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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hello Forever (Hello Goodbye, #2) [Axel & Cax] by Sarina Bowen

WOW, what an emotional ride! This book held me at the edge of my emotional capacity. I was in tears or near tear SO MANY TIMES. My heart ached for Cax and his horrible life situation but it also aches for Axel who would do right about anything for Cax, including breaking their very precious renewed relationship when it's the last thing he wanted to do. I was at awe with both of them. They care for one another SO MUCH and they deserved, god how much they deserved to be happy. Truly happy. At the end they did. But I was heart broken most of the book, not knowing HOW it could work out. Sarina nailed it (as usual). It was crushing but it turned for the best at the end. 

Axel Armitage and Henry Caxton Williams ("Cax") met for the first time when they were 8 years old. It was in a church gathering. Though neither truly religious they simply enjoyed their time together, a few times a year in daily gatherings and in the summer a few days together. They lived in a very different environment and so though they could text and follow each other on social media, these gatherings were their only chance of meeting face to face and enjoying each other's company. Everything changed when they were 16. That's when they accidentally realized there is another side to their close friendship - they are also attracted to one another. Being silly teenagers there weren't thinking things through and they got caught. That's the last time they seen each other for a long time.. 6½ years to be exact. Cax perished from Axel's life and even though they both thought of each other over the years they wouldn't even know where to start looking for the other. 

A basketball game changed both their lives. Axel was offered a REAL marketing job in this small town miles and miles away from his home. He wasn't sure about it until the last minute when he glimpses Cax in the audience of the Basketball team in the college which offered him the job. That was enough for Axel to say YES and make the move. He was worried moving to a strange place where he doesn't know anyone, didn't know how people would react to the fact he is openly gay but the guy he works with turns to be a fun care-free guy (LOVED Boz) and his boss is a really decent guy. But even though looking for Cax isn't THAT difficult, convincing him to even make a conversation is hard. 

Cax can't believe he is seeing Axel in front of his eyes. GOD he has craved the guy for YEARS but after getting caught and a horrible home situation he finds himself all by himself with a homophobic abusive father he can't stand but also can't run from because he has 3 little siblings he wouldn't DARE leave behind. So he figures, how long until all three are grown - something like 6 years? maybe? he'll be able to actually LIVE his life, for now he has to "play by the rules", his father's rules so he'll allow him to keep in touch with his brothers. They adore him and need him since he's all they got besides their abusive father. How can he keep away from Axel when he is all he ever wanted? how can he keep him a secret when his father works at the college like both of them. 

Just listening to Cax's thoughts over the hard decisions he had to make, made me break down in tears, and even more when Axel realizes just how Cax lived his life the past few years. How he practically lived for others - his little brothers - and never actually for himself. He is so deep in the closet just standing near someone gay freaks him out, not knowing what his father will do about it. He is so SCARED, and rightly so! His father is TERRIFYING. It even makes the whole situation sadder. I don't think I will ever look the same on the sentence "Don't be sad". Just thinking about it makes me want to cry. 

This book was SO BEAUTIFUL. Yeah, sad at many turns but also sweet and endearing because when Cax and Axel are together, even if just corresponding in emails they are adorable! Loved seeing the interaction between the brothers and how much depth their relationship had. Things weren't easy for any of them, poor kids. I also REALLY enjoyed seeing Josh and Caleb (from the previous installment)! They have a minor yet constant role in this book which was really great! There isn't any reveal about their story so if you haven't read it - YOU MUST! but you don't have to do that in order. 

I could talk and write volumes about this story, how touched I was by so many things, by how much these two guys loved each other, from such an early age, only to lose each other only to find each other and realize they can't have a relationship with Cax's life being so complicated and sad. So damn sad. I was sad myself, wanting SO MUCH MORE for someone like Cax. Yet Axel too had to deal with something huge, and luckily they both weren't alone at that. That's something else I'll think of differently from now on - the phrase - "You're not alone. We're not alone". Now I'll see in my mind Cax, Axel and all the wonderful people they surrounded themselves with. I wished for things to be easier on them but things had to turn for the worse FOR REAL before anything could really change in a good way. 

~sigh~ I LOVE Sarina's writing. As usual this was an AMAZING novel I think anyone should grab and read. It wasn't truly angsty, it was just a story in which two guys work their way into each other's arms even though all the odds are against them. So yeah, it's sad but it has enough heartwarming moments that gives hope it will turn for the better. I was so stupidly happy at the end because it did turn for the better. Sarina, thank you for bringing Cax and Axel into my life <3 

This book was originally published as "It's Never Over" (Pay It Forward, #2) under Sarina's pen name Nealy Wagner. Sarina recently decided to re-publish this book and the previous one - "Goodbye Paradise" (originally called "In Front of God and Everyone") under her real name. These two novels were her first delve into MM Romance and because she didn't know how they would be received she published them under another pen name. Now, realizing we, our devoted readers, would read ANYTHING she published she brought them back under her real name so no one would miss out on their awesomeness. 

I kindly received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. 

This book will be out on 14 July 2017 - 

Pre-order it now through the links below

Read on:
6-7 July 2017


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