Title: Atomic Love
Author: Jennie Fields
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Genre: Historical fiction, Romance, Spy
Book format: ARC of hardback
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Description: Chicago, 1950: Rosalind Porter is unfulfilled, heartbroken and angry.
Five years ago her career as a scientist was sabotaged by the man who also broke her heart: former Manhattan Project colleague Thomas Weaver.
Now, out of the blue, Thomas gets back in touch: he urgently needs to see her.
Rosalind is wary, can she let him back into her life and risk being hurt all over again?
But then someone changes her mind – FBI agent Charlie Szydlo.
He suspects Thomas of selling atomic secrets to Russia, and he needs her help to find out the truth.
But is it the truth about what Thomas might have done or the truth about his feelings for her that really matters? And at the back of her mind is Charlie – a good man whose pain she is drawn to healing.
Torn between two men, Rosalind faces a heartbreaking choice . . .

*Free copy provided by pulisher for review…

Review:  Rosalind Porter is a scientist who worked on the Manhatten Project, the project that led to the creation and dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan. Now, five years later, she’s ridden with guilt over what she created and no longer works as a scientist after her career was ended by Thomas Weaver. But Weaver, the man she loved for years, and who broke her heart, has suddenly returned and he is desperate to see her again. Rosalind is reluctant but when FBI agent Charlie Szydlo tells her that Weaver may be selling secrets to the Russians, Roz agrees to spy on her former lover.

This is an interesting read which sucked me in from the first pages. Set in 1950s Chicago, the story follows two characters, Rosalind (Roz) Porter and the FBI agent Charlie Szydlo. While Rosalind is broken by her past involvement with the Manhatten Project and what happened between her and Weaver, Szydlo has his own back story which shows that he too is broken by what happened to him during the war. Rosalind’s story focuses on her and Weaver at first, and she soon finds herself agreeing to spy on him for the FBI. But things with Weaver were complicated when they broke up and soon Roz finds herself drawn to him as she was years ago.

As we follow Roz’s story we find out more about her past with Weaver, the hold he has on her, as well as what happened to her when he left. As well as her personal story there is the wider tale of Weaver and the fact that he may be selling secrets to Russia.  It’s this part of the story that I found most interesting at first and it compelled me to read on. At the same time as Roz’s story, there are other chapters that focus on Agent Szydlo. Charlie is an interesting character which I ended up liking and wanting to find out about more, especially when you get to read more about the horrors he faced as a POW in Japan. Although the story of Roz and Charlie seem to run seperately at first, apart from him asking her to spy on Weaver, you soon see how these two are drawn to each other and the story takes an interesting twist.

Although I enjoyed reading this and found myself engrossed in the story it isn’t exactly what I’d call a spy thriller. It feels like a really interesting historical fiction with a spy twist and a heavy dose of romance. The romance is both beautiful and quite intense in some parts. Both Weaver and Szydlo become love interests for Roz and there are many moments of passion with a few descriptive passages of sex which might be a bit much for some readers, however they felt well written given the overall feel of the novel.  Although there is very little swearing in this book, there are a few scenes involving some brutality that Charlie experiences while a POW which some people might find a bit difficult to read.  These scenes are quite graphic with their descriptions, particularly one horrible event that happens with a doctor, but I like how they show the true horror of what did happen to some as prisoners during the war.

The ending is a satisfying one, especially with how everything is resolved between all the major and even some minor characters. Although the last chapter felt a mix of happy and sad emotions it was also a satisfying end for Roz’s story and what happens with both Charlie and Weaver. Although I did like this book and was drawn to the spy aspect especially around what was happening to Weaver, I do feel a bit of a mixture of emotions after finishing this. I did expect this to be more centered around the espionage but this felt more like a love story of three broken people all in turn, healing each other. As someone who likes romances and especially the way this one evolves, I don’t mind and even enjoyed the whole story, but I do think it’s worth nothing that this book feels more historical romance with a spy twist, than historical spy novel.

I have really enjoyed reading this story and although I feel I would have liked to know more about what happens to Charlie and what happens to Roz at the end, and maybe would have enjoyed even more back story to Charlie and his Polish roots (maybe because I have Polish roots myself! 😀 ) I’m glad I’ve been given the chance to read this story and would recommend it to anyone who is interested in a historical romance set in the cold war with some exciting espionage.

‘Atomic Love’ is available now!

What do you think of this book?  Do you like historical fiction novels?  What about stories about espionage?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂