Two women seeking refuge from trauma on an alien world meet in a storm under the unlikeliest circumstances. At the edge of the galaxy, under the apple boughs, can they reach out and take hold of their happily-ever-after?
Thisbe Vandergoss is a London socialite on the run from her controlling family. With all her assets frozen and her friends on Earth just as likely to sell her out than help her out, Thisbe signs up to be a mail-order bride on the lush moon world, Sirona.
Shiloh Kerridan left Earth five years ago, seeking to put a galaxy between herself and the people who hurt her. Shiloh has thrown herself into the creation and maintenance of Starfall Ranch, a cozy piece of farmland that boasts juicy apples and the best goats cheese on Sirona. She’s vowed never to let anyone in again, and she certainly has no patience for rich off-worlders who show up on her doorstep unexpectedly.
Especially when Thisbe shows up in the middle of a streak of bad luck: her fruit trees have succumbed to disastrous blight, her farm bots keep mysteriously malfunctioning, and a local mining company is breathing down her neck to parcel out her land. If Shiloh’s bad luck keeps up, she’ll have no choice but to sell her beloved farm and sanctuary. Thisbe is determined she won’t let that happen, but will Shiloh open her heart enough to trust again?
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Read an excerpt:
Thisbe slipped on a pair of sunglasses and got back in her car. She noticed a shopping bag in the back seat, carelessly left there from a lunchtime retail therapy session two days prior. She pulled the bag into her lap and examined her purchases: some fine jewelry, a small fortune in makeup, and a pair of vibrant red and teal leather stiletto shoes.
Thisbe bit her lip and pushed her a strand of curls out of her eyes. She loved those shoes, and she hadn’t even had a chance to wear them out on the town yet. They were dinosaur leather, made from authentic, lab-grown agilisaurus flesh. The stilettos (which were utterly glorious) had been a limited-edition design, exclusive to an invite-only pre-order mailing list, and Thisbe was one of only a hundred lucky women in London who’d managed to snag a pair. Still, desperate times…
She pulled a U-turn back onto the road and headed for the shop at a high-end mall where she had picked up her pre-order. The sales rep at the returns counter gave her a massive side-eye of disbelief when she opened the box.
“You do know that these shoes are made from dinosaurs?” She asked, not daring to touch the treasures until she was certain Thisbe wasn’t going to change her mind.
Thisbe pouted as though this were all the universe’s fault. Which, if her parents were correct about their central role in the universe, it kind of was.
“Can you believe they don’t fit? I think this pair must have been mismarked or something. This should be my size, but it feels about two sizes too small for my poor toes.”
“If it were me, I’d just cut my toes off,” the rep laughed. Thisbe laughed with her.
“If only. I don’t suppose there’s a chance of an exchange?” She did her best to look hopeful, knowing full well there wasn’t a chance in any dimension of there being a spare pair just lying around for exchange.
“Afraid not, love. Do you want the sale back on the card you used?”
“Cash is fine,” Thisbe said quickly.
She pocketed the fifteen thousand in cash and returned the jewelry and makeup in much the same way. By the time she got back to her car, she had just under thirty thousand pounds in her pocket. Enough to lay low and figure out her next move, at the very least. But she still had a few more errands to run.
Meet the Author
California Dawes is a lover of romance, fantasy, mystery, and the allure of the open road. Her romances are always set in queernorm worlds where complex characters explore the depths of their desires, pursue the truth of their hearts, and sometimes fight some demons along the way.
She lives in the San Francisco area with two highly opinionated cats and the sweetest dog in the universe. When she’s not writing swoon-worthy romances, California enjoys RPGs, running, road trips, and good coffee shops.