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How steamy is it? Hot Damn

Publisher's Summary

Most people called it a cult. But for 20 years, Josh and Caleb called it home. In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farmwork 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?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord's name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title In Front of God and Everyone.

©2017 Sarina Bowen (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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    37
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    7
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I wish it had been a single narrator.

Any additional comments?

*Whispersync*

This is a romance about two young men who have been raised in a religious cult striking out on their own after one is thrown out (Josh) and one runs away (Caleb).

I've owned this book since it was published as "In Front of God and Everyone", when I bought it after actually reading "It's Never Over" first. But I put it off because....the whole cult thing made me skittish.

The story is actually far less angsty than I thought it would be. It's low angst, sweet, sexy as hell, and, with the exception of one boneheaded moment from Caleb towards the end, a pretty smooth sail to a lovely HEA.

As for the narration...for half of it I wasn't a fan. Allow me to explain. I was hoping because there are two narrators that this would be a "duet" narration. Where each narrator takes certain characters and only voices those characters throughout.

Alas, no. Though this was less muddled than some of the dual narrations I've listened to where the narrators trade off by chapter POV, this was different because there are four Parts or "Gospels" according to Josh or Caleb and each narrator voices the entire Part, with all its chapters, of the book.

(So, I could be wrong but I think) Teddy Hamilton voices the parts of the book from Josh's perspective, and Dake Bliss voices the parts from Caleb's perspective.

I LOVED Teddy's narration. It was smooth, he does great character voices, has great pacing, and is a genuine pleasure to listen to.

I was not so much a fan of Dake's performance. He was stilted, his pacing was off, and his character voices sounded stiff, and sometimes even robotic.

I'm not going to lie, it was jarring for me to go through 38% of the story with Teddy's smooth tones in my ear, to suddenly be listening to different actor playing *the same* parts, and not nearly as well.

Frankly, it lessened my enjoyment of the audiobook.

I just wish if an author, or publisher, cannot afford true "duet" narration that they would just stick to a single narrator.

If Teddy Hamilton had been the single narrator for this - I would be giving 4, possibly 4.5 stars...but having to consider in Dake's performance and this goes down to 2.5 to 3 stars.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Misty
  • Washington
  • 05-12-17

Sweet, sweet love

This story was so sweet and so refreshing. It's fairly low on the angst scale but at the same time, so emotional that I cried through most of it. Polygamist colonies are something I know a lot about and that could be the reason for such emotion. I literally could not push pause and ended up cancelling some plans today because I just had to listen to the whole thing.

Teddy Hamilton is a staple in the narration world and I mostly enjoyed his performance, but there was audible swallows that should have been edited out. Dake Bliss is where the wheels fell off for me. Not only was his age and voice sound not appropriate but I didn't enjoy his performance either. There were constant long pauses that didn't make sense to me and it felt like he was telling a story, not narrating. It was completely opposite of Teddy's narration style and I didn't enjoy it at all. If you only listen to audiobooks, then don't skip it because of this... this story is worth hearing! But if you read as well, might be a good one to read.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hello World

I have come to love the writing of Sarina Bowen. Her words have a magic that takes me to another place and time. Her words can also be difficult as she deals with subjects that are often not discussed in "polite company". This series tackles human rights in the form of gay rights, the abuse of women and the hypocrisy of religion. She does not preach in dealing with these subjects she simply tells the story in all it's beauty and it's ugliness. Josh and Caleb may be my favorite characters though it is hard to choose because I fall for every single one she writes. They are gentle spirits who become men in a sheltered backwards community of religious who abuse the word of God in their every action, once again just the facts. They have clung to each other all their lives and due to a crisis they find themselves on the run. It is wonderful to watch them come alive together in a world that is so foreign to them yet so much more welcome than the compound of their youth. They are surrounded by loving friends and an adopted family of their choosing who help to smooth their way along a bumpy road. Without giving away the story let me say I got my HEA. I listened to this on audiobook narrated by Teddy Hamilton and Dake Bliss. Both are excellent voice actors and I try to listen to all their work. But, let me just tell you that Teddy Hamilton takes it one step beyond excellent. He embodies a gentleness of spirit in so many of his characters and Josh is no exception. Hamilton finds every nuance of confusion, vulnerability, innocence, love and light in this young man. I am eagerly looking forward to more of this series by this author and these narrators and the characters they bring to life. A hearty thank you to them all.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

These two will Rock your world!

Just when you think Sarina couldn't write any better..... She hits us with Josh and Caleb. This thing socked me in the heart and left me sliding down the wall a few times. Josh and Caleb are amazing people and so is Maggie and her family. I can't even imagine, as many tribulations as I've had in my life, to have been raised in a cult as these two had. These two are beautiful BUT BELIEVABLE and so is their extended family. I had to download the next book right away. The Audible as well. Nothing makes the commute better! I have both kindle and Audible of all of Sarina and Sarina and Elle's books together. The Audible versions are an amazing compliment to the written as these two authors know how to pick narrators as well - crucial. (I just listened to this for the 2nd time! Dake and Teddy Rock this! Keep them coming Sarina - I'm going to start the next book in the Series NOW!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Top favorite of 2017!

What made the experience of listening to Goodbye Paradise the most enjoyable?

The story, the characters, the narrators, EVERYTHING!

What did you like best about this story?

I loved every single thing about this story. It was so unique and touching. The characters are so endearing. You really can't help but love it all!

What about Teddy Hamilton and Dake Bliss ’s performance did you like?

They completely brought the characters of Joshua and Caleb to life- they both did such a wonderful job of portraying them. Josh's vulnerability really shown through with Teddy's narration, and Dake was able to bring out both Caleb's strengths and his own vulnerabilities.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book brought out so many reactions in me! I cried so much, I laughed, I swooned. It was probably a bad idea to listen to some of it on my commute from work because of the tears!

Any additional comments?

This is one of the most unique books I've ever read, and the audio book couldn't have been more perfect. If you're onthe fence about this one, don't be- jump right in, you will not regret it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

5 Goodbye Paradise Stars

Wow….

This book is amazing it made me feel so many wonderful things, hope being the biggest.
Josh and Caleb’s story isn’t easy but I loved how easily the story was told. If you read any of Sarina’s other books then you know about the religious cult in one of the books. Well Josh and Caleb come from that place.

I loved that both of them used to look out for each other. And Josh having feelings for his best friend in secret I thought oh dear this is going to be predictable but it really wasn’t at all.

It’s just a great story of how these two trusted in one another and then in friends along the way.

I just had this feeling after about the 3rd chapter that this book was going to make my heart happy and it did that and so much more.

Teddy and Drake do a fantastic job with this narration. The tone and inflection they both put in to their performances made it so much more. Great Audiobook, Fantastic Story.

*You don't have to like my review but its 100% my opinion, and I am allowed to have it.*

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

THIS WAS SO SWEET AND HEARTWRENCHING TOO!!! LOVED!

What made the experience of listening to Goodbye Paradise the most enjoyable?

It was so good...I felt bad for Caleb and Josh....they were so naive..but very brave!!!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Goodbye Paradise?

When Josh finds out Caleb feels the same way...

Have you listened to any of Teddy Hamilton and Dake Bliss ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have Teddy...and he is a good little narrator..but both these voices were a little old for these boys....they still did a good job though...

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The Ending...I was so happy for the boys...also when Maggie takes Josh to the catering event...and tells him she knows and still loves him!

Any additional comments?

This was a sweet story, 2 young men barely in their 20s...runaway from a polygamous compound and make their way across country to a friend willing to help them...these 2 boys have been best friends their entire lives...and Josh has a secret crush on Caleb...well they meet a honest man finally named Washington who helps them get where they need to go...and they discover a mutual love that is no longer forbidden...they learn to live, using google and the freedom to explore life... and the help of a loving couple....and they get their HEA!! Sarina Bowen is quickly becoming a go to Author for me!

LOVED IT!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly great read

I am not usually into reading M/M romance books. Saying that, this is so not what I suspected at all. It was heart wrenchingly sad, funny, romantic, poignant. It just pulled at my heart and opened my eyes. The story line couldn't be any better. The characters were so real they just pulled you in. I loved every second of this book. Recommend highly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed the book, but would recommend the Kindle version instead.

I really enjoyed this story, but my God Dake Bliss was NOT the right fit for this book. Teddy Hamilton did a great job, but if I hadn’t been so invested in the story by the time the narrators switched from Teddy to Dake I would’ve DNF’d. It’s not that Dake has a bad voice or is a bad narrator, but he sounds like a 40-year-old Manhattanite as opposed to a 20-year-old kid from Wyoming, and that ruined the flow of the story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this story so much!

This is a great heartfelt story. Such a different plot than anything I have read before so I really appreciated that.
I could feel the love that Caleb and Josh felt for each other, their fear for what others may think and their courage to overcome.
I loved Teddy Hamilton’s narration.
The other narrator sounded a little monotone or perhaps to much like he was just reading. He had good moments where he would come out of that but then went right back in.
I was ify about giving 5 stars bc of that but I loved the story so much that it still deserved an overall 5 stars!
I’d love for the author to write another book about this group of people. Perhaps Meriam? (Although I’d love it about Josh and Caleb as well) but they could go back to the compound and try to rescue some others! And then take down the bad guys who need to go to prison.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Debra McDonald
  • 01-16-18

Love endures

Caleb and Josh both belong together but they have multiple hurdles to overcome. I adore these two and the book is so well written that I had to listen to the audio book. Teddy and Sake have really done this story proud. Love it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • BevS
  • 06-04-17

Love Teddy, such a shame about his co-narrator....

I've loved every audio I've listened to by Teddy Hamilton. I loved him as Andrew Eiden (I think, hehe) reading Social Skills, and especially with Jacob Morgan reading HIM and Us, and with Christian Fox reading The Understatement of the Year. Both of those pairings were inspired, the voices complemented each other and you felt that they were invested in the story they were narrating. Unfortunately, in this particular instance, the involvement of Dake Bliss ruined what was otherwise bound to be yet another winner for me. Mr Bliss has a totally boring voice, which reminded me somewhat of Guy Locke **shudders**....no intonation, no variation, no anything. I can only concede defeat and advise that I will not be buying book 2 of this series, which is a real shame as I assume Teddy (Andrew) will be taking part (he seems to be a favourite of Sarina's)....unfortunately I will NOT be taking part, enough is enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful