Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy - Us

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?

Comment: Having Him being one of the books I loved the most in the previous year, I obviously had to try this one as well and this month I added it to my reading list. I'm very glad that it didn't disappoint and gave us the same solid characters we care about from the first book.

In this sequel, we see Wes and Jamie living together in Toronto, the home base of both their jobs. Jamie is working as a coach and Wes is living his rookie year in the Hockey League. Both are enjoying their lives and their relationship but keeping heir feelings a secret is taking a toll on them and in how they face their routines and friends.
Sadly, Jamie gets sick and need to go to the hospital but will that be his wake up call for the problems they need to address before breaking up? Or will their love be stronger than any issue or difficulty?

I'm very happy I loved this book as much as the first. There's an incredible consistency we see in the two author's work that is not something all co-authors can achieve. The words just flow whether we have Wes or Jamie's POV. By the way, I really like how we have them both narrating, it makes everything so much better and special! I wish more author thought about this when writing romance.

The plot is not complicated but it does provide challenges. Living together is one thing, who wouldn't accept a roommate? But to tell others about their real relationship is more difficult... I like how the authors presented this difficulty so well, even when they had things to help them like Jamie's family accepting things. The way a secret weights on you, how you start to doubt and to think if it's worth it, if they can make it together... This is not the worst angst filled story I've read but it does provide interesting situations and states of mind from both of them that it makes it believable how they act sometimes and why it's a struggle. In terms of plot believability and characterization, the story is very well accomplished.

At some point, Jamie gets sick. From then on, there's a change on the attitudes, the way they think about what it means to be together, to try to keep the secret for longer. It was actually very interesting to see them both deal with the repercussions of Jamie's illness and recovery. This changes things but I'm very glad to see everything worked out very well! Well, this is a romance after all.

The relationship between Jamie and Wes is the most interesting part of the story, of course. I liked it how they are so strong together but they keep individual fears, individual ideas that shape their behavior. Wes seems to be more carefree but we know how he has always suffered with his parents negligence and Jamie has the family support but he feels inadequate when compared with Wes, not professionally but in other little things. They still feel the same two wild guys from the first book who took chances in their love and now they are settled. But life goes on and I liked how they faced what was to come with naturalism and not childish behavior.

The secondary characters were amazing, even those who we don't care about. I'm happy to think the world could be as understanding and such a great friend as some characters in this book were. It's always nice to see how reality could improve from fiction when it comes to acceptance and simplicity in just letting other be happy no matter what they are or whom they love.
I'm very hopeful for a new installment, if it ever is written and published!
Grade: 9/10

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