Using Amazon's rating system, I give this almost four stars as I liked it quite a bit.
In "An Earlier Heaven", Jerry wound up with custody of his cousin's quiet, emotionally-withdrawn child when William's parents were suddenly killed. Being a loner who lives for creating art and engaging in anonymous sex, Jerry is very much upset. But one look at the shy, frightened William and Jerry knew that this child would be a part of his life. Little did he expect that he would fall for David, William's teacher, and in a few months, he'd have an entire family!
"Good to Know" was a nicely compelling romance where not only do the two lost souls meet and become a couple, but an entire family was created. "An Earlier Heaven" picks up shortly afterward. It's a family drama, not a romance, because romance has already been established by the time the story picks up. Here, William is doing well in school and has even take to sports. The only thing he doesn't seem to be doing is making friends. He does have a non-romantic crush on an older student whom he admires, and the older Cory is very caring towards William, treating him like a younger brother. But Cory seems to come from a troubled home, and as these two men incorporate Cory into their life, they wonder if Cory's troubles will eventually hurt William and if they should be doing something about it.
Characters are nicely developed, the plot moves along, and the settings are realistic and organic. Dialog is crisp, and there are some very heartwarming moments. It's a very enjoyable read. The only drawback is that "Good to Know" was a very compelling romantic tale of the coming-together of a family, and this.... isn't quite that. Yes, there's the possibility that Cory will expand their family in some way, but the obstacles faced aren't as severe as in the first tale. There, the men had to battle with their own demons to admit their love for each other. Here, it's some external forces which don't quite seem as compelling. A slight focus on brand-names within the story distracts a little bit during that scene and seems almost like product-placement, but doesn't hurt the story overall.
In essence, this story balances between illustrating the pains and foibles of raising a young child, and helping another child in his time of need.
It's a nice, warm tale. If you enjoyed the first book, then you should enjoy this one. It moves the characters further along and makes you a part of their family, with all of the good and bad.