By Sarina Bowen
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.
GOODBYE PARADISE is an amazing read with plenty of heartwarming scenes and beautiful characters.
Josh is an absolute sweetheart; one with a very kind and gentle soul. Having been treated badly at the farm, he feels worthless and like nothing he does is ever good enough and, because of their religious upbringing, he also feels ashamed of his feelings towards Caleb. But over time, and with reassurances from Caleb and their new friends, he slowly begins to let go of everything that was drilled into his head his whole life to find peace and happiness within himself.
“They think God doesn’t like it when you curse? But god is just fine with throwing you out by the side of the road? Do you hear how messed up that is?”
Caleb is the more confident, skilled and dominant of the two; he wasn’t bullied like Josh was because he held some rank at the farm. He’s also a natural protector and spent most of his days at the farm shielding Josh. I would go so far as to say he has a slight hero complex, because his need to protect sometimes went too far and he often felt responsible for things he had no control over.
“A real man does what needs doing. He takes care of the people he loves. You know this instinctively, even though every man in your own life treated you like shit.”
I not only loved Josh and Caleb, but almost everyone else in this story too. Washington was their saviour when they needed one and seemed to become a father figure of sorts. Maggie (a farm runaway from years before) was a lovely young woman who helped them adjust to life outside the farm. Maggie’s husband, Daniel, was a cool guy who had no problem opening up his home to strangers in need.
GOODBYE PARADISE has loose ties to the True North series, but you don’t have to read those books to understand and enjoy this one. GOODBYE PARADISE is told in dual POVs and comes with a lovely HEA for Josh and Caleb. I truly hope we’ll be seeing more of them in the future, and I’d also like to see a book about Maggie’s sister, Miriam, because that young woman needs some happiness in her life after what she endured at the farm.
Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye # 1)
Visit Sarina Bowen: Click Here