ARC Review: Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

» 28 July, 2015 » A-minus Reviews, Elle Kennedy, Sarina Bowen » 0 comments

synopsis

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.

my thoughts

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Ryan Wesley and Jamie Canning are best of friends especially during the summer months they spend on Lake Placid where the two of them are enrolled in a summer hockey program. Despite seeing each other for only two months out of the year, they’ve bonded and considered each other best of friends.

On their last summer there before going off to college, something happened which caused Wes to end their friendship leaving Jamie confused as to why. Fast-forward to four years later and both of their teams are in the Frozen Four Hockey tournament.

By then, Wes is more or less out of the closet and as much as he wants to pursue his feelings for his best friend, he can’t because as far as he knows Jamie is straight. An opportunity to coach teen hockey players at the same camp where he and Jamie met gave Wes an opportunity to come out to Jamie do right by their friendship.

Jamie is still trying to understand what happened all those years ago. And learning about Wes sexuality explained a lot of the decisions Wes made but it doesn’t explain Jamie’s growing attraction to his best friend. It doesn’t explain why he’s suddenly discovering stuff about himself, about Wes and about the fact that he wants nothing more than to spend  time with Wes and explore the growing feelings between them. And holy sweet mother, did they explore.

Him is a great gateway M/M read for romance readers looking to try the m/m category. It has great banter, fantastic chemistry and two very likable leads. I admit that Wes annoyed me, at first. He’s cocky and he made an arbitrary decision that hurt his best friend. But very early on, he won me over with his sincerity and depth of feelings for Jamie.

To be honest I was worried with the set-up because Jamie, for all intents and purposes, is straight. But Sarina and Elle did a wonderful job handling that aspect. Jamie self-discovery felt natural. It didn’t feel contrived. Both Jamie and Wes have to face obstacles, but when it comes to their feelings for each other, it’s clear to me as a reader that they belong together. Their relationship felt raw and sincere, and so, so hot.

A word of advice. Do not, under any circumstances, read this book in public or even semi-public. I’m not a blushing person but I’ve lost count how many times, Wes and Jamie made me blush and smile like a lunatic. Both authors captured the emotion perfectly and I just couldn’t help but fall in love with Wes and Jamie.

I really enjoyed this book. And I think that Elle and Sarina’s style blended so well it reads like there’s only one person writing this book and not two. The writing was seamless and I can’t wait to read more from these two, either individually or together.

Amin

You can purchase HIM on AMAZON and iBOOKS.


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