Author: Harper Fox
Length: 210 Pages
At a Glance: I have yet to read a book by this author that wasn’t potent and lush. She writes traditional romance with the heart in mind, and reaches her target every time.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Thomas Penrose is a village doctor in rural Cornwall. Popular with patients and friends alike, and handsome into the bargain, he lives in a romantic clifftop tower by the sea. It’s a wonderful life – if only Dr Tom could enjoy it. He’s a veteran of the conflict in Afghanistan, fighting a lonely battle against alcoholism and PTSD.
Determined not to inflict his troubles on anyone else, Tom keeps himself to himself. But fate has other ideas, and brings a handsome surfer crashing to his feet after a dreadful wipe-out on Porth Beach. Just another crazy surf bunny? Not a bit of it – Flynn Summers is one of Cornwall’s heroes, a fearless search-and-rescue helicopter man. Why is he risking his beautiful neck in the stormy off-season waves?
Despite the rocky beginning, Tom and Flynn become friends. Both are concealing sorrows behind a tough facade, and for once in his life Tom thinks he’s met someone who can handle him, shadow-side and all. But Flynn isn’t a free man. He’s unhappily locked into a bond of obligations and bad memories with formidable pilot Rob Tremaine – and Rob has no intention of letting Flynn go.
As Tom and Flynn begin their high-risk, high-reward romance, will the tides of the past sweep in to destroy their new love?
**This is the FoxTales edition of the book previously published by Samhain Publishing. Other than the cover art and description, the book is the same.
Review: Being someone who is easily seduced by a gorgeous sentence, it’s no wonder I’m attracted to author Harper Fox’s work.
“Thomas walked slowly on the edge of the world, to discover what the sea would bring him.”
This is the evocative and, as it turns out, portentous opening sentence of Driftwood, the story of two men who have been scarred by the events of their individual pasts, and how their falling in love with each other comes with complications that adds impact to the telling.
Thomas Penrose is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. Now a small-town doctor who suffers from post war trauma that presents as alcoholism, he has isolated himself in a decrepit tower fortress on a cliff meant to keep him from having to socialize after hours with people. Fostering personal connections beyond the care he provides as a doctor is a bit more than Tom can process, but there is one solid presence in his life—his giant wolfhound, Belle, who is a character in her own right in the story and helps Tom stay in touch with his ability to communicate emotionally with a sweet and warm companion. When Tom’s fate unexpectedly crosses with that of a surfer Tom thinks must have a death wish, it opens him up to a wealth of feelings, from anger to curiosity to lust, none of which are welcome.
Lieutenant Flynn Summers comes crashing into Tom’s orbit in a literal way. Out on his board in an angry and unrelenting surf, it seems apparent that Flynn is looking for an adrenaline fix of suicidal proportions, which is what angers Tom so much; that this stranger would be so foolish and inconsiderate as to endanger himself and, as a result, both Tom and Belle in return. This chance meeting, however, will go on to change both Tom’s and Flynn’s lives irrevocably. And will challenge them to face their pasts, reevaluate the present, and live for the possibility of a future.
The characters’ inscapes and the psychological pain that pervades is explored with a depth that allows readers to develop empathy for that pain. Fox puts her characters, and, by extension her readers, through their paces, making us all work for the gratification of any sort of happy ending. The additional storyline involving a problematic entanglement with Flynn’s abusive partner adds a dramatic arc to the connection Flynn and Tom share. And, as is the case with so many of this author’s works, the Cornish landscape figures prominently as a picturesque backdrop, emerging with a personality all its own.
Raw emotion emanates from the pages of Driftwood amidst the debris of regret and grief that keeps Flynn shackled to his abuser, and thanks in full measure to Fox’s talent for romancing and sculpting the written word into something truly wonderful. I have yet to read a book by this author that wasn’t potent and lush. She writes traditional romance with the heart in mind, and reaches her target every time.
You can buy Driftwood here:
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