Title: Losing My Religion
Author: A.S. Tucker
Genre: M/M Romance
Jaden Barker is a good boy.
For as long as he can remember, he’s been preparing for the day he’ll be called as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He’s ready. He’s more than willing. And he can’t wait to spend the next two years serving the Lord and his church. But when a new proclamation from the church is announced, it leaves him questioning everything.
Quinn Owens is trouble with a capital T.
An aspiring actor living in the bowels of Los Angeles, he’s fought long and hard to get where he is, and he’s not willing to give it up for anything. Working for a homophobic boss presents quite a challenge when you’re a gay man, but Quinn knows losing this job means losing his dream.
Jaden is lost and confused.
Quinn won’t let anything stand in his way.
But when Jaden finds himself living downstairs from the enticing Quinn, neither are prepared for what happens next.
Will Jaden be able to resist Quinn’s charms and remain a devoted Mormon missionary? Or will he fall, finding himself face to face with losing his religion?
As I step into the room, I drop my suitcase on the floor, my duffel bag sliding off my shoulder and falling on top of it. Six bunk beds are crowded into the tiny space, each bed made neatly with a thin comforter stretched tautly across the mattress. It reminds of the dorm rooms I’ve seen in movies and TV shows throughout the years. Except, instead of posters of half-naked women and sports stars adorning the walls, there are pictures of Jesus Christ. Instead of math books and dirty laundry strewed about, there are scriptures and pamphlets about the church.
So, yeah, it’s just like a dorm room—if the dorm room were in a parallel universe where teenage boys read the Bible and The Book of Mormon instead of play video games and drink beer.
Welcome to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah.
Elder Scott, the leader of the district I’ve been assigned to, points to the bottom bunk on the left side of the room, indicating I should put my stuff there. All the missionaries in this district of the MTC are going to be serving in the California Los Angeles mission or somewhere in the vicinity. We’re split by the area we’ll be serving in, by the language we’ll be speaking, and, of course, by sex. The sister missionaries are housed in a separate part of the MTC with clear guidelines of what will happen if those borders are breached after hours.
I pick up my bag and toss it onto the bed before leaning over to grab my heavier suitcase with both hands. Elder Scott bends over to help, and together, we lift the monstrosity onto the bunk.
“You can hang your suits in the closet,” he says, pointing to a tiny accordion door next to the beds on the right. “Each of you has one drawer in the dresser. Yours will be one up from the bottom. Go ahead and get your things unpacked. I’m going to head to Elder Burke’s class and see if I can borrow Elder Daniels. He’ll be your companion while you’re here.”
Without another word, Elder Scott turns and exits the room, leaving me in the silent, foreign room by myself. An all-too recognizable pang fills my chest as I look around, and once again, I’m left wondering if I’ve made the right choice.
It’s just nerves, my inner Jiminy reminds me, trying to soothe my budding panic.
Or it’s the fact that you’re a total fraud, and you have no business being here, his less than delightful counterpart retorts.
I shake my head as I sit down on the edge of the bed, grateful for the moment alone. It might be the last one I get for the next two years. Once your companion is assigned, the two of you stick together like the pages of a dirty magazine.
I chuckle softly at my poor attempt at a joke, but then guilt immediately sets in at the thought, considering my surroundings. I can almost feel Jesus’s disapproving eyes boring into me. So, instead of lifting my head to meet his gaze, I unzip my suitcase and begin to unpack my things.
A military brat growing up, A.S. Tucker now resides in Utah with her loving husband. When not writing, you'll find her reading, binge watching Netflix, or drinking wine. Her three favorite things are animals, coffee, and Harry Potter, not necessarily in that order. She is the author of three other novels, published under a different pen name. She loves hearing from her readers, so please drop her a line!