Series: Hello Goodbye #1
Genre: MM Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: 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.
Caleb,” he whispered against my skin. “Just make me yours.”
“You,” I said, kissing him on the forehead, “are already mine.”
When was the last time you read a romance that was so powerful and sweet that you felt it touch your very soul? For me, that was today and this romance was this book. THIS BOOK. My god. I sobbed my way through almost the entire thing. I couldn’t help myself. It wrecked me and it owned me all at once. I don’t have enough praise to describe everything that was this story. All I know is that Caleb and Josh’s story is one that will stay in my heart forever, and as a voracious romance reader, I don’t make that statement lightly. It was just that good.
Nothing had ever felt better than lying in Caleb’s arms.
Caleb and Josh have been best friends for as long as they can remember. And Caleb has been Josh’s confidant and protector just as long. Growing up in a religious cult where a man’s worth is measured by his strength and ability to withstand hard labor, brainy Josh has always been at the bottom of the food chain. Caleb has always looked out for him and protected him, and Josh has been secretly in love with Caleb just as long.
When it becomes evident that Josh will soon be tossed out, Caleb makes a plan to escape. Having nothing to their name, no IDs, no money, they only have each other to lean on when they end up in a world that Josh had no idea existed and Caleb only had quick glimpses of.
Caleb has always been the strong one, but Josh has always been his strength. Unbeknownst to Josh, Caleb has been in love with his best friend but much better at hiding it. Now that they’re out, there’s nothing holding them back from being together but each other.
Maybe I’d craved him all my life, but I was his first, too. I felt powerful because of it.
This was such a powerful story of an emotional journey of two boys growing into men with nothing to guide them through it but each other. There’s no crazy drama, no silly angst. Absolutely nothing to take away from the incredibly poignant romance.
The secondary characters only served to strengthen the story and add another touching layer to something that was already solid to begin with. I loved the friendships and bonds that these boys formed through their journey. Every secondary character drove the plot further and just connected me to the story that much more.
I adored Caleb’s strength, but what I loved even more was Josh’s silent and unassuming strength. They balanced each other so well and their undying devotion to the other was nothing if not incredibly touching.
Hi baby,” he said under his breath. He leaned in and kissed me on the lips, right in front of God and everyone.
This book is exactly why I’m such a huge fan of this author. It was romantic and powerful, sweet and emotional, it was touching and poignant and everything that I love about romance. It was one of the most unforgettable romances I’ve read in a long while and I simply can’t recommend it enough.