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Seven Summer Nights

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  772 ratings  ·  190 reviews
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 b
ebook, 475 pages
Published November 30th 2016 by FoxTales
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  772 ratings  ·  190 reviews

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K.J. Charles
Jan 06, 2017 added it
Shelves: m-m, post-ww2
Finished this 6th January and will be surprised if I read a better romance this year. it really is fabulous. A magical book, where the setting is a character in itself, stunningly realised. Magical, mystical, grittily realist, deeply steeped in Englishness and folklore, and with a glorious vision of community and spiritual growth in it. (NB for those of a nervous disposition: the post-war-trauma set up sounds bleak, and at points it's almost unbearably tense, but you can put your faith in Harper ...more
Karen Wellsbury
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, all-time-high
Sometimes you feel like your favourite authors are stagnating, or you start to see the repeating themes in their work, but this book took Harper Fox to another level for me.
All her books have a strong feeling of place and a spirituality, and this is no exception, the setting of a hazy shimmering post WWII British countryside sucks you in, as does the vicar who says he's lost his faith but has humanity, compassion and understanding flooding out of him.
The combination of the place, mythology and s
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.75 stars

Exquisitely written post-WW II love story

This is the story of a vicar who is everything to the villagers in his town but who has lost his faith. And it's the story of an archaeologist traumatized by parts of the war that he can't remember. On the one hand, this is about the perfect, beautiful, slow-building romance between the two. Yet, the scope of this story is so much bigger than just a romance. It's about post-WW II life in small-town England and the perils of being queer at this
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 historical stars rounded up because still no 1/2 stars here on GR and this one was too good to do anything else with.

I think the world might have tilted on it's axis a bit...

Oh, Ms Fox how I adore your writing. You bring stories to life for me as few other authors are able to.

This one started on a bit of a challenging note for me. It was ok and I was enjoying it...possibly because "Buddy Read" with my awesome besties Josy and Christelle and initially I think perhaps this story was appe
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The narration by Chris Clog [not Kris Dyer] 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,
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
Book: 4 stars and 1.5 stars (this will soon make sense, I promise)
Narration: 3 stars
Overall rating: 3 stars

What the hell was this? This felt like two entirely different books mashed into one, and it was discordant.

So you've got an archeologist who is suffering from selective amnesia and PTSD after WWII, and an atheist vicar (yes, you read that right) who is also suffering his own internal wounds from the war. They meet after Rufus is sent by the museum to help with an archeological study of the
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, favorites, queer, ww2
For years I thought I didn't have one romantic bone in my body. I disliked stories with an HEA or HFN kinda ending and I loved to wallow in wretchedly depressing narratives. That's still the case, really, but lately I've also started enjoying reading stories that don't necessarily leave me an emotional wreck when I reach the last page ( As Meat Loves Salt, I'm looking at you!). All this preamble to say that Harper Fox's Seven Summer Nights perfectly suited my newly-discovered enjoyment of stor ...more
4.5 rounded up.

Harper Fox starts from such a high level, that even though I deducted a star or two, she still is a 5* read. It is a bloody pleasure to read a romance and m/m author who can write, and I mean on every level: a fabulous prose, a gripping narration, a great rollicking story, angst and suspense to put you on the edge unable to put down the book, truly wonderful and diverse characters and a satisfying conclusion.

While I didn't care for some aspects (the way the lesbian couple was se
Namaste In Bed & Read Elf, you are awesome (and your name is great, lol)! Thank you sooo much for this book!! I love Harper Fox :)

The writing in this book was as great as ever when it comes to Harper Fox and I really enjoyed reading this book because of that.

BUT I didn't get the story. This was a mix of historical romance and fantasy that confused the hell out of me. Honestly, I didn't know what half the story was about. Now I'm not sure how to rate it
Joint review between Sally and myself.........

Sally: Sometimes you get some news that’s downheartening - tax bills, an odd sound from the car engine, a suspicious puddle by the washing machine, an even more suspicious one by the cat - and sometimes you get something much, much better, like word of a new release from Harper Fox!

And what a release. Seven Summer Nights is a historical romance, but so much more! There’s the immediate post war period of the late 1940s where traumatised young people t
Kaje Harper
4.5 stars, rounded up because Harper Fox's writing and characters are among my favorites in the genre. This is a lovely magic-tinged post-WWII historical fantasy. Rufus Denby returned from active service with a significant case of shell-shock/PTSD. He has some minor amnesia about the worst episode. At times, he has nightmares he can't wake up from, and he strikes out in unpredictable ways. After a bad reaction on an important dig, he's recalled to England, and sent to investigate a church that m ...more
I've given this an A for both narration and content at AudioGals.

Harper Fox’s Seven Summer Nights is a book that’s been recommended to me on several occasions, so when I saw it had been released in audio, I picked it up straight away as audio is my preferred method of ‘getting around to’ books I can’t find time to read in print. I admit to being a little wary given that narrator Chris Clog is not someone I’m familiar with, but it was obvious after the first few minutes of the listen that I was i
Para (wanderer)
Every once in a while, I get a mad compulsion to read a book. I hear of something, and it won't give me peace until I go and read it - and without a fail, those books prove to be my favourites. So it was with The Name of the Wind all those years ago, or The Curse of Chalion, or more recently The Gray House. And so it is here.  Outside of my usual wheelhouse or no, I had to have it and yet again my instinct has proven correct. I wanted to yell about it from the rooftops before I was halfway throu ...more
BR with my buddies in crime : the famous Karen and Josy , yeah !!

It was absolutely not what I expected. Sometimes, it’s a good thing, sometimes, it’s not. And this time, it went the 2nd way around.
This book really confused me. What genre is it ? Historical, fantasy, MM romance ? What is the set up ? a fantasy world ? Post-WWII in England ? What is it about ? Magic ? Mythology ? Archaeology ? And then, so many issues : post-war trauma, bigotry, the place of women in society, the horror of psy
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
That was spectacular. An outstanding accomplishment of a novel.
Ulysses Dietz
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Seven Summer Nights
By Harper Fox
Published by the author November, 2016
Cover by Jay Aheer
388 pages
Five stars

The entire premise of this book made me anxious. Set in 1946, just a year after World War II ended (a year after my parents married, nine years before I was born), “Seven Summer Nights” is in a world that was, to say the least, uncongenial to gay folk, both in the UK and in the USA. Historical novels about gay men always worry me, and thus I am awestruck when an author can pull off a convin
Barb ~rede-2-read~
Gosh, Harper Fox is an amazing storyteller. In fact, Harper is my "go to" author when I want a "tale" rather than a simple story, and often, I not only find a tale, I fine one that I can classify as "ye olde tales of yore."

So this one is historical, of course, with a dash of fantasy, sprinkled with witchcraft. But at the heart of the matter is a romance between two men in the period immediately after WWII in England. One man is shell-shocked, suffering from what would be PTSD nowadays, complete
This is gorgeous. Wow. One of my favourite things I've read this year. It's been over a year since I've read anything by Harper Fox and it was such a treat to come back to her writing after so long. It made me remember why she's one of my favourites, even though I've stepped a away for while. This is a beautiful story and it's heartwarming and moving. I absolutely loved it. There's a strong mystical element here, as there often is in this author's books, which is hit or miss for me, but it reall ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, harper-fox
What a beautiful book, so full of events and emotions. It is a long one, and it took me several days to read it, but it was wonderful to spend those days with Rufus and Archie, and all the others. And there was so much happening there... everything in the book happens within a few weeks but it feels so much longer because of how saturated it is, how much everyone experiences. And there are so many parts of this book that I loved that I almost don't know what to start from.
Rufus... my God, what a
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I may have glazed over at some of the archaeological stuff, but this is a charming comfort read with a whole townful of quirky characters. Didn't expect to see such emphasis on the female divine in a M/M romance but really enjoyed that aspect. Audio narrator is superb, using distinct voices for each character so you always know who's speaking. ...more
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, 5-star
Beautiful writing with wonderfully drawn secondary characters and a great sense of time and place (though I kept mistaking post-WWII rural England for post WWI, still living a very old-fashioned way of life and so different from how I picture the U.S. of that same time period). There’s a slow build to the romance that made it very believable and sweet. We care about both these men before they come together. I always struggle a bit to buy into the mystical elements that Fox often includes in her ...more
♣ Irish Smurfétté ♣
This includes some hallmark Fox ingredients - humor, complex and all too human characters, supernatural happenings, LUSH sense of place - but in different ways than any of her previous stories. She goes somewhere new in this one.

Looking back, the arcs of change through which all of these characters journey are the stuff of what readers dreams, relish, and find themselves 100% satisfied when they reach the final word on that last page. I am one of them.

The emotional lives of these people are ful
Michael S.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have yet to read something by Harper Fox that I didn't like. The attention to detail and the apparent research time invested are really impressive. Do I know enough about 1940s archaeology to fact-check her work? Not a chance in a hell, but I was certainly impressed.

Rufus and Archie...oh my. While this is an oddly slow-burn insta-love situation that may not be to all readers' tastes, the leads here were very appealing and relatable with a lot of depth. I believed in their romance because I was
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
Book Reaction:
Rating: 4.5 - perfection is only half a step away
Ben Howard
Apr 07, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The books I've read by Harper Fox have all had an amazing atmosphere, and Seven Summer Nights is no exception. Rufus and Archie's post world war II world is tangible and fully realised.

Rufus, an archaeologist, whose traumatic experiences at war left him with wounds both physical and mental. Archie is a vicar for the village of Droyton Parva, who doesn't believe in religion. Their relationship was so engaging to read. Rufus is content with a life of secrecy that he believes his sexuality require
Fuck, I haven't loved a book this much in ages!!!

It's 1946, just after WWII, and Dr. Rufus Denby just returned from a catastrophic dig on a Greek island that ruined his archaeological renown. The museum director offers him a chance to get his life together by sending him to examine a church in a small Sussex village. This is where he meets the eccentric vicar, Archie Thorne, who rides a motorbike and collects strays, so to say.

This mini summary just barely covers it, because there's an amazing c
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was so satisfying. Like all HF books, is to be enjoyed and savoured without rushing towards the end.
Such a rich plot, great characters main and secondary, the perfect ambience in the post WWII era and the horrors of the aftermath, and through it all, an amazing love story.-
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
4.5 stars, because it's nearly perfect, but I felt it was slightly too long.

This book has a lot of the themes and concepts Harper Fox often includes in her work: spirituality (Christian and pagan), queer identity, mental illness, and transformation. As always, she handles those weighty topics with care, while telling a great story.

It's set immediately after WWII, and there's a lot of detail about how life has changed for everyday people, because of the war. I have not read many books set in thi
Highly recommended. Might be my favourite book of the year (it only just made it).

Long and complicated, with beautifully balanced prose, plot and messages. The first half is narrated by Rufus, the second by Archie. Each man is damaged by war, yet when they find each other, they also find reason to put their troubles behind them.

They also rescue each other often. It's heady stuff.

Best go into it knowing little, to truly appreciate its storytelling and its daring representations of gender and lov
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is very very good. Fox may be writing the best m/m of all. It works on at least three levels:
1) it's a very satisfying romance 2) it keeps you on the edge of your seat; she's an amazing plotter 3) it works on the level of the classic fairy tales and myths to address our deepest yearnings and fears.
Harper Fox is doing what Mary Renault would have if she'd had the freedom.
12/27/19. First reread and this is still So Good I had to bump it up to five stars.
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The Backlot Gay B...: Seven Summer Nights, by Harper Fox 3 30 Aug 02, 2017 04:32AM  

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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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