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Brothers of the Wild North Sea

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,397 ratings  ·  248 reviews
His deadliest enemy will become his heart’s desire.

Caius doesn’t feel like much of a Christian. He loves his life of learning as a monk in the far-flung stronghold of Fara, but the hot warrior blood of his chieftain father flows in his veins. Heat soothed only in the arms of his sweet-natured friend and lover, Leof.

When Leof is killed during a Viking raid, Ca
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ebook, 1st edition, 409 pages
Published June 1st 2013 by Samhain Publishing
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,397 ratings  ·  248 reviews


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Julio Genao
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Julio by: Salsera1974
Shelves: loved
oh, fuck my eye—that was so goddamned good.

description

that's all i got.

well—besides that this book is lush, deftly plotted, marvelously novel in setting and context, and full of profoundly beautiful writing absolutely radiating compassion and love and kindness.

now that's all i got.


also: ipads are not as easy to cry into as paperbacks.
Baba
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, historicals
3.5 stars.****Review completed June 16, 2013

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3.5 stars.****Review completed June 16, 2013

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Brothers of the Wild North Sea is set in the year 687 Christian Era, in Britannia, northeast coast. Our two main protagonists are Caius, the eldest son of a chieftain and Roman descendent, who had walked away from a rich inheritance of land and men to become a monk…

Here, the very soil was sacred. Cai was an uncertain convert to the new faith, but he could feel that much, sense the rightness of the ancient name the tidal island bore, a name like the yearning cry of a bird. It rose up in his heart--Fara Sancta. The island of the holy tide. Fara.


…and Fenrir a proud Viking warrior and (view spoiler) who came to Fara for a raid. During said raid Fen had been severely wounded and he had been left behind by his other 'brothers'. Brother Caius is not only a monk but also the monastery's physician, and he feels obligated to tend to Fen's wounds and is nursing him back to health.

"And while we are discussing names--do me a kindness and stop trying to call me Fenrir. You cannot pronounce it, and the sound you make pains me."
"What shall I call you, then?"
"Fen will do."
"Very well. And since you sound like a sheep giving birth when you say mine, you'd better call me Cai."

"(…)And as for your hair, I gave it to the tanner to stuff saddlebags." That wasn't true, but the look on Fen's face was worth the price of the lie. "Don't worry, it'll grow back. You can look like a great louse-ridden thug again soon enough."
Fen's brows shot up to the place where his fringe had once been. "You're a fine one to talk about lice. I've heard about you dirty Christians, mortifying your flesh beneath your robes until it rots--using your vows of poverty to excuse yourselves for sleeping in flea-ridden filth.
"There, Oslaf. Aren't you glad he's started talking? Go and get your breakfast."


There is a lot to enjoy about this book and I did like it but unfortunately I didn't love it.
What will always draw me into a story written by Harper Fox is her undeniably beautiful writing style. I love her voice and Brothers of the Wild North Sea is no exception. This story reads like an ode to a long bygone time period. Besides, it's an homage to a beautiful land and its people, flora and fauna and the sea. She knows how to breathe life into her characters and the wonderful and fascinating setting. It's done beautifully. I'm definitely not a bloodthirsty reader, however, I expected more gory scenes in this story, and I must say it felt a bit tame. Then again it was a romance, a love story and not a war story. Also, what I really liked were the MCs and their dialogue. Plus, the well-placed humor was vey enjoyable too.

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Initially I was surprised that a lot of those monks were so ready to "sin". In German I would have written it's not a 'Zeiterscheinung' because also today's clerics are not averse to the joys of the flesh. I can't translate 'Zeiterscheinung' but telling you it's not an emanation of the times should come pretty close to what I wanted to say.

What didn't work for me
The book is very long-winded and I could have done with a shorter story. Frankly, it wouldn't have impaired the plot at all.
I have to wonder if at that time people knew the terms f@@@ing and c@ck. I like the subject matter 'enemies to lovers', however, I'm not sure if a Viking warrior and (view spoiler) would have fallen for a Christian monk in real life. I won't beat around the bush, I found the sex scenes disappointing. Interestingly enough, I enjoyed their intimate moments like an embrace, a look or snuggling and hugging much more. It was so much more appealing than the sexual act itself.

Is there something like an obligatory WTF moment? Well, I've had one. When I hit the 94 % mark the story lost another half star when Caius woke up and was (view spoiler) Are you f@cking kidding me??? I mean the man was (view spoiler) As if! I guess if you are willing to suspend belief then it will work out for you. Also, I had to wonder how Caius did (view spoiler) *scratches head* Usually I would complain when a book ends at 94 %. In this case, however, I was glad for the somewhat abrupt ending before I hit the official 100 % mark since I was so miffed about this unbelievable miracle.

Don't get me wrong. Brothers of the Wild North Sea is by no means a bad book, and there were enough good reasons to round up to four stars after all. Hence, I'd like to encourage you to give it a try because what does not suit me might suit you. Enjoy!

He pressed tighter into Fen's embrace. This place had forever in it. Time couldn't end it, nor even the limits of life. Not distance--not even the wastes of the wild North Sea.

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Kaje Harper
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When I read a book by Harper Fox, I know I'll be swept out of my reality into a vivid world that engages my senses. This book opens to the tang of sea air, the sand and salt-grasses and open spaces of a barren northern peninsula. Here Cai has escaped the brutish life of his chieftain father's holding for a monastic Christian community... with a difference.

The abbot of this small group is a man of science and learning, and not in the least fixated on doctrine. The monks learn about the movement
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Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘
⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Nope*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱

The book centers around the monk of two years and healer, Caius ‘Cai’ (24) and a Viking raider, Fenrir ‘Fen’. After a raid, Fen gets hurt - by Cai - and instead of finishing him off, Cai instead heals him. Weeks go, Fen is healing, and the patient and the doctor gets closer. Can their love survive duty? Here's what I don't understand.... Fen is supposed to be this badass Viking warrior, yet he is defeated by Cai, a monk who, yes is trained to fight, but nothing compare to Fen. I mean, Cai just ran at him
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Ingie
Written March 9, 2015

4 1/2 Stars - A beautiful, violent, incredible romantic story

I've been looking forward to read a Viking romance in the M/M genre for a long time. And here we were, a big BR with Sofia, Irina, Therese, Maya, Mel and Bev. ~ Thanks Ladies!
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“Ah.” She clapped her hands. “Yes. Yes.
The vikingr are coming.”


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Wow, I love historicals! ~ I have read so many fantastic books this year so far, this was yet another.

Brothers of the Wild North Sea is most of all an incredible saga about a strong monk and his larger-than-life man. They first met in anger, felt eLadies!
“Ah.”2015
4
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Adam
4.5 stars

Last winter, while I was laid up with a nasty cold, I decided to watch Vikings. I still pat myself on the back for that decision. Why? Let me explain:

(view spoiler) ...more
Vanessa North
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone.
I'm going to start by talking about what this book is not:

There are books that manipulate you to tears--the author's hand is heavy, even clumsy, as you're punched in the face over and over again like a boxer with a speedbag. This is not one of those books.

There are historical novels which are so mired in detail and accuracy, they forget to tell a story. This is not one of those books.

There are stories about faith which proselytize endlessly, leaving you feelin
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Lyn
Audio - 5 +++ stars Love it when the author chooses the perfect narrator
Story - 4.5 stars
Kat
Title, author, cover, book blurb, squeeing friends: everything pointed in the direction of me loving this book hard. But it wasn't to be. Not only didn't match Brothers of the Wild North Sea any of my personal preferences and expectations, it emphasized the aspects I dislike most in my reads: the same ol' same ol' hateful religious crap, cookie-cutter villains, MCs lacking chemistry and personality and a story line that misses the sense of urgency, tension and realism I'd absolutely expect based ...more
Ilhem
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, historical, sid-love
Brothers of the Wild North Sea is a love story – I’ll get to it – but it’s first and foremost a piece of time and Earth in a changing world.

We’re in the 7th century, when some of the great civilisations of the Antiquity are not so far behind in time but still burnt to ashes and safeguarded in scholars’ memories.
In Europe, Christianism is taking root, evangelizing, converting and elaborating doctrines, associating with new kingdoms, building monasteries and a Church where there were only hermits.

We’re in Fara, a piece of land at the
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Vivian
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance-hist, own
Fen, the magnificent warrior takes part in the annual marauding, but is more than surprised to find his match in a squalid monastery on the very fringes.

Cai, heir to a warlord and recently converted is more than ready to take arms when trouble visits their rocky shore. He is a charming mix of earthly and ethereal. His frank acceptance of his body's desires is amusing if blasphemous to some. A young man will face temptations, but God is forgiving.

Once again, I am enthralled by Fox's
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Mark
It's a tall enough order to write a convincing historical novel, but add an m/m romance on top and the task could be seen as a highly risky undertaking....

I'm delighted to say that Harper Fox has managed this incredibly well and made for a compelling and beautiful read.

The north east coast of England in 687 AD where Christianity was still in its infancy and struggling against the ever increasing viking raids terrorising the villagers and monks alike. It is where we start with Cai who is the son of a local chieftan and tuundertaking....
I'm
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Richard Derus
Real Rating: 2.5* of five, rounded up because reasons

Too many anachronisms in two chapters. The first one damn near derailed me: the Abbott's spyglass. Such a thing *did*not*exist* until 1608, a thousand years after this tale is set; then the monastery had glazed windows in its infirmary. The Abbott's writing project? Codswallop! Maybe if we'd been in the Byzantine Empire I could've bought one of those (not the spyglass) but the ass end of creation (north of England)? NO.

I liked t
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Sofia
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it

This came alone just at the right time for me. It was a slow enjoyable read. As usual I like Fox’s writing and style and any niggles I might have are usually small enough not to really matter.

I consider this as a more of a fairytale and I am not going to check out against reality and how things were at the time as I think they were much darker. I enjoyed this take on things and I loved the dialogue between Cai and Fen. Fox did not limit herself to their relationship only, she put work in the rest of the
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Em
I'm usually a big fan of historical fiction, its one of my favourite genres, although I have to admit that I didn't really start to enjoy this book until I was about 70% in and I struggled to get to grips with it. Then all of a sudden the pace picked up, things started to happen and I couldn't put it down. I'm not ashamed to say that I cried throughout the last 10% or so, it was intense and heartbreaking in places and absolutely beautiful.

K.J. Charles
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, historical
Good Lord, I love Harper Fox's writing.

This is a lovely tale in a really unusual setting: the far north of Britain way back in the time of raids by the Norsemen. Cai is a young man torn between his natural tendency to sex and fighting and fun, and a vague longing for the learning and better life at that time only available through the Church. Fenrir is a savage Viking warrior, left wounded and dependent on Cai. Enough said.

Nicely realised characters, well plotted, fascina
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Keira Andrews
Harper Fox has such a flair for description. Her writing is simply gorgeous, and I loved this story of a viking raider and reluctant monk (well, a monk who doesn't exactly fit the mold) who go from enemies to lovers. That's one of my favourite tropes, and the slow build here was extremely satisfying. Cai and Fen were super sexy, and I was rooting for them so hard. The rough, rural setting on the sea was almost another character in the book, and Fox describes it so evocatively. I really recommend ...more
Ulysses Dietz
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
So, let me get this straight (as it were): a gay romance novel, set in the Dark Ages, on an isolated rocky peninsula at the northernmost part of the British isles, in an early Christian monastery. With Vikings.

Yeah, right. What crazy writer could possibly pull this off?

Apparently, the brilliant Harper Fox.

I pre-ordered this book - because I am a Harper Fox fan. I am a connoisseur of her broken men, of her exquisitely painted settings, of her deftly woven plots, in which action and
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Sunny
Wow...those words...wonderful words put together just so. Beautiful, haunting imagery. Compelling characters, fantastic world building, and a solid, interesting story. I was in heaven.

Cai, so practical and pragmatic yet saddled with a caring nature and soft heart. At times, his grief is palpable,
Cai didn't feel as if he could bear another hole. He was a cobweb already.
Other times, his desire heats up the pages. Always, his concern for others shines through.

Fen, so imperious/>
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Bev
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This was very well done, and as much as I can see the narrator credited with the narration is Hamish Long, he is also known to me as Rusty Coles, the narrator of Harper's A Midwinter Prince and remarkably enough, was also known as Joe Jameson back in 2014 when he narrated The Charioteer by Mary Renault, which is up next in my audio library. Hamish [Rusty/Joe]'s speech surprised me in this one though; he's really very good at accents, but it was the way he said common or garden English words that annoyed me
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Cristina
I've now read three books by Harper Fox in rapid succession and there's no doubt left in me - if there ever was one - that she's an extremely talented writer. Through her beautifully crafted phrases and characters, she conjures up worlds, characters and stories that are diverse but always compelling, ranging from a gritty tale of addiction in contemporary Newcastle ( Ha ...more
Leanne
This is an unutterably beautiful love story set in an era that has always fascinated me. A time when folk lore and religion intermingled...when people had very little else to get them through what was mostly a harsh and bleak life.
Such a rich, intricately woven tale.... like one of those old tapestries depicting Medieval life, embued with the colours of the sea and stone and the wildlife of a harsh coastline.

Vivid,immersive, hearbreaking, heart-warming, lyrical, unique and oh god, so sexy.

If you
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Karen Wellsbury
Aug 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully, beautifully written homage to friendship, love, loyalty, faith and the British countryside.
I found this a truly affecting and emotional.
One of my favourite reads this year.

2016 Update - still one of my favourites. I've read a few books since 2014, and this still stands tall. HF evokes places in a way you can taste and feel them, and relationships that feel so authentic, despite one never knowing an early Christian monk nor a viking.
A glorious book that lea
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Lauraadriana
Berserker and Monk getting it on? Ummm YES PLEASE! This book is a historical romance set in the 7th Century in what is now Scotland. First off I have to say that like with all her books Harper Fox set this story perfectly. The imagery was engrossing, I was swept away. I was there looking over those cliffs, and seeing those monstrous vikingr ships charging the nothern shores.
 
Our eyes for this story are those Brother Caius who is a monk in the Fara Monastery. Caius is a highlander, th
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Navessa
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing

SOFA KING GOOD
Therese
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
*3.5*

This was a very impressive romance novel! It felt like a lot of research went into it, and it definitely managed to convey that feeling of actually being there in this time (of course, being too lazy to do my own googling, I just have to trust the author)

The “main” story was exciting (view spoiler) ...more
SheReadsALot
*high pitched squeals* Hell Yeah!!!!



I want all kinds of sword fights!
Linda ~ chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny ~
I first read this in February 2014, and I've been meaning to reread it ever since. Thankfully, I never did or I might not have been tempted to get this on audiobook when it was released. And that would've been a shame since that would've meant missing out on Hamish Long's brilliant narration. He has a storybook quality to his voice, a Neil Gaiman-esque style of reading, that really fits perfectly with this story. I can't imagine anyone else doing this narration, and I really hope he gets tons mo ...more
Maya
Jul 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Yes, tales with the ink still wet on them, of a monk and a Viking who met in combat and defied two worlds to live in love.


Set in the end of the 7th century, this is a beautifully told story about two men - brought up to be tough and fearless warriors in the wild North - who find love against all odds.

And much more than that – this is a tale of brotherhood and loyalty, blood family and chosen family, superstitions and magic, and the prevailing theme of the Christian faith and the compassion it prea
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Dreamer
A compelling, beautifully-written, historical m/m romance. The main protagonists are: Caius, a warrior turned monk and healer and Fenrir, a Viking raider that Cai nurses back to health. The setting is the monastery on the island of Fara Sancta off Northumberland in the 7th century AD. Also known as Holy Island or Lindisfarne.
description
"Yes. And yes, I will come back."
Cai flinclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
"Yes.
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Harper Fox is an M/M author with a mission. She’s produced six critically acclaimed novels in a year and is trying to dispel rumours that she has a clone/twin sister locked away in a study in her basement. In fact she simply continues working on what she loves best– creating worlds and stories for the huge cast of lovely gay men queuing up inside her head. She lives in rural Northumberland in nort ...more
“Winter passed, suns and moons, and in the heat of summer each tree leaned across the stream and enmeshed its young foliage with the crown of its brother. More summers, more winters, more suns and moons, and the two had grown together, their great trunks fused, the stream parting now to flow round them.” 1 likes
“Around them, sky and air wove the ancient song of the meeting place of earth and sea—wave-rush on the shore, gulls mewing and sobbing. No more bells, except a last dying peal from Fara.” 0 likes
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