Monday, February 22, 2016

Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Title: Us (Him #2)
Author: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Source: ARC from Publicist
Buy the Book: Amazon
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 heinous 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 life 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.

Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen’s HIM was one of my favourite books of 2015 and is one of my all-time favourites. I could honestly read about Wes and Jamie forever. So reading a second book all about them? I was in heaven. And after reading US, I can now say that I love these two boys even more than I did before.

Ryan Wesley has everything he’s always wanted: a fantastic rookie NHL season and Jamie, hist best friend and the boy he’s been in love with for years. But the outside world doesn’t know that Jamie is his boyfriend, not just his roommate. To protect his first season in the NHL, Wes and Jamie are keeping their relationship hidden. And hiding is taking its toll on Jamie. Jamie has never been ashamed of who he is and wants nothing more than to be with Wes. And if being with Wes means continuing to hide their relationship until the end of the season, Jamie will do it. When one of Wes’s teammates moves into their building, everything starts to slowly unravel. Will Jamie and Wes be able to find their way through the mess together?

I’m always a little worried when it comes to romance novels and sequels. Especially when the couple got their Happily Ever After (or Happily For Now) at the end of the first book. As much as I want to read about my favourite couples forever, any good story is going to involve some kind of conflict and in romance that conflict inevitably ends up being within the couple. I just don’t like it when couples I love in a book are in trouble. I just want them to be together and happy forever. But this other part of me just wants to read about my favourite couples all the time so I get excited when I hear about sequels. When Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen announced that they were writing a sequel to HIM, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to go back to reading about Jamie and Wes, even though I didn’t want anything to happen to them. But I trusted that Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen wouldn’t be writing this story if they didn’t feel like it was worth telling. And having now read US, I can say that this story was total perfection. It showed that even when you get your happily ever after, it’s not always perfect and that there are growing pains along the way. Because that’s just the way that life is and it’s something that Wes and Jamie had to learn together. And I loved seeing these two find their way and fight for each other once again. It was just so great to back to these characters and this story. Even when things weren’t quite going the way I wanted them to go, I was smiling the whole time I was reading. I just couldn’t help it, it’s just the effect that Wes and Jamie have on me. 

When I read HIM last year, I fell completely in love with Jamie and Wes. I absolutely ADORE these two boys. After reading US, that’s even more true. Reading US, I got to see another side of them. Where in HIM they were falling for each other, in US it was about the day to day of their relationship. I loved seeing them that way, even if it wasn’t always easy for them, what with having to keep their relationship hidden from Wes’s team. It hurt my heart to see them struggle, at times it downright broke my heart to see their pain. It hurt to see both of them struggle with the situation and not knowing what to do about it. You could tell that Wes felt horrible because Jamie wasn’t happy, but he was at a complete loss for how to make him feel better. And Jamie didn’t want to to bring Wes down with the fact that he felt miserable which only made him feel worse. I just wanted them to find a way back to being themselves because they’re at their best when they’re together. And now I would like to take a moment to talk about Wes’s teammate Blake. Here’s the thing, at first I really thought I wasn’t going to like Blake and that he would end up screwing everything up. But then he kept popping up and being his ridiculous self and I couldn’t help but laugh at his antics. By the end of the book? I was completely charmed by Blake and now I totally want him to have his own book. Preferably one that also involves Jamie’s sister Jess. Because reasons. Read US and I’m sure you’ll understand and agree with me. 

US was complete perfection. I am so glad that Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen decided to write this chapter of Wes and Jamie’s story. I can only hope that these two authors continue to collaborate because I will read anything and everything they write. 

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