ARC Review: Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen

21 Mar 2017

Book Title: Goodbye Paradise
Author: Sarina Bowen
Series: Pay It Forward #1
Release Date: March 21st, 2017
Genres: M/M Romance
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.

Well thank goodness Sarina Bowen decided to re-release this book under this pen name instead of its original (which I don't even know what it was). Sometimes familiarity sells books and with her, if it says Sarina, I'll auto-read it.

Goodbye Paradise is a friends-to-lovers MM romance. Our two MC's, Caleb and Josh grew up in a strict religious cult community. Sound like another Sarina Bowen character? Yes, that would be Zach from Keepsake (True North #3)...funny that connection. Anywho, Josh gets ex-communicated and Caleb escapes. Now, what can two guys do with little to no money, education, family, or friends? Well, there's one friend, fellow escapee Maggie. So they venture to Wyoming to find a new start in life, friends together. Except Josh has never had friendly thoughts about his cult brother. Far from them. But like everything else, homosexuality is severely shunned against in their 'religion.'

Goodbye Paradise is an unconventional MM romance in that I'm most used to the angsty 'coming out' push and pull between the two main characters. Not so much here. Their feelings are fairly equal and it doesn't take long to put light on that. What brings the plot angst is the challenges these men face starting a new life without so much as a birth certificate. Maggie is their saving grace and time proves both Caleb and Josh have trades they can tap in to support themselves in this new world they live in.

Goodbye Paradise is sweet yet steamy. Josh melted my heart in all his sweet caring for both Maggie and her newborn baby. Nothing cuter than a guy with a baby! Caleb, the more rough and masculine of the two, finds work within auto repair. Both guys finding their niche in their new community.

Again, I'm happy Sarina Bowen chose to re-release this because I can't wait for the next book in this series!

Advanced copy received by author in exchange for my honest review.

Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of Vermont.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.

With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of HIM and US.

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