Tag «Author: Bowen»

Single Sundays: Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Single Sundays: Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Single Sundays: While this blog may be focused on reviewing book series as a whole, we can’t forget about the good ole’ standalone novel! On Sundays, I will review a novel that is considered to be a standalone novel. Here is this week’s offering:

Synopsis for Top Secret (from Goodreads):

LobsterShorts, 21. Jock. Secretly a science geek. Hot AF.

LobsterShorts: So. Here goes. For her birthday, my girlfriend wants…a threesome.

SinnerThree: Then you’ve come to the right hookup app.

LobsterShorts: Have you done this sort of thing before? With another guy?

SinnerThree: All the time. I’m an equal opportunity player. You?

LobsterShorts: [crickets!]

SinnerThree, 21. Finance major. Secretly a male dancer. Hot AF.

SinnerThree: Well, I’m down if you are. My life is kind of a mess right now. School, work, family stress. Oh, and I live next door to the most annoying dude in the world. I need the distraction. Are you sure you want this?

LobsterShorts: I might want it a little more than I’m willing to admit.

SinnerThree: Hey, nothing wrong with pushing your boundaries…

LobsterShorts: Tell that to my control-freak father. Anyway. What if this threesome is awkward?

SinnerThree: Then it’s awkward. It’s not like we’ll ever have to see each other again. Right? Just promise you won’t fall in love with me.

LobsterShorts: Now wouldn’t that be life-changing…


SERIESous’ Top Picks: Must Read Author
Author: Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, MM Romance
Heat Rating: Hot (Kink: mild)
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Source & Format: Kindle Unlimited–eBook


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

I’m a huge fan of any works these authors write individually or co-write together. But if you haven’t read Him and you want to dive into the male-male romance genre DO IT! So needless to say, I was super stoked to see these two had finally written another MM romance nearly 3 years later!

The Concept:

I think the Q&A included in the Goodreads synopsis gives you a good idea of the main focus of this book.

Q: Is this story MM? Or is it a MMF / MFM / menage?
A: This book is MM.

Q: Is this a love triangle story?
A: Not really. You’ll see.

I know I was a little apprehensive because I tend to not enjoy menage romances and that’s what the synopsis had me thinking this was; but the Q&A put me a little at ease

The Plot:

From the start, I was immediately hooked into the story. Part of it was the suspense of knowing that once these two figure things out: it’s going to be explosive. But it was also the building up of the tension as these two explore their budding relationship. Plenty of steam mixed in between some dramatic moments.

However, I did think that this book started a little too slowly. It almost felt redundant because there reaches a point where you as the reader know what’s going on and you’ve got good enough feel for the situation but the writing keeps building it up. It does make the latter half of the novel though pretty explosive.

The Characters:

I really loved all the characters we got throughout the novel. Everyone comes across as genuine which gave this story a realistic feel to it–which in turn made the romance even sweeter.

The Romance:

While there was plenty of steam, there was also plenty of substance. Like I said before, the buildup was great as it kept you interested in a reader. But it also provided this great foundation for when the “real-world” comes swooping in.


My Rating: 4/5


If you love romances with plenty of swoon and steam and a dash of drama, this is a great book for you to read!

Read if You Like: MM romance, new adult
Avoid if You: dislike contemporary romance

  • Him by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen (Him Series #1)
  • Leveled by Jay Crownover (Saints of Denver Series #1)

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Series Review: Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:


Synopsis for Him (from Goodreads):

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


SERIESous’ Top Picks: Fav Author(s)
Series: Him
Author: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
# of Books: 2 (Him, Us)
Book Order: Chronological
Complete?: Yes
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, MM Romance, Sports, Hockey
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: July 2015 – March 2016
Source & Format: Own–eBook


Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

When two of your favourite authors co-write a series together, you know the expectations are high. I love Bowen and Kennedy’s work respectively so the fact that they wrote a MM romance together had me eager to read it. I’ve really become a fan of MM romance over the last 2 years thanks to some great authors telling some even better stories. So I was STOKED when I managed to snag these two books on sale for my Kobo.

The Plot:

I really enjoyed the balance these novels had between the character development, romance and the drama. They just had a great flow to them that kept me hooked on their every word.

And the tension! GAH! In Him (#1), we don’t know exactly what happened between Jamie and Wes (Ryan) right away. Instead, we get little snippets of their last summer at camp together until we finally get the big reveal. I just loved the anticipation that brought to the story.

The Characters:

I really loved both our leads. Jamie is such a sweetheart and I enjoyed watching him grow into the man he becomes. I found his approach to his sexual identity was refreshing and realistic as well. And Wes is also a great guy. I loved his attitude and approach to everything. He has this maturity to him that I also found refreshing.

The Romance:

There is no denying the great chemistry these two have. Boy oh boy, their scenes together are steamy! But for me, I wanted a little more emotional connection in Him. I got the attraction between these two physically but I wasn’t entirely sold on why the boys liked each other. Sure they have a lot in common and have been close friends for years, but I needed a little more to see why they would make great partners for each other in the long run.

Which we get to see in Us (#2). I found this book really tested their relationship in a realistic way and that reaffirmed for my why they are a good match for each other and why they love each other. We still get plenty of steam but the emotional connection between the guys is the main focus.

Series Rating: 4/5

Him 4/5| Us 4/5


This super sexy read is great for new and returning MM romance fans!

Read if You Like: mm romance, sports romances, hockey
Avoid if You: dislike steamy scenes



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Series Review: Man Hands by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

Series Review by Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Man Hands Series


Synopsis for Man Hands (from Goodreads):

He puts the “screw” in screwball comedy…


At thirty-four, I’m reeling from a divorce. I don’t want to party or try to move on. I just want to stay home and post a new recipe on my blog: Brynn’s Dips and Balls.

But my friends aren’t having it. Get out there again, they say. It will be fun, they say. I’m still taking a hard pass.

Free designer cocktails, they say. And that’s a game-changer.

Too bad my ex shows up with his new arm candy. That’s when I lose my mind. But when my besties dare me to leap on the first single man I see, they don’t expect me to actually go through with it.


All I need right now is some peace and quiet while my home renovation TV show is on hiatus. But when a curvy woman in a red wrap dress charges me like she’s a gymnast about to mount my high bar, all I can do is brace myself and catch her. What follows is the hottest experience of my adult life.

I want a repeat, but my flying Cinderella disappears immediately afterward. She doesn’t leave a glass slipper, either—just a pair of panties with chocolate bunnies printed on them.

But I will find her.


SERIESous’ Top Picks: Fav 2018 Audiobook
Series: Man Hands
Author: Sarina Bowen & Tanya Eby
# of Books: 4 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humour
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: December 2017 – November 2019
Source & Format: AudioBoom–Audiobook (via Audible); eBook–Scribd

Note: Copied Provided only for Book #1, Man Hands


**This post was originally published as an ARC Audio review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to include the newest publications in the series.**

Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:

Of course the cover caught my attention but the synopsis had me going YES PLEASE! I’m all for humourous books and now that I’ve discovered my love of romance audiobooks, this seemed like a great one to try next!

The Plot:

I really wasn’t sure what the plot was going to be given the synopsis but this book surprised me in the best way. These two find themselves in some crazy situations and hilarity ensues. But it also has its touching moments as well where these two connect on that deeper level I love to see.

The Characters:

It helps that the leads are who they are; this story wouldn’t be the same without them. Brynn is a bit of an oddball but still utterly charming. I loved watching her rebuild her confidence after her divorce and discovering her own self-worth as the story progressed. And Tom is a great complement to her character as he too has to rebuild his confidence in the romance department.

The Romance:

Watching them fight (but never really succeeding) their fabulous connection made for an epic read. Seriously. I’ve never laughed so hard during a sex scene before while still finding the entire thing to be sexy. Their chemistry is palpable and their inner monologue about the other person had me swooning throughout. These two are just the cutest!

My Audiobook Experience:

Like I said before, I had so much fun listening to this book! The narrators totally made it this awesome experience because I honestly don’t think I would have enjoyed the humour as much otherwise. Erin Mallon as Brynn managed to capture this quirky character and bring her to life in a very humourous way. She made me love Brynn instantly as soon as her inner monologue started. And Luke Daniels as Tom is perfection! He sounds exactly like I’d expect a manly TV handy man to sound–like a sexy Ron Swanson (which is something I thought I’d never say) but it totally works for this book.

My Expectations for the Rest of the Series:

I can’t wait for the next duo’s story! Their scenes together in Man Hands had me dying for more so I’m very excited to read their story!


–July 10, 2020– Book #2: Man Card

These two have this crazy chemistry together that I struggle to describe. They’re both bonkers but together they are so entertaining. I love how over the moon our hero is for our heroine and how it takes our leading lady a while to give in to his advances seeing as they are mortal enemies.

–July 10, 2020– Book #3: Boy Toy

This was super cute and completely different than the other books in the series. It had a bit more of a serious tone to it, not as quirky or something. It still has its funny moments but it wasn’t as over the top of the previous books. I think this might be my favourite because it’s just a sweet story.

–July 14, 2020– Book #4: Man Cuffed

I didn’t love this one but I did enjoy it! The scenes where these two are together are fantastic. They have great chemistry with each other and I love the fun and humor that occurs as a result. But Meg’s scenes by herself were a little much for me. She’s a little too quirky for my personal tastes.

Series Rating: 5/5

Man Hands 5/5 | Man Card 4.5/5 | Boy Toy 5/5 | Man Cuffed 4/5


I had an absolute BLAST listening to Man Card as an audiobook! I had really hoped to listen to the other books as audio novels but I opted for the eBooks. And while I struggle sometimes with humour reading novels, I didn’t have that hard of a time with these ones. These books are this wicked combination of sweet, sexy and absolutely hilarious. I honestly don’t think I have laughed so much while reading book in a long time.

Read if You Like: quirky humour, sexy reads, contemporary romance
Avoid if You: dislike slapstick comedy, dislike crude language


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Series Review: Gravity by Sarina Bowen

Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:

Series: Gravity Trilogy
Author: Sarina Bowen
# of Books: 3 (Coming in from the Cold, Falling from the Sky, Shooting for the Stars)
Book Order: Connected
Complete?: Yes
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Erotica
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: Third Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: May 2014 – March 2015
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook


**This post was originally posted as a Fresh Friday review of the first book of the series. It has now been updated to reflect my conclusion to DNF this series. It will not be further updated.**

I randomly picked this book up from my library because the cover drew me in. I thought it might be a New Adult read but it is actually an Adult Contemporary read. I’ve read a few New Adult reads about being trapped in a storm so I was interested to see what would happen in an Adult Contemporary novel. Plus: I have never read a book about a professional skier and his “faulty DNA” so that drew me in.

I enjoyed reading this book but there was nothing “WOW” about it. It was your classic insta-romance though it had some interesting twists to it that added some realism to it. I liked the characters despite the insta-romance–they felt like a good match; but like most “insta-romance” books I wish that there was more interaction between the two of them.

This book was more a romance and the drama associated with the romance more than anything. That wasn’t a bad thing either: it was a cute, quick romance that tackled some serious issues like genetic diseases.

I’m not sure what the sequel will be about; I am assuming it will be about another set of characters. I’ll check it out if it comes to my library because I liked this book but I’m not in a huge rush to read it.

Series Rating: DNF

Coming in from the Cold 3/5 | Falling from the Sky N/A | Shooting for the Stars N/A


If you want a quick, steamy romance with two people that deal with some very real issues, this is a great book to pick up!

Frigid by J. Lynn (Frigid Series #1)
Forbidden by Vanessa Devereaux

Synopsis for Coming in from the Cold (from Goodreads):
Alpine ski champion Dane “Danger” Hollister does not do relationships, though he has an excellent reason. No woman would ever say “I do” to a guy whose faulty DNA will eventually cost him everything: his spot on the US Ski team, his endorsements, and the ability to fly downhill at 90mph.

While Willow Reade moved to rural Vermont to get back to the land, that wasn’t meant to include a night stranded in her vehicle during a blizzard. Luckily, the hot ski racer she practically ran off the road has granola bars and a sleeping bag, and is happy to share. Maybe it’s the close quarters, maybe it’s the snow, but soon the two are sharing a lot more than conversation.

Yet neither can guess how their spontaneous passion will uncork Dane’s ugly secret and Willow’s tentative peace with her own choices. Only their mutual trust and bravery can end the pain and give Willow and Dane a shot at hard won happiness.

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