One basketball game changes everything...
When they were only teenagers, Axel and Caxton were caught making out in the woods at church camp. And afterward, Cax had disappeared from all the youth group activities.
Six years later, Axel is astonished to spot his first love’s face in the crowd of a college basketball game he’s watching on TV—at a school which has just offered him a job. It’s a thousand miles away, in a tiny rural town. But suddenly, he can’t wait to get there.
Cax can’t believe his eyes when Axel appears in the same Massachusetts town where he now lives. And he’s still just as drawn to Axel as ever. But he can’t let himself go there again, because loving Axel will mean giving up everything else he holds dear.
Both men have so much to lose. But as far as their love is concerned, it's Hello Forever.
Hello Forever is a stand-alone novel with no cliffhangers. Readers of Goodbye Paradise will get to check in on Caleb and Josh and their clan.
What I thought about Hello Forever
Axel and Cax have history together. They grew up going to summer camp and discovered their sexuality there too, experimenting in secret until they are caught. Axel never saw Cax after that day.
Fast forward years later, and Axel is preparing for a new job with the athletic department of a college in Massachusets. It just so happens that fate intervenes and Cax is at that same school. It's been years since Axel has seen him, but the memories of their time together are still fresh for both of them. Only one problem -- Cax's father is a humongously nasty homophobe and abuser.
Hello Forever does a very nice job of analyzing the ups and downs of coming out of the closet for Cax. Needless to say, it's not going to be easy for him, especially with his father's deep prejudice. In a gut-wrenching turn of events, it's Axel who ends up paying the price.
Upon first reading Hello Forever, my initial impression was that it was a very simple story of first love and fate. But I found myself going back over the last few days and re-reading my favorite passages in the story. Behind the simplicity though, there is a very important story about hatred and homophobia that is both horrifying and enlightening.
It was great to see Caleb and Joshua from the first book in this series in some key scenes in Hello Forever. I thought that tied the two books together quite nicely.
As always with Sarina Bowen, at least for me, her writing is impeccable, emotional, and it draws me into the story from the very first pages. I loved Axel from the start, and the changes that Cax experiences in his life made me want to cheer for him. Their love scenes are sweet and satisfying. There's a nice cast of secondary characters in Alex's coworkers that fit perfectly in the story too.
Overall, Hello Forever is a satisfying HEA romance that deals with the impact of homophobia. It's not always an easy topic, but it is one that can have very serious outcomes which makes this a very timely contemporary romance. I loved this story. Recommended.
An ARC was provided for review.
About the Author
Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont's Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.