This story is about two men who were best friends as youths. The night before they are due to leave on their Mormon mission they have sex together for the first time. They each leave on their respective missions and about a year later Joshua disappears and is presumed dead. Chris is devastated by this news and never emotionally recovers. He leaves his mission, drops out of the church and struggles to put his life back together. Five years later Joshua shows back up with a new identity and the explanation that life was too overwhelming so he just let everyone think he was dead. He's back now as his father is dying and he's trying to make amends.
This book really didn't work for me. Joshua just shows back up and expects everyone to forgive him as he was under a lot of pressure and they do. They forgive him immediately. There was no real discussion of the past events and no real explanation. Chris immediately lets him back into his life and they jump right into a sexual relationship. The story is peppered with the "evil church" members and family members who want to keep them apart because of their wicked homosexual ways and this was the bulk of the story plotline.
My largest issue was that I didn't believe any of it. I was told a lot of things by the authors, ie how much the main characters loved each other, but I didn't feel any of it. I didn't see what they saw in each other. It was all based on this prior relationship but we never saw any of that either (maybe a prologue would have helped). I didn't buy the ultra bad church people and I didn't buy Joshua's family being super mean and then flipping immediately to being ultra kind and forgiving. There was no event that triggered their being understanding all of a sudden.
For me the topics presented were very serious ones but they were treated in a casual, superficial manner causing me to not take any of it seriously. I never connected to either character and I did not feel any emotional connection to them. I generally enjoy these authors writing together but this book was a disappointment.
Back from the dead...and back to square one.
The Distance Between Us, Book 4
The night before Chris and his best friend Joshua were sent thousands of miles apart on their respective Mormon missions, they finally gave in to their mutual desire. Left trying to make sense of what happened, Chris’s already shaky faith crumbled altogether a year later, when Joshua suddenly died.
Inconsolable, ostracized by his family and the only community he’d ever known, Chris found his way on his own. Now he’s going to school and loves his job as a bartender at Wilde’s. Years after Joshua’s death, he’s finally moving on.
Then a familiar face rocks his world. Joshua isn’t dead. He’s back in Seattle to make peace with his dying father, with a new name, a new accent…and old feelings for Chris that are alive and well.
Forgiveness doesn’t come easy for anyone, but just as Chris is accepting that the man he loves isn’t going to run away this time, their families threaten to pull them apart all over again…
Warning: Contains two lost boys who need to make up for a hell of a lot of lost time. There’s also a military uniform, a tuxedo, and a knife. In the same scene. And yes, it’s that kind of scene.