Us, by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Series: Him, Book 2
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Release Date: March 8th
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Us is a sequel and I recommend reading it after Him.
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?
Sports – Hockey
Somewhere my friends are probably laughing, but I’m gonna say it and face the mocking to come:
I’m officially a fan of hockey romances.
And it’s all Sarina and Elle’s fault.
When I read Him last year, I knew nothing about hockey, except what my sports-fan friends rambled about while I tried to tune them out. (I love you guys, really.) But Bowen and Kennedy wrote such a vivid, fascinating world of competition and friendship that I found myself intrigued. With Us, the journey is complete. I’m a fan, and there’s no going back!
What I’m saying is that this is a book for sports fans and non-sports fans alike. The authors bring you into the world of competitive hockey in such a way that you never feel lost or confused, and show the human side of the sport. It’s not about hitting a
ball puck with a stick, it’s about teammates and family and the reasons why people play.
Returning to Jamie and Wes’ romance was perfect. Their HFN ending in Him was satisfying, but left a few threads that Us picks up and neatly ties together.
And the issues these boys face… Sarina and Elle really know how to write angst-infused romance that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Coming out, family, and a sport laden with homophobia… there’s no easy HEA for Jamie and Wes without a lot of challenges to overcome. And huge kudos to the authors for making Jaime’s bisexuality an integral part of his character, and not just a throw-away line.
At times I did feel like the drama was a bit forced. Not unreasonable, just layered on a bit thick in places. It made me wonder why the characters were reacting with as much enthusiasm as they did. I love angst and drama, and I think it’s essential to drive the plot in a novel, but there were a few times this novel skated the line with “too much”.
This is one of those books that you won’t be able to put down. Schedule a few hours of reading time before picking it up and put a DO NOT DISTURB sign on your door.
The only other hockey romance that I’ve ever read was Avon Gale’s Save of the Game, which was exquisite but had a very different feel from Him and Us. So if you like Avon’s hockey romances, I’m betting you’ll like Elle and Sarina’s, since they’re all extremely well-written and handle the combination of sport and people perfectly.
Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont. The Ivy Years is her college hockey series. There are three novels and a novella in the series so far.
Elle Kennedy is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. She 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!
You can buy Us from Amazon.com!
I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.