Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh & 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?
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 & Everyone. For more about its previous publication, you can read this blog post.
Read Chapter 1 here.
➜ iBooks: soon
So, I have several books by this author and I’ve heard they are all fantastic but this is the first one I’ve actually read (and I didn’t read the original version of this one). My first reaction to this story was ‘I love it!’ I read it in pretty much one sitting…in less than a day. I couldn’t put it down. The storyline is one I’ve not read and it was fascinating.
One of the things I loved about this story was also something I had an issue with…and that’s the relatively low angst. Realistically these boys should have been REALLY messed up and aside from being a bit socially awkward and afraid to show their sexuality in public they were surprisingly ok. They lived in a really bad situation, Josh suffered more than Caleb but none of it was good. I feel like they should have struggled a bit more adapting to their new lives in the ‘real world’. At the same time, I liked that the story wasn’t super emotional and focused on the good things that were finally happening to them.
I also had a hard time with their sexual knowledge. They are 20 year old virgins with no access to ANY media or information outside the compound. How did they even know what blow jobs were? Once they escaped and had access to the internet, I get that they learned things but they had a couple of sexual relations before getting to Maggie’s house so that just didn’t work for me.
Initially I thought Caleb the stronger character but Josh proved he is infinitely stronger. Caleb did cause a bit of angst in their relationship but it was really stupid of him and Josh set him straight pretty quickly. They were great together and I’m glad they finally got their happy ending.
I liked most of the supporting cast. Washington was awesome. Maggie and Daniel were great as well. Miriam was another character we should have had a bit more angst with and didn’t. I understand a character we don’t actually meet but hear about has another book by Ms. Bowen which I’m going to check out!
I definitely recommend reading this and will absolutely read any others in the series.