Review & Excerpt ♥ Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

March 8, 2016 Angela Excerpts, LGBT, Reviews, Romance

Review & Excerpt ♥ Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle KennedyUs (Him, #2) by Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Series: Him #2
Published by Rennie Road Books on March 8th 2016
Genres: LGBT, Romance
Pages: 255
Format: ARC
four-half-stars

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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.

It seems like I’ve been waiting forever for this sequel to Him, and overall Us is a success. Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy do an admirable job of integrating endearing protagonists, humor, and steam—with a smidge of angst on the side—into an enticing storyline.

 

Us teaser

 

The story picks up with Wes and Jamie living in Toronto. Wes is enjoying his rookie year in the NHL, and Jamie is coaching a high school junior majors team. Their jobs keep them travelling a lot so they’re learning to deal with the difficulties of being apart more often than being together. Adding to the strain, Wes hasn’t come out to his teammates so he and Jamie must pretend to be roommates rather than lovers.

I’ve come to adore Wes and Jamie so I was desperate for them to get their acts together and start communicating. I typically find lack of communication irritating because it just seems childish. In this case, it wasn’t annoying as much as it was painful seeing Jamie and Wes fall into a tense and awkward relationship. Throughout it all though, you can feel their love, and I understood that their reluctance to share their feelings stems from fear of driving the other away.

What really frustrated me was Wes and Jamie going to extremes to keep their relationship hidden from Wes’s teammates and the public. Wes came out to his team’s administration in the previous book—who were very understanding—and he has always been open about his sexuality with his friends and former teammates. I didn’t understand the necessity to go back in the closet. Would being openly gay really affect his success given Wes’s obvious talent? And so what if it did? He was willing to lay it all on the line before.

I also struggled with Wes’s teammate, Blake. He moves into the same building as Wes and Jamie, and while he means well, he’s beyond annoying and intrusive. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why they put up with him. He kind of grows on you though. Like a fungus. I kid, I kid.

This book is more serious than the previous one, but there’s still an abundance of humor and tenderness. Jamie and Wes just fit. Period. This story is a scorcher, and leave it to Sarina and Elle to make very naughty sexting also hilarious. Jamie’s family is back and they are a real highlight of the book.

I was happy to be reunited with my boys. Despite a couple bumps, it’s a wonderful ride toward a happy ever after.

Recommended for fans of:
M/M romance
Hockey
Lime-green checkered shirts

** Advance Reader Copy provided in exchange for an honest review. **

Excerpt

Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
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.

four-half-stars

About Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy

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!

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.



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