Review: Him (Him, #1) by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy


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5 huge stars!

OMG, I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK! It’s such a fun yet heart-felt read with incredible character dynamics, great banter, steamy sexy time, and a beautiful, emotional, friends-to-lovers romance. It’s a ‘sort-of’ spin off from Elle Kennedy’s Off Campus series, taking place in the same world, with the same level of excitement and intensity, and I couldn’t put it down.

Ryan Wesley and Jamie Canning were the best of friends growing up. They only saw each other for the summers, which they spent at a hockey training camp, but it was the highlight of their year as they spent every waking moment together, getting into all sorts of trouble and training hard for the sport they both love. They stayed in touch throughout the year, but they both lived for their summers together, until one summer when they were 18 changed it all. For four years they haven’t seen or spoken to each other, and now their teams are facing off in the college championships, and from the moment they see each other again all of the memories of the good times they had together come flooding back.

Wes eats, lives and breathes hockey. He is NHL-bound, and keeps the rest of his life simple so that he can concentrate on his career. But his first love was and always will be, Jamie. His feelings for his best friend are what led him to keep his distance when things got out of control during their last summer together, but being back around Jamie, he realises how much he has missed his friend, and he reaches out to try and find that again.

Jamie Canning was my first crush and my first love. But he was never mine to have.

Jamie never understood why Wes cut him out of his life. Sure, things got a little out of control the last time they were together, but he’s thrilled to see his old friend again. Jamie still spends his summers at the hockey camp where he and West spent their childhood, although now as a coach. And when Wes unexpectedly shows up at camp to coach beside him for the summer, the two men find themselves roommates once again, with the whole summer ahead of them. But now there is an added intensity between them – Wes still loves his friend deeply, and unable to hold back his feelings any longer he starts to push the boundaries of their friendship. When Jamie unexpectedly and eagerly responds, everything between these two friends is going to change forever.

“The question now isn’t whether I want to fool around with this man. The question is how I’m ever going to give it up.”

First and foremost, the dynamic between the two guys is absolutely sensational! They seamlessly fall back into their close, easy friendship, and the banter and camaraderie between them is fantastic. And the ease with which their friendship slips into something ‘more’ is beautifully done. It’s natural and feels so effortless, and the two men hold nothing back from each other, trusting each other completely, talking through what’s happening between them and exploring it openly. It’s beautifully emotional and so, so hot.

I’ve been walking around with a hollow chasm in my chest where my heart used to be.
But that gaping hole is full again. My heart is back, because Jamie is here.

Our mouths fit together so perfectly. Every time we kiss, I fall even more in love with him, and it has nothing to do with sex or lust. It’s him.

The book is written in dual POV so we get to know both of the boys well, and see both sides of this fascinating story – Wes finally getting the love of his life the way he has always dreamed and entering into a relationship for the first time in his life, and Jamie struggling to understand what he is feeling, yet at the same time completely open to exploring his feelings and the new physical side of his relationship with Wes. I was absolutely captivated by their journey, it’s all so honest and raw, and completely realistic, and though there are deep feelings involved, the story is written with a great sense of lightness as their friendship is still very much the base of everything happening between them, and that fun, adventurous side of their relationship and their constant bantering is still very much present.

“Ready to come harder than you’ve ever come in your life?” I ask solemnly….
He smiles. “You sure you want to put that much pressure on yourself, dude?”

“My dick and I reached an understanding.”
“Yeah? And what’s that?” I ask curiously.
He shrugs. “We both like you.”

I love both of these characters so much! I could understand what both of them were feeling, and as much as I loved their dialogue, their inner monologues were just as entertaining.

Why hasn’t anyone ever told me the prostate was some kind of magical pleasure zone? Are there unicorns and orgasm fairies dancing around in there?

I’m attracted to women, no doubt about it. I’m also attracted to men, apparently. Wonderful. Complicated fellow, my dick.

I laughed out loud so many times while reading, and the heavier, emotional side of the story is seamlessly blended with the humour and the sexy time as the two men try to come to terms with everything that is happening between. They have a lot of soul searching to do as they as they reassess their lives and figure out what it is they want and exactly how that plays into their future. It’s a beautifully written journey, and I loved every moment of it!

“You really do love me, huh?”
“Always have.” I swallowed hard. “Always will.”

I loved this book! It’s the perfect blend of amazing characters, great dynamics, sweet, sexy, funny, emotional, and a drama-free, chemistry-filled romance with lots of heart. It’s a total winner, and though it finishes off in a great place, I can’t wait to continue on with Wes and Jamie’s story in Us.

Absolutely fantastic – 5 huge stars

Note – I listened to this as an audiobook, and the narrators do a wonderful job. I definitely recommend it!


The Him Duet

Him  businessman working on laptop in black suit

Him (#1)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback

Us (#2)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback


And the spin-off series…



Good Boy (#1) (Blake & Jess)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback

Stay (#2) (Matt & Hailey)
Buy: Kindle Ebook


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