Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Released: July 28, 2015
M/M Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: My weakness is him.
I adore Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years new adult hockey romance series. And I adore Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus new adult hockey romance series. So when I heard they were writing a m/m new adult hockey romance together, I melted into a puddle of goo. Mop me up – I’m done for.
This book is delicious. It combines the tropes of best friends to lovers and gay for you. It’s adorable and super sexy. It made me smile and feel all mushy. The romance takes place at a summer camp. I thought I loved road trip romance the most, but damn it – give me more summer camp romance!!
Wes and Jamie are both star hockey players. They meet at a six-week hockey summer camp in their young teenage years and become best of friends. They reunite every summer and have the time of their lives. While they don’t get to see each other outside of the summer, they send each other boxes full of silly items or pranks throughout the year. It’s just a way to let the other know they are thinking of them. When they are 18, their last year at camp, Wes does something he comes to regret – he feels like he takes advantage of Jamie and he leaves camp and cuts off communication with him for the next four years.
During those next years, Wes comes out as gay to his family and some of his teammates on his college team. Meanwhile, Jamie doesn’t understand why his best buddy won’t return emails or phone calls and moves on with his life. He thoroughly enjoys bringing girls home and doesn’t start anything serious, but is definitely a ladies man.
Now four years later, Jamie and Wes’s college hockey teams have made it into the final four championship tournament. They are staying at the same hotel, so they run into each other. While their initial meeting is awkward, they start talking and try to repair their friendship. A few weeks later, they both go back to their old camp to become instructors for the summer – and they room together in the same dorm room.Wes finally tells Jamie he is gay. Then things happen! Good things! Sexy things! Things that made me squee! Kissing in the rain. Naughty, secret blow jobs. Lustful glancing in the darkness. And this!
Holy shit, I’m going to do it. I’m going to fuck the only man I’ve ever loved.
When one guy has never thought he is gay, and then falls in love with his best friend, it’s hot. Jamie has always been attracted to girls. He has never thought about guys in a sexual way. There was that time at summer camp though— but I’ll let you read that part for yourself to experience just what happens at summer camp to break up their friendship. But I like how Wes deals with it in the present day. He is so scared he took advantage of Jamie and by not being honest about being gay and his true feelings towards Jamie, what unfolded became more seedy.
Anyway – in present day, Wes finally tells Jamie he is gay and Jamie is totally cool with it. But things kind of change between them. I think they’ve always loved each other in their own way, and now that they are older and more mature, they can process and deal with those feelings. Wes has always crushed hard on Jamie, so when their friendship turns romantic, Wes can barely believe it.
Jamie comes to terms with being bisexual without a huge freak out. He has a very supportive family back at home, and not the pressure or guilt of being gay that Wes has to deal with his uptight family.
These two guys fall in love, and it’s sweet and sexy. The sexual tension is ratched up big time. The romance is sultry and hot and cute. It’s a great romance story. Please write more!