Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Posted September 7, 2017 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 21 Comments

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Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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


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.


Romance Roundabout #172 NR
Mt. TBR #108


  Yours All Along by Roni Loren


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.

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Lover Of Romance
4 years ago

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

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

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.

Mary Kirkland
4 years ago

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.

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

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

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

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

Nadene@Ttly addicted 2 reading

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

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

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

4 years ago

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

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

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.

4 years ago

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!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

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.

4 years ago

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!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Jasprit

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

4 years ago

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

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Lexxie

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.

Carole's Random Life
4 years ago

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!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

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

4 years ago

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 :).

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Lola

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.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

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

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

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