Him, by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Him

Grade: A-

Doing it at: 55%

Catnip: Hockey Players, Friends to Lovers, Childhood Crush, Summer Camp Romance, All the Feels, Tattoos, All of the P, None of the V, Dual Narrative, #TeamAnal

Shame Scale: Low shame. This was a sweet book.

Fantasy Cast: Kris Letang, David Rundblad

What do we taste like?: the rain, beer, something addictively masculine

Book Description:

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. 


I recently read The Deal, by Elle Kennedy – which was also about a hockey player – and liked it a bunch. So when I saw that she was collaborating with Sarina Bowen on a M/M hockey romance, that was pretty much all I needed to hear to pre-order it. I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll keep on saying it: M/M romance is super hot you guys. All of the P, none of the V. It’s all rock hard abs and tight buns, with nary a boob in sight.

This one starts out with Ryan Wesley (Wes) and Jamie Canning, two college hockey players on opposite sides of the country, realizing that they’re both about to play in a big important championship series (sorrynotsorry, I don’t know if it was a real series or not because I could give a fuck about sports), and might see each other after four years of silence. Jamie and Wes were best friends growing up, spending summers together at hockey camp in Lake Placid, but Wes cut off all contact with Jamie when they went to college. Jamie has always been pretty butt sore about it (hehehe), and they’re both wondering if their teams are going to play each other in the series, and what it’s going to be like to see each other.

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Fall With Me, by Jennifer L. Armentrout/J. Lynn

Fall With Me

Grade: A-

Doing it at: 42%

Catnip: Hot Cop; Misunderstandings; Mysterious Stalker; Childhood Crush; Strong Female Lead

Shame Scale: Low shame

Fantasy Cast: Henry Cavill, Jennifer Lawrence

Book Description: 

Eleven months ago, bartender and weird-shirt-wearing extraordinaire
Roxy and Officer Reece Anders had a one night stand. Well, kind of.
She’s been in love with him since she was fifteen, and he wishes that
night they shared never happened. She’s sworn him off forever, but the
past and future collide, forcing her to rely on the one man who broke
her heart not once, but twice.

Her best friend since birth has been in a long-term care facility
since he became a victim of a hate crime years ago, and the person who
put him in there is out of prison and wanting to make amends with him
and Roxy. She’s not sure she has room for forgiveness in her and when
she begins to receive frightening messages and is on the receiving end
of escalating violence, she thinks she knows who is to blame. The man
who already destroyed one life already.

But Reece isn’t convinced. The threats are too personal, and even if
Roxy doesn’t believe him, he’s not willing to let anyone hurt her.
Including himself. He’s already messed up more than once when it comes
to Roxy and he’s not going to let history repeat itself.

Mary: Jennifer Armentrout is amazing and I will read literally anything she writes. This is book four in the Wait For You series.

Cleone: Jennifer Armentrout made me deeply invested in books about teen aliens as a 33 year old woman, she’s a genius.

M: Yes. That series was everything. Jennifer Armentrout excels at giving characters distinct voices. I always feel like I’m reading about different people in each book. I wasn’t crazy about the heroines in the first two in this series (too nervous, too childish), I didn’t read the third. But this one: Roxy feels like someone I want to be friends with. She swears, she says “butt sore,” and “holy balls:”

Oh, holy balls, what he just said was light-me-on-fire-hot.

….

“But you could’ve cleared it up right then,” Katie pointed out. “No shit,” I replied. “But I didn’t. I was so embarrassed and… yeah, my feelings were hurt, so I left his place and just so much time passed, and I was still all butt sore about it that I never cleared it up.”

She even has small boobs and thick glasses. I believe I texted Cleone: “The new J. Lynn is in the cloud. You should read it. She has small boobs too!”

C: I love small boob heroines! It’s a very personal catnip. Plus Roxy is funny and random, and owns a ‘Hufflepuffs do it better’ t-shirt. Of the J Lynn heroines, she’s ranking as my number one.

C: We met Roxy and Reece in Calla’s book, and they spent the entire book not talking – more specifically Roxy not talking to Reece. Every time he’d come into the bar where she worked she’d hightail it to the back room or get someone else to wait on him. In this book we find out its because they had a drunken night together that didn’t go as either would have liked. And Roxy has liked him FOREVER. Like forever ever, he was literally the boy next door and she’s been pining for a decade. She’s an artist and she paints him all the time and then hides the paintings in her closet and mentally berates herself for liking him so much.

Reece has decided that he is done waiting for Roxy to get over her snit and forgive him, he’s wanted her for a really long time as well — since he saw teenage Roxy on the slip’n’slide in a wee bitty bikini. And after some work trauma, some serious emotional heaviness after a stint in the armed forces, and a year of not talking to her he can not wait any longer.

Roxy’s good friend was the victim of a hate crime several years ago, and has been living in a vegetative state. She blames herself for what happened, and goes to visit him every week, despite him having no response to her visits. And lately he really hasn’t been doing well. The guy who attacked her friend has just been let out of prison and wants to make amends. To which Roxy is pretty much “F Off Dude.” On top of all of this, some really weird stuff has started happening around her apartment.

M: So the stalker. I’m sure it was intentional (I hope), but the big mystery stalker was absurdly obvious. As in, at the very first mention of weirdness, I was all, It’s X, and he’s doing X. I texted Cleone my prediction, and she was all, NO SPOILERS. But is it a spoiler if I’m just making an accurate prediction? There were anvils, not clues.

C: Yes, as soon as X was involved, I totally knew he was the stalker. The stalker story line still managed to creep me out though! I was reading this late at night in my dark bedroom and without being spoiler-y an especially scary thing happened and I had to turn on Bob’s Burgers to calm my nerves (The Belchers make me brave).

Reece is very very hot. J Lynn knows how to write a dreamy guy who isn’t just fawning over the girl or a complete alpha jerk. She hits a nice balance and this one had me google image searching “hot cops”

M: Like this?

man-impersonates-policeman-pulls-over-real-policeman

1x10-Pier-Pressure-Animated-gif-Hot-Cops-arrested-development-7915510-300-170

M: Or more like this?channing-tatum-magic-mike-stripping-cop

M: Sigh. I want a Hot Cop. Remember that super hot meter maid we saw who kind of looked like a Hot Cop because of his navy blue uniform? We made him so uncomfortable.

C: If by uncomfortable you mean super flattered? Then yes, I remember him.

I liked that Roxy decided to cool her commitment bullshit and BE with Reece before she went back and forth too many times and made me hate her. J Lynn also got me ready for the next book, by making Nick seem like a hot/decent guy as a side character in this.

M: Yes. And even though the plot was a little predictable, it was still very suspenseful and creepy. It was like when you watch a horror movie, and you’re like, “You idiot! Why are you going upstairs!” That was pretty much the way I felt throughout the whole book. Plus sex. There was just enough talk of him taking off his big cop-y gun belt and dropping it on the floor so they could do the thrust and repeat.

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