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.
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Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/1Lath5H
Amazon AU: bit.ly/1Q2mdXR
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1SQdtIa
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Amazon PB: http://amzn.to/1SQdEn3
Amazon AU: bit.ly/1M1OH2w
Reviewed: February 2016.
Most stories end when the main characters find their happily ever after, so it's always fun when authors allow us to revisit our beloved characters again, unfortunately as much as I love to take a step back into the lives of the characters that touched me so deeply the first time around, it can often feel stilted, that certainly wasn't the case here, Kennedy and Bowen captured my attention instantly, falling back into Wes and Jamie's lives was effortless, the more I read, the deeper in love I fell with these two crazy, courageous, sexy men, the more desperate I was for more.
With Bowen and Kennedy's trade mark wit, and snark Wes and Jamie felt like old friends, their love and attraction is clear, their chemistry undeniable but hiding this big love from the world comes at a price, being able to walk down the street holding your partners hand is one of those sweet moments that I think most of us take for granted, being able to update your social media status to in a relationship one of those relationship milestones that has become all to important in today's society, for two people who fought long an hard to cement their relationship, to be able to admit to themselves what they had was special, was worth taking that leap of faith that any new relationship is, is slowly stripping away at the layers of the happy they built around themselves.
"I roll onto my back and start counting the weeks until the end of the season. I don't think I can take this anymore. Not if it makes Jamie unhappy."
The bittersweet part of US comes from the fact that Jamie and Wes knew their budding relationship would face setbacks, they would have to jump hurdles in order to be together, maintaining a secret relationship, pretending to be roommates, purely friends was always going to be tough, denying their attraction to each other in public, keeping Wes in the spotlight purely for his skills on the ice and not his sexual orientation during his rookie year was always the plan, but in the face of starting a new life together even that seemed like a hurdle they could take in their stride, but the more they are both pulled in different directions, as communication breaks down, and it becomes easier to slip into their own minds and focus less and less on actually talking things through open and honestly the more the once solid foundation they thought they had begins to crumble.
"Do I yell at him now? Is that the right thing to do? I don't know what Jamie needs. If I knew, I'd give it to him."
Fear and helplessness are stifling, it can choke you so slowly that you don't even notice it at first, when you suddenly go from happy and in love to feeling confused and alone, no amount of love filled platitudes can bring you back from the brink, peppered throughout those moments that tug at your heart, that make you want to climb into the book just to hold both Jamie and Wes, while brushing their hair away from their faces and murmuring that everything is going to be okay, are moments of giddy anticipation, swoon worthy romance and laugh out loud hilarity, Blake, the loud and lovable larrikin of a team mate that he is, is simultaneously uproariously funny, with his sheep proclamations and bad Mafioso jokes, as he is heart-warmingly sweet. His obnoxiousness is strangely endearing, and balances Wes's uptight and controlling ways, and left me wanting more from not only the hero's of this story but from Blake as well.
For me a lot of the MM I have read steers towards the physical connection only, focusing on the sexual chemistry only to sell the story, Bowen and Kennedy balance the down right blazing inferno that is Wes and Jamie, while centring around a fluid and organic tale about two people who found each other again, found something bigger than either of them had ever experienced, something bigger than labels like straight, gay or bi. Everything about US captivated me instantly, I couldn't put it down, couldn't look away, I forgot about my phone, lost track of time, and found myself so fully immersed in them that I was both desperate for more and didn't want it to end, my only hope is that this isn't the end for these characters. Honest, raw, thought provoking, US is the kind of book you will savour long after your turn the last page.
About the Authors:
Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.
She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.
Stay tuned for a new Vermont contemporary romance series and hockey novels including Rookie Move.
Sarina enjoys skiing, espresso drinks and the occasional margarita. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.
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A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.
Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!
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