I rather enjoyed this book, although it took me a while to get there. This story can be divided into three distinct parts, two of which I loved, and one I that rather annoyed me.
The story starts with a bang - which may be the only reason I held on for the good stuff. After a teaser intro, the reader gains insight into the main characters (Matt's) life several weeks prior. The author belabors the point that Matt's boyfriend is a jerk (to put it mildly). He points it out again and again and again. We've got it - we're not supposed to like him. It is from this that the other reviewers comment on Matt's TSTL moments. I would have found this a much more interesting part of the story had we seen any reason why Matt loved his boyfriend, if the BF had any interesting character complexity, or if the author had just quit banging me over the head with the idea. I love it when authors hint at something and leave me to form my own conclusions (the ones they wanted me to). I hate it when they force an idea on me - I tend to rebel.
Despite the above points, I made it to the second portion of the story, an action-packed adventure story where Matt is thrown into a slightly unbelievable, but highly entertaining war drama. Although there were points I felt the author could have taken advantage of the high emotional impact of certain events and didn't, this portion of the story certainly drew me in, and I began to forgive the bf storyline (although parts of it are woven in here). I still found some preachiness in this portion of the story, primarily where the navy boys accept the gay guy, but I got over it.
The last portion of the story is where the romance kicked in, and the portion I really got into. The author slowly built up the tension between the two main characters, and seeing them together gave me the warm fuzzy feeling in my stomach. This was a sweet story, but it didn't cross over into cheesy territory, as many of the 'sweet' stories do. Additionally, while this wasn't a high-angst novel, there was certainly enough tension to keep me reeled in and to satisfy my need for drama.
The real winner in this story, though, was the ensemble cast. The author did a fantastic job at drawing me into the MCs life, family, and friends. It was this that kept me reading. I caught myself grinning several times, and occasionally I wanted to beat someone over the head. I think I'm I'm love with Petey now, too.
So, definitely a mixed bag. If I could rate each part individually, I would say 1-star, 3-stars, 4-stars, respectively. As a whole, I'll stick with three. Or four. 3.5? The last portion was good enough for me to uprate the whole book.