Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye #1) by Sarina Bowen

Goodbye Paradise was such a wonderfully sweet and steamy book from the very talented Sarina Bowen, the first in the Hello Goodbye series.

It tells the story of Caleb and Josh, boys who have grown up together in this polygamist religious compound.

Both boys are treated differently by the elders, and when one of them is kicked out onto the street, they both decide this is the time when they both need to leave. However, Josh is plagued with guilt. He’s been in love with his best friend Caleb for many years, but his entire life he’s been told homosexuality is a sin. He also doesn’t believe he would ever have a chance with Caleb.

Just another day in Paradise. That’s what they called this place where we lived and worked and prayed when they told us to.

Caleb and Josh then hitch a ride to find their friend Maggie, who also once upon a time was a part of the religious compound before she left. This is the beginning of their new lives together and the journey they take to find self-acceptance and happiness and love. Over the course of the road trip, they discover new things about each other which changes their relationship.

How did I end up with someone so caring and beautiful? It boggled the mind.

“I love you, Josh.”

“That’s just the horny talking,” he said, without looking up.

“Not true,” I promised, and he grinned.

This story was so much fun to read. I loved the family aspect of Maggie, Dylan, their sweet baby Chloe and Caleb and Josh.

Watching Caleb and Josh’s romance bloom and develop in this book was so pleasing to read. The religiousness of the story wasn’t overwhelming or too deep in their lives. Surprisingly they are both able to let go quite easily and fit into their new lives.

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Both Josh and Caleb were very likable separately and so loveable together! They both have their struggles due to their past but they help each other move past them. There is slight angst in the story which made me scream “NOOO!” but it leads to some wonderful character development on Josh’s part which made me laugh really hard.

“I need you to love me, even when things get hard.” he said.

“I do, though. Always. I’m going to prove it to you.”

The only question was how.

The sex scenes were so hot! Like WOW! The two boys had amazing chemistry together, inside and outside of the bedroom. Very sweet and sexy scenes together. But for a large part of the book, they do have to keep their romance and love a secret. Their romance flourishes very well though.

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Josh looked drunk with lust. His face was flushed, and his eyes were heavy. But he knew what to do. I guess he had been thinking about this.

Sarina Bowen has added another fantastic book to her already growing pile of great books! I can’t wait for more of her books. She already has many series readers should feel free to check out.

Grade: A-

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