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Five years ago Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then he's made an art of hiding his sexual orientation from everyone. Including himself. So it's a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless.
For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team's new left wing could destroy Graham's life as he knows it.
John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it's worse than usual, because the media has latched on to the story of the only "out" player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused. And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.
Rikker didn't exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won't even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former...best friend/boyfriend/whatever isn't doing so well. He drinks too much and can't focus during practice.
Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self-destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won't be easy is the understatement of the year.
Warning: Unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky T-shirts, and a poker-playing grandmother.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Heather on 11-20-16
One of my favorite audiobooks of 2016!!
Sarina Bowen absolutely CRUSHED this one, and I LOVED every second of it! To say that I adored The Understatement of the Year would be, well, the freakin' UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR!
First, I have to put an important message out to all of the lovers of the AUDIOBOOK of Him: Buy The Understatement of the Year in audio format. I'm telling you, it is worth every single penny. For those lovers of Him, you will instantly recognize the voice of Teddy Hamilton, and you will also ADORE the voice of Christian Fox. Listen up all M/M authors: These men should narrate MORE audiobooks! They have voices to DIE for, and they completely made this audiobook their BITCH. I'm in love with their readings, and they have become my top narrators to watch for.
The story was also pure new adult, sweaty hockey player gold. For me, 2016 has been my year of hockey romances, and they are my newest obsession. This book was hockey-tastic. I loved all of the hockey details, but they absolutely didn't get in the way of the romance.
The romance was... gah, amazing. I can go either way with reunited former lovers stories, but this one gutted me. Slow-burn, painful closet, sneaking around... it destroyed me in the best way. I was near tears at times, and I feeeelt for these guys. Their love story wrecked me, and I thought that their chemistry was insane.
I could go on and on gushing about this story, but the bottom line is that Sarina Bowen crafted a beautiful love story and picked perfect narrators to bring it to life. I will forever read Sarina Bowen now because this story blew me away. JUST BUY IT!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
By Morgan A Skye on 07-10-16
Love the duo narration, interesting story
From the blurb we can tell that this is a “second chance” love story. Two boys who fell for each other at the wrong time, have lived apart for years, are now suddenly thrown back into one another’s lives.
Rikker is out and proud, and Graham is still hiding behind beards and denial.
What proceeds is a long and angst-filled romance that hides behind closed doors for the most part, until Graham can’t stand the strain any longer.
I avoided reading this book originally because –though it got many 4 and 5 star reviews – several key issues made me cringe. 1) I don’t tend to like re-union love stories. I like the original blush of new love far too much to see lovers find one another again. 2) I didn’t like the YA aspect of this. Too much angst. Not enough sex. 3) The fact that it’s part of a M/F series written by an M/F author.
But… I love hockey stories. I love coming out stories. I LOVED Him by Sarina Bowen and finally – when this came out on audio it had two narrators which really flipped my switch when I listened to Him.
So, I gave it a go.
All in all it wasn’t bad. I agree with the preivous reviewers who noted that Graham and Rikker don’t act like teenagers, but young men with real life problems. However, I never warmed to Graham and felt like he was a big whiny baby for most of the book. Even when he finally makes the right decision, it wasn’t enough for me to really like him as a character.
Rikker was awesome and I wish he’d been more forceful with Graham and earlier on.
The other secondary characters are interesting, but since their stories are all part of the M/F series – I won’t be reading them.
I guess I enjoyed this, but I wouldn’t be tempted to read/listen to it again, because I was pulling my hair out over Graham’s ridiculous inner monologues.
Story 3 of 5 stars
The audio is the only saving grace (for me) with this book. I loved the alternating voices and really felt immersed in the story. I really liked how well both narrators captured the emotion and it’s great having two distinct voices tell a story like this.
Audio 5 of 5 stars
Overall 4 of 5 stars
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By BevS on 07-12-16
The story was better this time around.....
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, if they're prepared to accept that they'll get really annoyed with Michael Graham. The quality was really good.
Which character – as performed by Teddy Hamilton and Christian Fox – was your favourite?
John Rikker definitely. I loved Teddy Hamilton as Jamie Canning in Sarina Bowen/Elle Kennedy's HIM and was chuffed to bits he narrated Rikker.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I was furious with Graham after reading the story in 2015, and this audio mostly made me remember Graham's continuing refusal to grow a pair and come out of that closet. He was with Rikker, his bestie and even though they hadn't said the words, his boyfriend since childhood and they were both the victims of a hate crime...Rikker was beaten up for God's sake, and Graham still said nothing and didn't even visit Rikker in hospital cos he was a chicken!! Have to say though, for some reason this audio book helped me to get a better understanding of Graham's huge mental block regarding that closet and his future.
Any additional comments?
My Goodreads review...Superb narration of a great story featuring 'Teddy Hamilton' who 'was' Jamie Canning for me in Him as John Rikker and a newbie to me, Christian Fox, as Michael Graham. I have to admit it made me see Graham in a whole new less insensitive light, and I sort of get where he was coming from now, although I still felt sorry for Rikker and his woes. This is a fairly new audio book presentation I think, and I am so happy with it. Another winner from Audible.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful