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Bully & Exit

(The Midwest Series #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  332 ratings  ·  108 reviews
--They’re ready to leave college behind. But their past won’t let them go.--

Nathan Rhodes is a star hockey player for Western Michigan University, hiding in the closet and still desperately in love with his high school boyfriend.

Caleb Stockwell is an openly bisexual theater student, hiding a broken heart behind a string of casual relationships.

No one knew about their sec
Kindle Edition, 172 pages
Published July 10th 2015 by Two Peninsulas Press
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  332 ratings  ·  108 reviews

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☆ Todd
Jun 30, 2020 marked it as freebie  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mine

Now *FREE* on Amazon through July 4th, 2020!

Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it

3.5 stars


This is a back-to-the-basics new adult story. Meaning we’ve got the well-worn trope of closeted-jock and bullied-theater-geek, the school where stereotypes run rampant, where the fear of getting caught leads to all misunderstandings, and where you hope our mismatched couple can somehow find a way to make it work in the end.

I adore these books.

What makes Bully & Exit a bit different is that it takes place 4 years later. And second-chances love stories are my crack. Yes, there ar
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it

This is a really solid young adult second chance college romance with characters who have flaws but who I was rooting for throughout.

I do love me a good second chance romance and this one delivered it up with a little bit of angst but no overly dramatic plot points or dramady.

Both Caleb and Nathan read as their ages, mature but still young enough to not be perfectly assured with their lives and their feelings.

It's not all hearts and flowers and it felt like an honestly expressed exploration
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was my first book by this author. Overall, I'm impressed. I enjoyed the dialogue, the secondary characters and the premise. The flashbacks are perfectly timed to fill the readers in on what exactly happened between Nathan and Caleb back in high school, especially the fateful prom night that was said to be the end of their relationship.

It's an entertaining, enjoyable read but at times I was annoyed with caleb's melodrama and lack of maturity. On the other hand, Nathan is swoon-worthy at eve
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
Timing can be EVERYthing...and I think I missed my window for this story.
I honestly believe I would have really enjoyed it several years ago.
But now? It fell short from my expectations.
I used to be quite a star out stars galore but I've since raised my book bar.
A lovely coming of age, coming out, and a second chance at first love story.
Jock and the drama geek. It's been done before and I have no doubt it'll be done another bazillion times. I just couldn't connect to the guys. An
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Ehhhhhhhh... I wanted to really love this one. Truly. But four years? Come on.
Helena Stone
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, m-m, fiction
Bully: A call used to start or restart play in ice hockey.

Exit: Stage direction. The action of leaving the stage.

Is any break-up harder to recover from than the very first one? Not for Caleb Stockwell, that’s for sure. Four years after Nathan Rhodes broke his heart, Caleb still isn’t completely over it. And while that isn’t an issue as long as he doesn’t have to spend time around Nathan, it becomes increasingly painful once Nathan re-enters Caleb’s life and insists he wants the opportunity to ma
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: july-2015
This is a story about forgiving. It’s a story that shows us the strength of love. When we were in high school we did stupid things. Even though we thought we knew it all. Nathan and Caleb are living their lives, in college, unable to let go of one gigantic mess that happened in high school. They pretty much coast through 4 years. Study, build for a future. But they aren’t whole. They can’t be until they sit down, and talk.
The flashbacks explain the turmoil they are currently in. We get glimpses
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this more than I did. I think I needed more together time. There were times when I really felt for Caleb, the prom scene broke my heart and I just cried and cried. Then again there were times when I wanted to punch him in the throat for being a stubborn bastard. I mean, I can see the first couple times of walking away, but repeatedly? If a guy (or girl) wasn't being sincere do you think they'd come back for more rejection over and over again? No!

I really liked Nathan. I liked h
Gustaf Mtz Amador
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew I would love this book as soon as I saw it and man, was I right.
I love second chances and this one was a great second chance novel.
The MC’s mer in high school, fell in love and then circumstances happend that made the two MC’s fall apart badly.
Fast forward 4 years and they meet again. This time the mc who hurt the other one has to work really hard to get the love of his life back.

The only problem I had with this book was, okay actually I had two.
There was more showing than telling Wh
Jul 13, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve read this author before. This is a mm contemporary story set in college in the USA. Second chance love for Caleb and Nathan. I had no real connection with the main characters. They had known each other in high school that didn’t end well and they wait 4 years to try again. I’ll read more from this author.
Morgan  Skye
Sep 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Caleb and Nate met in their senior year of high school. Caleb wasn’t sure of his sexual orientation, but he knew he was sometimes attracted to guys and girls. Nate was pretty sure he was gay, but was in no way prepared to act upon his desires.

When Caleb catches Nate’s eye, they begin a hidden affair – mostly innocent – that ends in disaster on Prom night.

Now, it’s four years later and though they’ve been at the same university, they’ve not met up again. Until now. It’s one month before graduatio
Matthew Lee
Jul 30, 2015 rated it liked it
I don't know....

I think I left the book feeling super unsatisfied... I mean I liked the idea of the story even if it is one that has been written beforez (but what hasn't lately)

But I just didn't feel the connection and felt like the characters were lacking something. I hated Caleb too. I think nathan at least seemed to come to his senses about life. Caleb even though he was hurt acted like a little child through it all.

Oh well we can't like them all right?
Patricia Nelson
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book where you're torn between wanting to hug the MCs, and wanting to smack some sense into them? Well, this fantastic, grab-you-by-the-feels, intense, emotionally charged, gripping, and totally awesome tale did it for me. Caleb and Nate had me hooked from beginning to end, and I would DEFINITELY recommend getting it for yourself.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars
Oh Nathan and Caleb! This was a first-time author for me and I enjoyed the writing and pacing of this story. The author did a great job of lining up the past and present chapters to help build the story perfectly. Nathan and Caleb were both easy to like MCs and reading about their past just gave me emotions! They were super sweet with each other and it was lovely to see the young excitement and love between the two of them. Later on, we obviously see the falling out from when they were
Amy Dufera
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I read Bully & Exit several years ago and I remember loving it then. Upon re-reading this romance by Brigham Vaughn, I am once again in love with Nate and Caleb.

College is ending, and Nathan wants to get Caleb back. It's been four years since they've been together, or even friends, as Nathan wanted to stay closeted.
But Nathan can't hide anymore, as it's slowly killing him.

Through the use of flashbacks, we learn about their hidden affair in high school. I love the way this was done, as we go back
Jamie Lee Zonneveld
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bully & Exit was my first book by Brigham Vaughn and I really liked it. The story was great and I loved the characters. I can't wait for the next book. ...more
Jun 30, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freebie
🎁 FREE on Amazon today (6/30/2020)! 🎁
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm
Im pleasantly surprised, I don't usually connect as much with a third person book, but this one was really good.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A sweet and sexy second chance romance with plenty of angst and some coming out as an athlete drama. In high school, the hot hockey star fell for the cute, theatre geek, messed it all up, and now, years later, he’s desperately trying to win him back. Or, at the very least, earn his forgiveness for the mistakes that haunt them both and hold them back from letting anyone close enough to love again. The future looms, uncertain but full of possibility, for forgiveness and maybe a second chance. This ...more
Karolina Cebula
*3.5 stars*
The last year of high school Caleb was the happiest teenager in the world, all thanks to Nathan. Although the boys had to hide their relationship, as Nathan's homosexuality could ruin his sports career, Caleb didn't mind. Unexpectedly, however, everything ended and Caleb was left with his heart broken and anger growing and impossible to suppress.
Four years later, Caleb still feels the same pain and anger which stop him from living his life to the fullest. He and Nathan study at the sa

Bully - A Call used to start or restart play in ice hockey
Exit - Stage direction. The action of leaving the stage.

Bully and Exit is the 1st book in the Midwest series written by Brigham Vaughn. It's a second chance young adult novel written 4 years after the main characters Caleb and Nathan first get together in high school. As you can maybe guess after the explained terms this book is about a college Hockey player and theater major.

The story jumps from present day (year 2013) to high school dur
Federica Lemme
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mm-inglese
Caleb and Nathan are two very different people – Nathan is a hockey player whereas Caleb loves theater.
They had a short relationship when they were at school, but it ended very badly. With a few weeks left at College, they meet again. Nathan wants and needs to apologise to Caleb for what he did 4 years earlier.
However, it’s not that easy for Caleb, he has spent the last four years trying to forget and move on, he wants nothing to do with him and certainly doesn’t want to listen to him! But our N
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
This story is told in a series of flashbacks. Caleb loves the theatre, even in high school, and he was a large part of the production while he acted in plays. During his senior year in high school, Nathan, the popular hockey player, comes to the prop room to talk to Caleb about his performance. They end up kissing and after a few weeks of stolen moments together, Nathan and Caleb agreed to go to prom together. Due to a series of events, Nathan ends up breaking Caleb's heart that night after he a ...more
Joyfully Jay
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: michelle
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.25 stars

The author does a good job here with the play on words in the title for both hockey, theater, and the way Caleb and Nathan’s relationship started and ended. Caleb and Nathan are both characters that are easy to warm to right away. Caleb carries hurt and sadness and the cause is slowly revealed throughout the course of the story. He was bullied in high school and for the most part Nathan stood by in silence.

The story is told in flashbacks bringing us from current
QUEERcentric Books
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed by Jennifer Marcum for QUEERcentric Books

Brigham Vaughn’s Bully & Exit proves how difficult it can be to make amends and how it’s even more challenging to be the one to forgive.

We’ve all been young and dumb and full of... you fill in the blank. But what happens when you make a significant mistake during this period of your life and you’d give anything to take it back?

Bully: A call used to start or restart play in ice hockey

Exit: Stage direction. The action of leaving the stage

It has bee
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am just going to jump out of the gate by saying this story is amazing and the characters are perfect. Now, I know what you're thinking "perfect? Where is the fun in that?" Well, I guess it depends on your definition of perfect. To me perfect is not about being a "utopian" character it's about having flaws, surviving and flourishing because of those flaws. And that's exactly what Caleb and Nathan have, flaws.

You will definitely hate or at the very least despise high school Nate and you will mos
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, m-m
Caleb has spent the last four years trying to forget the boy that ripped his heart to shreds in high school. Both boys were closeted, Nathan doing a much better job of hiding than Caleb did. Caleb believed that Nathan loved him and when he betrayed him in the worst possible way, Caleb was devastated.

Four years later Nathan is trying to make amends. To tell Caleb how sorry he is for the things he did. He’s sure if he can get Caleb to listen to him it will make everything right. But for that to ha
Dara Nelson
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-blog
I love a good second chance romance and this one definitely delivered. Nothing feels more than your first love. And nothing hurts more than your first broken heart. That pain can last a lifetime if you let it. But every once in a while, a broken heart can be healed by the one who broke it - if you dare.
Caleb's pain broke my heart, his stubbornness made me mad and his ability to love saved me.
And Nathan - scared, beautiful and stubborn Nathan. I'm so glad he was so determined and strong - he need
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Brigham Vaughn is on the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga. She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store fur ...more

Other books in the series

The Midwest Series (4 books)
  • Push & Pull (The Midwest Series, #2)
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