Book: The Valet
Publisher: NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Publication date: October 30, 2017
Length: 153 pages
Reviewed by Erin
After scandalising his family name, wealthy brat Hugo is kicked out of his parent's home in NYC, and tossed into the English countryside. There, he must live with his extended family and learn what it means to be a “gentleman,” or be cut off and left without his inheritance.
Brattish, reckless, and out of control, it seems that Hugo may never learn his manners. That is, until he meets his match: a stoic, no-nonsense valet, Sebastian.
Hugo and Sebastian are swept up in a forbidden fling, and they play a game of power.
Can Sebastian get a handle on his master? Or will Hugo's foolishness leave him penniless?
Every reader out there has a genre or a certain type of book they're drawn to, it's just the way it is. There's comfort in knowing what to expect from your favorite authors or tropes but when I saw the blurb for The Valet by SJ Foxx, I knew I had to give it a try. Historical romance is definitely NOT my go-to but I found myself captivated by the setting and the characters portrayed in this book. Rich with imagery that felt authentic, The Valet was a pretty enjoyable read from beginning to end.
Set in the early 1900's in the English countryside, The Valet centers on wealthy playboy American Hugo and his no nonsense valet, Sebastian. To say that these two clashed from the get go is an understatement but of course this hate quickly turns to lust as the two begin an illicit affair. There is A LOT of sex in the book, more than was necessary, and this kind of took away from the story itself. As a debut author I can understand the inclination to go with more is better, but in this case, not so much. With as bratty and infuriating as Hugo was, it took me a bit to like him. The attitude and the snobbery definitely worked for his character though and he was pretty irresistible at times, especially when Sebastian gets to know him better and sees beneath the surface.
I quite enjoyed the dynamic between Sebastian and Hugo and really would have liked more depth and definitely more character development of them and their relationship rather than so much focus on the sex. The writing was choppy in places and then in others flowed quite nicely. There wasn't a whole lot going on besides the interactions between Hugo and Sebastian and I would have liked more layers and background, but all in all, The Valet was a nice book. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more from this author.
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