Monday, March 7, 2016

ARC Review: Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Him #2
by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Genre: M/M
Release Date: 8 March 2016

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 noisiest 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.

( 5 stars )

I love this sequel of Wes and Jamie. I'm not sure whether my bias is due to the fact that I only read Him a couple weeks ago. So my feeling toward the boys might still be fresh. I was in a book slummed recently, hardly finishing a book in a week, but when I started on Us, I breeze through the whole book in one day.


Although Him ended in a pretty good HEA, I'm still eager to start on this sequel. I love the authors writing style, the characters dynamic and everything about this series. We started Book 2 off with Wes playing pro in Toronto and living together with Jamie, who is working as a hockey coach for teenagers.


While career wise, Wes is having a grand time as the rookie of the year, raking up impressive scores, but on personal side, he is still hiding his sexuality and his boyfriend away from the public eyes. As for Jamie, his work as a coach is not as peachy as he hope for and he is getting antsy about how long he need to pretend to be Wes' roommate, especially when Wes' teammate, Blake ended up being their annoying new neighbor.

I wonder why is there so much hate for Blake. Okay, I admit that I wassexually frustrated and totally annoyed when he keep turning up at inopportune time by banging on the door and ruin the steam.


But once I get to know him and see how supportive he is during the whole'coming out' and dealing with the paparazzi, I sorta warmed up to thisblabbermouth of a mountain-man. If there is a book for him and Wes' sister, I would definitely read it.

Coming back to Wes and Jaime, we do have some trouble in paradise due to external pressure. But as usual, as long as there isn't any triangle and stupid misunderstanding, I can deal. Every couple went through a phase offail to communicate, but as long as it didn't come with a string of misunderstanding, is still acceptable. I find the drama with Wes coming out, facing the media storm and Jamie quarter life crisis were handled pretty well, without going into the extreme of drama for the sake of drama. I still can feel their love and commitment for each other despite their hiccups.

In fact, I enjoyed reading about them going through a new phase in life and doing some soul searching before settling down for the ultimate HEA. So despite a little heartbreak and tears in the middle, I'm still happy with the outcome. I especially love the ending, I bet the photo make for a poignant memory.


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.