So, everyone knows by now how much of a sucker I am for a friends to lovers romance. Add in Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy, a little hockey and I’m likely to be checking my inbox for my review copy every five minutes. (Yes, this did happen.) As soon as these authors announced their collaboration on a new m/m romance Twitter and Goodreads were ablaze with excitement over its release. Being a huge fan of both author’s NA romances I was definitely looking forward to His.
Once upon a time Ryan Wesley and Jamie Canning were best friends who spent their summers together at an elite hockey camp. Wes daring Jamie to do seemingly crazy things was the norm, until that one night four years ago when their bet ended in an evening that pushed the boundaries of their friendship and left Wes feeling guilty. So he bailed and cut off all contact. Who would have thought only four years later their college teams might be facing off in the Frozen Four?
I, on the other hand, do have the same damn weakness I’ve always had. It’s still there as I stare up at the big screen. As I watch Jamie Canning stop another dizzying slap shot. As I admire the grace and deadly precision with which he moves.
My weakness is him.
The only thing on Jamie’s mind when he sees Wes is to once again wonder why his best friend dumped him without a word four years ago. Who cares if things got intimate that long ago night at hockey camp, what he’s really upset about is that his closest friend disappeared right when he needed him the most. Wes on the other hand can’t help but remember all the hot as sin sexiness that was their last moments spent together. Jamie is still his perfect man and seeing him again brings it all back. Including the guilt he still feels over manipulating his best friend into letting him put his mouth and hands on that incredible body. What he doesn’t count on is the feelings he has for Jamie being stronger than ever. There really hasn’t ever been anyone else who has made him ache this way. Only him.
I’m a selfish bastard. Or maybe I’m a fucking masochist. Canning can’t give me what I want, but I still can’t stop myself from wanting it. I want whatever I can get– a conversation, a joke gift, a smile, anything. I might not be able to have the steak, but fuck it, I’m fine with some scraps.
I just can’t… I just can’t let him go yet.
So yeah, this book was like ridiculously hot. And angsty. There were moments of funny and sweet, but mostly hot and angsty. Wes is out and is not afraid to take the random frat brother home while at school, but the only person who he’s ever had feelings for is Jamie. Once he sees him again after a four-year absence he knows the two meet ups they had at the championship tournament won’t be enough for him. He jumps on the phone and signs up to be a coach at the same camp where he and Jamie began and lost their friendship. After all, he still needs to apologize. Only Jamie really doesn’t care that Wes is gay and isn’t mad or upset about the bj between them. In fact he’s pissed that Wes would even think that shit would bother him. So they pick up their friendship right where they left off, but now Jamie is the one who can’t keep Wes out of his mind.
“Jamie.” A note of warning this time.
I suck in a gulpful of oxygen into my lungs.
Then I ignore the warning.
His eyes widen as I shove my fingers through his hair and tug his head closer. “What—”
He doesn’t get to finish that sentence, because I’m smashing my mouth against his.
These two burn up the pages. Your eyeballs will sweat, you’ll need an ice-cold drink handy to cool you down and maybe a ‘do not disturb’ sign so there won’t be any unfortunate interruptions. I read this book in one sitting. Once I started there wasn’t any point where I would have been able to put it down. It’s that good. Friends to lovers romance can at times be tricky because there needs to be a palpable sexual chemistry between the protagonists, but also a sense that they’ve also already connected as companions and friends. There needs to be backstory and memories and events that connect them. Wes and Jamie had all that and more. Which is why I completely believed Wes’s inability to let Jamie go again. I felt his tension when Jamie was trying to figure out what his lusting after Wes meant to his sexual identity. I totally understood their jealousies. It also leant credibility as to why Jamie would be so trusting of Wes during all those sexy times where he gave him self over to new sexual experiences.
Their journey is touching and at times a little sad, escpecially when Jamie realizes the types of abuses and bigotry Wes encounters as a gay man. I wanted Jamie to shout out his feelings for Wes from the rooftop and not be afraid to hold his hand in public, but at the same time I could understand how he had to work through his sexual identity in his head. I had a moment in the middle of reading where I wondered how it would all work out in the end, especially since Wes was about to enter into his first year in the pros. But you know what? The HEA? It was perfect. Did I get a little angry at Wes for a minute there toward the end? Yes, I did. After I finished reading and finally sat down to write my review I realized the resolution and confrontation needed to happen exactly like it did. I read the epilogue with a big ole’ smile on my face.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy decide to collaborate more often. At least another story in this world. As far as Him, I most definitely recommend. Final Grade- A
“Want you,” I whisper. Lately, those two words define me.
“Have me,” he says.