Title: Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye #1)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Date of Publication: March 21, 2017
Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.
In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.
But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.
It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.
Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.
Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?
Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.
Meagan’s 5 Star Review
Yes, yes, yes! I love this book! I must admit Sarina Bowen’s new True North series has been just okay to me, but this book, wow, this book was fantastic. Bowen writes m/m romance like no one else. Her stories give you non-stop butterflies in your stomach while at the same time giving you scorching sex scenes. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and sexy that make her m/m addicting.
God have mercy on me, I inwardly begged. My friend caught me stroking myself while I was thinking of him.
Hell was waiting for me. No question.
If you’ve read with Bowen’s True North series, you’ll be familiar with the cult Josh and Caleb grew up. If not that’s okay, you don’t need to have read the previous books to understand what’s happening. The book starts with Josh being kicked out of the cult and Caleb following him. The two then make their way across the country to find a farm run by Maggie (who ran away from the cult) and her husband, Daniel. When they arrive in Massachusetts their journey towards making a new, “normal” life begins.
“When I get to touch you, every awful day we’ve survived seems worth it.”
What did I love about this story, . . . hmmm, let me see, pretty much everything. At the beginning of the story, Josh is coveting his best friend Caleb pretty damn hard. He knows they can never be together but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t fantasize what it would be like. When Josh is thrown out of a pickup on the side of the road it was so hard to read. Even though we had just met him, you ached to hold Josh and comfort him. It’s not easy to make a reader care so deeply for a character within the first few chapters of a book but Bowen makes it seem simple.
“Caleb,” he whispered against my skin. “Just make me yours.”
“You,” I said, kissing him on the forehead, “are already mine. You have always been mine.
I can’t tell you how much I loved watching Caleb and Josh’s relationship grow. From Josh feeling resigned to never being loved by his best friend, to Caleb trying to show Josh how much he needed him – it was beautiful. The sex scenes were hot, so, so hot. But they weren’t gratuitous, they added to the storyline and didn’t feel out of place. It wasn’t just sex for sex sake, and I appreciated that.
His head was thrown back into the pillow, mouth open in a silent gasp of pleasure.
Then it was just two sticky guys, breathing hard, listening to their hearts race together. I loved this part just as much as the sex. Because I never saw any regret in Caleb’s eyes. He always looked so darned happy to lie there with me, painted with my seed, blissed out.
If you’re looking for a story that will break your heart and put it back together again this is it. Goodbye Paradise is not only one of my favorite m/m books of the year, it’s one of my favorite romance books period. I’m dying to read the next book in the series!
About the Author
Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.
Her Ivy Years and Brooklyn Bruisers books are hockey romance novels. These two connected series began breaking hearts in 2014 with The Year We Fell Down. See http://www.sarinabowen.com for updates.
HIM and US are the bestselling, hockey LGBT novels co-written with Elle Kennedy. HIM is also a finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA® Award.
For lovers of angsty snowboarders, Sarina also writes the Gravity series, featuring snow sports heroes.
Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, six chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.
She would be honored to connect with you at http://www.sarinabowen.com.