“Like a breath of midnight air, like a lighthouse, like a prayer, like the flicker and the flare...Love heals. There are those who shield their hearts, who quit before they start, who've frozen up the part of them that feels...When you feel...you can't go on, hold onto love, it'll keep you strong...it'll bring you home...When the pain's too much to bear and when life's so unfair and you're drowning in regret, just don't forget, Love heals.” ~ RENT (Love Heals)
It may not be a cure as most people think of one, but no matter what happens in life, love has the ability to heal. This is a statement that Kier (Mal) Mallory of 'Cold Fusion' by Harper Fox never believed—until he fell in love with Vivian (Viv) Calder. Being in love with Viv opens his eyes and his soul more than he ever though possible. Mal may have been careless with his life before, but now he wants to live forever if he can have Viv, his beautiful prince, by his side.
After a fatal disaster on an anti-whaling boat, Mal heads to the last place he wants to go, home. Predictably, as with all his life, he is beaten by his alcoholic father while his doormat of a mother refuses to intervene. Mal escapes—knowing he has to find shelter or die. and heads to an abandoned community built for artists and craftsmen called Spindrift. There he meets Viv, who looks like a Greek god, albeit a skinny one. Mal tries to brush off the lack of good manners, thinking he's imposing; Mal's first hint that Viv isn't like most people happens when Viv becomes irate because Mal doesn't put the shower gel back in place after a shower. He is angry at first, thinking Viv is being condescending, but soon realizes that Viv is sort of a mad genius who is autistic with a wicked case of OCD. Mal does his best to accommodate Viv’s idiosyncrasies and becomes somewhat accustomed to Viv’s lack of emotion and reaction. Viv honestly does not know how to respond to certain situations. Since Mal has nothing else to do, he stays to help Viv with his experiments, grasping the idea that they have to do with creating cold fusion, which, if accomplished, would give the Earth an abundance of clean and safe energy. Viv knows how powerful it is and wants to keep it a secret, fearing others would either try to steal it or stop their work altogether. In his zeal to redeem himself, Mal calls their company and tells them about it.
When Alan, Mal's ex-lover and comember of the environmental group shows up, Mal is confused and angry to see him there, but, in spite of himself, he's still in love with Alan. Unfortunately Alan is not who he says he is and betrays Mal again by trying to blow up Viv and his discovery, sending Mal and Viv into hiding in an abandoned cottage belonging to Viv’s deceased aunt. Seemingly safe at the moment, Viv and Mal know that they are still in mortal danger. The house is in horrible need of repair, but at least it 's shelter. Viv tries to help Mal make the house more livable, but he takes everything so literally, it often hurts rather than helps. Since Viv is brilliant as well as autistic, he becomes adept at learning to do things in a way Mal considers proper, while, at the same time, preserving the actions that soothe him. Mal never expects to be anything but friends with this amazingly beautiful but sometimes clueless man; when Viv tells him he wants to have sex, Mal is flabbergasted but certainly isn't going to turn Viv down! Viv and Mal develop amazing level of intimacy, more than they ever though could happen. Whether it be attraction, desire, the closeness in a secluded place seemingly beyond the rest of the world's reach, Mal and Viv fall deeply in love. It seems that nothing can ever come between them, but Viv has a deep, dark secret that he has yet to share. When it becomes imperative, Viv tells Mal in his no-nonsense, direct way, not realizing it will devastate Mal turning all his dreams into ash. However, they have no time to dwell on it, because their hiding place has been discovered by those who are hell-bent on destroying them.
Harper has truly outdone herself with this marvelously crafted, dramatic love story. Besides her lyrical, precise writing, she's captured my heart with an unlikely pairing of two completely opposite men on a run for their lives. Vivian Calder may just be the most intriguing character Harper has ever given life to and definitely a favorite of mine! In the middle of chaos, Harper managed to create a safe haven for love to develop and grow while taunting me with the idea that, at any moment, their peace and solitude may come to an abrupt, possibly deadly end. Harper's supporting characters were amazing too, particularly Alfred Macready, Stewart of the Calder estate, and Viv's sister, Cressida, who was an absolute delight and completely stole the show. If you enjoy action, adventure, drama, intrigue, theoretical particle science, and undying devotion, you may like this book. Harper, thank you, very much, for the exhilarating, heart-rending, informative, lovers-for-life story that, in my humble opinion, would make an excellent adventure-drama movie.