Title: Him Him (HIM #1)
Authors: Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Release Date: July 28, 2015
Page Count: 346
Reviewed by: Gigi
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?
Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.
Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.
Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.
Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.
It is ridiculous, absolutely fucking ridiculous, how much I loved this book. I am a tried and true hockey fan and root for my home team The Minnesota Wild and root for any and all M/M hockey romances. My favorites being Frozen Hearts by Teegan Loy, Home Ice by Kate Sherwood and Winging It by Ashlyn Kane. There is just something about the spike of adrenaline these boys experience on the ice and how they carry that spike over into the bedroom that has my heart leaping and my libido humming. And I can honestly say, even with all the great M/M hockey romances I have read over the years, this one is now my favorite.
Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley are two young hockey players on the fact track to the NFL. Both have just graduated from collage and, with their collage hockey careers behind them, Wes will be headed to Canada and Jamie to Detroit in the fall to start in the big leagues. During their summer hiatus, both men work at a hockey camp in Lake Placid teaching the younger generation of greats how to master the game.
Wes and Jamie met at this same hockey camp when they were in junior high and spent every summer together until they graduated from high school. On their last night of camp, right before both leave for collage, Wes challenges Jamie to a shoot-out, but with some pretty high stakes. Whoever loses has to give the other a blow job. Wes has secretly been pining for his best friend for years and has come to the conclusion that he is gay. Wes thinks that setting up this competition is the perfect solution to get into Jamie’s pants and see if the feeling is mutual.
So, the blow job ends up happening and both men seems to really enjoy it, but Wes has a last minute feeling of shame that he took advantage of Jamie and tucks his tail and runs away, breaking off any and all contact with Jamie for the next 4 years. Jamie is hurt and bewildered but gets on with his life as a heterosexual male.
Back to the present time, Wes decides he needs to make amends for the uncomfortable, selfish situation he put Jamie in all those years ago and takes a job at the camp as a coach so he can spend one more summer with Jamie. He is still in love with Jamie but he misses his best friend so much that he is willing to put his feelings aside to get that spark back that made their relationship great.
I don’t want to give much more away so you can see for yourselves how these two eventually begin a HOTTER THAN HELL sexual relationship and how they handle their feelings, but I want to tell you to watch for the huge differences between the boy’s families and how they grew up. (Remember, they only see each other for 6 weeks a year during the summer from junior high to high school.) It makes all the difference when you reach the epilogue, which is mind-blowingly spectacular and also explains the book’s title.
I absolutely LOVED this book. I sat down to read it and did not move until I was finished. This is a mature, honest look at discovering one’s sexuality with a testosterone fueled hockey backdrop and some of the hottest sex I’ve read this year.
I can HIGHLY recommended this book to everyone, not just the literary puck bunnies. Him is enjoyable down to the very last line. Flawless in my opinion. I will be re-reading this when I need a comforting love story that is sure to flood me lots of happy endorphins.