust and Earth Bound feel pretty strongly rooted in the 1950s in the heroine’s outlook on their situations, Free Fall is the first book where the culture of the 60s seems to sharply assert itself. Both Dean and Vivy, who are both much more open in their attitudes towards life than Star Dust’s Kit and Anne Marie, most notably in their attitudes towards sex. While Anne-Marie’s conflict over her desire to have a relationship with Kit and her unwillingness to become wholly dependent on a man again is never really resolved, in Free Fall Vivy and Dean are both clear that she will continue to have a life outside of her family, through both her studies and her prospective role in her father’s company (although the succession is never really explained). Dean also gets the chance to be more domestically capable than Kit by being far more competent in the kitchen than Vivy. Also, I loved Vivy. She’s just great. Big Girl solidarity all the way. I wasn’t super crazy about the sex ban plot point, since I thought it was pretty dumb and baseless, especially coming from Parsons, man who is all about evidence and also spent Earth Bound having a lot of sex and emotions and also being very competent at his job. What is the rationale behind a sex ban? Sure, it could be a problem if someone was slutting it up every night and making headlines or everyone was getting the clap or something, but not because sex is a ‘distraction’. Also, the previous books have all clearly established that the astronauts don’t really like Parsons and barely respect him, so it also seemed entirely out of character to me that they would suddenly decide that they were going to follow such a bizarre and baseless edict of his. It mostly felt kind of lazy from a writing standpoint, especially since there seemed to be so many other potential points of conflict that would do a lot more to develop the characters than a sex ban put in place by a third party, the reasons for which are never really explained. This was the book’s biggest weakness for me, especially since it’s supposed to drive so much of the conflict for the first third of the book.
I'm loving this series. The authors have done a great job of creating the atmosphere of this time period. Right now, I'm reading a contemporary romance, and I am just wanting to finish so I can be back in the Fly Me to the Moon series ASAP.
For some reason, I missed the fact that Dean is shy at the beginning of the book. He seemed about as outwardly unsentimental as men of the time were expected to be, but his shyness and reserve became more clear in the second half of the book. This might be because a lot needs to happen plot-wise at the beginning, so the character depth has to come later. I know that Vivy also doesn't recognize how shy he is until later, so I realize this is probably in part a choice on the authors' part.
My favorite thing about Vivy is her loyalty, and that she doesn't misplace it or let it lead her blindly. She's very young, but she grows and makes mature, difficult decisions.
Another great, fun read in the "Fly Me to the Moon" series. This one features socialite and sorority girl Vivian Muller and her shotgun marriage to astronaut Dean Garland. This was a well-written romance but to me it lacked some of the complexity of other books in the series, especially "Earth Bound." That is, Viv was 10 years younger than her husband, a bit insecure, and she goes into her marriage with boundless enthusiasm and confidence, and that rang a little hollow to me. I did like how Barry and Turner explored how Dean's more taciturn nature didn't mean he wasn't listening or that he wasn't a good communicator. The secondary conflict in this book about Viv's dad, the head of a major defense contractor, made for an interesting plot twist. I thought the authors did an excellent job of not keeping him a complex character rather than a simple villain.
I don’t love the premise—couple have to get married because she’s pregnant. At least in a lot of compromised Regency matchups, the couple has rarely done anything sexual at all; that baby is not coming. But, I think this story must be the ideal way to tell this premise that makes me so uncomfortable. I think the authors do a great job of giving Dean and Vivian the motivations that help them commit to this relationship without ever feeling too trapped. Making them delay sex is probably a good move, as well. It gives them a different trap, one that is not of the pregnancy’s making. Anyway, Earth Bound is still one of the best romances of all time, and this isn’t that, but it’s still pretty good!
I have spent the last three days reading all the books in this wonderful series. The characters are so real and the situations so plausible that you sometimes have to remind yourself that this is fiction, although based on events in the real world. I hope the authors keep the books coming. For those of us who lived through the race to the moon the series is a reminder of different times, when being patriotic was a virtue. For younger readers the authors have provided a pretty clear example of what it was like to grow up in the 1950s and 60s. Most highly recommend this book and all the others.
Another beautiful historical set in the 1960s space race in Houston. This one was a one night stand turned oops baby, shotg*n marriage… Vivy and Dean have an incendiary encounter after a party one night and then end up married - a defense contractor’s daughter and a strong silent famous pilot turned astronaut. The space suit Dean is supposed to do a the first space walk in fails during a test and was produced by Vivy’s dads company… the tension between them and within their own minds is super angsty but the chemistry between them is amazing. I love this series and can’t wait to read the next one
Hmmm. Great character work, at least in terms of how they’re drawn. Vivy is as bright and vibrant as she’s described. Less so in terms of arc. Same with the central conflict. Built gorgeously but not really taken anywhere. I’m also uncomfortable with the style of resolution. Yes, they both needed to grow up some and be better communicators but the deceit was one-sided and her concerns around paternalism from the men in her life were valid. She’s working on it with her dad but her husband said I love you in a letter and therefore there’s no issues? Weak.
Didn't quite click with me as much as the rest of the series - possibly because it had been a while since I read the others and this one seemed to rely a lot on the reader knowing past characters and events - but I loved the portrayal of two people who have absolutely no idea how to relationship. Vivy felt very realistically young and, while experienced with dating and sex, new to the hard work parts of a marriage; it was easy to see how despite her general openness and candor she fell into awkward silence with Dean.