Early Review + Excerpt: Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
Series: Him #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: March 8th 2016
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the authors in exchange for an honest 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 loves–Jamie 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.

Jamie and Wes are back and better than ever!!

Love is friendship set on fire.

Us was a highly anticipated sequel to a book I adored last year, and if you can believe it, I loved Us even more than Him! Going into this, I had no idea what direction Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy would take Wes and Jamie’s story, but I had faith in these two authors, and they didn’t disappoint. Us is another sexy, hilarious, heartfelt read, but what’s different about it from its prequel is that it felt a lot more meaningful to me. Parts of Us made me freaking tear up, and I almost never cry for books! If you loved Him, you will no doubt love Us, so make sure to get your hands on it as soon as you can!

I fucking long for the day when I can proudly introduce Jamie Canning as my boyfriend. When I can talk to my teammates about my personal life and tell them about Jamie’s amazing family, or invite them over for drinks without having to see Jamie duck into the guest room when he has to go to bed. Because he’s not a guest in our condo, dammit. It’s his home. And he’s my home.

Ryan Wesley is living his dream – playing professional hockey and living together with his best friend and love Jamie Canning in Canada. Except… he can’t live his dream out in the open because he’s keeping the fact that he’s gay and has a boyfriend a secret from the hockey league. Jamie goes along with it, because he doesn’t want to be the reason Wes’s rookie season doesn’t go well – until things start spiraling out of their control. Nosy people start invading their lives, their relationship becomes strained from the time apart when Wes is away at games, Wes and Jamie are put on the spotlight… and life just gets too hard.

But I chose happiness over other people’s skewed opinions and cruel judgments. I chose Wes.
But now I have to hide that choice. I have to pretend that Ryan Wesley isn’t my soulmate.

This book was everything. I seriously loved it, even when I hated the fact that these two wonderful, sweet, sexy, adorable men had to hide their love for one another. Their relationship gets rocky and strained in a way I didn’t expect, and everything feels raw and real, but I honestly couldn’t put this book down. My heart hurt for Jamie and Wes, for the loneliness and depression they face, but these two are the type of characters who will put a smile on your face even when everything seems down. The bond and love they share is beautiful, and I have to say, I love these two even more now after the trials and challenges they had to overcome to make their relationship work.

I loved being back with Wes and Jamie. And I loved the new secondary characters who are introduced. Blake is a hilarious, crazy teammate of Wes’s, and I can’t help but hope he’ll have a book of his own (with a certain someone). I really loved Us even more than Him, because this sequel made me FEEL so much more. I’m so happy that Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy decided to write more Jamie and Wes, and I’m praying that they’ll collaborate on more books!

4.5 hearts

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Now here’s an excerpt from Us! ❤

excerpt button

At long last, I’m twenty paces away, then ten. Then I’m opening our door. “Hey babe!” I call out like I always do. “I made it.” 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.

“Hey!” he calls, emerging from the hallway leading to our bedroom. He’s wearing jeans and nothing else except—and this is unusual—a beard. “Do I know you?” He gives me a sexy smile.

“I was going to ask the same thing.” I’m staring at the sandy-blond beard. Jamie has always been clean-shaven. I mean—we’ve known each other since before facial hair. He looks different. Older, maybe.

And hot as blazes. Seriously, I can’t wait to feel that beard against my face, and maybe my balls… Jesus. The blood is already rushing south, and I’ve been home fifteen seconds.

And yet I’m just stuck there in the middle of the room for a moment, because even though it’s been eight months since Jamie and I started up together, I’m still a little stunned at my own good fortune. “Hi,” 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. “Don’t go away for so long. If you do that again, I’m going to have to sneak into your hotel room on the road.”

“Promise?” I ask, and it comes out like gravel. He’s close enough now that I can smell the ocean scent of his shampoo and the beer he drank while he waited for me.

“If I ever get a winning lottery ticket and a day off, I’ll do it,” he says. “Hotel sex after a game? Sounds hot.”

Now I’m measuring the distance to our sofa and counting the layers of clothes I’ll need to remove in the next ninety seconds.

Reading Order: Him series

Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

#1 ~ Him: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Us: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads


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Release Day Review: Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
Series: Him #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 28th 2015
Links: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the authors in exchange for an honest review

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.

I adored this book so hard, y’all. I mean, I had no doubt I would – I really enjoyed Sarina Bowen’s other M/M romance, The Understatement of the Year, and Elle Kennedy is now one of my FAVORITE authors because of her Off-Campus series. So the two of them writing a book together? Sweet perfection. Both of their writing styles meshed perfectly well together, and they’ve created a book that is pure goodness. And Him is so, so, so good. This was the best combination of sweet, funny, and sexy.

I love friends-to-lovers romances, and when you throw hockey in, I’m a goner. Wes and Jamie have been best friends since attending hockey camp each summer together. But after a naughty bet, lines are blurred and Jamie is cut off completely from Wes, never hearing from him for four years. Now in the midst of their hockey careers, they come into contact for the first time in years, and everything they used to feel for each other at camp – friendship, camaraderie, love – comes rushing back.

I have the same damn weakness I’ve always had. It’s still there as I stare up at the big screen. As I watch Jamie Canning stop another dizzying slap shot. As I admire the grace and deadly precision with which he moves.
My weakness is him.

I loved how Wes and Jamie clicked, both in the past and the present. They make the best of friends, and eventually the best of lovers. But it takes a while to get there – while Wes is an openly gay hockey player, Jamie doesn’t even realize his feelings for Wes have grown past friendship until he gets jealous over Wes flirting with another man. Soon enough, they can’t resist one another, and the chemistry between them flames hotter than ever.

Our mouths fit together so perfectly. Every time we kiss, I fall even more in love with him, and it has nothing to do with sex or lust. It’s him. His closeness and his scent and the way he soothes me.

I LOVED Wes right from the start. He’s hilarious and sweet, and my heart was aching for him and his unrequited love for Jamie. Jamie, though, I took a bit longer to warm up to. But once I witnessed the two of them together, everything fit. There’s just an incredible, solid foundation of friendship that love grew so naturally between them. My heart just wanted to burst with happiness whenever Jamie and Wes were together.

The best part of Him (besides the HOT M/M sex, of course) was the depth of Wes and Jamie’s characters. Wes has been in love with Jamie for years, and now he’s given the chance to show that love physically and emotionally, if not verbally. Jamie has his own journey of self-discovery, realizing things about himself he never even contemplated. He comes to terms with the fact that he enjoys both men and women, though that doesn’t diminish one bit of the feelings he has for Wes.

“Loved you every summer since I was thirteen years old. Love you even more now.”

Him was a simple and quite uncomplicated read. While it didn’t WOW me or make me feel any super intense emotions, I still loved it. It’s an easy, light, fun read with some crazy hot sexy times between two best guy friends. It’s a feel-good romance by two fantastic authors I really wish will write more books together. I’ll honestly read anything Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy write together, M/M or no M/M, because Him was so well executed with the dual POVs. I highly recommend this book for romance or M/M fans!

4 hearts

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: Him series

Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

#1 ~ Him: Ebook • Paperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Us: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads


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