Sunday, January 31, 2016

Review: Cold Fusion by Harper Fox


Title: Cold Fusion

Author: Harper Fox

Publisher: Samhain

Release: 5th January 2016

Genre: M/M (contemporary)


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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.


Sally’s and Mark’s Review

Sally: I was absolutely delighted to pick up Cold Fusion by Harper Fox recently and even more delighted when Mark said he was reading it too and how about a ‘buddy read’. Of course I jumped at the chance and we spent a happy few days squeeing to each other. What did you think, Mark? Harper’s use of language is what makes me pick up her books, no matter the subject matter, but with this one - oh my the suspense!!

Mark: Well, I must admit Sally that Harper had me on the edge of my seat with this great book. As soon as I had read chapter one I knew this book was not going to be put aside easily. WOW! It starts off at a cracking pace and really doesn’t let up. We have everything here from intrigue, assassination attempts, science which would be nice if it wasn’t fiction even by today’s standards and above all two absolutely adorable characters that I fell in love with as soon as they appeared on the page.

Sally:  Kier Mallory is a marvellous protagonist and a  terrific POV character with a poet’s eye. This was great because Harper’s prose often reads like poetry but with Kier’s muse being allowed to peep out from time to time his point of view was so richly described. Seen through his eyes no wonder Vivian is such a compelling, and loveable, character. I really liked some of the others too.

Mark: Kier, oh yes! Harper’s narrative style does it for me all the time. Kier for me was such a study in contrast. Deep down in his heart he wants nothing more than to save the planet as if by doing this he can right all the wrongs and injustices of the world including his own. A fighter and yet insecure. After we read about his parents and family background especially his father it’s amazing how he ever rose above those things and became the man he is. But despite the odds he has turned out to be a wonderful person if maybe a little misguided in his intentions occasionally and enthusiasm to do good. I love how Harper seems to lift her characters off the page and brings them to alive. It's as though while I'm reading they really exist for me. Anyway, enough about Kier, what did you think about Vivian Sally? I think you’d better start because I could write a whole sonnet dedicated to this adorable character.

Sally: Vivian actually reminded me of a friend I had way back in the 70s. His mind set was very different to Vivian’s but it was equally gifted and almost as quirky. He was working on the early versions of computer code and it was clear he was always making the effort to slow his thought processes to the point that averagely intelligent people could follow. I remembered my friend and how when he was tired or had had a drink or two he used to lose control of his tongue and talk a mile a minute answering his own questions. Sherlock on speed. Vivian although quieter seemed to make so much effort to get onto Kier’s wavelength and his occasional slips were either adorable or heartbreaking, and sometimes both. I finished reading Cold Fusion a couple of weeks ago but I still think of Vivian, and his very specialised competencies, a lot.

Mark: When I first met Vivian I made the usual assumptions that anyone who is that brilliant has to be eccentric but oh my how wrong I was. When I learnt about his condition and what he is dealing with my heart just went out to him. It's as though for all the genius he possesses there is a price to pay for it too and despite all his intelligence he is so innocent and naive in a lot of ways. Harper has created a wonderful character that anyone can fall for instantly and will not let go of the reader for a long time after the book is finished. As with you Sally he still lingers on in my thoughts and I guess will for a while longer too. Here Harper has created two remarkable characters, although very different are also symbiotic. They are beautiful and compliment each other perfectly. With all this said she then drops them in situation and a run for their lives. I know you said to me you finished the book with your heart pounding and your pulse racing, what was it that made you feel that way?

Sally: There was this spiral of impending disaster. With the benefit of the clarity of vision afforded to readers we could look across to the next loop on the spiral and think “oh shit, I really don’t think that’s a good idea” but the poor, poor protagonists are set in their course. Luckily Harper always puts in moments of calm and grace, and humour too, so a reader can catch their breath before the next crisis. It just takes me a bit longer these days :D and I always fall for red herrings.

How about you? Did you have to put it down and go and have a walk around the house to calm down  too?

Mark: Oh I know what you mean. I had more the problem of not wanting to put it aside! Any interruption was not taken lightly by me while immersed in this read. Even my hubby got the message – lol! As I said at the beginning the book starts off at a cracking pace and it’s not long before foul play is suspected. The red herrings were fun I don’t know if I fell for them like you did but I do know they kept me on my toes with the next twist in the story for sure. For me the story was sandwiched or nicely spread out after the action you get a nice sedate pace where you think everything is OK and then BAM, you’re knocked for six with the next surprise and you’re off and running with Vivian and Kier; pulse and heart racing with them all the way. I liked that at the beginning they both in their own way are trying to save the planet and all the excitement that it brings with it but by the end they have just found a niche for themselves where they can be happy and contented with each other even if the rest of the world goes to hell in a handbasket. But I’m sure it won’t be long before they are out there trying to make the world a better place again. A wonderful piece of story plotting to keep the reader places to breathe and calm down before switching up the adrenaline levels once again. I can recommend this book highly to anyone and I’m sure they’ll not be disappointed in what a treat Harper has delivered with this book. I loved it and even now still thinking off and on about Viv. I can’t see there could be a second book currently but I wouldn’t mind to read more from Kier and Viv anyway if the opportunity should ever present itself. Anyway, over to you now Sally for the final word.

Sally: We ought to let Harper have that don’t you think. Here’s a quote from when Keir has returned to a place where he was once happy:

In summer the hut had sheltered a fringe of yellow poppies, and these were still here too after a fashion. A strange whisper-music was rippling over the turf. I listened, closing my eyes.

The dry brown poppy chambers lend

A temporary larynx to the wind.

Who had written that? I dug through my memories of poems and poets, but nothing came back, and out of habit I pulled a scrap of paper from my ruckie’s front pocket and scribbled the words down. Once I saw them in my own handwriting, it slowly sank in with me that they weren’t a memory at all. They were my words, new ones, forged here on the anvil of the sand.

A romping plot, characters to genuinely care for and wonderful lyrical prose - there’s nothing better than that.

Mark: Amen!


Meet Harper Fox


Bestselling British author Harper Fox has established herself as a firm favourite with readers of M/M romance. Over the past three years, she’s delivered thirteen critically acclaimed novels, novellas and short stories, including Scrap Metal (Rainbow Awards Honourable Mention),The Salisbury Key(CAPA nominated) and Life After Joe (Band of Thebes Best LGBT Book, 2011).

Harper takes her inspiration from a wide range of British settings – wild countryside, edgy urban and most things in between – and loves to use these backdrops for stories about sexy gay men sharing passion, adventure and happy endings. She also runs her own publishing imprint, FoxTales.

Harper has recently returned from Cornwall to her native Northumberland, and already the bleak moorlands around her home are providing a wealth of new ideas for future work.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow, that looks like a great read! Definitely added to my TBR!


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