“Goodbye Paradise” by Sarina Bowen


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 best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?


Sarina Bowen’s books are just so damn satisfying…always entertaining and engaging me in ways that seem perfectly fit for the time and place in my life. Goodbye Paradise was a romance that warmed my heart when I was beginning to feel like maybe my book funk was going to be permanent!

Josh and Caleb have lived on a compound for a religious, polygamous cult…think Warren Jeffs and the LDS…all their lives. They’ve had minimal contact with the “outside world” and their futures were tied to the ins and outs of the expectations in this community. Caleb, being bigger and stronger, was more suited for this world. Josh’s future, precarious. Yet their friendship, and Josh’s growing feelings for Caleb, tied them together.

When they eventually escaped, and then had the freedom to admit and explore their feelings for one another, a sweet but challenging relationship began to grow into a powerful love between two touching characters.

LikeThe loyalty between Josh and Caleb was so fierce, I had such confidence in their ability to make their relationship work, despite the obstacles in their way. I love a “love conquers all” story!

loveThough the book was very sweet, the author didn’t take the easy way out with the things that the boys had to face both in the cult and outside of it. I went through the full gamut of emotions with this one!

bewareI know there are people that hesitate with reading what they might call “religious” books. This one really didn’t have any doctrinal content. The cult was more a description of a location and a culture rather than a religion.

bookisforIf you enjoyed Keira Andrews’ Amish Romance series, it’s hard not to make some comparisons. However, this one was less angsty and a bit more contemporary on the “outside world” parts. Also, it’s a no-brainer for fans of Sarina Bowen’s writing.

Goodbye ParadiseTitle: Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye #1)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publisher: Self-Pub
Length: 266 pages
Release Date: March 21, 2017
Buy Links: Amazon

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