Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

I. Cannot. Express. How much I loved this book!!!!

Wesley and Jamie, who we all LOVED in HIM, are back, and are more adorable than ever. I’m beyond grateful to Nina Bocci and the awesome authors who provided me with a copy of US in exchange for my review. It’s been a pleasure to read, ladies.

Guys, there’s an excerpt further down after my review. UNF!

mythoughtsRyan and Jamie are now living together and are so so so cute, it’s ridiculous. But not all is sunshine and roses.

Ryan’s teammate moves in their building and is so excited about it, it’s hilarious. Obnoxious and teddybear, eager puppy-type-friendly, he’s practically monopolizing Wes and Jamie’s time together and on top of everything they’re dealing with (getting to it all in just a sec), puts additional strain on their lives.

Wes is doing well in the team; he’s adjusting to his teammates, scoring and all in all – has what seems to be a great rookie year. Jamie is loving his job with his teen team, and since he’s doing his best to be with Wes as much as their schedules allow, not bonding as he should with his coworkers.

While both Wes and Jamie struggle with being closeted, because of Wes’s wish for a smooth sailing his rookie year, Jamie is the one bottling it all inside. He’s struggling with not being able to be himself when Wes’s friend is always there, he’s holding back his anger at his co-coach at work, when the latter is being rudely blunt around the kids. He’s also feeling somewhat a dirty secret.

A cluster of unfortunate events lead to Jamie hospitalized, Wes outing himself, everything turning upside down, and incredible discoveries; about themselves and mostly, about the people surrounding them.

I loved the dynamics between the boys, I loved their dynamics with their teammates and coworkers. I loved getting more of Jamie’s family in this one, and I especially loved what seemed to be cooking between Jamie’s sister and their new, puppy-like neighbor (anything we can expect? a wee novella, perhaps?)

There’s something very special in the way Bowen and Kennedy write MM, and this age, specifically. I loved the attention to the nuances of the characters, the way sex was incorporated in the story, how it represented some emotional aspects in their relationship.

It’s been a great read, and I’m definitely going to check out other collaborations of these two.

My rating: 4.5 stars!

~Eleanor

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excerpt

At long last, I’m twenty paces away, then ten. Then I’m opening our door. “Hey babe!” I call out like I always do. “I made it.” I drag my duffel over the threshold, then toss my suit coat on top, abandoning these things beside the door, because all I need now is a kiss.

Only then do I notice that our apartment smells amazing. Jamie has cooked dinner for me. Again. He is the perfect man, I swear to God.

“Hey!” he calls, emerging from the hallway leading to our bedroom. He’s wearing jeans and nothing else except—and this is unusual—a beard. “Do I know you?” He gives me a sexy smile.

“I was going to ask the same thing.” I’m staring at the sandy-blond beard. Jamie has always been clean-shaven. I mean—we’ve known each other since before facial hair. He looks different. Older, maybe.

And hot as blazes. Seriously, I can’t wait to feel that beard against my face, and maybe my balls… Jesus. The blood is already rushing south, and I’ve been home fifteen seconds.

And yet I’m just stuck there in the middle of the room for a moment, because even though it’s been eight months since Jamie and I started up together, I’m still a little stunned at my own good fortune. “Hi,” I say again, stupidly.

He walks forward, his easy gait so familiar that my heart breaks a little bit. He puts his hands on my traps and squeezes the muscle there. “Don’t go away for so long. If you do that again, I’m going to have to sneak into your hotel room on the road.”

“Promise?” I ask, and it comes out like gravel. He’s close enough now that I can smell the ocean scent of his shampoo and the beer he drank while he waited for me.

“If I ever get a winning lottery ticket and a day off, I’ll do it,” he says. “Hotel sex after a game? Sounds hot.”

Now I’m measuring the distance to our sofa and counting the layers of clothes I’ll need to remove in the next ninety seconds.

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businessman working on laptop  in black suitCan your favorite hockey players finish their first season together undefeated?

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?

Warning: contains sexual situations, a vibrating chair, long-distance sexytimes, and proof that hockey players look hot in any shade of green.

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