Scrap Metal, by Harper Fox
M/M love on a rugged island -
Story blurb: One year ago, before Fate took a wrecking ball to his life, Nichol was happily working on his doctorate in linguistics. Now he’s hip deep in sheep, mud and collies. His late brother and mother had been well suited to life on Seacliff Farm. Nichol? Not so much.
As lambing season progresses in the teeth of an icy north wind, the last straw is the intruder Nichol catches in the barn. He says his name is Cam, and he’s on the run from a Glasgow gang. Something about the young man’s tired resignation touches Nichol deeply, and instead of giving him the business end of a shotgun, he offers Cam a blanket and a place to stay.
Somehow, Cam quickly charms his way through Nichol’s defenses and into his heart. Even his grandfather takes to the cheeky city boy, whose hard work and good head for figures help set the farm back on its feet.
As the cold Scottish springtime melts into summer, Nichol finds himself falling in love. When tragedy strikes, Cam’s resolutely held secret is finally revealed and Nichol must face the truth. He’s given his heart away, and it’s time to pay the price.
Available in e-book format – 519 KB.
Review by Gerry Burnie
I’m still somewhat at a loss to understand what the title has to do with sheep farming, but this passing quandary didn’t detract from my enjoyment of Scrap Metal by Harper Fox [Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2012].
The story blurb covers the rudiments of the story fairly well. A scholarly lad (Nichol) returns to take over the family’s sheep farm located on a rugged island off the coast of Scotland. All that remains of his family is his dour grandfather (Harry), a somewhat cantankerous gentleman equal in personality to the harshness of the setting.
Enter a comely young stranger, street-savvy but nonetheless on the run from some sinister elements in the big city of Glasgow, whereupon Nichol—rather rashly—invites him to stay on and help with the farm.
As you can no doubt ascertain, there is nothing particularly original about the plot so far. An obligatory homecoming has been the premise of stories for ages, and a handsome stranger has been turning up in barns for just as long. However, what rescues this one from being mundane (even trite) is Ms Fox’s ability to weave characters and setting together in interesting ways. The interaction, therefore, is not just between the three main characters, but includes the craggy island, the prevailing weather and the farm as well.
Ms Fox also has a fine sense of timing. I enjoyed the way she paced the growing relationship between Nichol and Cam, allowing them to bond as comrades before coupling them as lovers. Cam’s eventual earning of the grandfather’s admiration was also handled quite nicely. These are telling points, I think, because any rushing to bed by the two boys would have really cheapened it, and men of Harry’s vintage aren’t easily won over—spoken as a contemporary.
There were a few minor inconsistencies, but since these were so minor they do not bear mentioning. Altogether a solid, well-written novel. Four bees.
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Introducing the characters, settings etc., from my forthcoming novel, Coming of Age on the Trail.
Sasquatch, or “Bigfoot”
“He continued to jack, enjoying the mounting sensation of his nearing climax, when presently he became aware of a strong, musk-like odour from quite close by. It was like human sweat mixed with decaying wood or damp moss, and peering into the gloom he noticed a huge figure silently watching him from the shadows.
Cory froze with his prick still in his hand as he tried to fathom who this intruder might be. At first he thought it might be one of the crew playing a joke on him, but as his eyes adjusted to the gloom he could see it wasn’t one of them. In fact, this creature didn’t resemble any human at all, for it stood well over seven foot tall and was covered from head to foot with long shaggy hair. For a moment he and the creature stood staring at one another from less than a dozen paces apart, and then, as if of one mind, they both let out a startled scream and bolted in opposite directions—the creature knocking over small trees like skittles as it went.”
If you would like to learn more about any of my books, or to order copies, click on the specific cover below. Two Irish Lads and Nor All Thy Tears are available in both Kindle and Nook formats. Publisher’s price, $4.95.
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