Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Technically, it’s two shirtless dudes, but you get the point.

Genre: Romance, LGBT, New Adult
Pages: 328
Series: Him #2
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Star

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I am in a crappy mood today so I apologise in advance for any lack of enthusiasm, though I’m hoping there won’t be any.

Us is the sequel to Him, one that I was very sceptical about because I am not a fan of a perfectly good standalone being dragged into a second book. But when I read all positive review, even from fans who were just as sceptical as me, I knew I had to give it a shot. Also, I just missed Wes and Jamie too much.

The book is set a few months after the end of Him. Jamie and Wes are in relationship land but there are some problems. For one, Jamie is less and less happy about having to keep their relationship a secret and for not getting to spend much time with his boyfriend. He has insecurities. And when one of Wes’s teammates, Blake, moves into their building and takes it upon himself to come knocking at inopportune moments, things kind of explode.

The problem, initially, is lack of communication, but don’t worry, it’s not infuriating and stretched out like it usually is. They’re both aware that there are problems, they just don’t know what to do about them. There’s a lot of stress on their quite-new relationship. Jamie doesn’t liking hiding his sexuality but Wes doesn’t want to come out just yet because he knows that the moment he does, he’ll go from being a great, new hockey player to a gay hockey player. He doesn’t want his sexuality to be more important than his talent and he also doesn’t know how his teammates might react. It’s a difficult situation and about halfway through, something happens that makes things worse.

All that makes the book a little sad. We don’t get many fun moments between Wes and Jamie (bummer) but the sadness is tempered by Blake’s presence. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t like Blake at all in the beginning. He knew little about the concept of privacy and if it were me instead of Wes and Jamie, I would’ve told him to get the fuck out of my apartment. But, you know, politely.

Except he was such a great guy and so funny that it was impossible to hate him. Really big and goofy heart, that one. I loved him almost as much as the sweet moments between Jamie and Wes. Okay no, nothing can ever be as awesome the sweet moments between those two, but Blake came a little close.

I also, once again, really liked the focus on an aspect of an LGBT relationship that’s not been explored as much. This time it was about how sometimes people act as is being gay makes you a different person, or as if a homosexual relationship is so different from a heterosexual one. There was talk about how, on finding out you’re gay, people seem to focus on that as opposed to what you do or the kind of person you are. That was a struggle with Wes and I liked seeing it.

Overall, this was a sadder sequel than I was expecting but a really good one none-the-less. If you’re sceptical about giving the book a shot, I urge you to try. I still can’t say for sure if the sequel was strictly necessary (the first book had a great ending) but it’s not disappointing. Besides, how could you pass up of more Wes and Jamie? I certainly couldn’t.

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2 thoughts on “Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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