Review: Driftwood by Harper Fox

DriftwoodDriftwood by Harper Fox
M/M Romance
August 17, 2010

Reviewed by Helyce

Dr. Tom Penrose is dealing with life the best way he knows how since he’s returned home to Cornwall from his last tour in Afghanistan. Some days he does okay, but on the days that he just can’t hack it, he’s been known to drown out the pain in a bottle of vodka. For the most part, he’s okay with the way things are. He has his work and a few friends. He truly doesn’t think he’s relationship material, so he stays mostly to himself, his dog Belle by his side. He is completely unprepared when Flynn Summers literally crashes into his life one day while he’s out walking Belle on the beach.

Lt. Flynn Summers is a young man who is living with some terrible demons. He’s one of only two survivors of a helicopter crash he was piloting during a search and rescue gone bad. He doesn’t remember all the details, but it doesn’t matter. He can’t forgive himself for the lives lost that day. So he puts on a brave front, while he dies inside just a little more each day.

When Flynn crashes into Tom on the beach one day, they both sense and feel something that they haven’t for a very long time. The few minutes they spend together have Tom confused by his reaction to Flynn. He can’t stop thinking of him, no matter how hard he tries. Flynn, too, is quite taken with Tom; unfortunately, he’s in a relationship with fellow rescue worker, Robert. Their relationship is completely unhealthy for Flynn, but he is at a loss as to how to make that final break with Robert. What he feels for Tom, however, makes him want to try.

I completely and utterly fell in love with both Tom and Flynn. Here we have two men who are dealing with life day to day, not always making the best choices for themselves, but always doing what is right for others. We learn early on that while Tom is openly gay, he pretty much hid it while in the service. When he finally gives in and spends a wonderful night with a guy who’d been pursuing him for quite some time, he loses him the very next day when he gets killed out on a mission. This totally messes Tom up and he hasn’t let anyone get close to him since then. In Flynn, we meet a charming, good looking young man who gives all he has to his job, while constantly searching for a way to fill the gaping hole left in him since the death of his co-workers, by putting himself in not so safe situations, but mostly by staying in an abusive relationship that he feels is all he deserves.

When Tom and Flynn meet, there is obvious attraction even in the way Tom yells at Flynn for his irresponsible behavior. You know immediately, that there is a spark-each providing something the other needs and has been longing for. You can feel the way Flynn is just craving Tom, even as he pulls back because of his being in a relationship. For me Flynn’s struggle was more heartbreaking especially after we meet Robert and realize exactly what type of relationship it is. When Tom finally gives in to his feelings and seeks Flynn out, we see the beginnings of something until Robert arrives to ruin everything. I knew there was something off about Robert, but I had no idea how truly despicable he was until the final conflict. Just when we think everything is resolved, the author throws a huge kink into it all; but everything becomes so clear after that.

This is my first book by Harper Fox and I am sure that I will give her backlist a look. In this story, there is very little dialogue-it’s written more like a narrative whereby you know what’s going on in everyone’s thoughts, even though they may not be speaking. I actually enjoyed her style of writing which I found incredibly descriptive and moving. The feelings she portrays in all the characters come through very strongly, very convincingly. My heart broke for Flynn and Tom who clearly belonged together, but had many obstacles to overcome before they could be so. It was beautiful to watch them both come to terms with their pasts, heal and move on.

Rating: B+

Dear Author – B
Romance Around the Corner – 4/5

Author’s Website

Kindle l Nook l Samhain


    • helyce says

      Hi SharonS. I love how she portrayed the characters in this story. So troubled and tortured, yet so obviously meant for each other and willing to go in for the long haul!

    • helyce says

      Did you post your review for Salisbury Key yet? I may have missed it! I’m curious to see if her writing style varies from book to book.

  1. says

    I love this author, she has a very unique voice that perfectly conveys the book’s mood. This story was great because all the characters were flawed and layered, and the setting was beautiful!

    • helyce says

      Hi Brie-yes, I agree. Her voice is unique and I loved it! I’m always amazed at this “short” stories. I’m so impressed by an author who can write such a well rounded story in just over 100 pages. Amazing!

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