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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5
5 Stars
44 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
20 reviews have 4 stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Amazing.

    ​ **4 Stars** Sarina Bowen is one of my favorite go to authors and this book was no different. Goodbye Paradise is a M/M story, but you feel for every one of the characters you meet who have had to experience life in Paradise. Life at Paradise isn't easy but it's all they know- there is no television, no fast foods, no real luxuries, just the dirt and the hard work they've had to do to get it how it is today. Josh and Caleb live at the compound within Paradise and are expected to eventually marry, take on wives and live on the compound. There is only one problem. Josh is beyond attracted Caleb, which is a sin. One day their lives suddenly change and Josh is removed from the compound with a promise from Caleb that he will come for him. Josh expects that Caleb just sees him as his best friend, what he doesn't know is Caleb has had feelings for him as well. Once outside of the compound things change and they start the journey outside of the compound for the first time in 20 years. I love Josh and Caleb's. You can't help but fall in love with these two and the journey they take to discover themselves, each other and life outside of Paradise. It isn't an easy road, but you watch them do everything they can to better themselves and make a life for themselves and each other. I can't wait for book 2 in the series. I hope we get to see more of Josh and Caleb and the journey of life they are on and going on.

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  • A sweet and endearing story!

    A sweet and endearing story. I loved both Josh and Caleb and their story made me laugh and cry. I wish there was more!

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  • Cult and how to live with it_GREAT!

    Sarina Bowen proves her writing Talent once again. In this book, she manages to create a religious cult (better: its_image) and shows the Troubles two Boys have to suffer through. Being gay is Kind of the icing on the cake. This is a very sweet and loving Story. The characters are heartfelt and touching. (Sorry for all those spelling mistakes, my Computer is new and seems to love autocorrecting me.) The author dedicates herself to this difficult object, but doesn´t let it dominate the whole book

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  • Loved and want more.

    I love Sarina Bowen’s story telling. This book was so hard to put to down when real life called. I read it into the late-night hours. Josh and Caleb’s struggle with life was heartbreaking, loving and sweet. This is just the story I love to read. One where they are struggling to find themselves and their place in the world as a couple. It is so well written. The tender moments will have you swooning, the hot ones fanning yourself. These two share a love that you can only hope to find yourself. This story will stay with me for a long time. I can’t stop thinking of these characters, hoping for more. I loved the story of where they came from and how they overcame the life they were dealt. I highly recommend this one for all readers.

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  • A shameless gushing review...

    5 stars -- OMG guys, I don't even know what to say except this was so my kind of book.  Like you know how you have those specific kinds of things that just shoot a book over the top for you?  Well this book had them all.  I have an unhealthy fascination with books about characters from religious cults.  I love best friends to lovers stories.  And I adore male/male romances.  Plus a million little things that I could never put into words. I fell in love with both characters, obviously, but perhaps more for Josh than Caleb.  Josh had such a sweet naivety to him, and he was just so damaged from living in fear that someone would find out his "sinful" thoughts.  The compound did a real number on him, from the doctrines that they were taught, to the people who mentally abused him by tearing him down at every chance, to the family that basically abandoned him.  At times I was flabbergasted at the stark difference between Josh and Caleb, because even with Caleb's ability to leave the compound, I didn't understand how he was able to see the compound for what it was so much more than Josh.  But as I went on with the book, I could really tell how the differences in their family situations growing up could make an impact, could allow Josh to believe it more fully with less skepticism. And Josh just developed even more fully in their time outside the compound, and my heart ached for how lost he seemed.  How everything that drew him in reinforced the horrible things the bullies made him feel about himself.  I was so invested in his growth, in watching him love his new jobs, and eventually come to understand that that was OK.  And seeing him stand up for himself against Caleb was both heartbreaking and rewarding. Since a larger part of the book was in Josh's POV, I did feel I got to know him a bit more, but I fell in love with Caleb all the same.  It's funny, b/c I felt like we got to see more of his damage in the second half of the book, and the effects of the compound on him were more subtle perhaps.  But I loved that he wasn't as strong and together as we might have thought at first glimpse.  I wasn't expecting it, I thought his contributions to the story would be more wrt the romance, but it's funny how those we see as so together can sometimes be hiding great strain and sorrow.  There's a TINY part of me that perhaps wanted more from him, but I'm also OK with it because I loved the story we got. The romance was amazing.  Seeing them figure things out together, and struggle against their upbringing and their fears to embrace what they desired was very fulfilling.  Obviously the steam factor was amazing, right from the first kiss.  It's kind of funny, b/c it's like taking the fears of most LGBT folks and magnifying it a bit.  Fear of being discovered, shame of their feelings, fear over being accepted by their loved ones, fear of losing their loved ones because of who they love. And then to top off this amazing story of Josh and Caleb, we got a FANTASTIC set of secondary characters, some of whom we got to see a bit of their own story as well (Maggie and Daniel).  I LOVED the dynamic of a runaway from the cult wanting to help other runaways from the cult.  I truly believed in the bond they shared from their shared experience, and how they became a family.  And I appreciated that Ms. Bowen added more to the story in little bits, like Maggie's struggle after Chloe's birth.  I loved how much love they had to give to each other. And it wasn't just these more major secondary characters, I also loved the minor ones.  From Washington, to the tiny glimpse of Trey, to Caleb's work buddies.  They all added something to the story. So there's my gushing review.  When this first came out, it pained me that I didn't have time to read it right away, b/c I had a feeling I was going to be in love.  Thank the baby jesus that Ms. Bowen republished it under her name, b/c what if I'd never discovered it otherwise?  That would have been a travesty.  A travesty I tell you!

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