Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ARC Book Review: In Front of God and Everyone by Nealy Wagner

ARC Book Review: In Front of God and Everyone by Nealy Wagner


Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home. 

On the Compound, 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 any help from TV or porn 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 in the way he’s always craved. 

Yet 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, and Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. 

Luckily, there is someone who does. But 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, love against the kitchen counter, and evidence that canvas work trousers can truly be sexy.

Tracy's Review:

5 Stars

*Copy provided by author/publisher via M/M GoodReads group in exchange for an honest review*

Josh and Caleb have spent everyday together since they were just toddlers. They are best friends, growing up on a religious compound where only the strong survive to get their fist wife(yes I said FIRST, most eventually take more than one, they are a bigamist cult). They spend their days working the fields of the Compound and studying the bible. When Josh is tossed out at the bus station with just $50.00, he waits for Caleb, who plans to run away to join him. 

The boys hitchhike across county to get to a friend that has already escaped the Compound. Along the way Josh discovers the attraction and love he feels for Caleb is mutual, even though life isn't always easy they pledge their love to one another and vow to stick it out together. 

Even after they escape and finally make it to safety, life isn't easy. They not only have to learn to live in the real world and get jobs, but they have to hide their love. They have been taught for years that what they feel for one another is an abomination and a sin. We watch them struggle with the choice to come out or stay closeted. 

This was such and interesting storyline. The topic is something I have never read about and it was so interesting to watch Josh discover things he had never had/done before. It was truly fascinating to watch. You don't realize the things in the modern world you take for granted. I couldn't imagine being 19, and never having tried Coke or Coffee. To never have watched a TV show, or seen a TV for that matter! To not know what a McDonald's is! 

This was an amazing story. This book drew me in and held me captivated. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down!! I loved the authors writing style. I was never once bored or found myself skimming. I sucked up every word and when it was over I was looking for more. 

Josh and Caleb have an amazing chemistry. The sex was hot, but sweet and also somewhat innocent as well. I loved watching them get to learn about one another's bodies together. I felt the love between Josh and Caleb coming off the pages of this book. This story took me on a true emotional roller coaster. I was happy to see, even though the book ended well that Caleb and Josh's story isn't over yet. I am going to anxiously await the next leg of their journey! 

I saw some really bad reviews for this book. While I agree with some of the reviewers points (it could have been much more angsy, and probably could have had a little more feeling and passion from and between the main characters, and yes it could have taken them longer, and been more difficult to adjust to a normal life out side of the compound). While all the above is true, I chose not to pick this book apart, because I sincerely enjoyed it. It definitely doesn't deserve some of the 2 and 3 star ratings it received, in my opinion.  

I don't see any other books by this author, so if this is a debut novel, well just wow! I can't wait for more!! 

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