It’s New England, 1861, and the troubles in the southern states seem a long way off for Jack Edgerton, the spoiled son of a prominent Vermont family. Howver, when he meets and falls in love with Aaron Johnson, the sexy son of a slave on the run from Virginia, Edgerton’s world is turned upside down. Separated by circumstances, the lovers pursue each other through the escalating madness of the Civil War and both find themselves forced to choose sides.
Review by Erastes
I was utterly enamoured and in love with Mr Lear’s last novel “The Back Passage” that I was over excited that another book was coming out. I pre-ordered.
Sadly, though, I was rather disappointed, because where TBP was witty and unique (whilst incorporating a series of fuck scenes to solve a mystery) this was nothing but a series of fuck scenes.
Whilst it won’t dissapoint readers who like a hot scene to excite them on every other page, that’s where the book failed for me.
In The Back Passage, the hero goes from sexual encounter to sexual encounter in his quest to find out clues for a murder in an Agatha Christie style romp and although the sex is possibly gratuitous its cleverly done and never feels like it. There’s also much wit and humour.
But Hot Valley – set in the American Civil war–felt to me that sex scene after sex scene after sex scene (…) were linked tenuously by the hero’s travels. It felt like the background of the war is added as an afterthought. It also feels hugely anachronistic as surely to Betsy 1860 America wasn’t so accepting of gay sex.
Every single man that Jack meets, from his co-workers, his father’s employers, drinking companions, fellow soldiers – everyone! Wants to (and does) have sex with him in many various ways. As much as I enjoy (heaven knows!) an erotic book, there is a case for Too Much – and I found myself hoping that the next man that Jack met simply wanted to have a chat. Or a cuppa tea. Or anything! I found myself skipping the sex to find the next piece of plot, which, as I’ve said before, always makes me feel that the reader is cheated.
I’m sorry, James, that I didn’t like it. I wanted to, but I was hoping for a good gay historical romp but didn’t find it in Hot Valley.