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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  180 ratings  ·  39 reviews
Can a stranger unlock the courage and passion in a young man’s captive heart?

(also part of the Holiday anthology Comfort and Joy)
Published December 7th 2014
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  180 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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A totally unique - if unrealistic - Christmas story that gave my heart a good, warm buzz at the end. But that fade to black sex'll lower my star ratings every time.
Arch Bala
Out is part of the Holiday anthology “Comfort and Joy”. It’s a nice little story involving an agoraphobic hotel staff and a “undercover” agent. The whole back story about Cosmo developing agoraphobia was very well-established whilst Ren’s insistent on looking out for his partner was a bit odd indeed (from Cosmo’s point of view.) It’s another lovely holiday offering from Harper Fox so be sure to check this one out and the rest of the anthology.


4.5 stars

Well, this is nearly perfect. The story unfolds like a bit of origami with the foundation slowly discovered on the way… important plot facts disseminated and not force fed.

I loved it. As to be expected: descriptive, emotion-pulling writing without manipulation or coyness. And, as always, the story is like a discovery, a trip, and still a bit of a challenge. It’s what I count on with this author and when it clicks, it’s all you could want.

And it is so with Cosmo Grant’s story. Cosmos wor
Dec 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Och aye, a wee bonnie story for Hogmany! I just loved this story about Cos who is head of housekeeping at one of Edinburgh's finest hotels. A sweet guy with a good nature and all the staff under him love him. Too bad the hotel manager is a bully and nasty piece of work getting Cos to pimp himself out for some of the more exclusive services. However, a guest comes to stay for Hogmany that sees how horrible the boss is and Cos finds talking to him very easy. What Cos doesn’t know is that his man ...more
Feb 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorite-authors, mm

"Out" by Harper Fox - 4,5 stars

There is one line I keep repeating when it comes to Harper Fox novels: the way she writes British setting is just amazing. Whether we read about hauntingly beautiful moors of Cornish Coast or she takes you on a walk through Grainger Street of Newcastle...she just has a way of describing setting so vividly it becomes a character in a story. Take Scrap Metal for example- that story wouldn't be the same and it would be lacking if it's set anywhere else but Arran.
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m
What a wonderful and exciting story! I really liked how the beginning sets the tone, an undercurrent of adventures ahead. Cosmo is a lovely hero (literally), Duff is cute and funny, and Ren so dashingly dashing. The story made me miss Edinburgh even though I haven’t even visited yet – the festive atmosphere is palpable. I loved seeing and feeling the world filtered through Cosmo’s eyes: the way the sky and the sea are superimposed, and the hotel a “steampunky” flying tamed-monster-ship, the juxt ...more
3.5 stars

It's a little hard to get involved in the story but toward the ending you realize that it have a deeply poetical undertone. The end is marvelous.

Read as part of Comfort and JoyAnthology.
Suki Fleet
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m
I love Harper Fox's characters :)

This story was a little oblique and hard to fathom especially in the beginning. There was so much story packed into this!

Enjoyable read.
Dec 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
I don't understand the reason why the two MCs are attracted to each other. And the author spends too much time describing details of something that doesn't really matter.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-read, 2016-books
Harper Fox and Christmas? Yes, please!

Thank you, Secret Santa! I loved this holiday season snippet from one of my favorite authors. Xoxo!
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story and the setting, Harpers descriptions of the Hotel where Cosmo works and the city of Edinburgh are as alluring as always.

Cosmo is a slightly sassy Hotel worker with an unfortunate case of agoraphobia. He meets the mysterious Ren, who he ends up getting to know as more than a paying guest. Cosmo also "helps" Ren when the reason for his visit to the Hotel is made clear.

I didn't mind that the sexy part of the story "fades to black" for our guys, it felt appropriate and was rathe
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, holiday
Drug dealers and armed robbers are not what I typically associate with Christmas. But here they actually served to make the sweet holiday ending feel even more joyful. Wonderfully well done.

Some Favorite Quotes:
his grey eyes kindling with a blue light I hadn't seen before, looking tired and calm and ... oh, just nice, as if despite thirty years in a tough world, none of the bad stuff had got to him.

could put a smooth mask over the ordinary daily heartaches everyone had to put up with.

"I don't
Jan 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I just love this author's writing and the way settings are always so intimately included into the storylines. That said, I liked the Edinburgh setting almost better than the story in and of itself.

The latter required a lot of suspension of disbelief. The characters remained somewhat distant, despite the 1st POV. But as I said, I loved the setting, and some elements were really moving, like the orchestra scene for example.

Not a book I'd gush over, but certainly not one I hated. Recommended with
Debbie McGowan
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
This is very much my kind of story - a chief housekeeper with agoraphobia and how he overcomes this to become a bit of a hero is exactly the sort of thing I love to read. It offers a very realistic portrayal of the condition, and the connection between the characters is excellent. I may have been left a little smitten by Cosmo.

A perfect Christmas read.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
A really sweet story with interesting characters. But the dialogue seemed a bit... off, like taken from a Victorian novel, too old-fashioned for the setting. Also, Cosmo was jumping to conclusions way too fast for my liking.
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
So, even though this story has the kind of insta-love that I usually can't quite buy, I will forgive it because it's wrapped in a neat little narrative. Sometimes novellas bug me bc they're too short, but this one embraces the limitations and keeps everything (almost literally) compact.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-lgbtq-read
This was a good read! There was a lot of emotion and action squeezed into less than 100 pages and I enjoyed every minute of it! We don't get too many Christmas stories that include a hot cop with a gun and a badge... I guess I just got lucky all around with this one! *grin*
Jenn (not Lily)
Dec 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: lendable, winter-read
Well written story, with some great characters. Nice mystery, nice steam between MCs, great resolution!
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
2 stars or 2.5 if I’m generous. I can deal with outlandish plots, but not when the characters can’t carry it off. This lacked all of Harper Fox’s usual sparkle
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm giving this fours stars because it made me cry. Twice. Which doesn't happen very often. Fox is a master.
Chris, the Dalek King
Ever since being held-up at the post office a year ago, Cosmo has suffered from an acute case of agoraphobia. Unable to leave the hotel in which he works, he is forced to follow the whims of his homophobic, bigoted-–and probably criminal–-boss. When Ren checks into the hotel, though, Cosmo didn’t expect to find himself challenging all his fears to help and protect a man he has only know for a few hours.

It took a bit for me to get into this one. There was just something about the writing that had
Pete W
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This one had an almost dream like quality to it. Cosmo had a big problem that would have been detrimental to his livelihood, had he not been working in a 5-stars hotel. But that put him at the mercy of his horrible boss.

I felt that Ms. Fox did a great job of expressing the works of hotel staff. I like Cosmo for his attitude but not how he dealt with or rather ignoring his condition.

Help comes in the form of a dashing guest, Ren, who come to the hotel with a mission of his own.

Now, the insecur
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
4.5 stars

Sweet suspense story with likeable characters and a quick moving plot. The story was a little less sappy gooey bland like so many Christmas stories are. I liked that it had a bit of excitement. It was a little instalovey but not too bad. The narrator was a great guy, a really good boss taking responsibility for his staff and knowing that's how it's supposed to be. Your teams successes are theirs. Their failures are yours. That's what being a boss is about: enabling your employees to do
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4-1/2 Stars
Poor Cosmo has a hard time dealing with life outside the walls of his home and the hotel where he works, and the reason is understandable. I can't say I would have the same reaction but it is not out of the realm of possibility. Sometimes though it's just a question of timing and companionship and when Ren walks in to the hotel Cosmo's life is never the same again. That's about he extent of what I can say without leaking spoilers but I will say that it's emotional, heartwarming, suspe
Dec 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love Harper Fox's writing. Most of her work is 5 stars for me. This one was a bit below the high bar I have for her, but I still liked it. The agoraphobia and hotel-as-a-small-world were interesting as was the mystery. I also liked Cosmo's narration. Was a bit disappointed in the fade-to-black for his love scene with Ren as it seemed to have potential to be quite hot. The ending, though, was lovely and spot on.
Lena Grey
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
'Comfort and Joy' is a combination of insightful, short stories which give us a look at relationships particularly during the holiday season which is, by definition, an emotional time for most of us. It's also be a magical time when hearts are more open than at any other time of the year, giving us the opportunity to right wrongs; sort out misunderstandings; and rekindle love we thought was lost to us forever.
Dec 07, 2014 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

Review of full anthology here:

 photo 78a31e15-a8d3-46a9-9088-cbb9656dff10_zpsd43ac4b1.jpg
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story - wish it was longer though! Read as part of theComfort and Joy anthology
Anyta Sunday
Love Harper Fox, but this one didn't work for me.
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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
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