Katie's Reviews > The Salisbury Key

The Salisbury Key by Harper Fox
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May-December and/or Student-Professor stories tend to squick me out.

Insta-love stories tend to revolt me.

This book had some serious premise elements going against it in my mind.

But daaamn was this book delicious.

This was my first book by Harper Fox, and I’m wondering what took me so long. The good news is I have a few others on my e-shelf I’ll be diving into soon.

I think the prose here is the most elegant and gorgeous I’ve read in years with the kind of phrasing and imagery that transports me to be perfectly present in every scene without being overdone and tinged in hues of purple.

It was so beautifully written that I was drawn in, crying, and mourning then laughing and cheering everything on.

There are bits of suspense, little bits of mystery that added just enough intrigue to keep things exciting in an Indiana Jones kind of way.  And there were perfect nuggets of British humor tucked in just the right places to save it from being so heavily weighted on the side of tragic loss, deception, and the crushing lies of omission from a man no longer around to answer the lingering questions.

I’m not crazy about reading about one relationship that ends and has the hero moving forward into another — especially at such a rapid-fire pace. I prefer a book to encompass and focus on one relationship. But, that’s not life, is it? So, I can set aside my prejudice on what a romance should be and embrace that the story was stronger because of everything we get to see in the beginning.

The love affair between Daniel and his professor, Jason, seemed more like Daniel in need of a father figure than a real, everlasting kind of love -- and quite co-dependent at times. Fortunately, story-wise, this relationship is only about the first 15% of the book. Unfortunately, and quite devastatingly, is that that it ends with Jason taking his life. (It’s in the blurb, y’all.)

Daniel is left to pick up the pieces that were ensnared in an ages old mystery. Mourning in his own way, dealing (or not) as he feels best for him, his involvement with Rayne escalates rapidly from a reluctant working partnership to friendship to a whole lot more.

For me, Rayne stole the show. He’s strong, capable, and quite no-nonsense as he attempts to be a friend to Daniel. He brings levity and relief with perfect timing as Daniel's life spins out of control. Also, a man in uniform just does it for me. He’s a much better match personality wise and far more equipped to be an equal partner to Daniel. The relationship felt right regardless of how fast it transpired under a massive cloud of grief.

The setting of the Salisbury Plain and Stonehenge was fascinating, mystical, and kind of eerie at times. The descriptions were eloquent and felt as much like a character as each person who graced the pages. It's a special thing to feel that in books that are more often so focused on the characters and emotions.

The Salisbury Key surpassed my expectations by taking me on a whirlwind of emotions and a journey of love and loss and love again with lots of fascinating twists along the way.

Also posted on BackPorchReader.com.
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Reading Progress

February 29, 2016 – Shelved
February 29, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read_new_on_deck
February 29, 2016 – Shelved as: p-samhain
April 26, 2016 – Started Reading
April 27, 2016 – Finished Reading
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: 5-star_all_the_love_and_stars
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: best_reads_of_2016
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: c-age_gap
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: c-badassery-commando-seal-military
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: c-co-dependent_mcs
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: c-damaged_hero
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: c-kinda_geeky_mc
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: e-cherry_poppin
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: e-insta_love
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: f-had_some_lols
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: f-i_cried_not_afraid_to_admit_it
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: f-tragic
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: f-wonderfully_poetic_prose
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: g-contemporary
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: g-lgbt-mm
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: g-mystery-suspense
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: i_actually_reviewed_it
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: k-steamy_enough
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: l-novel_over_201_pgs_over_50k_wds
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: read_2016
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: t-standalone
May 28, 2016 – Shelved as: v-1st_person

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