Series: Him #2
on March 8th, 2016
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Can your favorite hockey players finish their first season together undefeated?
Five months in, NHL forward Ryan Wesley is having a record-breaking rookie season. He's living his dream of playing pro hockey and coming home every night to the man he lovesÔÇôJamie Canning, his longtime best friend turned boyfriend. There's just one problem: the most important relationship of his life is one he needs to keep hidden, or else face a media storm that will eclipse his success on the ice.
Jamie loves Wes. He really, truly does. But hiding sucks. It's not the life Jamie envisioned for himself, and the strain of keeping their secret is taking its toll. It doesn't help that his new job isn't going as smoothly as he'd hoped, but he knows he can power through it as long as he has Wes. At least apartment 10B is their retreat, where they can always be themselves.
Or can they? When Wes's nosiest teammate moves in upstairs, the threads of their carefully woven lie begin to unravel. With the outside world determined to take its best shot at them, can Wes and Jamie develop major-league relationship skills on the fly?
Warning: contains sexual situations, a vibrating chair, long-distance sexytimes, and proof that hockey players look hot in any shade of green
Ôÿà.┬©┬©,. ÔÇó┬░┬┤Ôÿà4.5 StarsÔÿà.┬©┬©,. ÔÇó┬░┬┤Ôÿà
Hot M/M? ┬áYes, please! ┬áUs is the sequel to Him. ┬áSarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy set the bar pretty high with Him. ┬áWe are DELIGHTED to say they were able to deliver with the continuation of Wes and JamieÔÇÖs story. ┬áNormally when you read a book, you end on the high of ÔÇ£Happily Ever AfterÔÇØ. ┬áHim his book is promise of a HEA; Us is the actual journey there. ┬á DonÔÇÖt worry ÔÇô thereÔÇÖs A LOT of juicy reading to be had and great imagery of our hockey hotties!
When we first met Jamie and Wes, they were young men struggling toward each other and themselves. ┬áIn Us, we see them both transform into men. ┬áWas their development ÔÇô individual & as a couple ÔÇô expected or were you surprised?
Cyndi: It’s been a while since I read Him, but Wes seemed to be far more comfortable in his skin. ┬áThe return of his love for Jamie made him more confident in himself. He seemed to shake off his doubt┬áthat┬áhe deserves love. He so clearly┬ácherishes their relationship and they are very evenly matched in┬átemperament. ┬áThis doesn’t┬ásurprise me so much as it just makes me happy for them. ┬á
Loredana: I had the good fortune to read Him right before diving into Us. ┬áI think they evolved logically. ┬áI wasn’t prepared for Jamie’s hiccups, even though he seemed to accept his bisexuality fairly well. ┬áSo, I guess what I’m trying to say is that their evolution as a couple was done really well, same as their individual journeys, but I ached for them as they went through growing pains. ┬áI agree with Cyndi – they are very well-paired and balance each other.
Each man was faced with a difficult situation. ┬áHow do you think they handled their respective situations? ┬áDid their characters seem to stay to true to who you met in the first book?
Cyndi: They had a plan , a way to get through Wes’s first season before letting anyone know the true nature of their relationship, and it seemed they were both managing it well. I think it’s a little tougher from Jamie’s aspect as he’s dealing with the prejudice at his job and the waiting ┬áto be open is due to Wes’ job. When Jamie reflects on his mixed feelings (relief, guilt, anger, guilt again), well that made so much sense to me. ┬áIt’s easy to build resentment and fear that what you have isn’t real. And yes, ┬áI think they stay very true to who they are.
Loredana: I think both men stayed true to their love immense respect for each other. ┬áYou’re so right Cyndi – Jaime did have the shorter end of the stick. ┬áUnfortunately, it was a tough situation no matter how you look at it. ┬áHiding who you are with the pressures of a new job. ┬áI think all of the road bumps and obstacles just proved who they are individually and as a couple – two souls who belong together.
We need to pause and talk about Blake. ┬áSeriously, can we gush about what a great character he is?!
Cyndi: YES!! Gush is the right word because boy did he blew my socks off. ┬áHe’s a bit of a pest but then…well then he became a bit of a hero. I love how both Wes and Jamie constantly “remind” themselves how he’s the nicest guy in the world so you can’t hate him, but he definately was getting in the way. ┬á He seems oblivious but clearly he’s more observant than anyone gives him credit for. My spoiler thought **I wonder if he took and leaked “the picture” – maybe he saw the need to get things moving along??**
Loredana: I think I just need to say “What Cyndi Said”! ┬áHe has a heart of gold and is a genuinely great guy. ┬áWhat was your favorite part of the book?Cyndi: Just one? ┬áThere were a couple of moments that brought tears (& joy) to my eyes. 1. ┬áWes’ reaction to Jamie and “the sheep” sickness. A person just doesn’t react like that to someone they don’t love with everything they are. 2. Wes’s interview ┬á(’nuff said ?)Loredana: I’d have to say the interview and the last scene in the book. ┬áThey are such important moments filled with love. ┬áThat’s really the message here…love comes in all forms, but it’s just as strong and wonderful. ┬áI ended the book with a smile and warmth in my heart.
┬áConsidering this series is a joint effort, could you tell it was written by two authors? ┬áHow did you feel about the writing style?
Cyndi:I haven’t read anything of Sarina’s outside of this series ( and yes, I do own a few…) But, I do know Elle’s writing from The Off Campus series. I wouldn’t be able to tell you where one wrote versus the other – it’s very well done for a collaboration – I’ve seen that NOT work and this DEFINATELY works. ┬áI feel like these ladies really know the mind of young 20ish year old men. ┬áMore importantly, they paint them in what I think is a realistic light. I just wonder how the writing is split up…
Loredana: Yeah, I’m a Sarina newbie, but an Elle veteran. ┬áHowever they managed to do the collaboration, it’s was certainly done well. ┬áHad both authors not been on the cover, there is no way I would have known it was done by two authors. ┬áI’ve read other books that felt disjointed, but were able to avoid any bumps or ripples. ┬áI guess two heads are better than one!
Who do you think the authors should write about next?
Cyndi: If my spidey senses are working correctly, I say a “Her” book/series based on Jess and Blake (PLEASE!! *groveling*) may be in our futures.
Loredana: OMG!! ┬áYES!! ┬áI mean, we need to explore this rare breed of dog…chiweiler (um…gotta read the book to understand that one). ┬á
Any part of the book you would change?
Cyndi: Nope – It was such a well thought out plot and there wasn’t anything extraneous to the characters or happenings.
Loredana: Nope…except to maybe to spend more time with Jamie’s family. I want to get to know his mom more. ┬áShe’s awesomesauce.
Cyndi: Oh, you know me. I have some favorite quotes or new terms to hashtag#Samesies#DyinForRyan”I desperate Wes is a fun Wes”
Loredana: ┬áChiweilier…tee hee. ┬áOh, and I wish I could see a picture of men in green shirts (wink, wink). ┬áYep…you have to read the book to get the reference 🙂
At long last, IÔÇÖm twenty paces away, then ten. Then IÔÇÖm opening our door. ÔÇ£Hey babe!ÔÇØ I call out like I always do. ÔÇ£I made it.ÔÇØ I drag my duffel over the threshold, then toss my suit coat on top, abandoning these things beside the door, because all I need now is a kiss.
Only then do I notice that our apartment smells amazing. Jamie has cooked dinner for me. Again. He is the perfect man, I swear to God.
ÔÇ£Hey!ÔÇØ he calls, emerging from the hallway leading to our bedroom. HeÔÇÖs wearing jeans and nothing else exceptÔÇöand this is unusualÔÇöa beard. ÔÇ£Do I know you?ÔÇØ He gives me a sexy smile.
ÔÇ£I was going to ask the same thing.ÔÇØ IÔÇÖm staring at the sandy-blond beard. Jamie has always been clean-shaven. I meanÔÇöweÔÇÖve known each other since before facial hair. He looks different. Older, maybe.
And hot as blazes. Seriously, I canÔÇÖt wait to feel that beard against my face, and maybe my ballsÔÇª Jesus. The blood is already rushing south, and IÔÇÖve been home fifteen seconds.
And yet IÔÇÖm just stuck there in the middle of the room for a moment, because even though itÔÇÖs been eight months since Jamie and I started up together, IÔÇÖm still a little stunned at my own good fortune. ÔÇ£Hi,ÔÇØ I say again, stupidly.
He walks forward, his easy gait so familiar that my heart breaks a little bit. He puts his hands on my traps and squeezes the muscle there. ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt go away for so long. If you do that again, IÔÇÖm going to have to sneak into your hotel room on the road.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Promise?ÔÇØ I ask, and it comes out like gravel. HeÔÇÖs close enough now that I can smell the ocean scent of his shampoo and the beer he drank while he waited for me.
ÔÇ£If I ever get a winning lottery ticket and a day off, IÔÇÖll do it,ÔÇØ he says. ÔÇ£Hotel sex after a game? Sounds hot.ÔÇØ
Now IÔÇÖm measuring the distance to our sofa and counting the layers of clothes IÔÇÖll need to remove in the next ninety seconds.
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about Sarina Bowen
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.
A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.
Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!