Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Review by Lauren
source: personal copy; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.
Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.
Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend...and a big one to learn about himself.
Review: I've had this book on my wish list for a very long time, and I finally bought an e-book copy and then I still didn't read it. I often find myself trying to read so many review titles that I don't get to the ones I have bought myself. I want to try and change that, and after seeing this book floating around the blogosphere lately (with good reviews), I knew I had to finally read this one. It's a full-fledged story with very three-dimensional characters. However, it's still and easy and quick book to read. There is some angst/drama, as any relationship story, but it doesn't overwhelm the story.
The basic of this story is that best friends Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley used to spend summers together at a prestigious hockey camp until their final summer as campers when Ryan (or as he is called most of the time in the book, Wes), stops talking to Jamie. No fun gag gifts in the mail. No phone calls. No email. Jamie doesn't get what he did or why Wes disappeared on him, but the two reconnect when their college teams face off in a hockey tournament.
The bulk of this book takes place at that hockey camp, as Jamie goes back every summer to coach. While Wes is always asked, this is the first summer he agrees to coach as well. Thrown together as roommates once again, the two have to spend time together and it soon becomes hot hot hot.
Wes is out, but he only ever has casual hook ups because she's been in love with Jamie for years. Jamie thinks he's straight, but he soon realizes he might not be. The two start up a 'romance' of sorts while coaching, not letting anyone know they are hooking up. They say it has to end when the summer is over, as both have been drafted into the NHL and don't need the drama. Of course, not all plans work out.
I really loved this one and I'm glad I finally got the chance to check it out! I'm also really excited that there is a sequel called Us, and it's out now, so I must get a copy. Who knows, I might have read it already by the time you read this review. It looks like there will be a third novel too according to Goodreads, which is great. When it comes to m/m novels, the "sequels" are usually just companion novels. You don't tend to get another book with the same couple and I would love that to happen more.
Back to Him, this is a very physical novel, so if you want all the sex scenes in a romance novel, you won't be disappointed! However, I like that it's more than that too. There is bonding and hanging out. After all, these two are best friends. I like the mix between physical and emotional and Him does it pretty well!