Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Scrap Metal by Harper Fox

Reading this book was like Harper Fox took every single one of my favorite themes in a story combined them perfectly and put them in one of the most lovely settings that I've read, with a tone and voice that read like an ode.

Redemption, second chances, coming home finding home, forgiveness...Faith...Graceful Love...Gorgeous writing...I loved this book.

Nichol Seacliff had home to the Isle of Arran from Edinburgh after his mother and brother died in a tragic accident. Nichol without hesitation assumed his family obligations, he came home to help his grandfather run the farm. He never wanted that life for himself, he had been on the academic track, a linguist. Besides he always knew that his grandfather always wanted his brother Al to be the heir to the farm. Nichol had always been second best for Harry Seacliff, and when he went away to uni the course was set, but tragedy changed things and without a complain he set to work.

One year on Nichol was feeling frayed and like this life, this farm that he had given up his life for without even a word of thank you from his grandfather was eating him up, he was drowning in his discontent. The entrapment was killing him.

One cold stormy night after looking into a noise in the barn, he found Cameron. The man looked half starved and scared to death. He was obviously running from something, and he was not from Arran, but Nichol needed some help and another soul to talk to before he lost himself to the loneliness of his life, and Cameron was just sooooo beautiful. He threw out his better judgement, told a white lie to Harry and from that moment Cameron became a part of the farm, and of the men in it to a point where it seemed like he had always been there.

Nichol and Cameron fall in love, even if it is obvious that whatever Cameron is hiding from and that at any moment it could come back to haunt him. Still they build something together. Nichol and Cameron as lovers, Cameron and Harry as friends, Harry and Nichol find a way be kind to each other for the first time, Cameron finally has a place to belong. Cameron comes in to these two men's lives like some kind of angel, he helps them with the farm (which the are on the verge of losing), he gives Nichol the kind of love he has always needed, he gives Harry a person to care for that needs him.

Scotland is a breathtaking setting for any book when done well, but I think I've read few books set there with a tone to match it so perfectly. There is something to be said of a story done with such precision that it felt like I every page gave it more color, I went from a black and white world, to blinding sunlight just like what Cameron did for Nichol's. I was right there with him. It was lyrical how these characters lived and loved. The look at the hardships of farm life in Scotland, the quiet desperation in their lives, the strong love for the land and traditions, the faithfulness of the the friendships, it was all done so well.

Stories about quiet rural lives with family dramas with multi-dimensional flawed characters are favorite theme of mine, they have such a powerful effect. It's all encompassing, the setting creates the moods, and they shape the characters...All is interconnected.

This is a powerful story, by far the best I've read from this author, and one of the best so far this year without question.

Totally Recommend.

Scrap Metal can be purchased at or Samhain Website.