Him (Him #1) by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy #BookReview #GTBA15
This is a feel good romance that does everything right. The characters are addicting, the relationship is deep and well founded, and the outcome is believable. While told from dual male first person perspective (present tense), the dialogue of these two young men feels authentic: no shadow of an overtly female brain penning their thoughts and actions. Wes and Jamie are virile, rough young men, and the prose honestly reflects that. HIM is the 2015 GraveTells Book of the Year!
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Him—a story about two hockey player best friends who fall in love—is an easy, heart-warming read, and I didn’t want my time with Wes, Jamie, and Jamie’s boisterous family to end. I haven’t stopped thinking about this book for FIVE months, I enjoyed it that much!
My weakness is him.
Yeah boys, mine too!
This book touches on many of the challenges homosexual pro athletes still face today: discrimination, slander, the pressure to change (or hide) who they are. One of the things I enjoyed must about Wes and Jamie’s story is how their contemporaries and employers treated them fairly even when others did not. And it’s not done in a way that implies favoritism or making exceptions. Business decision made with sound logic mix beautifully with respect and care for the individual people involved.
“What the hell happened to you, Wesley?”
I press my lips together to fight a laugh. Our sexual circus act in the car last night left Wes with a nice shiner on his left eye, courtesy of my wayward elbow. It’s not black, but definitely purplish, and visibly swollen.
“Canning beat me up,” he says gravely.
Pat flicks his gaze to me, then back at Wes. “What’d you do to piss him off?”
Wes mock gasps. “You saying I deserved it, Coach?”
“I’m saying you’ve got a smart mouth and it’s a miracle you don’t get wailed in the face every day of your life.” But Pat’s grinning as he says it. Then he claps his hands and gets back to business. “Maybe you boys can kiss and make up on the trip to the supermarket. You’re on ice duty. Make sure you use some of it on that eye.”
I feel my neck heat up at Pat’s mention of kissing. Coach, if you only knew…
One of my other favorite aspects of this book—aside from the hot sex, which is so scorching partially because of how much these two guys care about each other—is the soul-deep affection and boyish humor. Wes is a man’s man, a championship hockey player on the cusp of going pro, but his antics are wildly unpredictable and his self-confidence is inspiring. Jamie, while also headed for the pros, is clear-headed and laid back. It takes a lot to ruffle this guy, and he supports those he cares about.
I let my eyes linger on Wes. His gait is so familiar to me. The way he carries his shoulders hasn’t changed in the nine years I’ve known him. The way his hamstrings tighten with each step is as familiar as my own hand.
There’s a warm feeling in my belly when I look at him. And it’s not just sexual. It’s…comfortable. Like we’re close even when he’s twenty yards ahead. I wear a consciousness of him like a second skin.
Straight up (har har), this is a feel good romance that does everything right. The characters are addicting, the relationship is deep and well founded, and the outcome is believable. While told from dual male first person perspective (present tense), the dialogue of these two young men feels authentic: no shadow of an overtly female brain penning their thoughts and actions. Wes and Jamie are virile, rough young men, and the prose honestly reflects that. I will definitely be looking for more books like this from both of these authors!
Snag your copy of HIM on Amazon here*! (*GT afiiliate link)