Book Reviews

Foxglove Copse (A Porthkennack Novel) by Alex Beecroft at Riptide Publishing

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance / Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 01-February-2018

Book Blurb

After a massive anxiety attack, Sam Atkins left his high-powered job in the City and committed himself to life on the road in a small van. Six months in, he’s running out of savings and coming to the conclusion that he might have to go home to his emotionally abusive family.


Needing time to think, he takes a walk through a copse by the Cornish roadside, only to stumble upon the body of a ritualistically killed sheep. As he’s trying to work out what the symbols around the animal mean, the sheep’s owner, Jennifer, and her nephew, Ruan Gwynn, come upon him.


Ruan is a kind-hearted young man with a large supportive clan, and since he and Sam feel almost instant attraction, he doesn’t want to believe Sam is a sheep-killing cultist. In fact, the moment he lays eyes on Sam’s miserable solitary life, he wants to rescue the man. But as the killings escalate, he and Sam need to stop whoever is actually to blame before they can concentrate on saving each other.


Book Review

"A true friend knows your weaknesses but shows you your strengths; feels your fears but fortifies your faith; sees your anxieties but frees your spirit; recognizes your disabilities but emphasizes your possibilities." -

When Ruan Gwynn and his aunt find a stranger, Sam Atkins, standing over a mutilated sheep, they can't help but think the worst, but Ruan doesn't want to believe that this innocuous looking man could have done such a horrible thing. He tries to reserve judgement until he can prove otherwise. Instead of immediately condemning Sam, Ruan decides to get to know this enigmatic man he's already attracted to.

It perplexes Sam that Ruan befriends him, a stranger he met under even stranger circumstances, but he's grateful for it. Also, Sam is strongly attracted to him. Because of his anxiety attacks, Sam is wary of new connections, fearing the condemnation he so often receives when people misunderstand his condition. Ruan isn't like that though. Surprisingly, Ruan seems to be very sensitive to Sam's anxiousness and honestly wants to understand it and how to help him. Ruan gets his Aunt Jennifer to let Sam camp out on their land for a while, although she is still suspicious of him. As Ruan and Sam get to know each other, they realize that their backgrounds are very different. Sam's family is unsympathetic and abusive, where Ruan's family is beyond supportive and loyal to each other; mess with one Gwynn and you are messing with all of them. Sam is in awe of Ruan's family's closeness and acceptance of each other. When there's another nighttime “goat sacrifice” on his Aunt Jenny's property and Ruan is able to vouch that he's been with Sam all night, Sam is no longer considered a suspect.

When Ruan discovers that Sam not only has knowledge of the occult, but that he's a 'computer whiz', he decides they should do some investigation of their own. Ruan enlists his expertise in helping his niece, Tegan, with some cyberbullying that is terrorizing local teens, that has resulted in at least one suicide. In order to obtain the information he needs, Sam has to locate his stolen computer. Sam pinpoints its location, but he's puzzled because it seems to be in the middle of an empty field. Using this information, Ruan has a good idea who has it. He takes a great risk and goes to Granny Lunsmore, the head of the Lunsmore clan, the equivalent of the local mafia. Ruan negotiates with Granny and ends up getting Sam's computer back. All of Tegan's friends give Sam their computers for him to investigate. With the help of some highly specialized software, Sam is able to pinpoint the perpetrator's base of operation. Much to their dismay, the data gathered points to someone in the Lunsmore clan.

This story is a love story combined with a murder mystery, cyberstalking, and black magic to instill fear in others because of an ulterior motive. Sam and Ruan are very sweet together. Ruan is mostly patient with Sam as he learns how to help Sam deal with his anxiety, not judging, but loving him through it. Ruan helps Sam see himself the way Ruan sees him, which is pretty marvelous. It's an example of the healing effect that patience and love can have. Thanks, Alex, for a captivating, action-filled story.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Riptide Publishing for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 245 pages/66700 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 04-September-2017
Price $4.99 ebook, $17.99 paperback, $22.98 bundle
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