Title: Cold Fusion
Author: Harper Fox
Series: – –
Genre: M/M Romance
Their love is the catalyst that could save the planet…or cost their lives.
As an environmental activist for Peace Warrior, Kier Mallory never hesitated to throw himself into dangerous situations. Until his hotheadedness costs the lives of two fellow crewmembers on an anti-whaling mission.
He finds no refuge in his hometown on Scotland’s north coast, where everyone knows what this son of a broken fisherman has done. Effectively homeless, Mal returns to one of his favorite places—Spindrift, a rustic colony of artist and crafter huts.
Spindrift is dilapidated and empty, save for a lone resident. Vivian Calder, a brilliant but emotionally detached scientist who appears to have done the impossible—mastered cold fusion. A clean, free, limitless source of power.
Despite Viv’s aversion to contact, a fragile bond forms between them, seemingly one atom at a time. Until Mal, determined to redeem himself by revealing Viv’s accomplishment to the world, brings down the wrath of an oil-dependent establishment, risking not only their love, but Viv’s life.
Warning: Contains a disgraced environmentalist and an autistic genius who go from strangers to lovers-for-life in thirteen days. Don’t believe in miracles? We’ll make you.
Source: ARC from Samhain Publishing via NetGalley
There are three main characters in this book: Mallory the poet activist with serious guilt issues; Viv the intense scientist who might just save the world; and Scotland, beautiful Scotland with its wild, rugged north Atlantic coast and the cruel beauty of the Cairngorms. The book itself is beautiful and dramatic and definitely requires much suspension of belief in places, but at heart it’s a deeply enjoyable romance and I really liked it.
Which is strange because at times Mallory is a tough guy to like. The story is told in first person entirely from his perspective and from the beginning we learn that he’s impulsive, stubborn, head strong, passionate and has something of a temper. Yet he’s also a poet and some of the things he comes out with throughout the book are just gorgeous. He’s also the son of a violent alcoholic, has spent his life trying to defeat the demons of his father, has a mother who cares more about the neighbours than what really happens under her roof and he’s being crushed beneath the weight of his own guilt and grief. He’s a complicated character, who isn’t always likeable, yet I did like him and the way he interacted with Vivian. Even if there were a few moments here and there where I just wanted him to stop talking and think, really think for a moment.
Vivian has Aspergers, yet that’s only a small part of the person he is -I really liked him. Yes, he is focused and fussy at times and doesn’t always understand emotional cues and boundaries, but he’s also fiercely intelligent, sweet and passionate in his own way. His relationship with Mallory isn’t all smooth sailing, but I loved how well they came to understand each other, how they wanted in their own ways to save each other and how they both learned how to really live while with each other. Vivian’s a much more sympathetic and likeable character than Mallory, but through him Mallory becomes more likeable too. I loved watching their relationship develop.
All right, yes, the science. Things there do venture into fantasy, and when added to certain things towards the end it can all seem a bit much. However, it did add a nice element of danger to the whole tale, providing reasons for them to go racing off around the place and giving them a chance to hole up together in splendid isolation and truly explore their feelings for one another. And there’s also Alfred who is amazing on every level. Shame about Alan, but the less said about him the better.
Overall I really liked this. The language definitely tips over into lyrical qualities at times and the action leans towards melodrama, but I don’t care. It swept me up and carried me away as the love between these two men deepened and blossomed into something wonderful. Sure, it does all take place over a very short period, but considering all that happens I could just about believe it. As long as you don’t take the science stuff too seriously, then hopefully you might enjoy it too. This was my first taste of Harper Fox’s work, but I know it won’t be the last.
Cold Fusion is Out Now!
Visit Harper Fox for more details.