I’m sure everyone knows by now how much I love the friends to lovers and second chance tropes, and everyone also knows how much I love Sarina Bowen, which means I was pretty excited to get my hands on her rerelease of Hello Forever.
The second book in the Hello Goodbye series introduces Axel and Cax. After meeting at church camp when they were just eight years old, they quickly became the best of friends. As teenagers they realize that their feelings for each other have changed into something deeper. After fumbling around in their tents one night in their tent one night, they can’t help but reach for each other again in the woods the next day and are caught in a compromising position by their pastor. Both parents are notified, and while Axel’s mother isn’t upset or surprised, Cax’s father is enraged and forces any contact between the two to immediately stop.
Several years later Axel is wavering back and forth over a job offer for the athletic department at a small college when he sits down to watch one of their basketball games on TV and spies a familiar face in the crowd. Cax looks exactly the same. He would know that face anywhere, despite being separated from his best friend and first love for the last six years. So he takes the job and moves to Massachusetts not quite sure what he’ll do when they run into each other again.
Just like its predecessor, Goodbye Paradise, Hello Forever is a sweet, sexy romance. Axel and Cax meet as children and fall for each other, but are kept apart mainly because Cax’s father is a terrible human being. When they see each other again as adults they fall right back into the same comfortable feeling with each other that they had when they were younger. But while Axel has been out and proud for a while Cax has been hiding his sexuality from everyone, afraid that he will be cut off from his younger siblings if he were to live as a gay man. Almost all the conflict between Axel and Cax is because of this. These two have great chemistry and Axel has this incredible amount of patience and understanding of Cax’s situation. They sneak around, email back and forth and try to see each other on the sly because they just can’t stop themselves.
Just when I began to wonder how long these two would have to sneak away to out-of-town hotel rooms and watch out for who was watching them BAM something happens to bring these two together pretty fast. Like super, duper, uper fast. And while it did feel a bit too rushed, I liked that this couple, who should have been together all along, finally found their HEA.
There was something said in the epilogue that leads me to hope that Ms. Bowen will have more books in this series. I’m all about that and am keeping my fingers crossed that we will see Jason get his own book. I’m so curious about this lumbersexual, hot hook up, next door neighbor of his. Final Grade- C+/B-
In some ways, he and I had the most confusing relationship in the world. We were close friends who didn’t spend time together. We were lovers who rarely even got to kiss. We had a long history together with a big gap in the middle.