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Summary

Casey Preston is the guy with the plan. The list-maker. The one who micromanages his own life. 

Spontaneously offering to be his best friend’s fake boyfriend to get Ethan’s annoying team captain off his back? 

That’s not thinking things through. It’s not even smart, given Casey’s been fighting his feelings for Ethan for years. 

Ethan Rain just wants to play hockey and get his college degree. Adding a fake boyfriend to the mix? He doesn’t need that complication. 

If Casey were his real boyfriend, though? If he got to keep Casey forever? Now we’re talking. 

But what if Casey doesn’t want to be kept?

©2021 Amy Aislin (P)2021 Amy Aislin

What listeners say about Keeping Casey

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely story

This is my first book by Amy Aislin and I was curious because I really like fake boyfriend stories. I really enjoyed the writing style, easy-going and emotional. The author has a talent for making the reader empathize and sympathize with the protagonists very quickly.
Casey and Ethan have been best friends for a very long time and are now in college together. There, Casey claims to be Ethan's boyfriend because he doesn't like the team captain's attitude towards Ethan's sexuality. 
I liked Ethan from the beginning, the author had me right there and Casey is likable too. It's not just about hockey, this is a slow burning friends to lovers story where the protagonsites have a lot to work through. It's about friendship, about teammates, but also about grief that everyone deals with differently, about settling in and finding your way at college, and then there are budding emotions to add to the mix. Amy Aislin has portrayed the whole thing authentically. How do you deal with emotional chaos when you realize that maybe it's not just a fake relationship after all? Ethan and Casey were so cute and sweet together and the ending was absolutely well done. The story is deeply told and I really liked how Casey handled Ethan's diagonse and gave him hope. 

Michael Franklin is a new narrator for me and he did a good job overall. He has a pleasant voice that is easy to listen to. I wasn't quite as happy about his choice of voice for Casey though, it was a tad too feminine for me. I enjoyed the audio book and look forward to the next volume!

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Sweet Romance

A sweet, college age friends to lovers, fake boyfriends romance. There isn't a lot of angst which was perfect for me at the time I read it. A pleasant afternoon's read.

I've now listened to the audio version as well, and Michael Franklin's voice sounds appropriate for the ages of these characters. He does a great job distinguishing them from each other and in bringing them to life.

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Heartwarming best friends to lovers hockey romance

Keeping Casey is a wonderful book in Amy Aislin's new series, Keeping Him. It includes several tropes - fake relationship, best friends to lovers, hurt/comfort, sports/college.
Casey and Ethan have been best friends for as long as they can remember and it really shines through in all of their interactions, as does that they have feelings for each other, though with neither having a clue about the other. When the idea of fake boyfriends comes up to help keep a teammate off of Ethan's back, Casey jumps at the chance whilst still denying that he's capable of more due to the grief he still lives with at the loss of his father five years previous.
There is a fair about of angst as there is unrequited love for a good amount of the book, both men lost a parent but have coped with it in different ways and then the fallout of a fake relationship between best friends is always rife with endless possibilities. One thing I really loved was how much care and attention Casey and Ethan have of each other, even before a relationship was thought up. Ethan's stubbornness to accept help doesnt really extend to Casey as the man knows him too well to see when he's in pain with his RA. It's interesting reading as well for the possibility of playing hockey whilst living with such a disease.
Several side characters really helped the MC's and kept spirits up. I hope we hear more from them, especially Theo and Brent. There are also appearances from characters from Amy's Stick Side series which was a fun bonus and a chance for a mini catch up with them.
I really enjoyed this story and am looking forward to who comes next in the series.
This is my first listen from Michael Franklin and he is a good narrator. It does come across a little bit monotone in places but overall I enjoyed how the MC's are portrayed and the emotion came across well.

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Slow burn, best friends to lovers, fake boyfriends

This was a sweet, adorable college romance.
Casey and Ethan have been best friends since childhood.
They've also both suffered the loss of a parent and it bonded them.
As a result it has left lingering effects and Casey's response was to shut people out, never letting anyone get close because then it won't hurt when you lose them.
Ethan has been in love with Casey for a long time but it's unrequited because Casey is straight.
Ethan has respected Casey's feelings and simply supported him.
When Ethan begins having problems with a hockey team member they decide to start a fake relationship to resolve the situation.
As they navigate the situations suddenly fake becomes reality and develops into something beautiful.
Ethan has a medical issue he's dealing with and I appreciate how the author desalt with it realistically and didn't make a martyr of him.
I loved how sweet and oblivious both of them were not even realizing that they were already in a relationship even though everyone close to them did but then it's not surprising because Casey was straight.
Michael Franklin did a wonderful job narrating and bringing these characters to life.

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Friends to lovers college tale is sweet and angsty

I enjoyed this friends to lovers college story featuring two extremely likeable MCs... Nerdy overthinker Casey has a lot of quirks and insecurities, and his best friend since childhood Ethan, an athlete, has always been his rock. Briefly posing as fake boyfriends to get a teammate off Ethan's back provides some clarity, driving the story forward. It's a sweet, fairly simple story about two college friends discovering what they really mean to each other, while navigating the obstacles college (and life) put in their path. I found Michael Franklin's narration to be pleasant, adding nuance to these characters' personalities.

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Loved the story so much!

I am such of fan of Amy Aislin’s books and this was no exception. Casey and Ethan are adorable together - such a beautiful friends to lovers story. Wonderfully written, nicely narrated - really enjoyed!

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Sweet but no heat story.

M/M
Best friends to lovers
Fake boyfriends
MC has RA chronic pain disorder

Fantastic narration. He had a pleasant reading voice, expressed the emotions well and did different voices. I could easily tell the characters apart and all the voices were pleasant making it a great listening experience.

I enjoyed the story. It was cute. Both the main characters were likeable and they had great chemistry. A big thank you to the author for breaking the overused stereotypical jock in the closet trope and actually showing out players who are supported (for the most part). Even though it was a decent length book I still read it all in one sitting. It kept my interest from start to finish. There's some relationship angst but it's pretty minor. For anyone not into sports the book is very relationship focused so I think even non sports fans would love it.

It's a slow burn and that is part of the reason I didn't give it 5 stars. It could have happened a little sooner for my liking. Also, communication would have solved all their problems.That part always frustrates me but both characters have hurtful pasts so I couldn't be too frustrated with them and had they communicated then there wouldn't be any story. It is highly focused on that secret pining trope. Lastly, there is zero heat! Everything is off page implied. I did not like that.

Overall it was well written and sweet and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a heartwarming friends to lovers story but doesn't mind a low heat book.

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They've Shared So Much, yet kept a secret too.

MM, Sports themed, College based, Fake relationship, Best friends to lovers, Contemporary Romance. Fantastic story with some light angst and emotion. Both main characters are a couple of years late starting College so not teenagers. This story has so much going on throughout and is sweet and funny as well as loving and emotional...it has Everything!! A great way to start a new series, I believe the story can be read as a stand-alone with no loss of enjoyment or understanding. Well narrated by Michael Franklin.

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sweet romance/good narration

What an incredibly sweet romance, it can be summed up by the title of a book I read ages ago, Everything I Never Told You. Although I loved these two as MCs, at times I wanted to shake them. Despite this, I absolutely adored Ethan's character, and how he made no excuses for who he was, it takes a brave person to unapologetically wear socks and sandals! Casey is just as sweet, a little mixed up, but with good intentions. The secondary characters were likeable, and I'm hoping we'll get their stories eventually. Loved meeting characters from previous books in the series again. An equally good read/listen if you need a bit of escapism. Michael Franklin did a good job narrating the story, he caught the nuances of the MCs really well.

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Sweet and Lovely

Keeping Casey is the first book in the Keeping Him series, set within the same universe as the Stick Side universe. However, this book completely stands on its own, and you do not have had to read the Stick Side series beforehand. For fans of the Stick Side series, we do get a treat and see some of the previous characters make cameos.

Casey and Ethan are childhood best friends whose worlds are intertwined with each other. Their relationship and friendship is what makes this such a charming book. Casey creates this idea of "fake dating" to help Ethan out. This gives the men an excuse to explore a romantic relationship between the two of them with enough deniability to make themselves feel safe. It was sweet to see how protective and supportive each character was of each other. I also loved Casey's personality - he was intense at moments and his drive was very admirable. The ending was romantic and lovely.

The audiobook was narrated by Michael Franklin who does a fabulous job. Micahel Franklin is a new-to-me narrator who has a very smooth and enjoyable voice. The vocal performance brought the characters to life and it made for a great listening experience.

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Profile Image for RACHEL REED
  • RACHEL REED
  • 19-02-22

Adorable!

This was such an adorable slowburn friends to lovers romance.

I absolutely loved listening to this!

The characters were likeable and well fleshed out and the writing style was engaging.

The narration was enjoyable and appealed to me


Definitely recommend

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • WY_reader
  • 08-03-22

Sweet story of best friends to lovers

Keeping Casey is a sweet New Adult friends-to-lovers hockey romance. Friends since childhood, Casey and Ethan are bound by a shared tragedy as well, and while the boys handle things differently, they always have each other's back. But when Ethan takes a bad hit in a game and it causes his rheumatoid arthritis to flare, Casey must learn that letting go of control is part and parcel of being in love. The main characters are wonderful, as is the cast of colorful, supportive side characters. The relationship developement is very believeable, and touches on serious issues without being dour. Overall, Keeping Casey is an uplifting romance. The narration seemed rushed for the first few hours of the book, but improved tremendously as the book moved along. The author does a good job differentiating the voices of the characters.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy for free and am voluntarily leaving a review. All opinions are my own.

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Profile Image for Alison Daniels
  • Alison Daniels
  • 05-02-22

Wonderful characters you can't help but love!

I cannot get enough of this author! Amy Aislin knows how to write such compelling, relatable, and interesting stories with just the best characters! Ethan and Casey have been life long friends, both in love with the other but too afraid to say anything to the other out of fear of ruining their friendship. Not all authors are able to create demi characters that feel genuine but Ethan's sexuality is so well done that you really understand how approaches romantic relationships because of it. I also loved that Casey does not define his sexuality with a label and that is perfectly okay! Instead of trying to force himself into a label that doesn't feel right, Casey just likes who he likes. The secondary characters in this book were amazing and I can't wait to see their stories in the future. Fans of the Stick Side series will also be happy (I know I was!) because there are cameos by almost all of our favorite hockey players and their partners in this book! The party at Roman and Cody's house was one of my favorite scenes, for many, many reasons. There are some instances of homophobia in this book from one of Ethan's teammates but it is handled in a great way, showing Ethan just how much support he has. It was hard to see Casey struggle so much with the death of his father, causing him to push others away before they have a chance to leave him but I love how much he was finally able to grow and accept that he is needs love just like everyone else. The narration was absolutely fantastic and brought so much life to these characters! Michael Franklin did an excellent job making Ethan, Casey, and all the characters feel alive without detracting from the story overall, creating a seamless transition from the written story to the spoken story. Love this author and narrator and will definitely listen to both their future work!

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  • Harri
  • 04-02-22

Sweet best friends to lovers story

Casey worries he’s too emotionally damaged to be in a romantic relationship with anyone despite his feelings for his best friend Ethan. I prefer more of a performance from a narrator rather than a simple read so for me I felt the narrator was a little stiff. Michael Franklin has a pleasant voice, just not my preferred style. Best friends to lovers, slow burn with lots of mutual pining. Low steam. I would happily re-listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Devin Bundy
  • Devin Bundy
  • 04-02-22

Slow-burn sweetness.

The story was fantastic, all slow-burn sweetness. Best friends to lovers with likable characters, main and side. Ethan and Casey’s relationship was so beautiful, and even though getting them to talk about their feelings was like pulling teeth, it was so satisfying when they finally admitted how they really felt and transitioned their friendship to a dating relationship. Their chemistry was perfect, I just really loved them together. I had a little trouble with the narrator, sometimes I couldn’t tell which character was talking. I didn’t even realize Brittan was revealed as the villain until a little later and had to go back and listen again. His voice is nice but he needs a little more work on his inflection. He sounded pretty wooden.

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  • AG
  • 04-02-22

Casey and Ethan

Casey and Ethan are both adorable and I completely agree with their friend's assessment, they have been dating just without the sex. These two each love the other but are afraid to ruin their friendship. The altercation at the hockey house just pushes them together more. I love that they both understand the other and Ethan doesn't take offense whrn Casey runs because he know he will be back. I look forward to more stories in this series.

I really enjoyed this in audio form, I thought the narrator did a great job capturing the characters and their emotions.

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Profile Image for Carlotta Hollis
  • Carlotta Hollis
  • 03-02-22

Loved the characters

This was a very good book, very sweet, slow burn but sweetly adorable characters. Ethan and Casey made my heart smile. Growing up together and loving each other made everything sweeter. Good read ❤️

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Profile Image for Mary
  • Mary
  • 02-02-22

Great Book

I really enjoyed listening to this book! Ethan and Casey are adorable characters! This is the first time I’ve listened to Michael Franklin and I loved his voice. I would highly recommend!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Traci S
  • Traci S
  • 01-02-22

Sweet Best Friends to lovers story!

Hockey player Ethan and archeology student Casey are childhood best friends. They have a shared trauma of losing a parent and are both secretly in love with each other. So, lots of good pining on both sides and a fun fake boyfriends twist. The narrator does a fine job making each character distinct and identifiable. The story is sweet with minimal angst. Great cameos from Stick Side series favorites and lovely HEA.

I received an arc of this book and this is my honest review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for SarahH
  • SarahH
  • 28-01-22

Beautiful best friends to boyfriends story

I really love a best friends to lovers story and this one ticked all the boxes for me. Casey and Ethan are both gorgeous MC’s. They’ve been best friends since childhood and know each other’s best parts as well as their flaws. It’s one of those solid friendships that is completely unshakeable. Both men love each other wholeheartedly, but neither dares say it out loud. Casey is still dealing with the terrible grief of losing his father unexpectedly, which leaves him scared of committing to someone in case he loses them too and he knows how overwhelming grief is. Ethan meanwhile is scared of risking their friendship by opening up about his feelings.

The book is tender and sweet, all whilst dealing with some bigger emotions and issues. It was lovely to see an author tackling a chronic illness like rheumatoid arthritis and showing the ways it weaves its way into the lives of the person living with the illness and those around them. The book shows how beautiful romantic love can be and how strong a connection it brings to a relationship. This isn’t a high heat book and is a slow burn on that front, all of which feels very real as Ethan is demisexual.

For those who’ve read Amy’s Stick Side series, it’s a real treat to see some cameo appearances from characters in that series. You don’t need to read that series to enjoy this book though. It’s a gorgeous book and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I received an arc of this book and am voluntarily leaving an honest and unbiased review