Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Reviewed by Joanna

I read this New Adult sports romance series out of order, picking up the first book of the spinoff series Wags before coming to the start. Silly me, as book one and two couple are sweet as sugar.

Wes and Jamie were camp buddies as kids, seeing each other once a year for six weeks at a time at ice hockey summer camp. Wes knew he was gay, but struggled with it, including receiving rejection from his parents. He also knew he was attracted to his best friend – the guy he loved on a number of different levels. One day when they were eighteen, something happened between them, a bet gone wrong. It gave Wes a terrible case of the guilts. He broke off their friendship and stopped attending the camp.

Jamie was incredibly hurt. They’d been so close for years, but all contact just stopped and there was no explanation to the ghosting.

Cue four years later and the boys are now men, and both pro-hockey players. Their teams come up against each other in the Frozen Four, and they’re staying in the same hotel. Wes sees Jamie and he finally decides to keep the freeze to the ice. He extends an olive branch by resurrecting a prank-gift game they used to play, and their friendship sparks afresh.

The competition over, Jamie attends the hockey camp as usual, except now as a goalie coach, and is surprised to hear he had a new roommate this year. Who do you think it is? You got it. Wes signed up. He’s still carrying a torch for his friend, though he knows it’s one sided. Jamie’s not gay. Or is he?

This is a very sweet romance. A whole chunk of the book is set at the summer camp which is by Lake Placid. It’s a winter sports destination, but it sounds so pretty in the summer. It’s got a beach, ice cream parlors, and hot guys wandering about with their tops off. I really want to pay this town a visit. You know, for research purposes.

Steady Jamie and sexy Wes slowly rebuild their friendship in all this splendor, and fall in love right alongside. The interactions between them are heart-warming, and gosh, the first kiss? Picture the scene – a night in a bar, a bit too much to drink, some jealousy via a guy trying to hook up with Wes – then a summer rainstorm and a passionate kiss against a wall. Rain pouring down their faces, soaking their skin. It was epic. I was so moved.

Of course there’s conflict, Jamie’s previous hetero status being the main one, plus a few ‘phobes for them to handle. But it’s limited drama with the focus very much being on the love.

Rating: B+

Click to purchase: Amazon

by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Rennie Road Books

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