Series: Him #2
Authors: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
Release Date: 8th March, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age: New Adult
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.
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.
Kindle Friends Forever 5 ★ Review by Rachel McEwan & Sharon Thérèse Nuttall
** Arc provided by authors in exchange for an honest review **
We were absolutely thrilled when we heard Jamie and Wes were getting another book! The first book in their story, ‘Him’, was one of our all-time favourite m/m reads of 2015, so when we were offered the opportunity to read and review, we jumped at the chance yearning for more. This books picks up five months into their new life; hence, you really must read these books in order. Just like the first book, we inhaled the continuation of their lives in Toronto and couldn’t get enough of this special couple starting off their careers in their much loved sport; hockey! We did admit to being a little nervous when starting this read because when we left Jamie and Wes, they were in a good place. So what happens to them in this book? Hmm…that would be telling, wouldn’t it! However, what we will tell you is this. There are no-holds-barred telling you the experiences of what gay men encounter in a sport which is mainly dominated by men.
“Can’t I stay in my happy place?”
“Wasn’t I just in your happy place?”
Wes is starting his rookie year with his new team and desperately wants to make a name for himself but for all the right reasons. By that we mean his talent at the game he loves. There are two things in world that mean the world to Wes. Hockey and Jamie. He never in a million years thought he’d land the guy of his dreams. Let’s face it, his chances were not great, the fact that Jamie was only into the ladies, too! As far as he is concerned, he’s living the dream. What he didn’t anticipate was having to live a lie which doesn’t sit well with either of them. This is when things start to take a turn down a road neither of them is expecting.
“If I ever doubted his love for me, I’m an idiot”
Jamie! Wow, what a guy! We adored him. In fact, given the choice of having to choose between them…we’d have to say, no way, can’t do it! He’s also found where his talents lie; not actually playing hockey like Wes but teaching young kids and he’s really great at it. Both of their jobs involve a great deal of travel which conflicts greatly with the life they want to live together. Like any relationship starting out anew, there are teething problems and also their individual responsibilities to other people in relation to their jobs which is okay but when you add in secrets into the mix, well that’s when the cracks begin to show.
“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.”
“If I ever get a day off, I’d do it. Hotel sex after a game? Sounds hot.”
The supporting characters in this book are definitely worthy of a mention. You get more of Jamie’s loving and very supportive family who absolutely adore their son’s choice in partner and who can blame them! What’s not to love about Wes! You also get to meet Wes’ team mates who we absolutely fell in love with. Especially one of them. Blake, is a breath of fresh air and some of his dialogue was hysterical! Let’s just say we don’t think we’ll look at sheep in the same way ever again! Or even the horrendously bright green shirt worn by one of the characters which he took great pleasure out of mocking and was to become a symbol of friendship regardless of the make!
“You didn’t tell me he had a headache!”
“I didn’t know!”
“What kind of nurse are you?”
“The kind that plays hockey!”
Told in first person from both protagonists’ point of view is our downfall. We are absolute suckers for this kind of structural writing. Add an excellent and touching dialogue, narrative flow and well-constructed storyline… how can one not read it in sitting? We did! Making the huge mistake of starting it late one evening, we didn’t want to stop until the very last page was read. Yeah, we literally consumed them up with an insatiable gusto and finally finished when dawn broke! Nevertheless, our synchronisation wasn’t exactly on par. One of us had to the ask ‘the question’ as to whether Wes and Jamie would have their happy ending or not. Never one to let on, it was kindly refused. And if you want to know the outcome of a romance second to none, you’ll have to one-click! What we did feel strongly about was after reading the last chapter. The lack of epilogue. It was as if these two authors whose writing talents and teamwork which we consider to be second to none, have gone out of their way to tease us even more! We have to underline, nooo…highlight a couple of points here. Jamie’s sister, Jess, and Blake whose sense of humour and compassion overrides all the sad events have to be revealed. Please! We really did have good vibrations from these two wonderful characters. And despite Wes and Jamie leaving us grinning from ear to ear most of the time, and apart from wanting to jump in to our Kindles and having a serious chat with two these guys when the complications outweigh common sense, we need more about these adorable guys who stole our hearts.
As you can imagine while reading our review, awarding five stars is nothing less than merited. We hope to be able to read many books by these two authors who have enchanted us, brought tears to our eyes, made us crack up and stirred our emotions with such ease. Bravo to you ladies!
“If being queer means skating like Ryan Wesley, I’m going to have to encourage the rest of my players to give it a whirl.”
HIM: KFF’s 5 ★ review & purchase links HERE
MEET THE AUTHORS
Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.
The Ivy Years is her bestselling series. Centered around the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college, The Year We Fell Down began breaking hearts in March, 2014. There are three novels and a novella in the series so far. Click here for The Ivy Years updates.
For lovers of angsty snowboarding heroes, Sarina also writes the Gravity series! Coming in From the Cold features a downhill ski racer and one of the most unique plot conflicts in contemporary romance today. Falling From the Sky is book #2, about a freestyle snowboarder who nearly loses his life in the halfpipe.
Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.
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 writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!
STALK THE AUTHORS