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Goodbye Paradise

(Hello Goodbye #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  6,131 ratings  ·  996 reviews
Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his be
Paperback, 2nd edition, 266 pages
Published March 21st 2017 by Rennie Road Books (first published February 18th 2015)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  6,131 ratings  ·  996 reviews

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4.5 Stars!!


To be honest, reading the blurb I was expected this author’s debut novel to be too religious-y for me, but surprise, surprise - it really wasn’t. The religious aspect was barely there which I obviously liked. Neally Wagner delivered a sweet, steamy and heartwarming tale about to boys who find themselves and find love despite the fact their lifestyles and living conditions are unusual to say the least.

Caleb and Josh have been living in a polygamist compound all their lives. In the com
So good...

"Hi baby,"he said under his breath.He leaned in and kissed me on the lips,right in front of God and everyone.

Well,this one surprised me in a good way.I would probably never have read it if I hadn't read some friends reviews.

Josh and Caleb are 19 and 20 respectively and have lived in a polygamist compound for years.They have been best friends for years but recently Josh has been lusting after Caleb in a big way.
When Caleb realizes Josh is going to be cast aside he arranges to meet him
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-five-stars
5+ stars!!!

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I've read most of Sarina Bowen's books, and there hasn't been one I've read that I didn't enjoy. But I haven't loved one quite as much as Goodbye Paradise. The Understatement of the Year is a close second, so it's safe to say this author has quite the knack for M/M romance.

Caleb and Joshua are from a polygamist compound. They have been best friends their entire life, but there has always been feelings there, lingering between them. For Joshua, he's always wanted his best friend, C
Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Caleb," he whispered against my skin. "Just make me yours."
"You," I said, kissing him on the forehead, "are already mine."

When was the last time you read a romance that was so powerful and sweet that you felt it touch your very soul? For me, that was today and this romance was this book. THIS BOOK. My god. I sobbed my way through almost the entire thing. I couldn't help myself. It wrecked me and it owned me all at once. I don't have enough praise to describe everything that wa
Rachel Reads Ravenously
5 stars!

Okay. Shut the front door. What friggin rock have I been living under that I had never heard of this book before?????

Goodbye Paradise was originally published under the title In Front of God and Everyone. Sarina Bowen is now republishing it with a new cover and title. Josh and Caleb live in a cult, the two are best friends. But Josh feels something more for Caleb, something forbidden. And when Josh gets dumped in the middle of nowhere by the cult, Caleb needs to find him.

“It’s a sin.
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
Thanks to all my peeps for putting this book on my radar. This is an incredibly sweet (maybe too sweet), sexy story of two young men leaving a cult and making a go at life together.

I loved all the smexy. I loved the HEA. I loved Maggie and Dylan and baby Chloe. How could anyone not love all that?

However, I expected more real-life angst and internal conflict. These boys were raised in an abusive, polygamist compound. They were both virgins and taught that homosexuality, any sex outside marriage
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
“I love you.” I could say that without guilt. Because loving someone wasn’t a sin. Other things… sure. But love could never be a crime.

Goodbye Paradise follows Josh and Caleb, two 20-year olds, as they escape from an extreme polygamous cult in the middle of nowhere, and try to find a better life for themselves.

A tale of yearning, suffering, hope and new beginnings, this is one of those books that somehow makes its way into my heart and refuses to leave. Along with the story, I adored all the
Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘
Second re-read: 06.05.2021
Couldn't help the re-reading. Caleb and Josh are so cute together. I really like this story. My problem this time around was (view spoiler). That said, I enjoyed this re-read. Have anyone read book two in this ser
Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**

**1/17/18 - Listening to the audio book! Friends to lovers is my favoritest trope in all the land and I felt it was time to revisit one of my favorite books!! I absolutely ADORED this book when I read it a couple of years ago and can't wait to revisit Caleb and Josh!! ♥ ♥ Plus the audio book was on sale....and you know that's a sign from the book gods to haul ass and pick up the audio book! **


***2/8/17 UPDATE: Looks like we now have answers! Mind. Blow
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
This Book.

It had me smiling and swooning like a lunatic.

I was hesitant to read this one because I thought it would be too religious-y. WRONG.

I also thought it might too farm-y. WRONG again.

Josh really grabbed a hold of me from the get-go. And Josh and Caleb together were just....

I honestly loved everything about this one.

I smiled. I laughed. I definitely swooned. I was hot and bothered (don't let these two virgins fool about some heat between the sheets....and on the kitchen coun
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it

Goodbye Paradise shocked me with how much I enjoyed it. In all honesty I was nervous that it would be too involved in religion being that it was about members of a cult. But I had nothing to worry about because that wasn't the case at all. The main focus was on Caleb and Josh, and the cult just happened to be where they came from. I was happy that it didn't have too much of an impact on the story.

Though, it certainly had an affect on these characters but the author wrot
Jennifer Kyle
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m-f-f-reads
3.75 - 4 Stars
Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc


Review @ Vanilla & Spice Books


If you have read Sarina Bowen's True North series a lot will sound familiar. This MM romance is set in this world and there are people mentioned we have met. It gives me a fuzzy, warm feeling being back in this setting.

Short summary

Caleb and Joshua grew up as best friends. There hasn't been a day in their lives that they didn't spend time. The place they grew up at is called Paradise and it is everything but. In fact i
In Front of God and Everyone tells the story of Josh and Caleb. They have spent majority of their lives living on a polygamist compound. When Josh is kicked out, Caleb also escapes and together they build a life on the outside, all the while trying to cope with this ‘new’ world they need to adjust to and dealing with their feelings for one another after being told most of their lives being gay is a sin.

Overall, this was an extremely sweet friends to lover romance and hopeful story with two ver
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m-romance
"Strong arms snaked around my waist and Caleb pulled me closer"

Goodbye Paradise was such a beautiful book to read! Caleb and Josh are friends for all of thier lives. When they run away together, they've never expected that they'd be welcomed by anybody. But surely they were, Maggie take them in and help them settle down. The book's absolutely full of romantic moments making me swoon. These boys melted my heart and made me alive after the sad news about Chester Bennington this past week.

Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
It's official. I don't think Sarina Bowen can write a book that doesn't give me a case of The Feels. I didn't lahhhahuuvvv Goodbye Paradise like I have with other books of hers, but I did really like it. Regardless of whether or not I lahhahuuvvv or like her books I always have an emotional response. I find her books cozy and homey which is what keeps me coming back for more. She does friends to lovers and family dynamics, whether it be through blood ties or choice, really well, and I tend to gr ...more
* A Reader Obsessed *
4 Stars!

You know, my only beef with this story is that Sarina Bowen hasn’t written more. This was very reminiscent of Keira Andrews’s Amish series, so if you loved those books like I did, then I’m positive you’ll love this.

Once again, Bowen creates lovely, likeable, genuine MC’s, who have real struggles, and their love for each other is their strength. Caleb and Josh have lived their entire lives under the thumb of a polygamist religious cult, which is often cruel and always restrictive. Express
Im going to give this book 5 amazing He leaned in and kissed me on the lips, right in front of God and everyone stars... just coz it made me so happy.

Josh and Caleb melted my heart... this book had a potential of being an angst book but it was not .. it was just full of rainbows, unicorns and butterflies.

Josh taking care of baby Chloe .. awww so cute .

Caleb taking care of Josh .. well swoon.


“Hi baby,” he said under his breath. He leaned in and kissed me on the lips, right in front of God and
This was so, so sweet. My heart broke for these two boys and I wanted so badly for them to get their happy ending. They had led a hard life. It was nice seeing them learn new things together. I wanted to strangle Caleb that one time. But he finally gets over himself and realizes his mistake. You just know these two were meant for each other.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

I absolutely love Sarina Bowen, so when I found out that a book I've owned for ages was actually written by an earlier pen name of Sarina, I knew I had to dig it out of my Kindle to read it. But then I saw that Teddy Hamilton narrated the audiobook, and I knew I had to have it.

Honestly, I knew before I even started Goodbye Paradise that I would love it. It's just my kind of story, and Sarina Bowen writing M/M is pretty much a sure thing for me. And I did really love it, even with an uneven nar
4.5 Stars

I love it when a book takes me by surprise. In Front of God and Everyone was a Bookbub special a few weeks ago, and the reviews were good, so even though I wasn't familiar with the author, I said, 'why not'. And it kind of sat on my Kindle for a bit and the cover taunted me some. So, finally, I gave in at the book's insistence that I read it. And, yeah, I was a bit surprised. Not that it was good, though. The reviews from trusted sources told me that, but that I would find it to be such
Susan's Reviews
Such an epic, heartwarming read!

This was one of the first m/m novels I'd ever read. I have always been interested in stories about communes and this one sounded particularly interesting. Josh and Caleb, two inexperienced young men who have lived their entire lives on a ranch in Wyoming, are forced to cross the country in order to reach friends and sanctuary on the east coast.

Such a beautiful story: these two lifelong friends at last find acceptance and love outside the stifling confines of thei
Jacqueline's Reads
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, v-card, m-m
5 Sugary Sweet Stars

Goodbye Paradise was originally published in 2015 under a different title (In Front of God & Everyone) and is (to my excitement) re-released under a different title and cover. YAY!

This is a MM book and I have to tell you, I’m starting to like (love) MM books. The romance is hot and I find reading about the same sex issues (things they have to deal with, especially towards society), really fascinating to read.

This isn’t a cult book, but the Heroes of the book escape from a cu
Oh my goodness! This one was really special. I can't help but round it up to five stars.

It was sad and sweet and the happy parts were all that much more poignant because of the sadness they'd overcome.

A beautiful new adult romance about two people who overcame incredible odds to find their HEA.

If you want mushy insides, read this one. ;-)

An Audible Romance Package selection.
Wendys Wycked Words
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Wow this book was so sweet, but without being corny or sugary. It was also really hot, which I did not expect at big plus !!

Caleb and Josh have been living their whole 20 years in a cult. They have always been best friends and were Caleb is respected...Josh is not. This is a bigamist cult where the grown men have up to 5 wives. Ofcourse this means that there are too many men and not enough women to go around. No all the men are excpected to get married. Caleb is, but Josh not so mu
Carmen Rae
So obviously, Sarina Bowen could write a tampon ad and I would have to read it. And since she is one of very few authors who the leading characters gender makes very little difference even though the m/m genre isn't one I actively search out. And yet every single one of her books has been such a massive hit for me.

I hadn't heard of the original version of this book so when I got the opportunity to read this one I just read the blurb and dove right on in. I was expecting a lot of angst and heartb
Talia (Red Hot Ink)
ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

I was immediately intrigued by the originality of the premise. I'd never read anything set, even partially, in a religious community/cult. Even just this thing alone set Goodbye Paradise apart from every other MM romance, and book in general, I've ever read. Because, you see, their harsh religious upbringing had such a huge influence on the romance itself. But I'll get to that later.

Now, let's talk about the reason this book deser
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog)
Sometimes the hardest book reviews for me to write are for the books I enjoy the most. I fell truly, madly, deeply in love with Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen, and even though I’ve spent a day trying to find something insightful to say, basically all I’ve got is that you should read this book.

I have a confession to make. Sarina Bowen never steers me wrong, but I put off reading this book. Cults are freaky. The last romance novel I read that took place in a religious cult setting was so utterl
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting enough I read two M/M novels back to back. That usually does not happen but in this case I didn't mind at all!!

I can't say it often enough but Sarina Bowen is one of my favorite go-to authors for M/M. She has a certain way of evoking feelings in me that I would never have thought I would fell reading a male/male romance.

Goodbye Paradise was the best example.

I ADORED this book.

From the very first page I was hooked, engaged and invested. Josh and Caleb's story was raw, different and ma
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Play Book Tag: Goodbye Paradise by Sarina Bowen - 4 stars 1 13 Jul 07, 2019 07:41PM  

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“And then he kissed him. Right on the lips. In front of God and everybody.” 3 likes
“Aw,” he whispered, curling into my body. “I love you, too. So much. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. Except I sucked your dick instead.” 2 likes
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