5 Stars, Elle Kennedy, Genre Romance, Rennie Road Publishing, Reviewed by Jules, Sarina Bowen

Release Day Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Title: Him

Authors: Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Publisher: Rennie Roads Books

Pages/Word Count: 276 Pages

At a Glance: I could go on and on with things I loved about this book…

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: 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, hotties on hockey skates, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.

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Review: Seriously hot. Seriously swoony. Seriously good.

When I first started reading Him, I was just coming off of a couple of really fantastic reads, both of which were completely different types of books from what I expected this one to be. I worried that I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to do adrenaline-fueled, high testosterone, alpha males. Him blew my expectations out of the water. I quickly realized that I was putting it in a certain box in my head, which also ended up getting blown to smithereens. I absolutely loved this book.

Aside from the guys – who I ADORED – the first thing I didn’t know I would love so much was the hockey! The writing team of Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy has made a hockey fan out of me. No joke. These ladies obviously know their stuff, which made the reading experience that much more fantastic and exciting. During the Frozen Four bit in the beginning, I felt like I was there. And, I loved the hockey metaphors and jokes used throughout the book. The main characters’ love of the game, particularly Wes’s, was so evident it made me love the game.

This book can be classified as so many things: Friends-to-lovers; Second Chances; Coming Out; and GFY being chief among them. But, I have to say I appreciate that the authors didn’t make it a full on GFY cliché. While Jamie has not – aside from the one experience with Wes at hockey camp when they were seniors in high school – ever been attracted to guys, and truly does love women, he does explore his feelings (Okay – he spends an afternoon watching gay porn. Same thing.) enough to know that he IS attracted to other men, not just Wes. I’m glad that the authors went the direction they did with it. It felt much more authentic and true to Jamie’s character.

I could go on and on with things I loved about this book…The friendship between these two, the strength and beauty of Wes, the humor, Jamie’s family, the HOT AS HELL SEX… Seriously – on and on and on. But you need to just go and experience it all for yourselves. Never having previously read either author, I honestly had no idea what to expect. What I got was an extremely tight, well-written, FUNNY, friends-to-lovers story that I whole-heartedly recommend, and am sure I will reread myself more than once. Don’t miss out on this one, guys!

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You can buy Him here:

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Garrett Leigh, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Jules

Review: My Mate Jack by Garrett Leigh

Title: My Mate Jack

Author: Garrett Leigh

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 104 Pages

At a Glance: I completely fell for these boys and this book.

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: A Heated Beat Story

Will Barter’s been in love with his best mate Jack for as long as he can remember. They’ve shared everything: love, life, laughs, even Will’s first kiss. But Jack’s straight, and Will’s long-buried infatuation means nothing until their last summer together draws to a close.

Then one night, everything changes, but with Will bound for university in Leeds, and Jack for his dream DJ job in Ibiza, there’s no time to explore their blurred lines. Before long all that’s left are secrets, lies, and misunderstandings.

In the months that follow, anger and hurt overshadow fifteen years of friendship, and Will must dig deep to remember Jack is his mate… his best mate, and nothing matters more than that, right?

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Review: I’m such a huge fan of Garrett Leigh. It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what it is about her writing that I love; it’s a number of things, really. Her books are typically very emotional and raw. Her writing style is gritty and full of sass and kick ass characters that pull you in. My Mate Jack is all of that with an extra dose of youth and fun.

Will and Jack have been best friends since they were six, and are understandably close. In fact, Will has had a crush on Jack for many years, but knows, of course, that Jack is straight. Or, is he?

My Mate Jack is GFY done right. If you’re worried about not liking the trope in other books you’ve read, don’t be. These guys have such a fantastic connection; everything between them flows perfectly and feels natural and seamless. I adore their friendship and that it’s clear for both of them it remain a priority. Even with all the time and distance between them, they always keep a line of communication open, even if it’s strained.

The author’s use of emails is a fantastic device for showing both the strain of the separation on each of them, as well as their desire to remain connected. It is but one of the many things that work so well in this story. I loved the settings and the dialogue. I loved that absolutely nothing felt rushed, even though it was only one hundred four pages. The supporting characters are great, especially Will’s flatmate, Suki, and his father, Ned. In fact, there wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like about this one…other than wanting more. ;)

I completely fell for these boys and this book. A fabulous start to Garrett Leigh’s new Heated Beat series. Definitely check this one out, guys!






You can buy My Mate Jack here:

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