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STARFLIGHTby: Melissa Landers
Read on January 14th, 2018
Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.
When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...
"Don't tell me what I mean," he said, his voice rough. "When I walk into a room, you're the only person I see. My brain doesn't get a choice anymore, because there's something inside you so rare it radiates out and blocks everyone else. You have the kind of beauty that can't be manufactured---the kind that comes from in here." He tapped a finger against her chest. "I didn't know what real beauty was before I met you, but I get it now. So trust me when I say you're the most breathtaking girl in my world."
Solara's eyes burned with tears. She tried blinking Doran into focus, but something hot and painful welled inside her until his face became a wet blur.
"I like waking up in sheets that smell like you," he said, gentler this time. "And I like the little wrinkle that shows up between your eyes every time you look at me. When I think about giving that up, I can't breathe." He took her face between his warm, callused hands. "Today, when I imagines what it would feel like to leave you behind, I realized that I can't do it. And don't think I'm being noble."