Gerry B's Book Reviews

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.

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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.

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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.

      

Thanks for Dropping by. The more the merrier!! Y’all come back.

[1] Native to East Vancouver Island and the Fraser plateau.

[2] Native to The Pacific Northwest, Yukon and Southern Alberta.

April 29, 2012 Posted by | Fiction, Gay fiction, M/M love and adventure | Leave a comment

Brothers of the Wild North Sea, by Harper Fox

A good solid read that most fans of historical fiction will enjoy.

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brothers of the wild north sea - coverStory blurb: His deadliest enemy will become his heart’s desire.

Caius doesn’t feel like much of a Christian. He loves his life of learning as a monk in the far-flung stronghold of Fara, but the hot warrior blood of his chieftain father flows in his veins. Heat soothed only in the arms of his sweet-natured friend and lover, Leof.

When Leof is killed during a Viking raid, Cai’s grieving heart thirsts for vengeance—and he has his chance with Fenrir, a wounded young Viking warrior left for dead. But instead of reaching for a weapon, Cai finds himself defying his abbot’s orders and using his healing skills to save Fen’s life.

At first, Fen repays Cai’s kindness by attacking every Christian within reach. But as time passes, Cai’s persistent goodness touches his heart. And Cai, who had thought he would never love again, feels the stirring of a profound new attraction.

Yet old loyalties call Fen back to his tribe and a relentless quest to find the ancient secret of Fara—a powerful talisman that could render the Vikings indestructible, and tear the two lovers’ bonds beyond healing.

Warning: contains battles, bloodshed, explicit M/M sex, and the proper Latin term for what lies beneath those cassocks.

About the author: Harper Fox is an M/M author with a mission. She’s produced six critically acclaimed novels in a year and is trying to dispel rumours that she has a clone/twin sister locked away in a study in her basement. In fact she simply continues working on what she loves best– creating worlds and stories for the huge cast of lovely gay men queuing up inside her head. She lives in rural Northumberland in northern England and does most of her writing at a pensioned-off kitchen table in her back garden, often with blanket and hot water bottle.

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Review by Gerry Burnie

Although the author’s bio states that Harper Fox has produced six books in one year, my only experience with her writing has been Scrap Metal [https://gerrycan.wordpress.com/?s=scrap+metal], which I enjoyed; however, Brothers of the Wild North Sea [Samhain Publishing, Ltd., June 11, 2013] is quite a different story in many respects.

For one thing, it is set in the 7th century, a time of emerging beliefs; it has a strong religious bent—although not a religious story; and it includes some violence in connection with Viking raids and wars. Therefore, it is well removed from pastoral settings and sheep herding.

The basic story revolves around Caius, an enlightened son of a warrior chieftain, who has been converted to Christianity and joins an order of monks in order to continue his enlightenment. He is quite content with this life and his lover Leof, but when Leof is killed during a Viking raid, Caius thirsts for revenge.

Enter Fenrir, a wounded Viking raider, but rather than take his life Caius nurses him back to health. However, taming Fenrir’s fierce side takes time and patience, and in the meantime Caius falls for this erstwhile enemy who is drawn back to his own in search of a talisman with invincible powers.

In the end, however, all works out and true love prevails.

It’s a good story, competently written with some really interesting elements. As in Scrap Metal Harper Fox demonstrates an ability to draw the reader into her sometimes austere settings, and in this case a unique time period. Certainly it is one that I have not encountered before.

Having said that, however, it reads a bit slow until all the elements are put together, but then it moves along at a more agreeable pace. Also—and this is something I have to guard against in my own writing—Fenrir’s change of allegiance seems just a bit too ‘convenient’ for the short time allowed.  Yes, we’re all rooting for them, but to logically go from enemies to lovers takes a couple of transitions that seemed to be passed over.

Overall, however, this is a good solid read that most fans of historical fiction will enjoy. Four bees.

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Interested in Canadian history? Want to know more? Then visit my new page:  In Praise of Canadian History.`

 It is a collection of people, facts and events in Canadian history, and includes a bibliography of interesting Canadian books as well. Latest post: Today’s history curriculum is “bound for boredom” ~ Bill Bigelow

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If you would like to learn more about my other 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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Notice to all those who have requested a book review

Thank you for your interest, and my apologies for not responding to your request individually. I’m getting there, but the numbers have been overwhelming. Please extend your patience just a bit longer.

Thanks again!

Thanks for dropping by! I’ll have another novel ready for next week, same URL, so drop back soon.

March 24, 2014 Posted by | a love story, Fiction, Gay romance, Historical Fiction, Historical period, M/M love and adventure | Leave a comment

   

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