I’ve never hidden that I’m not a enormous fan of Sarina Bowen, in general. I understand why she is popular, but most of the Bowen books I’ve read have been just okay. That is, of course, with exceptions. I LOVE Him and Us, her collaboration with Elle Kennedy, I also was crazy about The Understatement of the Year. Pretty much, I love when Sarina Bowen writes M/M.
Hello Goodbye, book one in this series, was an interesting book. What it came down to was that I loved the premise, but sometimes I felt disconnected from the characters. I think it may have been their backstory. In Hello Forever my issue was opposite. I actually really liked these characters, related to them, but I the plot was so cliche. How many times am I going to read about childhood best friends who lost touch due to their sexuality? Maybe if it was a different author the trope wouldn’t stand out so much, but Him, UotY and now Hello Forever all follow the same basic outline.
I’m also over reading about the female best friend. It’s sweet, and I don’t have any tangible issue with it. It’s just another plot device I’ve read too many times. I just wanted something with more originality. I need something new. Something I haven’t read from this author yet.
In spite of my grump, and as much as I didn’t think I would, I ended up enjoying Hello Forever. While I’m tired of the ex best friend trope, the love between Cax and Axel was tangible. The angst in this novel wasn’t between the men. They adored each other and were honest about it, with each other. Cax had a complicated life, but he was up front with Axel, and didn’t hide his love. I appreciated that. It’s not usually how these stories go. I also enjoyed how Axel understood Cax’s situation and didn’t try push. I felt like it showed how much he respected Cax.
I also felt for Cax, and I do think he was in a tough bind. This wasn’t about needing acceptance. It was deeper than that. He was stuck in a situation there was no walking away from. Too much was at stake. It was definitely a plus that I believed it; it really helped my overall rating of Hello Forever.
Actually, it was nice seeing Josh and Caleb too. I loved seeing how settled and happy they were. The are such a sweet little family. Whenever we get the third installment, I hope we get to see more of Axel and Cax’s Happily Ever After. I know, regardless of any gripes, I’ll definitely keep reading!
Thank you to Rennie Road Books for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.