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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  32 reviews
No good deed goes unpunished, and for seventeen-year-old Isaiah Martin, that’s certainly the case. The gun he was caught with wasn’t even his, for God’s sake. He only had it to keep a friend from doing something stupid. No one wants to hear it though, and Isaiah is banished—or so it seems to him—to live with his missionary father in politically conflicted Cameroon, Africa. ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published September 15th 2016 by Harmony Ink Press
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  73 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Serena Yates
Sep 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing is the only way I can describe this novel in one word. It’s a very intense, suspense- and action-filled coming-of-age story that is a character study as well as a thriller. It’s told in first person by seventeen-year-old Isaiah, and if you’re expecting a high school drama or similar, you’ll not find that between the pages of this book. Instead there is an incredible tale of a youthful error leading to kidnapping, cruelty, and international conflict. But it is also the story of Isaiah ...more
Riina Y.T.
Ah. This you guys! #pageturneralert :)

What an exciting, action-packed and wonderfully brilliant story.

It’s written in first person and we sadly only get Isaiah’s POV — but I had so much fun with his voice :)


Isaiah was born in Africa and spent the following seven years with his missionary parents in a refugee camp in the Central African Republic. When he and his mom return to the States his dad stays behind. After not having heard from his father in ten years, it’s easy to imagine
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Thank you for the free, advanced copy*


Action packed, A complete page-turner... It was quite amazing.
It was also much more complex and deeper than the blurb made it sound. It caught me off-guard and I LOVED IT.
So many cool things going on, that ultimately contributed to the slow-burn in the precious relationship between Isaiah and Henry/Hank xD it was so, so well planned-out that, seriously, there's not ONE dull moment, you can't stop reading, there's
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm-romance, arc
Wow, talk about a wild ride that keeps you going until the very end! Do-Gooder is an entertaining, action-packed YA novel and a heartbreaking whirlwind of emotions. There was danger around every corner, and the plot moved swiftly, so there wasn't a moment of boredom. Each character had a distinct personality and felt real.

I admit that as a hardcore fan of romance novels, I was a bit disappointed there wasn't much more than a kiss in the course of the story. I get that it would've felt forced and
For a young adult book that required some suspension of disbelief through the action part, I was surprised at the bit of adrenaline rush I had through the high action parts.

It was also a fresh thrill to read what seemed like a basic coming of age transition plot suddenly take a serious left turn. Meanwhile, the subplot of what happened at home is not forgotten and plays out meaningfully.

A YA story that plants itself into the thriller genre. Recommended.

Thank you to the publisher for the free
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt, ya, netgalley
*Thanks to NetGalley for the free advance copy*

Do-Gooder is a book about severely diabetic 17 year-old Isaiah Martin after he is caught with a gun (it wasn’t his, and the story behind becomes apparent in increments), and sent to stay with his father who runs a refugee camp in Cameroon for penance.

Isaiah hasn’t heard from his father in ten years. The way his father prioritises the camp over his own son has given Isaiah an aversion to “Do-Gooders”, and Isaiah isn’t looking forward to spending a
It's more of a close 2.5 Star Read.

Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Isaiah was born in Africa, but soon moved with his mother to the United States. Now he is on his way back. He tried to stop a friend from making a big mistake and was caught with her gun in his hand. He should spend two months there, working at his father's hospital. Henry, who works for his father, picks him up at the airport. While they drive they are stopped by armed
A Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review

“Do-Gooder” was an exciting, action-packed read. The romance mostly took a back seat, since the protagonists were a little busy trying to survive.

I mostly decided to read this book because of the setting. Not a lot of m/m books are set in Africa and I’ve always liked reading about exotic places. We don’t get to read much about the culture, though, since the story is mostly set in the middle of nowhere, with our two protagonists as prisoners of
Tex Reader
3.5 of 5 stars – Good Gay YA, More Action Adventure, Some Romance.
[Thanks to the author for a free copy via Goodreads' YA LGBT group in exchange for an honest review]

I love various gay genres, including YA romance, and this was refreshingly in the form of an action adventure, as well as in Africa, and J. Leigh Bailey did justice to both.

Her style was straightforward, easy-to-read and descriptive enough to fit the faster paced action. While not a fully adult action adventure, the plot was
Katie Simmons
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A coming of age LGBT novel written by J. Leigh Bailey. Would you, or could you, do something that could get you sent to Africa for summer community service? Isaiah Martin sure did! Do you think you could fall in love while despising your being there? Isaiah did!

Isaiah helps a friend by taking the gun away, but then is found with it near school property. Because of this, he has to join his father in Cameroon, Africa as a missionary. Isaiah hasn't seen or heard from his father in a long time,
Veronica of V's Reads
4.5 Stars.

Isaiah Martin is a high school senior at a private school in Wisconsin when he tries to help a friend in dire need. His best friend is having severe home troubles, and Isaiah finds her near school with a gun in her lap--Isaiah tries to remove it and gets arrested for possession. His mother, a high powered attorney, gets his arrest expunged for probation as long as Isaiah spends the summer volunteering with his missionary physician father in Cameroon, Africa.

Isaiah isn't thrilled with
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it
A fast paced action thriller with very likable main Characters. I loved the set up and the unfolding of Isiah's story, no info dumps. I liked how he grew and became a better man. I was just a little confused as to why only one character in a book set in Africa was actually African.
Angela Goodrich
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

Having read a couple of Bailey’s M/M new adult romances, I was excited about the prospect of discovering how well she could write a young adult story. As it turns out, the author’s writing style lends itself well to the young adult genre as this and the other books I’ve read demonstrate a clear focus on the characters as the driving force behind the story. Because I don’t know where else to mention it in my review, I want to
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 4-stars
Cross-posted on Lou's

*book received from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review*

This is a book I went in with little fear: I don't usually read much stories of this kind but I was pleasantly surprised with it, so much that I read it in one sitting. I just could not stop reading, I had to know what was going to happen to both the young characters.

This is full of action, but not only that. There's acceptance, how to learn to accept the mistakes of the past and so many more. The story is
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Reviewed for Just Love

4.5 stars rounded up

This book was not what I was expecting at all. I was immediately intrigued when I read that it’s set in Africa since that’s a location I don’t ever recall seeing in Romance before. I love learning about new places so I jumped at the chance to review this one. I went in thinking that these kids would have some fun adventures with a conflict at the end. You know, the typical romance format, but this…this story is so much more. It’s an incredibly intense
Steph ☀️
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
***4.75 stars***

If you want to read a book that has action, sarcasm and a slow building ‘eventual’ romance, then this is the book for you. Really, this was such an amazing read! I. could. not. put. it. down.

J. Leigh Bailey is a new author to me, and I am so happy I found you. IMO, the author really took her time with this book. You can tell with all the detail that she put into it. I can only assume she or someone she knows was a missionary of some sort in the Central African Republic (CAR).
JoAnna G
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an intense, suspenseful coming of age story of seventeen year old Isaiah. He does something to help a friend, not even thinking of the ramifications, it wasn’t his gun. His mother worked magic to get him to do intense community service for his father the “Do-Gooder” in Africa. He works as a doctor in a refugee camp in Cameroon. This book is action packed on the edge of your seat. It is also a slow burn in friendship. I don’t feel like this is a romance as it is coming of age and finding ...more
Arch Bala
I’m still contemplating my feelings towards this book so the things you’re about to read would be my ‘just-finished-reaction’ towards it. I so enjoyed Isaiah’s perspective – voice alive, thoughts so vibrant and just overall fun to read. When you say young adult – Isiah is the perfect embodiment of it.

Henry meanwhile is a very fascinating character. I loved that he represent a strong character – a character you’d root for once you get to know him.

The Do-Gooder theme between the men in this book
Mitch Obrecht
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Don't let the title fool you. This is an incredible read.

I wanted something different. I've read so many urban fantasy and paranormal romance books lately, I needed something ... different. I wasn't expecting this.

Here's the basics ... There are two main characters, Israel and Henry. The story is told through Izzy's POV. He super resents his absentee father, who is like a Doctors Without Borders kinda guy, living in Africa for the last 20 years. Izzy and his mom live in the states. Something
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Isiaiah tries to help a friend, and gets caught holding a gun that wasn't his. As a result he's forced to agree to doing community service in his Summer Break in Cameroon helping out his missionary father for three months. Problem? Well, he hasn't seen his Dad in years, pretty much resents him for that fact and isn't really that keen on spending his whole Summer in Africa. To add insult to injury, when he arrives, his Dad apparently can't even be bothered to pick him up, instead sending Henry to ...more
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book up to point. The writing is good and the setting is certainly not one found in your typical YA novel. I liked the way that you learnt more and more about Isaiah’s background and the actions that got him into the situation he was in. It’s quite a shocking situation for a YA novel and I think it managed to convey the horror without being too shocking for a YA audience. It kept me gripped and I couldn’t put it down, as I needed to know what happened to Isaiah and Henry. But, I ...more
This is complicated and absorbing. I like learning things when I read fiction (because I read very little non-fiction). Finding out about Africa and parts of the turmoil going on gives me a glimpse into a life from which I am distanced.

Isaiah's life has been turned sideways by one reckless, fearless act. He is still burdened by what he sees as his father's disregard for him, and when he arrives in Cameroon, we can see he is hopeful of a happy reunion.

Getting kidnapped with do-gooder Henry
Sep 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

Do-Gooder tells the story of Isaiah Martin who is sent to Africa by his mother to spend some time with his father. But his plans go awry and he ends up in the hands of militant forces.

I enjoyed the plot it was intriguing and it kept me guessing. So many things go wrong and the plot never drags. Isaiah is taken with an another person Henry who works for his father, who from the very beginning looks out for Isaiah.

Sep 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mm, romance, adventure
2.5 stars

I had high hopes for this book but part of them were not met by the story. I liked the main characters and the way their feelings for each other developed, but the adventure part of the story lacked something. I expected more action and also some things really didn't feel realistic, but overall I kinda liked it. I just wish some things, especially towards the end, resolved in a more realistic way.
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, family
This story was solid enough, but personally way to extreme. What kind of a mom sends his seventeen year old son to Africa on its own, alone? I don't think good one. All bad happened to Isaiah while Henry drove them to Isaiah father. Isaiah life was at risk on three or more occasions, but hey, his mom send him to Africa on its own, yeah right!!!
This story isn't believable!
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish this author would write more books faster.

This was a very exciting adventure story. The guys were great. The character development and learning of the MC was lovely. I loved the relationship development.

This was a very satisfying read and left me cheering.

Oh yeah, and it's an adventure story in Africa. Most enjoyable.
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read an early copy of this book when it was in edits. This story has tons of action and a heartfelt, realistic feeling romance. If you're looking for LGBTQ teen fiction that goes beyond a coming-out story, this is a great start. This author's books are addictably readable--the type where I mean to only read a chapter and I'm suddenly done with three.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love adventure books where you're on the edge of your seat wondering how it's all going to play out. This was one of my client manuscripts whose words, world and characters I just fell in love with.
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Please see my full review at
I received a copy of this book free from the author via netgalley in exchange for honest review.
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
HAS TO BE ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I READ IN A WHILE!!!!!! i am sad it ended there though
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YA LGBT Books: Free Read-to-Review YA action/adventure/romance 7 56 Sep 21, 2016 02:35PM  
j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult and New Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of... well, everything...but some habits aren't worth breaking. She's been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty ...more
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