Author: Clare London
Release Date: September 20 2016
Publisher: Jocular Press
Length: 74,000 words
When you find a place where lust and sex rule life, and your every desire can be fulfilled, why would you ever want to leave?
Young runaway Scot and his boyfriend Jerry escape their deadbeat homes and families, hoping to leave prejudice behind them and travel to a new life in Las Vegas. Unprepared and naive, they're lost almost at once, and shelter at a run-down, deserted motel in the middle of the scorching hot Nevada desert. A place with secrets, run by staff both gorgeous and uninhibited, and driven by a mysterious sexual connection Scot’s never even dared to dream.
All but drugged by the lazy heat and the hedonism around him, Scot watches as Jerry is seduced away and realizes their relationship was nothing more than shared lust. Restless, Scot knows he wants true love and real understanding. Could he find it with the mysterious and elusive owner of the motel, Connor Maxwell? Connor seems to think so, every time he appears and pursues Scot for his own. But where does Connor come from? It seems the passion calls him into being at its own whim.
Eventually, what binds Connor and his friends to the motel may be too strong for Scot to break through. Scot has ambitions to travel, to make something of his life – but is his only option to embrace life at the motel in his true lover’s arms?
Or will that love be strong enough to release them both...
“It’s the stuff of your imagination. Your dreams,” Connor murmured. “Isn’t it?”
This is one stunning and extra-special book.
Sensual, sexy even, with an understated note of creepy, I experienced—felt—this story as much as I read it. Sweet Summer Sweat mesmerized me, which was very appropriate considering it’s all about two young men being mesmerized by the motel where they end up and the three men who exist there. I loved how conflicted Scot felt, torn between being seduced by his surroundings— by the constant sensuality surrounding him—and his yearning for freedom and the wider world. I could feel his confusion and understood how he tittered on the edge of giving in to the promise of unending intimacy only to be pulled back from the edge by the knowledge that it might not be enough for him, that his dreams were bigger than that.
The connection between these five men, but especially between Scot and Connor, is like something out of a dream; they can hear each other’s thoughts, touch each other without physical contact, and recognise each other without ever having met before. At first glance it would appear that Scot and Jerry have stumbled upon their personal version of paradise. But while the motel may be exactly what Jerry needs, Scot can’t escape the feeling that what looks like heaven could just as easily turn out to be hell.
I loved the magical realism in this book. The motel and what happens there is definitely otherworldly, and yet because we experience it all through Scot’s eyes, emotions, and thoughts we are never fully ripped from the real world. I’m glad that we never get a full explanation of exactly what is going on in the Motel, or how any of it is possible. The mystery, the magic of it all, only added to the charm of this story.
I’m in awe of the way in which Clare London managed to tell a lot of this story not through dialogue or thoughts but through sensuality, physical contact and intimacy. This is one of the sexiest stories I’ve ever read and yet at no point did it feel as if the sex was there for any other reason than to push the story forward, to explain the characters’ emotions to the readers.
This is one of those occasions when my vocabulary isn’t big enough to convey all the emotions I felt while reading this book. The story pulled me into a magical spell and captured me, not unlike the way in which the motel captured Jerry and Scot. And just like those two young men discover that they can’t really (bring themselves to) leave the motel, I found it impossible to look away from my Kindle until I’d finished the story.
The ending of this book is deliciously ambiguous. Not as far as the happily ever after is concerned, but other than that it is up to the reader to decide what happens next, and I love it when a story allows me to fantasize on after I’ve read the last page of a book.
On a final note I want to say this. As soon as I read the blurb I was reminded of the song ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles. Now that I’ve read the book I’m convinced that Clare London was inspired by this song; the coincidences would be too extra-ordinary otherwise. For example, the lyrics say the following:
*Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis*
And then, at some point Connor says to Scot: “You had your own agenda, your own alibis”. And later on in reference to another part of the song, Connor says: “A prisoner…well, I can see how it might be seen like that. But it’s by my own device, Scot.” Of course, the biggest clue can be found in the title itself.
For me this connection was perfect. I’ve loved the song and the story its lyrics tell since the very first time I heard it, and it has always been a source of inspiration for me—the words allowed all sorts of stories to pop up in my head long before I ever thought about writing. It is wonderful to read a book that mirrors the fantasies I’ve had over the years so closely. In fact, it’s a bit like the story in this book, stunning and at the same time somewhat creepy. Scot and Connor can hear each other’s thoughts and that is very easy to believe when it feels as if the author has been listening to mine.
Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.
She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy.
Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.
Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind... she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.
Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her here: