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Seven Summer Nights

Narrated by: Chris Clog
Length: 16 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Summary

It's 1946, and the dust of World War Two has just begun to settle. When famous archaeologist Rufus Denby returns to London, his life and reputation are as devastated as the city around him. He's used to the most glamorous of excavations, but can't turn down the offer of a job in rural Sussex. It's a refuge, and the only means left to him of scraping a living. With nothing but his satchel and a mongrel dog he's rescued from a bomb site, he sets out to investigate an ancient church in the sleepy village of Droyton Parva.

It's an ordinary task, but Droyton is in the hands of a most extraordinary vicar. The Reverend Archie Thorne has tasted action too, as a motorcycle-riding army chaplain, and is struggling to readjust to the little world around him. He's a lonely man, and Rufus's arrival soon sparks off in him a lifetime of repressed desires.

Rufus is a combat case, amnesiac and shellshocked. As he and Archie begin to unfold the archaeological mystery of Droyton, their growing friendship makes Rufus believe he might one day recapture his lost memories of the war, and find his way back from the edge of insanity to love.

It's summer on the South Downs, the air full of sunshine and enchantment. And Rufus and Archie's seven summer nights have just begun....

©2016 Harper Fox (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

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Not worth bothering with

Slowly paced and quite dull. The narrator has a peculiar voice. The story isn’t gripping and lacklustre

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful story with wonderful characters

I think this will have to sit alongside Harper's 'Priddy's Tale' as one of my favourites in print, pixel and audio. The characters of Rufus and Archie are brilliant and so full of life and warmth - something that the narrator, Chris Clog, brings vividly to life. I loved the characters when I read the book but, having now listened to their story, I can say I adore Archie & Rufus. The supporting characters were well fleshed out and the dual strands of the story: Rufus' amnesia and Archie's church, intertwined in a logical fashion, answering various questions posed throughout the book. The ending was satisfying and I didn't really want to leave the characters.
All in all this was a wonderful, engaging story with characters you loved, some you disliked, and some you'd quite happily like to see get some of their own treatment. Heartily recommend Seven Summer Nights and I would give it more than 5 stars if I could.

1 person found this helpful

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Gorgeously written, beautiful story.

Reverend Archie is one of my favourite people. This book is a real gem, the narration is wonderfully done. Every character is so well fleshed out. The subjects covered are so well researched and feel so real, shell shock, war, archaeology and post war life. A well written, wonderful story full of heartbreak, joy and adventure.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A rattling good yarn

Set in the post WW2 period tho is the tale of two homosexual professional.men. One is an archaeologist investigating the antiquities associated with an ancient Parish church. The other is the vicar whose benevolent influence encompasses the entire parish. An irritant is the doctor who is strongly against queers and their works. The story is wide ranging to the extent of being a saga. Mercifully all deserving characters live happy, if altered lives after the life changing events related.

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fabulous

it made me want to finish writing my book thank you so so much I will read more

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Exquisite narration, my fave Harper Fox...

***November 2017***

The narration by Chris Clog was as scrumptious as the story. Quintessentially English, utterly charming and an absolute delight to listen to. Think that says it all, well done to all concerned.

**Book Review** My second Harper Fox read, the other being Brothers of the Wild North Sea, and straight onto my creme-de-la-creme shelf for you, my beauty. Utterly scrumptious, sumptuous prose and world building that really did make you feel as though you were on the Sussex Downs, staying at the Rectory in Droyton Parva with Archie, Mrs Nettles, Drusilla and Elspeth. There was a thoroughly English kind of The Darling Buds Of May feel to the whole story, light hearted but deadly serious when it needed to be. 5 captivating stars from me.

Archaeology not my strongest subject [and that's putting it mildly], but even I was caught up in the excitement that the finds at the church generated, and to meld that storyline with social commentary on the draconian post WWII British homosexuality laws, free spirits, self-appointed Witch finders and their victims, surviving soldiers from the war, their PTSD and the painful shock treatment they had to undergo, and of course, soldiers who had gone mad in the trenches and started shooting their comrades....well, that's the mark of a really good author; the most beautiful thing for me though was Rufus and Archie's love story. How they overcame prejudice from so-called do-gooders and found their own 'family' of friends in spite of everything that happened, was a joy to read about. Highly recommended, hardly any sex and a truly lovely read

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  • Helen
  • 20-11-17

Unbelievably beautiful

Oh this was just beautiful. Achingly beautiful story with a narration so soft and fitting it brought tears to my eyes on several occasions. I'm so sorry to anything I read next because it will be judged against this book

6 people found this helpful

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  • Keith G
  • 23-07-19

A very sound and satisfying bit of writing.

The universe of gay male romance fiction written by women is quite a mixed bag. Often the stories are little but a collection of the type of time-tested romantic tropes that have titillated women readers for decades. As a gay man, I find it all a bit unsettling and usually unsatisfying.

In this particular efforts, the author, Harper Fox, has put together a compelling story with two strong central characters which sidesteps many of the pitfalls often plaguing writing in this genre.

All the central characters are soundly drawn and fully fleshed-out. The emotional life between the two central characters is both interesting and realistic.

To be nitpicky, there was at least one timeline issue. Also, there is an element, a small element, of the supernatural in the story. in this type of narrative, which is essentially reality-based in appearance, I find the introduction of the supernatural to be a distraction.YMMV.

It's a good book. I read it through the Audible Escape subscription option, but I think I'm going to buy it outright so I can keep it in my collection.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Robert Jackson
  • 16-01-19

Magnificent!

Harper Fox is most certainly one of the best storytellers today. What I particularly love about her work is her extensive knowledge of the English language. She chooses precisely the right word to paint a picture which is easy to visualize in one's mind. The story is beautifully told by a third party narrator who switches back and forth between the two protagonists, Archie, and Rufus. There actually are two stories, and the story narrator subtly interweaves them through the main characters. Kudos to Ms. Fox for giving us yet another inspiring story.

Regarding the audible version of this book, Chris Clog continues to rock as a performer. I have seldom listened to anyone who can present as many uniquely voiced characters as he. The characters truly come alive as he transforms into them. I never once felt someone was reading a story, rather, the story was unfolding right at that moment. As with any of the other novels he has narrated, I was so enthralled by his performance it was difficult for me to stop for bathroom and dog-walking breaks. This is indeed a "must listen to" novel and performance.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kel
  • 03-12-17

thoroughly enjoyed it

I love the story line, however I found some language used was not authentic with the era the story was set in. But that's a small critique for an excellent listen.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 28-03-20

The Preacher and the Archeologist Wonderful!

A wonderfully narrated table that I found in the romance package. It was a little spooky and witty. Worth listening to for a credit. A lot of angst and side characters added to the storyline.

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  • Bosco
  • 22-03-20

Well Written, But...

Harper Fox is a good writer, and this book is far from your average gay romance. Here's an example of Fox's writing: "A barricade had formed between him and everyone who hadn't seen what lay beyond the green fields and broad sunlit uplands of ransomed England." I was ready to give this book top marks, but unfortunately, the author's prejudice against Christianity was deeply offensive to all but the most atheistic readers. Though one of the main characters is an Anglican vicar, he is nonetheless a non-believer who somehow conducts entire divine services without mentioning God. Of course, anyone who knows anything about the Church of England or who has glanced at a copy of the Book of Common Prayer would realize how impossible this would be, even should the priest himself be an atheist.

I had so wanted to love this book, but I had to return it unfinished. Mr Clog, however, is to be commended for his narration skills.

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  • Lene Andersen
  • 19-03-20

Loved it!

Loved the narrator! I haven’t listened to him before, and usually it takes me a while to warm up to new voices, but here I instantly loved his voice and the narration.

The book was full of all good things: MC’s with chemistry and lovely moments, interesting characters, beautiful writing, lots of feelings and a great story. It took a chapter or two for me to get into it, but then I was completely hooked all the way to the end.

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  • TODD CHAPMAN
  • 02-03-20

Lightly historical and fun

Enjoyed it very much. Liked the light references to historical events but enjoyed the tense suspense of the story.

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  • Sara Schneider
  • 18-11-19

My new favorite romance novel ever

This book was absolutely everything I want out of a romance, lovable protagonists, wacky but developed secondary characters, a plot outside of the relationship plot, history, slight supernatural elements... but mostly a world I enjoyed getting lost in! If you are interested in archeology, history of witchcraft, post WW-II rural England, lots of acts of love and devotion, a few instances of non-graphically described sex, give this one a try!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-07-19

loved it

I loved this. the story was great, a perfect blend of romance, suspense, and some action that kept me on the edge of my seat. the narration was outstanding. I didn't want it to end but at the same time I wanted to know that Archie and Rufus got their happy ending. a great story.