‘Him’ (Him #1) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. Audiobook released March 8, 2016 by Audible Studios. Narrated by Teddy Hamilton and Jacob Morgan. Length: 8 hrs 4 min.
Why Mtsnow listened to this story: Well, I like hockey, California surfer boys, Canada, and tattooed bad boys. And each of the Narrators’ voices as well as the audio snippet sounded intriguing. Not typically a fan of authors using two narrators, but I very much enjoyed it here, as both guys fit their characters optimally.
A copy of this audiobook was purchased by the reviewer at own expense for the ‘new-to-me author’ category.
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.
This book was a first for me in two ways. It was the first time I’ve read or listened to either of these authors, and it was the first time having two narrators REALLY worked well for me. The voices of these two guys was fantastic. Hit the perfect storm of actually sounding like the right age of the characters, touches of vulnerability, wise cracking sarcasm, and very sexy. Even if the trope may have been overused in this genre, it was a pleasure to lose myself in this story, and getting to know both Wes and Jamie, as well as learning a little bit more about hockey, too.
Up front, one thing I noticed is that many reviews tried to plug it into the GFY category, but to me it DEFINITELY was NOT that at all. It very clearly fell into either the BISEXUAL (and Jamie admits it to himself towards the end, as he does appreciate the male form when he starts to pay attention) or the PANSEXUAL category, as Jamie admits since he is adventurous, and enjoys sex in all its forms, that it’s about the person, not the parts. Finally someone who is open to other possibilities without having to put themself into a box!
Now, with the snippets we get into Jamie’s home life (Loved his mom), with his big, loving, Northern Cali family (he’s one of 6 kids), you get the impression that his upbringing helped him be okay with whatever revelations come his way about himself and his sexuality. Not so with ‘Wes’.
Unfortunately for Wes, well, he has an aloof trophy wife mother, and a very uptight, rich and arrogant father that’s all about disconnect with his son. He has no use for Wes, other than how he can make him look good to his colleagues. All at the expense of belittling his son’s coming out in his freshman year of college, saying it was either a phase, or a way for his son to get attention. So Wes says screw that, and throws himself into hockey, which he just so happens to be exceptionally good at. And, he’s out and proud NOW, to his teammates, but wasn’t to his best friend back at hockey camp. So now he is not able to commit to anything or anyone but hockey and quick hookups due to being in love with his former best friend.
The premise of this book pretty much stands on the ol’ lack of communication, immaturity, and assumptions young people make when they think the world revolves around them and their choices. Wes big time seems to always have a guilty conscience, especially about Jamie. But I love how Jamie, well, he’s so calm, even keel, goes with the flow, and is just an all around nice guy that the story ends up not having a lot of angst.
It’s actually a pleasure to listen to these guys talk, interact with their friends, each other, former or potential lovers, and grow in themselves and how they perceive the world. The authors did an excellent job of not making either MC sound whiny, just confused and trying to figure things out in the past, the now, and in their future.
Highly recommended for some not so deep, but very pleasant listening to two young hockey players as they fumble through their issues, and come out at the other side knowing themselves a little bit better. Not exactly an HEA but a real good HFN.
9 of 10 pots of gold = 90% out of a 100% or 4.5 of 5 stars
Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of New England.
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.
With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of the RITA award winning HIM, and its sequel, US.
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!