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Atomic Loves’s Back-of-Book Description
“A novel of science, love, espionage, beautiful writing, and a heroine who carves a strong path in the world of men. As far as I’m concerned there is nothing left to want.”–Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House
“A highly-charged love story that reveals the dangerous energy at the heart of every real connection…Riveting.”–Delia Owens, author of Where the Crawdads Sing
Love. Desire. Betrayal. Her choice could save a nation.
Chicago, 1950. Rosalind Porter has always defied expectations–in her work as a physicist on the Manhattan Project and in her passionate love affair with colleague Thomas Weaver. Five years after the end of both, her guilt over the bomb and her heartbreak over Weaver are intertwined. She desperately misses her work in the lab, yet has almost resigned herself to a more conventional life.
Then Weaver gets back in touch–and so does the FBI. Special Agent Charlie Szydlo wants Roz to spy on Weaver, whom the FBI suspects of passing nuclear secrets to Russia. Roz helped to develop these secrets and knows better than anyone the devastating power such knowledge holds. But can she spy on a man she still loves, despite her better instincts? At the same time, something about Charlie draws her in. He’s a former prisoner of war haunted by his past, just as her past haunts her.
As Rosalind’s feelings for each man deepen, so too does the danger she finds herself in. She will have to choose: the man who taught her how to love . . . or the man her love might save?
I got this book in my August Book of the Month box along with my friend. When I was ready for a new book, she mentioned she’d started reading this one so I decided to dive in, too! I was looking forward to a nice romance as it had been a while since I read in that genre.
Well… while Atomic Love is definitely a romance, it was not quite what I had in mind. Right from the start, I wasn’t sold on the writing, but I kept thinking that if BOTM had it in there, it would surely get better, right? They’ve never steered me wrong before. Also, there was a line really early on that mentioned the main character’s “naked breasts” so then I thought, hm… maybe it’s an erotic romance!? That’ll be interesting.
Nope – it’s not erotic. That was just one of a few weird lines.
I liked the idea of a female lead who had something to do with the Manhattan Project. But while that is the character’s background, there wasn’t a whole lot of detail given about it. There wasn’t any science talk at all really.
Other aspects of the character’s life were well rounded though and felt complete. So that was nice. And a lot of information was provided about the other main characters as well, including their past and their current feelings. So much talk about feelings.
The storyline included your typical romance tropes, especially internal dialogue about the right thing to do, which guy she liked and why, and two people developing strong affection for each other incredibly fast with minimal interactions before professing their love.
I hate to give such a negative review since I know that my opinion shouldn’t carry a lot of weight in this genre. But I honestly just felt like the sorry was boring and the writing was only ok. I also did not care for the ending – it felt forced and unnatural. But I was excited to been finished with it and able to move on to something else.
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Favorite Quotes From Atomic Love
“But what she should do and what she is capable of doing are often two sides to an unsolvable equation.”
“She never knew how bitter fear could taste.”
“Liquor doesn’t fix anything. It brings a person to the edge and lets them dangle between dignity and shame.”
“Funny how one aches to know. To be wiser, no matter how painful the truth.”
“America isn’t the land of the brave. It’s the land of bravado. We’re show-offs.”
Atomic Love gets only 2.75 stars from me. While the premise was good, I didn’t care for the execution. There was too much fluff and not enough action. Not that we needed a lot of action, but with the espionage aspect I expected some. And the same can be said about the romantic aspect – the feelings were talked about too much while the physical romance scenes were skimmed over.
As I said, I realize there’s a chance that I’m just not this author’s primary demographic as romances are not my usual go-to genre. But even my friend agreed that the book was slow and not our favorite.
That being said – if the 1950s is a favorite time period for you and you just love fluffy romance books, you might feel differently.
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