Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle KennedyHim by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Series: Him #1
Genres: M/M Romance, New Adult Romance, Sports Romance
Published by Rennie Road Books on July 28, 2015
Pages: 360
Format: eBook
Source: Giveaway
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five-stars      four-flames

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.

The Delight

An endearing, playful, steamed up coming out college to adult sports romance that left me smiling and sighing and sad to part from the guys when the last page came along.

Review

What was I thinking waiting so long to read this one?  I saw so many reviews and the excitement for it by book pals I trust to have similar tastes, but drug my feet.  There is a good side to this- I don’t have to wait for the ones that come after it.

Yes, this was a hat trick read for me from the characters, to the development of the romance, the plot, the setting, and just that extra something special I can’t put a name to.  I enjoyed the present and the past twined together to make sense of things for this pair.  Jamie and Ryan both have star power in their own ways.

Cool and calm Jamie who everyone believes is straight including himself comes up against a crisis of self and of his future when a chance to go pro in the NHL and a reunion encounter with his ex-bestfriend comes along.

Fiery and impulsive Ryan is gay, but doesn’t advertise since there is no doubt he’s headed to the NHL pros.  Envious of Jamie’s wonderful family and hiding a crush that caused him to end his friendship with Jamie, Ryan now has a new chance and wants it.

I loved how this one took on all the tough stuff, but in such a way that it hit just the right note with my responses and emotions.  There was conflict, misunderstandings, and coming of age stuff, but it wasn’t riddled with unnecessary angst.  In fact, the pair could go from heartbroken to hilarious in seconds.  I was convinced of how deep their friendship really goes, but also felt that reality was not swept under the rug either.

And holy hot tamale were this pair horny, hot and heavy- yes, they behaved like two young athletic guys.  They were fun and exciting, but not jerks.

This was just such an easy book to love all around.  I cannot wait to see what comes next for Jamie and Ryan.  I’ve heard this described as a great book to dip one’s toe in the m/m waters and I would agree with that.  I would recommend it whole-heartedly to those who enjoy m/m coming out/new adult sports romance.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #172 NR
Mt. TBR #108
COYER #57

Recommendations

  Yours All Along by Roni Loren

Preview

About 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 currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

Latest posts by Sophia Rose (see all)

  • oh I really need to read this one here. I do love those complex conflicts in stories like this.

    • It was a good one and really focused on the friends to lovers aspect through their whole lives and what made the pair of them tick.

  • This sounds really good. I can see where that would make a good friendship break up but when they get back together it sounds like things really heat up.

    • Yes, all the conflict really made sense and was fitting to their story. Whew, did they heat it up once they got going. 😉

  • Oh, you know it, Lorna. I’m not waiting so long to read Us like I did with Him.

  • I am glad you enjoyed it. Sounds like a good book, but this is not for me. Great review.

    • Thank you, Nadene. Yeah, not every book is for everyone, for sure. 🙂

  • Yay for young and exciting. I like that this revolves around coming of age, sports and growth.

    • It is a fun, enthusiastic book layered with the deeper subjects. I enjoyed how it was put together and engaged me. Great characters for this type of story.

  • It’s great to see you had a great time and want the next one! I did try some books by Elle Kennedy and really enjoyed them so I know I need to try more!

    • I read a few in her one romantic suspense series and loved it. But I think I like this one even better. I also want to try her other new adult football romances.

  • Jasprit

    I’ve heard great things about this author combo, but I just haven’t had time to give their books a go! I will need to rectify this immediately though! So glad to see you enjoyed this one. Great review!

    • That wish list is long for me, too. Hope you enjoy this one when you get the chance, Jasprit. Thanks! 🙂

  • I loved this book, too, Sophia! It was so well done, and it did have that extra something special you mentioned. I found the writing to be so good, too, and I fell in love with the characters. I can’t wait to see what you’ll think of Us 😉
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    • I think your review was one of the ones that really gave me the push to grab this one up. 🙂 I can’t wait for Us.

  • I am kind of wondering why I haven’t read this series yet myself. Everyone seems to love it. I will definitely have to add this one to my tbr list. Great review, Sophia Rose!

    • It’s so hard to get to all the good ones out there. It took me a while, but it was well worth it, Carole. 🙂 Your turn next. LOL

  • Oh i was looking forward to your review of this one! I bought this and the sequel when it was discounted earlier this year, but haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Your review definitely makes me eager to get started on this one soon. It sounds great how it dealt with tough stuff, but wasn’t over the top angsty, sounds like it hit the perfect balance! Great review Sophia! I am looking forward to reading this one :).

    • Smart cookie to snag them while they were on sale. 🙂 Oh yes, for my tastes, it was the perfect balance of angst. Just enough to show emotion without wallowing in it. Looking forward to Us now.

  • Two of my favorite authors! Not surprised at all it was so good 😀

    • They sure were cooking up a feast with this one. 🙂