Author ~ Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
Published ~ 28th July 2015
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
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.
“My weakness is him.”
Him is a collaboration by authors Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. Both are new authors to me so I was a little unsure as to what to expect. Holy heck did I ever end up loving this book! This sweet and sexy story about two best friends turned out to be such a welcome surprise. I could not help but get wrapped up in this enchanting tale and see how things would work out between our two hockey stars.
“I don’t know what to expect from Wes. With him, you never know what to expect, which was one of the reasons I always liked him so much. Being his friend was a goddamn adventure. He’d drag me into one crazy situation after the other, and I was happy going along for the ride.”
Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley used to spend their summers together at a hockey camp. Their close bond never faltered despite the fact that they only saw each other at camp. That is until a naughty bet they made during the summer right before they headed off to college changed things between them forever blurring the lines of their friendship. What resulted was three and a half years of distance, separation and no communication. When Jamie and Wes finally to come face to face once again at a national hockey championship, the awkwardness is certainly there. However, they can’t help but be transported to a time when their friendship was strong and unbreakable. Will Jamie finally get some answers as to why Wes walked away from their friendship, never looking back?
“I’d forgotten how magnetic he is. As if he burns with higher test fuel than the rest of us.”
Wes is a star college hockey player with an impending NHL contract set to begin shortly. His sole focus is his career and future in hockey so he keeps his love life simple and uncomplicated never straying outside the boundaries of his no commitment hook-ups. When Wes sees his former best friend again, the plethora of feelings he was bombarded with around him in the past comes rushing back and bringing to the forefront regret, guilt and a broken heart due to unrequited love. Jamie may be in the dark as to why Wes cut off all communication with him but seeing him again has made him realize just how much he missed his best friend. When Wes extends an olive branch, Jamie is happy to accept the gesture breathing a sigh of relief that Wes is no longer out of his life completely.
Jamie has returned to their old hockey camp every summer as a coach. This summer, Wes decides to join him and decides to coach the young teens attending the camp right along with his best friend. Jamie and Wes will have one last summer together in their old stomping grounds. One last summer before real life and NHL careers take over. Once last summer where the course of their friendship could forever change once again.
“I wait, and I ache.”
“I can’t fucking do this again. I can’t let myself want him or get my hopes up about the two of us. He’s my friend. He’ll always be my friend and nothing more.”
“Jamie Canning was my first crush and my first love. But he was never mine to have.”
This story is told in alternating POVs and I loved every word. Both Jamie and Wes were such endearing characters. The simplicity of what they felt for one another was so beautiful and raw. As they spend the summer with each other Wes is finally given the opportunity to express all that he’s ever felt for his best friend, even if he may not be able to put his feelings into words. Then we have Jamie who is all of a sudden struggling with a side of himself that he never knew existed. What both Wes and Jamie experience and go through is so honest. Their journeys grabbing a hold of my heart with a vice-like grip. Will they find the courage to fight for what their hearts long for? Can they reach for something that equally terrifies them and makes their hearts sing?
One of my favorite things about this book was the laughs. In the midst of such an emotional tale about two best friends, these authors hit us with some fantastic and well-timed humour. Let me clarify my point:
“I’m attracted to women, no doubt about it.
I’m also attracted to men, apparently. Wonderful.
Complicated fellow, my dick.”
“Wes pushes his finger in deeper, rubbing that spot that makes me see stars. My prostrate. Why hasn’t anyone ever told me the prostrate was some kind of magical pleasure zone? Are there unicorns and orgasm fairies dancing around in there?”
All in all, Him was a beautifully written story that was steamy, fun and tender-hearted. With two captivating protagonists that captured my heart right from their initial introduction, how could I not fall in love with their love story? A story where the sheer emotion transcended through the pages. A tale that left me fanning myself, clutching my heart and happily sighing. This certainly will not be the last time I read something by each of these authors!
“Loved you every summer since I was thirteen years old. Love you even more now.”