US by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Profile portrait of businessman working on laptop  in black suit at studio

 

Authors: Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Rating: 5 stars

Genres: New Adult, M/M Romance

Release Date: March 8th, 2016

ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

 

blurb

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 he knows 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 lie 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?

 

divide

As excited as I was to have another book with Jamie and Wes, I have to admit I was a little nervous. What if something happened in US that would take away from how wonderful HIM was? However, with each turn of the page, that worry dissolved away. Holy moly, US is perfect. This book is laugh out loud funny, has moments that will punch you in the gut, and is filled with steamy scenes and dirty talking. It’s an emotional roller-coaster that will pull you in from the first word and stays on your mind long after the last.

US takes place a few months after HIM leaves off. Wes and Jamie no longer have the safety bubble of camp to hide in- they have to try to manage their relationship in the real world. Well, sort of, considering they can’t officially come out as a couple, and are stuck being just “roommates”. Needless to say it’s not easy, and takes a toll on both of them. You can really feel their pain as they struggle to maintain a relationship that is so precious to both of them, but is not accepted by everyone. Their journey throughout US is raw, full of frustrations and even heartbreaking at times. Admittedly, I shed a few tears. Don’t panic though- there is still plenty of Jamie and Wes banter, romance and scenes so sexy, I was giggling like a school girl. You also get to see a much softer, vulnerable, sweeter side of Wes. I didn’t think it was possible to love Wes anymore, but US proved me wrong.

In addition to Jamie and Wes, you also see some familiar faces: Jamie’s family. That made me so happy, because I love that crazy, off the wall Canning family. It was also nice getting to know Wes’ new teammates… one in particular really grows on you. To the point where I was hoping there would be an announcement he gets his own book. 😛

One of the best things about US is the writing. Just like in HIM it’s flawless. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t realize two people wrote this book together- Bowen and Kennedy mesh so well together. They really brought their words to life; you can’t escape feeling every emotion that Jamie and Wes are feeling. Bowen and Kennedy both have this amazing gift to make you truly connect and care about the characters they are writing about. And we talk about their canning ability to write from the male POV? Their male characters (not only in this book, but their others as well) are so realistic and authentic. I’ve read enough books where the male characters read as female voices, that I’ve grown to appreciate strong male voices. Bottom line: Bowen and Kennedy know how to write incredible books, and US is no different.

There is a lot more I want to say, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Trust me when I say you don’t want to miss this book. Bowen and Kennedy have truly created something special with this book. I’ve read a lot of great books lately, but few have touched my heart the way US has. ♥

Side note: You don’t have to read HIM before you read US but I strongly recommend it.

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Sarina Bowen:

Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of Vermont.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.

With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of HIM and US.

*She has two new series coming out this year!*

Elle Kennedy:

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. 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.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

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