Unlike most young men, I never longed for glory or adventure on the field of battle. The outbreak of hostilities between the North and the South in 1861 meant nothing more to me than the interruption of the long, hot, eternal summer of my adolescence--a season that had already long overstayed its time. At the age of 21 I was still behaving like a boy of 17, interested only in my own pleasure, unwilling to face the fact that I was now a man. Manhood meant responsibility, and responsibility meant work, and work meant an end to my diet of lotus flowers.
When war was brewing, I simply ignored it. Even when the fighting began, I thought of it as something far away, like the action in one of the novels I loved to read. But the war would make a man of me--even me, the spoiled son of a prosperous New England family, a pampered dilettante
who exploited his social position for the most ignoble ends. It would find me in my comfortable backwater, it would pull me out and knock me off balance and throw me into the fire. It would change everything about me--so much so that I hardly recognize my 21-year-old self now, viewed from a distance of five years.
Much to my parents’ disgust, I had little interest in the family business, the grandly named Hydropathic Establishment, which my father had built up from a modest little bathhouse to a major New England visitor attraction. I had no desire to learn bookkeeping, or contract law, or any of the other dreary subjects that would make me into a useful, dutiful son. I had some vague idea that I wanted to be a writer, for which I could hardly be blamed, having been educated at great length (and no little cost) in the finest schools the East had to offer. And so I spent my days with my nose buried in a book, or sleeping, or staring out the window, or swimming at the lake, or daydreaming about a glorious future, crowned with laurels and lionized in the literary salons of New York, London, and Paris.
Such were my days. My nights were very different. At the age of 19, I discovered the workingmen’s bars and rooming houses on the wrong side of the tracks--literally on the wrong side of the tracks, as the railway that arrived in 1849 had carved the town of Bishopstown in two. On our side were the quality stores, the town square, the nicer hotels, and the pleasant residential streets that fanned out into the woods beyond. Beyond the tracks were the run-down boarding houses, the dubious bars, the obvious whorehouses, and a crazy assortment of buildings, some of them old and decayed, others new and already falling down, where dwelled the workers and drifters to whom I was drawn.
Copyright © 2010 by James Lear
Step aside, Scarlett O’Hara! James Lear’s Hot Valley is a steamy gay take on historical fiction that brilliantly pierces the conventions of a period piece with vivid and intoxicating sex scenes. Its torrid tableaus unfurl in the war-torn and politically ravaged provinces of New England in 1861. As explosive as it is, the drama in the southern states seems far away from Jack Edgerton, the spoiled son of a wealthy Vermont family. However, when he unexpectedly falls in love with Aaron Johnson, the strapping son of a slave on the run from Virginia, Edgerton’s life and all his beliefs are immediately turned upside down.
Separated by circumstances beyond their control, the lovers pursue one another through the escalating madness of the Civil War, and both find themselves forced to take sides. Fortunately, both parties are treated to a succession of sexual opportunities that provide much-needed respite from the violence surrounding them. After a series of sexual adventures—including unbridled woodland trysts and an impromptu jailhouse orgy that (briefly) reconciles the warring parties—they’re finally reunited in the Shenandoah Valley for an explosive climax that’s hard to believe!
Hardcover Book : 320 pages
Publisher: Cleis Press, Inc. ( April 18, 2007 )
Item #: 12-967917
Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.25 inches
Product Weight: 15.0 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)