REVIEW: GOODBYE PARADISE by Sarina Bowen

Posted March 23, 2017 by MeliMel in Book Love, Guest Posts & Reviews, Home, Meli Mel Review, Release Blitz, Reviews / 0 Comments

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Blurb v2

Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh & 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 counterThis book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone. For more about its previous publication, you can read this blog post.

♥ ♥ ♥ 4.5 STARS ♥ ♥ ♥

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“Hi baby,” he said under his breath. He leaned in and kissed me on the lips, right in front of God and everyone.

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Josh has been best friends with Caleb for as long as he can remember. They both grew up in a polygamist compound that favors some men more than others, based on lineage and strength. This is why Caleb knows what is on the outside of the compound. Caleb ran errands when needed. Josh was not granted that same privilege. He worked as hard as he could but he knew he was lacking, manual labor was never his forte and Caleb would always end up covering for him. As the years went on Josh realized that the feeling he felt for Caleb, that he confused for friendship was actually in love. He was in love with his best friend, yet their religious beliefs prohibited any type of sexual feelings for another man.

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‘My whole life I’d wanted this impossible thing. And I didn’t know why it was happening now. But it was everything I’d ever wanted. One kiss led to another. And another!’

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It isn’t unusual practice for the compound to have men disappear and never be heard of, but the truth that no one ever talks about is that they don’t disappear, they are kicked out. When Josh is next on the list to be kicked out, Caleb comes up with a plan for them to leave and try to survive on the outside world together. As they journey together, Josh learns that this whole time Caleb had feelings for Josh, he just hid it so the others in the compound never suspected. Now that they are on the outside, there is nothing standing in Caleb’s way from showing Josh just how he feels about him.

I completely fell in love with the story. When reading the blurb, I thought the setting of the entire story would take place at the compound. I am so glad that was not the case. I absolutely loved the following their journey. Caleb and Josh were oh, so perfect for each other. Their relationship totally melted me. I could not get enough. I was expecting it to get extra angsty from their struggle in the outside but I was so happy that good people like Mr. Washington came into their lives. All the secondary characters were just as amazing as the main characters, they offered that great support system that they so desperately needed.

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“Caleb,” he whispered against my skin. “Just make me yours.”
“You,” I said, kissing him on the forehead, “are already mine.”

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Josh and Caleb’s romantic relationship was very sweet and full of steam. They were both innocent in many ways and that just warmed my heart seeing them discover many of their firsts together. I can’t tell you enough how beautiful it was. Caleb was so protective and caring towards Josh. While Josh was a bit more reserved, he was still quite strong and nurturing. They made a perfect couple and have quickly become a favourite on my book boyfriend list. I was definitely with a big smile by the end of this. If you haven’t read this book yet, then do so fast, seriously! You will fall hard in love with these two sweet guys.

 

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