The premise sounds interesting and while the location of the book certainly caught my interest, I found the book itself a bit tedious and more than a little cliche. I also found it somewhat unbelievable. What mother leaves her son a letter telling him how wonderful it felt to come to climax in his father's arms? I could believe the idea behind the letter, that at 20 she hoped he'd figured himself out and was happy. I could even believe that she hoped he'd found his special happily ever after. But the climax thing, not to mention discussing the pair of them watching his teenaged best friend get a blow job in the woods (What mother does that? You come across that while berry picking, you lead your son away, geeze!) was simply a step too far in the belief stakes.
There was also an excess of inner monologuing with all four characters giving their inner viewpoints, and usually for the most trite of reasons. These monologues read like they were lifted from public service announcements for a PC Youth Brigade campaign. Another words, just to tell us how wonderful it all was, how right, how this, how that, and how it was all roses and champagne and rainbow sparkles. I know that sounds sarcastic, but I'm honestly not trying to be; the inner dialogue was couched in the most trite of PC terms one could possibly imagine and served no purpose other than to ram down our throats how fabulous true love can be, especially if it is between two men. I think by getting this book to read, we'd all already gotten that memo, thanks. I didn't need it recited Hallmark card fashion with such frequent abandon.
Another nitpick for me is that this is supposed to be a contemporary tale, not a fantasy. Yet as these two lovers come out to the world around them, not one person they encounter has anything but joy to share with them. Well, one of the young men has a past situation with his parents, but despite how close they supposedly had been, he's just, "Meh. That happened. I've moved on. Too bad, so sad, got a boyfriend now and his uncles for family." Sure, the author says he felt sad, but not once did he show it, not even with an angsty scene before his wedding, despite having invited said parents. Not that bigotry is right, but come on, EVERYONE is riding the rainbow train?! It's unrealistic. Even if it is a simple case of someone getting up to leave a cafe, or a look of disgust before turning away, it happens.
Then there is the religious thing. I know some people are religious, and that there are Christian romances out there. This would rightly fall in that category, as the two men literally prayed to God to find their future husband, and lots of related prayer occurs during the story. I have no problem with that, especially as an integral part of the story is how one of the two fell from the grace of the Mormon church (again, he's rather "meh" acting about that too). I did find it overused though, given that out of the four men, only the excommunicated Mormon lad are actually religious. They even outright say so several times, but then go on to pray themselves, seemingly at the drop of a hat. I also found it more than a bit odd that after hot and heavy sex that a person would actually do an deeply sincere prayer couched in reverent tones, thanking their Heavenly Father for giving them a guy who was so good at sex.
And while talking about unexpected dialogue, I am also going to mention another thing that I found very annoying. In several instances, the characters don't merely speak, they give speeches. Even worse is the timing of said speeches. For example, the two lovers have a nice breakfast alone, hurrying because they can't wait to get into each other's pants. Once the door is closed, it is however a different story. We get a seriously long speech by one character, roughly an entire page's worth on my Kindle,and only then do they go on to make slow love. It quite simply did not follow a logical progression from the set up given for the situation.
The sex itself is another thing I had a major issue with. It's all rather insta-lust and insta-love, explained away as that it is the way of that family- they meet someone and know immediately that this is their destined love, and it's love happily ever after, no water needing to be added. This leads our once closeted and extremely shy protagonist happily jumping into the sack with his fellow practically from the get go. They have lots and lots of sex. That aside, it's the way the sex is described that I have a real issue with. Take a 70′s or even an '80′s bodice ripper a la Mills and Boon. Substitute the female half of the duo for a man. This is what you get, along with cringe worthy expressions such as "his man hole" (What? Is he entering a sewer?!) and other such misguided attempts at coy euphemisms.
These issues not only show the inexperience of the author (this is their debut) but the lack of having a professional editor go through the book prior to publication. This was also driven glaringly home by the presence of several grammatical errors throughout the book. Tenses were mixed up, adverbs used incorrectly, there were numerous misspellings (take a close look at the provided blurb and you'll see even that wasn't vetted thoroughly) as well as a few other errors that would have been trivial had they not happened with enough frequency that I began taking notes of just how many times the errors were popping up. I cannot stress this enough, if you are going to self publish, please pay for the services of a professional editor. It is not a huge investment, but it is one that will pay you large dividends. Also, use beta readers who are NOT close friends and family. Your buddies are not likely to to be impartial enough to tell you what needs ripping out, what needs re-writing, and what needs to be deleted in its entirety and forever forgotten.
As this books stands, I cannot recommend it. It has a good premise with some great ideas for a story within it. It is a story that needs a quality professional editor and quite a bit of a rewrite before it can realise its potential, however. Until then, I advise giving this one a pass.