Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy: Review

Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy: ReviewUs by ​Elle Kennedy, Sarina Bowen
on March 8, 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports

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?

Alexis says…

There is nothing better than the author dream team Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. Their ability to weave together such a great love story and pull it off flawlessly is part of the reason I love them together. Plus, can we talk about the off-the-charts hotness?!

Us takes place a bit after Him. Wes is in his rookie year of playing hockey and Jamie is coaching. Job-wise these two are doing really well. Personally…eh…not so much. You see, these two have to keep their relationship under wrap so that leaves them in a bit of turmoil. Both of them haven’t really taken to meeting new people as they don’t want to live a lie out in public and instead hole away at home. Unfortunately real life does get in the way and things don’t always work out the way you exactly want them to.

My heart really broke for both Wes and Jamie at different times. Wes is still his sexy self but there is a vulnerability to him due to his selfish parents. He’s doing so fantastic during his rookie year and doesn’t want his sexuality to overshadow his game. But in the end, it’s his love for Jamie that rules his heart, not hockey.  The one pivotal scene in this book will leave even the non-emotional types tear up a bit.

Jamie is not doing as well as one would think. He’s hiding behind feelings of insecurity that threatens them.   He also is having a very hard time keeping is romantic life shrouded in secrecy. Which is absolutely understandable as he has less to lose then Wes does. Eventually there does come a breaking point though.

I think what makes this story so great is that the is such a realistic feel to what Jamie and Wes are going through. It’s the struggle that makes the relationship that much more important. Not once do you question that these two don’t love each other nor do they NOT belong together. Us is a great follow-up story that shows that not all love stories are done once you get that HEA that maybe there’s an even bigger one still on the horizon.

One of the best things that I took from this book was the quote below, never have I agreed or fallen in love with a saying. There is so much truth to it.

“Love is friendship set on fire.”

Lastly, I think there needs to be another book written for Blake. He was a great addition to this book as Wes’s teammate as well as their ridiculous neighbor. He brought some great comic relief.



At long last, I’m twenty paces away, then ten. Then I’m opening our door. “Hey babe!” I call out like I always do. “I made it.” I drag my duffel over the threshold, then toss my suit coat on top, abandoning these things beside the door, because all I need now is a kiss.

Only then do I notice that our apartment smells amazing. Jamie has cooked dinner for me. Again. He is the perfect man, I swear to God.

“Hey!” he calls, emerging from the hallway leading to our bedroom. He’s wearing jeans and nothing else except—and this is unusual—a beard. “Do I know you?” He gives me a sexy smile.

“I was going to ask the same thing.” I’m staring at the sandy-blond beard. Jamie has always been clean-shaven. I mean—we’ve known each other since before facial hair. He looks different. Older, maybe.

And hot as blazes. Seriously, I can’t wait to feel that beard against my face, and maybe my balls… Jesus. The blood is already rushing south, and I’ve been home fifteen seconds.

And yet I’m just stuck there in the middle of the room for a moment, because even though it’s been eight months since Jamie and I started up together, I’m still a little stunned at my own good fortune. “Hi,” I say again, stupidly.

He walks forward, his easy gait so familiar that my heart breaks a little bit. He puts his hands on my traps and squeezes the muscle there. “Don’t go away for so long. If you do that again, I’m going to have to sneak into your hotel room on the road.”

“Promise?” I ask, and it comes out like gravel. He’s close enough now that I can smell the ocean scent of his shampoo and the beer he drank while he waited for me.

“If I ever get a winning lottery ticket and a day off, I’ll do it,” he says. “Hotel sex after a game? Sounds hot.”

Now I’m measuring the distance to our sofa and counting the layers of clothes I’ll need to remove in the next ninety seconds.



About ​Elle Kennedy

A RITA-award nominated 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 publishes with Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Harlequin Blaze, Samhain Publishing, and NAL. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college.

Waiting for more Ivy Years? You can read more about upcoming volumes in the four book series at

Also, the Gravity series.

Sarina enjoys skiing, espresso drinks and the occasional margarita. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.