Author: Ariel Tachna
Cover Artist: Shobana Appavu
Buy Link: Fallout
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance, Interracial
Length: novel (210 pages)
Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Andrea
Review Summary: One of the best researched and well-written scientific plots I’ve ever found in a romance. The drama and suspense surrounding the nuclear reactor exceeded my expectations . The romance, while strong, is a little more subdued and at times gets overshadowed.
Blurb: When a Category 4 hurricane hits the Texas Gulf Coast and critically damages a nuclear reactor, the NRC brings in robotics engineer Derek Marshall and professor Sambit Patel to avert a disaster. Unfortunately, putting the men in the same room could be nearly as dangerous as the reactor: Derek’s out and proud, gruff, and occasionally obnoxious; Sambit is closeted, quiet, and reserved. Faced with isolation, ungodly living conditions, and the very real possibility of acute radiation sickness, they race against time to stabilize the reactor. But the attraction growing between them may be beyond their control.
On the surface, Derek and Sambit have nothing in common. They live in separate cities, come from disparate cultures, and have trouble just getting along, never mind navigating a relationship. All they have to hold them together is a few isolated weeks of trying to save the world, or at least the environment. Sambit is convinced the end of the assignment will be the end for them as well—and despite their many differences, he’s beginning to wonder how he’ll survive the fallout once Derek leaves him behind.
The minute I saw that Fallout was about a damaged nuclear reactor and two scientists being sent in to fix it, I knew I had to read this book. My inner science-nerd had to have it. I loved all the drama and the details based around the reactor but can see where that might be an issue for others. There is very little romance in the beginning of the book and a lot of technical details are being discussed. The details on the inner workings of the reactor and the repairs being made could overwhelm or bore someone not interested in that part of the story.
The first scientist brought in to work on the reactor is Sambit Patel. He’s a nuclear physicist, his job is to fix the reactor. He comes off as being rather priggish. The next scientist on the scene is Derek Marshall, he is the robotics engineer. His job is to get his robot into the areas too dangerous for humans. Derek is loud, abrasive and defensive. They have both perfected using their less than charming personalities to keep people from getting too close. At first I didn’t like either one of them because of this. As the book went on I learned that a lot of Sambit’s reserve comes from growing up in India and the cultural differences. Derek’s offensive attitude is a self-defense mechanism he has developed because of a past trauma. Both of them had a softer side and were even humorous once they opened themselves up. By the end I really liked them.
As they work on the reactor their relationship slowly begins to develop. They start out as reluctant coworkers and a fragile friendship starts to form. Right when the romance starts to pick up, Derek is sent home. Sambit is still stuck at the reactor and Derek is home dealing with the destruction from the hurricane. Their only communication is through texts, emails and phone calls. I’m usually all about the sex and passion but I found myself taking an interest in the issues they had to deal with in order to make a romantic relationship work. The emphasis is definitely on the development of their relationship but I don’t want to give the impression that there isn’t any sex, there are a few hot sex scenes too.
Overall I liked the book but I never got emotionally involved in the romance. I kept hoping to find myself loving the characters and their romance but it never happened, I liked them but never loved them. I did like how in depth the author went into the workings of the nuclear reactor. I was fascinated by Sambit’s Indian heritage and loved reading about their cultural differences. I even enjoyed seeing them work through their relationship issues. I would recommend Fallout to someone looking for something a little deeper and is interested in the technical/scientific aspects of the book.