Sunday, July 26, 2015

Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy: ARC Review


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.

Releases: July 28, 2015

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About Sarina Bowen:

Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty contemporary romance from Vermont's Green Mountains. (Her ancestors began logging and farming Vermont during the 18th century. These were rugged, outdoor types without benefit of a laptop or a good latte. It boggles the mind.)

Sarina enjoys skiing, skating and good food. She lives in Windsor County, Vermont, with her family, eight chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

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About Elle Kennedy:

A USA Today bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a BA 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. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

Elle loves to hear from her readers. Visit her website or sign up for her newsletter to receive updates about upcoming books and exclusive excerpts. You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter (@ElleKennedy).

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Review by Yvette:

The prospect of reading an M/M New Adult sports romance is already intriguing but taking into account the fact that it’s co-written by the author of two of my top favorite reads of the year (Elle Kennedy) as well as a second seasoned sports romance author (Sarina Bowen) made HIM a highly anticipated read. Together, Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen have penned a charming, outrageously funny hockey-themed friends-to-lovers romance. Bowen and Kennedy's styles of writing seamlessly blend together in HIM, successfully fleshing out the characters of protagonists, Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley, expounding on their backstories and building a history between the two friends. HIM is an emotionally compelling and thought-provoking read, with a good dose of humor and a steamy romance – basically just what I expected and then some from these two authors.

I love a good friends-to-lovers story and HIM has a juicy twist, reuniting Jamie and Wes years after a drunken hookup had Wes cutting off all communication with his former best friend. From the moment they find themselves working alongside each other as hockey camp coaches, old feelings are stirred up, adding sexual tension to their easygoing friendship. Their every interaction communicates the familiarity and comfort between Wes and Jamie, which seamlessly transfers to their romantic relationship. While the romance between the two is an undeniable draw, what makes HIM stand out are the main characters: Jamie, the laidback boy-next-door type of guy, and Wes, the fun and outspoken flirt. I love their wisecracking rapport, which is rife with inappropriate jokes and sexual innuendo. Their dynamic is just plain fun, whether they’re ribbing each other over a game of hockey or battling for dominance in the bedroom.

Likable characters, steamy love scenes, and an interesting plot without any unnecessary drama, make HIM a light-hearted, enjoyable read. I appreciated the fact that, although there was conflict, it wasn’t drawn out and was relatively light on the angst. HIM made me swoon, tugged on my heartstrings, and provided plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. Not only did this story introduce me to a promising new author in Sarina Bowen, but it further solidified my love for Elle Kennedy, whose first foray into the M/M genre is an undeniable success.

*complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4 Stars

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