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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 a gritty, tough novel that deals with just about every emotion you can conjure: love, loss, anger, lust, betrayal, hope, redemption…I could go on and on. But beyond the emotion is a really (really) beautiful story, set in the Scottish highlands and rich with imagery and depth.
The book starts with one of the slowest slow burns I’ve read in a LONG time. MC Nichol is so blinded with grief over the loss of two family members that he’s living in a world devoid of any emotion. Existing in a trance, he’s been forced to abandon his university studies and come home to work his family’s sheep farm. Glamorous, right?
When MC Cam shows up at the farm under sketchy circumstances, Nichol opts to give Cam a chance to start over, no questions asked. There are questions, though. Why has Cam taken shelter in the middle of the Scottish highlands on this remote farm? What’s he running from? Who is he running from? Is he dangerous?
But that’s what Scrap Metal (and Nichol and Cam) is all about, really: finding out who you are, coming to terms with your circumstances and reconciling with yourself so that you can begin to welcome others into your life.
There was an always-present sense of foreboding in the novel, which is what I love about Fox’s writing style, actually. She draws just the right amount of angst to move things along, without making the story so tense that you want to abandon your reading experience altogether. Even in the happiest times of the book, I knew something bad was coming, and I knew it was going to hurt. It was how and when those things happened that got me in the end, and like I said, that’s what made this such a great reading experience.
For their part, Nichol and Cam were scorching hot together. In spite of the fact that their sexy time really doesn’t develop until very late in the book, I believed in and cheered for them as a couple, even when I wasn’t entirely sure who Cam was. They fit together perfectly, without ever being gratuitous or forced. *sigh*
The secondary characters in Scrap Metal are superstars worth mentioning because they fit so seamlessly without ever distracting me from what was going on with the MCs. I loved Harry, Nichol’s “granda,” and I also adored Archie, Shona and the rest of the townsfolk.
When I read Harper Fox, I have this overwhelming sense of calm. Her books take me away in the best possible ways. If you haven’t had a chance to read Scrap Metal, pick up a copy and push it straight to the top of your list.
Katinka: 4 stars
Susan: 4 stars
Ami: 4 stars
Tracy: 5 stars
Shelley: 3 stars
Sue: 4 stars