Marc reviews the audiobook version of ‘Scrap Metal’ by Harper Fox. The book was released by Samhain Publishing on March 27th, 2012 and is 258 pages long. The audiobook was released by the author on January 29th, 2015, was narrated by Sean Gormley and is 12 hours and 24 minutes long.
Why I read this book: This book has been recommended to me since I first started reading M/M Romance. It had been on my TBR list for ages (and on my kindle, desperately waiting), when I heard that there was a new audiobook version. I could not resist! Time to finally ‘read’ it.
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Is there room for love in a heart full of secrets? 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.
‘Scrap Metal’ is usually metal that is left over or not used anymore. Pieces of metal that have a specific form, often sharp and pointed, but no use anymore and are often unwanted. I must say that before I read the book, I had no idea why this title was used, though I found that mystery intriguing. After reading – or rather listening – to the book, I LOVE the title. The story shows us how much beauty can be found in the rough, dangerous, unwanted. How new and beautiful things can be created from it. It is a wonderful message.
The cover manages to include the conflict of city and country, teases the potential reader with the setting and with a handsome,half-naked guy. The M/M relationship aspect is visible, but balanced with other aspects of the story like nature and opposing forces. I think it is well done, even though the characters look differently in my head. The cover is appealing to me and gives a lot of informaton about the book, without feeling overcrowded.
I don’t have any real experience with accents, but for me the (very sexy) Scottish accent used by the narrator felt authentic and helped me to feel like a part of the story. Sean Gormley manages to bring Harper Fox’s lyrical prose to life. The narration was very well done and easy to understand, even with the accent.
This book was my first by the author and even though many friends told me how amazing this story is, I was not prepared to fall in love with ‘Scrap Metal’ as much as I did. It has instantly joined my top 10 favorite stories in this genre and I can only implore each and everyone of you to give it a try and not wait as long as I did to read it. I know there are a lot of authors and stories out there, but for me this one is special.
‘Scrap Metal’ is an epic romance that will have readers deeply invested in the main characters from the beginning. It is very emotional and well-written, with a complex and realistic storyline that drew me away from my own reality. The Scottish island of Arran, becomes its own character. Harper Fox’s elegant prose reads like beautiful poetry about the allure and harshness of nature. The setting is breathtaking and deeply important to the story. The isolation and harsh life that can break even the strongest person, the coldness and death, but also the beauty and life that can be found on the land.
I couldn’t get the image of scrap metal out of my head. The sharp, edgy pieces of metal that are left behind unused and how Cameron turns them into beautiful art. He does the same for the farm and Nichol’s life.
When the book begins, we see nature at its most brutal with a freezing winter that only the strongest survive. Hard work with little reward. The Seacliff farm seems to be at its end, Nichol and Harry live in poverty and don’t seem like they can keep above water, even with several loans. Nichol can only think about all the dreams he had to let go off and his grandfather Harry can only think about the death of his favorite grandson and how much better he was suited for this life.
There is grief, death, desolation and the description of the land is beautiful, but unforgiving. Then everything changes, when Cameron comes into Nichol’s life and he is unable to send him away, even though he is running from something that is bound to catch up to him in time.
Cameron is a natural for the work that has to be done on the farm, clicks in a way Nichol never could with Harry and with his appearance the cold winter gives way to a beautiful and warm spring. Suddenly everythng looks different in the warm sunshine. The land changes from breathtaking harshness to a gorgeous and secret paradise, hidden in the isolation of the island. It is a sort of magical place that most of us will never see in person and it was an incredible feeling to let the audiobook take me on this journey. I loved being able to close my eyes and imagine the sea, hills, waterfalls, fields, wildlife, harsh winds, stormy clouds, bleak frozen earth.
The weather reflects the main character’s mood and feelings and Cameron’s arrival is a true change. He brightens up the life on the farm and with the deadly bite of the cold winter withdrawing and the clouds opening up to the warm rays of the sun, there is hope again and Nichol realizes that the land can also be a treasure that is worth to be fought for.
He and Cameron soon feel a mutual attraction that blossoms into much more, a wonderful love that made my heart ache and felt truly special. It’s not just a great chemistry, it feels like they are fated to be together.
The story never avoids showing the dark and gritty parts of life, the land that not only gives life, but can take it away; the love that seems to be fated, but is tested to the extreme; the dynamics between the characters that evolve, but are complex and never easy.
This is one of those books that will not blur together with all the others, even if you have read hundreds of different stories, but will always stand out as something rare and special. The characters stole my heart, the vivid descriptions of the land stole my breath and the poetry of Harper Fox’s elegant writing and Sean Gormley’s authentic narration stole me away from my life and took me on an incredible journey.
This story will captivate you and never let you go.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended). Compares to 5/5 Stars. 😉
Bestselling British author Harper Fox has established herself as a firm favourite with readers of M/M romance. Over the past three years, she’s delivered thirteen critically acclaimed novels, novellas and short stories, including the CAPA-nominated Salisbury Key, and 2011 Band of Thebes Best LGBT Book Life After Joe. Harper takes her inspiration from a wide range of British settings – wild countryside, edgy urban and most things in between – and loves to use these backdrops for stories about sexy gay men sharing passion, adventure and happy endings. She has recently launched her own publishing imprint, FoxTales.
Harper lives in beautiful rural Cornwall with Jane, her partner of 27 years, and three high-maintenance cats. She’d love to tell you what she does when she’s not writing, but the sad truth is she simply can’t remember.