Us is a contemporary m/m romance novel by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. It’s the second book in their Him/Us duology. I listened to the Audible edition of Him earlier this year, but only recently got around to listening to Us.
The story picks up a couple of months after the events of Him. Jamie and Wes are living together in Toronto- Jamie works as a coach for an elite youth hockey team, and Wes is a rookie for the city’s NHL team. However, they are living as roommates because Wes isn’t ready to be an openly gay professional athlete. Their luxurious apartment is their sanctuary, but that changes when one of Wes’ boisterous teammates moves into the building. He wants to hang out all the time, and it’s becoming harder and harder for Wes and Jamie to keep their relationship a secret. Is this a sustainable plan for them or will it tear them apart?
This was such a wonderful book. When Jamie and Wes first realized that they were more than friends, they were working together at hockey camp. It’s a rather contained environment, so it’s interesting to see how they function as a couple in the real world. It isn’t working well for them because they can’t be together as a couple; the fear of being outed is a constant threat. It doesn’t help that Wes is often traveling with the hockey team, so they don’t even get to spend time together for days at a time. Jamie appears content to be working as a coach (versus playing on a team), so there aren’t any jealousy issues on that front, but he’s definitely frustrated. The frustration grows to resentment, and this serves as the crux of the conflict.
I would absolutely recommend Us. Readers need to start with Him to fully appreciate Jamie and Wes’ history together. There’s a nice blend of light moments and angst. Jamie and Wes have great chemistry, and their scenes together are very well done. As I mentioned, I listened to the Audible editions of both books in the duology. Narrators Teddy Hamilton and Jacob Morgan did a great job, and gave their characters a unique voice. I’m looking forward to reading more from Bowen and Kennedy in the future!