Series: Hello Goodbye #1
Published by Rennie Road Books on March 21st 2017
Genres: LGBTQ Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
I’ve been curious about Paradise. Wyoming ever since we met Zachariah in the True North series. There’s something about the “compound” cult life that makes me uneasy ( like everything) and I was very interested to see this world as created by Sarina Bowen. Josh and Caleb are two characters I was anxious to meet. Turns out that Josh and Caleb would capture my heart.
When we first learn about the compound it’s quickly laid out that there are different classes of individuals, basically humans versus slaves and Caleb and Josh are clearly in differing roles. But they’ve known each other all their lives and are best friends so when the worst comes to pass, everything changes for both of them and an amazing journey begins.
Josh’s predicament and how he came to feel about himself is utterly heartbreaking. He has been treated so poorly so every time he thinks about whet he deserves in life, hot tears formed in the back of my eyes. I came to see him as a gentle giant; pragmatic yet sensitive and so much smarter then he thinks of himself. As the story develops we see Josh transform. Caleb on the other hand, well he knows what he feels and can’t believe Josh has never seen through his facade. There’s so much love and adoration between them and they quickly became one of those couples, the kind you find yourself rooting for with every breath.
Life leads them to a safe and secure place, and their relationship blooms as they assimilated in the outside world. Mistakes are made, misunderstandings and fear win out so we get the requisite angst. But all in all, this is just a beautiful story about friendship and true love, and two young men beating the odds and what they were born into. Another 5 star read of one of my favorite and certainly a #oneclick recommended author!
~ Hello Forever ~
Originally Published as It’s Never Over (Pay it Forward #2)
Six years have passed since the awful day when Axel and Caxton were caught making out in the woods at church camp. They were only teenagers then, but Axel had been devastated when Cax had cut off all contact with him. After that, his best friend seemed to vanish.
So Axel is astonished to find his first love’s face in the crowd of a college basketball game he’s watching on TV—at a college which has just offered him a job. It’s a thousand miles away, in a tiny rural town. But suddenly, he can’t wait to get there.
Cax can’t believe his eyes when Axel appears in the same Massachusetts town where he now lives. And he’s still just as drawn to Axel as ever. But he can’t let himself go there again. Because loving Axel will mean losing everything else he holds dear.
Both men have so much to lose. But as far as their love is concerned, It’s Never Over.
It’s Never Over is a stand-alone novel with no cliffhangers. Readers of In Front of God and Everyone will get a chance to check in on Caleb and Josh and their clan.
Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.
In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.