Review: Fallout

Reviewed by Jen
 

I liked the set-up on this story.  A terrible hurricane causes a potential disaster at a Texas nuclear plant.  Derek and Sambit are among a small crew called in to secure the facility.  Sambit is a mild mannered Indian man who believes in keeping his private life, private.  He is a university professor who is there to use his theoretical knowledge to deal with the reactors.  Derek is an out-and-proud, boisterous robotics expert from NASA. He’s there to maneuver his robot into areas that are unsafe for people to enter.

The two men start off like oil and water, but quickly become attracted to each other.  They struggle with their differences and with Sambit’s reservations about their chances of making something work between them.  All this, while dealing with the dangerous nuclear threat, and later, separation from one another.

As much as I liked the premise, however, I had some serious problems with the execution of the story.  Derek starts off as a real dick and he really doesn’t like Sambit much. But he makes a complete 180, deciding he not only likes Sambit, but wants him in practically a nanosecond. His change of heart is done with very little prompting and the magnitude of it left me scratching my head.  It just days before Derek sets his sights on a relationship with Sambit and he’s trying to figure out how they are going to live together in less than a week.

In the meantime, Sambit is fixated on how he and Derek could never be together because they live two hours away from each other. Yes, he had a long distance relationship that failed before, but that was intercontinental long-distance.  Big difference.  Both guys are way, way too focused on the long-term after just a few days and a hand-job between them.

I found that I didn’t particularly like either character, either. Derek was too much of an ass at first and too pushy later.  And Sambit was too wrapped up in his issues to reach out and take what he wants.  I never felt any genuine emotion for them or between them. Then, the ending felt rushed.  We waited the whole damn book for these two to get together and we actually only see a tiny bit of their HEA.

This one wasn’t great for me.

Rating: D+

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
  Fallout
by Ariel Tachna
Release Date: May 21, 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Review: Inherit the Sky

Reviewed by Jen
 

In his early 30’s, Caine isn’t getting what he wants out of life. He’s in a lackluster relationship and his terrible stutter keeps him from advancing in his job. So when his uncle dies and leaves his Australian sheep farm to the family, Caine sees a chance to make a change. He packs his bags and moves to the Outback, determined to forge a new path for himself, following in his beloved uncle’s footsteps.

Caine isn’t stupid. He knows that he has a lot to learn about the job. So he goes in with deference to the ranch foreman, Macklin. He has every intention of simply learning what he can so he can do the job right. But Macklin is prickly and skeptical. Every so often, the older man seems to warm to him, but he goes back to being cold just as quickly.

Caine is attracted to Macklin and never dreams his feelings would be returned. But when his life is put in danger, Macklin reacts with a fury and passion that can’t be denied. After that, Caine has high hopes something can grow between them, but Macklin has never been in a real relationship with another man. His love life has been nothing but a string of meaningless sexual encounters. In addition, Macklin is afraid to pursue something with Caine because of the potential fallout should their affair become public knowledge.

I enjoyed the story. Caine’s stuttering and determination to turn his life around make him very sympathetic. He’s a good guy who knows who he is and what he wants. He is gentle without being a wuss; and he is patient without being a doormat. Macklin is gruff and sexy, though his mood swings and his stand-offishness make him less accessible. The sex stays mostly on the tamer side, but I think it was well done. And the Australian backdrop gives the romance a little extra flavor.

The story was pretty low key. And the ending was a little convenient. But I liked watching this couple find their way together. 3 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

 
Click to purchase: Amazon
Inherit the Sky
by Ariel Tachna
Release Date: February 20, 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press