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Bully & Exit

(The Midwest Series #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  483 ratings  ·  138 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 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  483 ratings  ·  138 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!


Bully & Exit (Midwest Series #1):

Rating: DNF 55%
*if negative 0 stars were possible, they would be applicable here.*

*how serious and efficient I was about this DNF.*

❌Hello you all! I hope all is well👏! Unfortunately for me, even early on within th
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
Guy Venturi
Nov 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With time and effort, things can get better.

Sometimes the things that seem to be inevitable take longer than they should and are harder than expected. But secrets, anger, and dealing with absent or abusive parents can create much more difficulty for each other. Even if things are perfect, but much more of a problem.

Sometimes friends can point out the best path and introduce the right people, but we can still be unsure. The best of friends have problems. As you get farther removed, the problems g
Jul 18, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't decide between 2 and 3 stars, buy I am going to go with three. So this is the story of Caleb and Nathan, it's a second chance romance but Caleb got hurt really badly by Nathan the first time. There is so much hurt that I found the reconnection really difficult to believe. But in the end they make a cute couple. ...more
Katrina Passick Lumsden
Ehhhhhhhh... I wanted to really love this one. Truly. But four years? Come on.
Mikki James - Peters
Bully & Exit stars out and proud drama major Caleb, and the quinesstential jock; Nathan Rhodes. The two men have not had any contact with each other for four years; after Nathan broke Caleb's heart in high school. Now with college graduation upon them Nathan decides he is sick of hiding who he is and he's desparate for another chance with Caleb. But Caleb isn't making this easy on Nathan. With a little help from some friends and some big romantic gestures Nathan is going to have to put a lot on ...more
Helena Stone
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, romance, 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
Ed Davis
I love Brigham Vaughn. Her books usually make me so happy. This book did not make me happy. Instead of being this wonderful uplifting story it was depressing and full of angst. It spent so much time repeating over and over the same thing that I wanted to scream. Even after they made up Caleb continued to say the same things in his head. I did love the epilogue and it’s the reason I decided to round up to three stars. If I had read this a year ago I might have liked it more, but right now I only ...more
Sep 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a new author for me. I absolutely loved this story!
Yes, it has bullying which is NEVER acceptable. But it also has a love that was severely tested, 2 hearts were shattered and some major trust issues developed. But in the end the love wins.
The friendships both men have with their best friends are what got them through college and also helped them reunite.
There is a lot going on on this book. Some extremely hard to read times, some sexy, SEXY times, some much needed conversations.
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
Kim Stone
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
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 - Amy's MM Romance Reviews

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
Brigham Vaughn is a new author to me, but I quite enjoyed her first book in this series. I liked her writing style, which is pleasant and fluid.
The story is told alternately from the point of view of Nathan and Caleb. In between there are flashbacks to the past every now and then. This mixture of present and past I liked quite well.
When Nathan was with Caleb, he was the one who ended the relationship. Now it's a month until graduation and then they go their separate ways. Until then, Nathan had
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)! 🎁
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars
Jul 28, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like second chance mixed with redemption but I found Nate really hard to like. He was only 18 when he made his mistake, but I didn’t feel like he respected Caleb’s feelings when he tried to reconnect.
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. ...more
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
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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)
  • Touch & Go (The Midwest Series #3)
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