‘Goodbye Paradise’ by Sarina Bowen was first published in 2015 as ‘In Front of God and Everyone’. If you are a Sarina Bowen fan and never heard of this book, it is most probably because she published it under the penname Nealy Wagner. If you are subscribed to Sarina Bowen’s mailing list you probably know that ‘In Front of God and Everyone’ will be republished on March 21st, 2017 under a new name ‘Goodbye Paradise’ as a Sarina Bowen book. (Click here to read the announcement).
Josh and Caleb, who are our heroes for the book, were born and raised in a polygamist compound called Paradise. There are rules they have to follow and they are isolated from outside world. There are no televisions, radio, phones, or even fast food. They only receive their basic needs, which consist of hand me down clothes and three meals a day, after working long hours in the farm. Boys, also known as Bachelors, lives in crowded bunkhouses and there are not allowed to interact with females. Because of Caleb’s family ranking in the compound, he was more respected, had a better job and was allowed to run errands outside the compound, which allowed him to interact with outside world more. As for Josh, he wasn’t as lucky as Caleb. He was treated badly and the only time he was out of the compound was when he was younger and went to public school for a while. Josh and Caleb are best friends since childhood but Josh starts to see Caleb as more than friends and his sexual fantasies towards his best friend are not acceptable in the compound. Because he doesn’t know anything other than what was thought in the compound, he feels guilty and sinful because of these fantasies. So when Josh gets kicked out of Paradise, he has no idea what to do, what is acceptable or not in the outside world but he is lucky because when Caleb realizes Josh will be kicked out from the compound, he decides to go with him. Without enough money and not knowing exactly what to do, they decide to find Maggie, who runaway from the compound couple years ago. On their way they meet with Washington, who is a truck driver and he helps them to reach their destination. During their trip to Maggie’s Josh and Caleb will slowly open up to each other regarding their feelings. With both being virgins, they start giving each other all their firsts. It was really sweet to see their relationship slowly evolve from friendship to partnership. Their struggles didn’t end when they reached to Maggie and her husband Dylan’s farm; it was just the beginning of a new life, which was totally foreign to them. If you are curious and want to know more about their struggles and relationship with each other or outside world, you should read the book 🙂
‘Goodbye Paradise’ is a sweet, sexy, heartwarming and hopeful story that you can easily read in one sitting. I couldn’t stop reading it until I was done with the book. Also, THANK YOU Sarina Bowen for deciding republishing the book because if she didn’t, I am not sure if I will ever get a chance to read this book.
- Would I recommend this book: Yes.
- Would I re-read this book: Maybe later.
- Would I read future books by this author: Yes.
e-ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.