Goodbye Paradise: A Gay Romance

· Hello Goodbye Book 1 · Tuxbury Publishing LLC
32 reviews

About this ebook

The heart wants what it wants...

My life is a carefully constructed lie. I’m in love with my best friend, but the way I feel could get us both killed. So as long as we stay here on the dusty ranch, I can never tell him how I feel. And if we leave, we’ll have nothing but the shirts on our backs.

But when Josh is accused of a crime he didn’t commit, fate forces my hand. I steal him away, where it’s just the two of us against the world. I will do anything to keep him safe. I’ll steal. I’ll fight. I’ll tell lies. 

Yet I can’t tell Josh how I feel. 

I can’t tell him that this is all my fault.

And kissing him in the back of a stranger’s truck wasn’t exactly part of the plan…

Contains: first times, impossible choices, awkward confessions and love up against the kitchen counter.

* * *

For fans of: Alexis Hall, Annabeth Albert, Casey McQuiston, Ella Frank, Kiera Andrews, Karen Stivali, Amy Jo Cousins, Kindle Alexander, Layla Reyne, Amy Lane, Lauren Blakely, Sierra Simone, Jana Aston, Kendall Ryan, Alexa Riley, Jay Bell, Trina Solet, Reya Karl, Dawn Wilder, Eden Cole, SE Loveless, Van Barrett, JM Synder, Max Rose, Quinn Michaels, Elle Keaton, H G Ellis, Jane Asherwood, Elle Kennedy, Megan Erickson, Lucy Lennox, Amy Lane, Leta Blake, Roan Parrish, Annabeth Albert, Ella Frank, TJ Klune, Riley Hart, NR Walker, Devon Mccormick, Eden Finley, Sloane Kennedy, Felice Stevens, Avon Gale, Alexis Hall, Heidi Cullinan, KJ Charles, Josh Lanyon, Cat Sebastian, Megan Erickson, Keira Andrews, Eli Easton, N.R. Walker, RJ Scott, Christina Lee, Lucy Lennox, A. E. Via, Devon McCormack, Brooke Blaine, Jay Northcote, Ruthie Luhnow, Sloane Kennedy, Alexa Land, Annabeth Albert, V.L. Locey.

Keywords: mm romance, m-m romance, male male romance, new adult, college romance, escape a cult, religious intolerance, MM romance, Ivy League, male/male romance, LGBTQ romance, gay romance, coming out, male male, gay, queer romance, LGBTQ romance, MM romance, cult members, religious freedom, Massachusetts, Wyoming.

Ratings and reviews

32 reviews
Shannon M
March 21, 2017
These boys stole my heart and melted it right into a puddle!!! It’s only March 21st, not even a quarter of the way into 2017, and already I’ve read quite a few books that I know will be some of my favorite reads for the year when December rolls around, and Goodbye Paradise will be right there at the top of that list. It’s so beautiful and touching, it’s a little overwhelming for me to think about. I’ve not read another book quite like this one. Joshua and Caleb have been brought up in what is basically a religious cult- with limited interaction with the outside world, the “Compound” is really all these boys know. This has not been an easy life for Josh: he’s not as tough or as strong as the other young men; his birth father died leaving him vulnerable to the whims of his stepfather and the other men in the compound. But what truly made living in Paradise unbearable for Josh are the feelings he has for his best friend Caleb- because those feelings are not something the people there would ever accept or understand. He was the last one I saw before I closed my eyes at night and the first person I looked for when I opened them again in the morning. Caleb has always been there for Josh, protecting him, helping him, defending him. He’s known it was just a matter of time before Josh was cast out by the elders, but unknown to Josh, he had a plan all set in motion for when this happened. Caleb is so strong and protective, the care he takes with Josh reduced me to tears on numerous occasions. (And it may be happening again right now) He's the fixer, the care taker, the one you can always lean on. “We’re going together. But if they toss you one morning and I don’t see it happen, I have to know where to find you.” Once they've been set free of the confines of the Compound, not only do Josh and Caleb have to learn to navigate the real world, they’re finally free to express their feelings for each other, and that in and of itself can be quite a challenge for 2 people who have always had to hide their true selves. Their love story is a journey of highs and lows, but one that is so worth the ride. ”My whole life I’d wished for things. But I’d never known how confusing it might be to see my wishes come true.” Goodbye Paradise is so unbelievably wonderful and lovely and just plain special. I don’t think my love for it can be adequately expressed in a few adjectives or sentences. This book is so much more than just two friends falling in love and finding their way in the world. It’s a true testament to the human spirit and how a little compassion can mean the world to someone.
2 people found this review helpful
April 11, 2017
I love the way this author delivers interesting and emotional stories with deep down good characters. Josh and Caleb were raised in a religious cult. Growing up the way they did is a handicap in many ways, but it also gives them a certain genuineness. Caleb was given a little more freedom to go out into the world when the group had a need that couldn't be met on the compound. Josh wasn't allowed on the outside until he was cast out so he struggles more with knowing what's truly good or bad, dangerous or safe. I love him to pieces. Although the boys have been sheltered from a lot of things, they have always been attracted to each other so it doesn't take long for things to heat up when they are allowed to be their true selves. This is an endearing romance with loads of wonderful people and plenty of sexy. If you are a fan of this author or MM, new adult, sweet n' spicy romance, you should give Goodbye Paradise a go.
2 people found this review helpful
Lenore Kosinski
October 15, 2020
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!
1 person found this review helpful

About the author

Sarina Bowen is the sixteen-time USA Today bestselling author of over thirty romance novels. She writes sports romance, billionaire romance, small town romance, contemporary fiction and YA fiction. She loves Vermont, hockey, and fine stationery. Visit for more.

Work by Sarina Bowen includes: Brooklynaire, the Brooklyn Bruisers, the True North Series, Him, Us, Goodboy and Stay in the WAGs series with Elle Kennedy. The Man Hands series with Tanya Eby.

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