Him and Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy {Combined Book Review}

Title: Him (Him #1)
Author: Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Release Date:  July 28th, 2015
Standalone/Series: First book in the Him series
Genre: New Adult – Contemporary – Romance

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 4 stars
My rating in words: I really liked it

What it’s about:

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.

My thoughts:

In my quest to read more new adult, I decided to give the m/m romance ‘Him’ by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy a try. I already read The Deal by Elle Kennedy and was pleasantly surprised and I saw that Him had a lot of great reviews so I was curious. And when I saw it had one of my favorite tropes – friends becoming something more – it pretty much was a done deal.

I was hooked from the very beginning. Both Wes and Jamie immediately stood out and became real characters to me. They were both so different and so well developed and I loved both of their POV’s so much.

This was a super fun and funny read about two friends who discover they may be more than just friends. It’s a story about friendship, love and self-discovery and I loved every single second. There are a ton of sexy scenes, but I felt like they all meant something. They were not just thrown in for the sake of it, but they were all important moments or indicators of some big emotion. Also, they are just plain steamy and well-written, so I did not mind them one bit.

Is it a perfect read? No, it’s not. I missed some secondary characters and some more family interactions. Him is focused super intensely on these two characters so if you want more than that, this is not for you. But if you’re into a fun and sexy m/m romance with 2 super lovable main characters, this is the perfect book for you!

Favorite quotes:

“My weakness is him.”

“Jamie Canning was my first crush and my first love. But he was never mine to have.”

“But here’s the thing about family, Ryan…blood doesn’t mean shit. You just need to surround yourself with people who do love you, and they become your family.”

Title: Us (Him #2)
Author: Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Release Date:  March 8th, 2016
Standalone/Series: Second book in the Him series
Genre: New Adult – Contemporary – Romance

Goodreads link

My rating in stars: 3,5 stars
My rating in words: I really liked it

What it’s about:

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.

My thoughts:

Even though Him is a perfectly acceptable story with a nice ending on all its’ own, I was not yet ready to say goodbye to Wes and Jamie. I needed more of them, so it was definitely a good thing that there was already a sequel out that I could dive right in. And dive right in I did!

Us was pretty different from Him. While Him was the story of two friends falling in love, Us explores the question ‘what comes next?’. Being in a relationship is not all sunshine and rainbows, and definitely not if that relationship gets complicated by being in the spotlight and having to lie and hide your relationship and sexuality from the world. So Wes and Jamie’s relationship was rather strained in this book and it was hard watching these characters go through some rougher times. But through it all, they were still the same two amazing characters I fell in love with and the chemistry between them was still there, always present underneath it all.

This book did give me some of the things I was lacking a bit in Him: more secondary characters and more family interactions. We get to know Wes’ teammates and especially Blake. Blake is a character you can’t help but love, even when he’s being slightly annoying and has the worst timing ever – he’s just such a good and kind friend. And I loved that we got to see more of Jamie’s family and got to see Wes’ interactions with them. They were really the family he never had and it was so beautiful to see.

Overall, though they were quite different, I equally loved both books in this series so far. I’ll definitely be reading book 3, even if it is Blake’s story instead of Wes and Jamie’s. As I said, I loved Blake and I’m pretty sure we will get plenty of amazing Wes/Jamie cameos. And I will never have enough Wes and Jamie in my life.

Favorite quotes:

“Love is friendship set on fire.”

“It’s us. And it’s perfect.”

Have you read Him and/or Us? What did you think about it?

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