While exploring their forbidden sexual desires, two young men—Mormon missionaries—fall in love.
Adam Young, or Elder Young as he’s known within the Mormon Church, has always tried to light the fire of the Gospel within himself, but despite his best efforts, there’s always been something that’s made him feel out of place. Although it’s not initially clear why Elder Young is anxious about his mission, we soon learn that he's closeted—and worried he’ll find his live-in companion attractive. While he hasn’t acted on his feelings in the past, his dedication to the Mormon Church, and to chastity, is challenged when he meets his handsome mission companion: Elder Brandon Christensen, who certainly opens him up to a different kind of burning passion. Their forbidden romance is perfectly set to the hot, wild backdrop of Barcelona—a location that complements their desire for each other. Given the nature of their religion, even fairly innocuous things (such as when Elder Young’s thoughts drift to a shirtless Elder Christensen doing push-ups) seem absolutely sinful; during prayer, as they kneel bedside next to each other, the reader hopes their hands will brush and set off a passionate embrace. While there is much to praise here, some aspects of the novel (particularly the language) can be overwrought. In one scene, Christensen notes that his “loins are filled,” then presents his desire verbally to God. Still, it’s refreshing to see devotees of God who are struggling with their sexuality.
A fine romance with a touch of political intent.