Author: Jon Garcia, Marty Beaudet
Publisher: DSP Publications
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Rating: 4.50 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 01/05/2016
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
You see them everywhere, Mormon missionaries dressed in their white shirts, ties, and suit pants. With their short-cut hair, they ride on their bicycles and knock on doors, trying to convert the world to their brand of religion. In their church community, they are revered for exemplifying the wholesomeness and goodness of being a Mormon youth.
RJ and Chris are no different. Both were born and raised in the Mormon church. Both excelled academically, progressed ecclesiastically, earned their Eagle Scout rank at a young age, and had pretty girlfriends. And now it’s their turn to serve a mission and experience the Mormon rite of passage.
Unknown to them, serving a mission not only opens strangers’ doors to “preach the Gospel” as they were taught, but awakens secrets of their own lives while in service to their fellow man—secrets their church is not ready to embrace.
As much as I’m against organized religions in my life, I still find myself drawn to books in the genre that deal with religion. This was one of the best ones I’ve read in a long time with a story so detailed that I wouldn’t be surprised if it was autobiographical.
The story begins with RJ, a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints, going on his mission. He’s disappointed he’s not going somewhere exotic and instead to Portland, Oregon. He ends up housing with another young man named Chris and his life course changes completely.
At first RJ and Chris don’t have anything in common but they soon become close friends. I loved how the book showed the way the relationship progressed every step of the way. I experienced RJ’s hesitance at going out on the street and preaching and how he and Chris got to know each other.
At times RJ refers to a sin in the past, a sin that I assumed to be homosexuality. He does his best to move beyond what he thinks is wrong, but the more he gets to know Chris the more temptation he feels.
Eventually, the two men are unable to deny their feelings any longer and a stop in a grove of trees to take a piss turns into a hot session of oral sex. Never has guilt and a blow job been mixed so well. This scene was amazingly well written. I could picture every last action these guys took.
Oh. My. God. This couldn’t be happening. But it was, and I wasn’t doing anything to fight it. Despite the horror and guilt I tried to conjure for the occasion, my whole body responded to Chris’s attentions and firmly welcomed the smooth wetness of his mouth.
I shivered with a mixture of both physical response and emotion—guilt muddled with ecstasy infused with disbelief. Tears welled in my eyes as Chris caressed my thighs and lifted his hands to meet the gentle, rhythmic action of his mouth, cupping me tenderly to himself.
RJ and Chris go on to explore their emotions and it eventually leads to trouble both internal and external.
This book was beautifully written with lines funny and heart-wrenching.
“Sex and the City?” I asked. I’d heard of that. I wasn’t sure what it was about, but it seemed an odd choice for Rodney. Definitely not in the same category as the other movies he suggested.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s about girls in New York,” Rodney said. “They run around and have sex with everybody.”
“Oh,” Chris said. “Is that the show about the three hookers and their mom?”
“You’re talking about All in the Family,” I corrected him.
“No,” Rodney said. “That’s Golden Girls.”
And the heart-wrenching:
I continued to carry Chris in my heart, though. It was impossible to extract him completely; he’d become a part of me.
Be warned, this did not have your typical Happily Ever After. It’s a realistic, though extremely sad, ending. The book is listed as a series, I can only hope RJ and Chris get a second chance.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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