Book Review (Excerpt): Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Title: Us (Him #2)
Author: @SarinaBowen @ElleKennedy
Reviewer: @Michelle6803 & @PoisonIvy70
Genre: Sports Romance
Length: 255 pages
Rating: 5 stars


Can 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.

M & I

First things first, Ivy and I loved Him, so when we heard that the ladies were going to write a follow up, we were all giddy as schoolgirls. Ok, now if you’ve read Him (which you totally should), read on. If not, if you haven’t read our joint review of Him, check it out.

If you’ve read Him and are primed and ready to hear our thoughts on Us, read on!

Michelle: Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy they can collaborate anytime they want, and I will read the hell out of their books. Whether separate or together, these two authors can give you a good book.

Ivy: I will admit, sequels make me nervous. I’m always afraid of what I’ll get – will it be a tasty treat after the main meal, or something that will leave a bitter taste in my mouth? So happy to say that this was a sequel that I wasn’t expecting but oh so glad we got.

I mean, I know Sarina and Elle do quality romance, but I was soo engrossed, I devoured this book in one day, practically one sitting (damn those bathroom breaks).

Michelle: Well, to recap the premise of Us – Wes and Jamie are settled in their apartment, Wes a rookie and Jamie coaching for a junior league. Wes and Jamie are in that “honeymoon stage” of their relationship. The only people that know about their relationship is Jamie’s family, Wes’ agent and the higher ups of Wes’ team. Both Wes and Jamie decided to keep their relationship under wraps until Wes finishes his rookie year.

Ivy: I easily got swept up in Jamie and Wes’ relationship again, and the challenges that they faced felt genuine, in character and completely and utterly relatable.

Michelle: Sarina and Elle really brought out some emotions and angst in this book. Could Wes and Jamie relationship keep going? How long could they keep it a secret? I get why Wes wanted to do this, he wants to be known for what he can do on the ice not his sexual orientation. But everything comes at a price and things got a little interesting.

Ivy: The things both Jamie and Wes did to hide their relationship made my heart ache for them. As Wes said though, “a relationship is a relationship” and he was so right – their struggle, beyond hiding their love, was about those little (or big) growing pains any relationship has to go through – whether it be one partner makes more and carries the financial burden, or the other takes care more of the day-to-day details of everyday life, and gets frustrated by it. It was engrossing and well done.

Michelle: I loved Us and much as I loved Him. Sarina and Elle are great storytellers and will also give you that emotional jolt. Wes and Jamie are so sexy together, sigh.  

Ivy: The sex was fantabulous, no doubt. If it was just a smutty read, I’d still recommend it because the heat between them is as strong as ever. Their “MDISH” texts to each other are so funny and I’ll admit I want to see them.

Michelle: Changing it up, can I just say how much I loved Wes’ teammate, Blake? Although annoying and loud, he was a true friend.  

Ivy: BLAKE!!! I called dibs. MINE, MINE, MINE. He was hilarious, I can picture this big, lumbering, yet hot hockey player being deathly afraid of sheep and I want to hug him….with my mouth.

Michelle: I just love how you’re claiming Blake already!  You have some serious sharing issues, but I love you anyway lol.

Ivy: I can share! You know…just as long as you acknowledge that I love him first and he’s in my stable of book boyfriends, I will always let you take him out for a ride. 😛

Michelle: Something very interesting happened between Blake and Jamie’s younger sister makes me wonder if the authors are cooking up another book. My spidey senses are on high alert!

Ivy: I’m so excited to see more of Blake and Jess. Also, I would like a Chiweiler, please lol.

Michelle: If you are fan of m/m books, you need to add Us to your TBR, but first you must read Him.  I hope we get another book with Wes and Jamie because I’m greedy that way, I’m sure you will feel the same.  Us was a little more emotional, but that’s good because it needed that emotional level to make the story strong.

Ivy: Agreed. This had all the elements that I want in a romance, and as a girl who isn’t a big fan of sequels, I would ADORE visiting Jamie and Wes. Fingers crossed we get to see more of them.

That it, folks! This is an adorable, emotional, funny, touching, sequel and we both loved it. This is #ShortiesApproved. Til next time, this is Michelle and Ivy, saying – go read Us.

– Michelle & Ivy

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

Amazon – B&N  – iBooks – Kobo


Click on the image below to purchase book 1:





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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