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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 col 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?


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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 col 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?

30 review for Keeping Casey

  1. 4 out of 5

    Quirks

    This was a very lukewarm read for me. As I got closer to the end, I knew I was going to rate it three stars (unless something great happened) and that I'd feel bad about the rating. Only, something opposite of great happened, and now, though the rating is still three, I don't feel bad about it. The story follows two best friends, Ethan and Casey. At first, it seemed like we were gonna get the nerd-and-jock trope, but that's not the case. Yes, Ethan plays a sport, but he's also a science major. Ca This was a very lukewarm read for me. As I got closer to the end, I knew I was going to rate it three stars (unless something great happened) and that I'd feel bad about the rating. Only, something opposite of great happened, and now, though the rating is still three, I don't feel bad about it. The story follows two best friends, Ethan and Casey. At first, it seemed like we were gonna get the nerd-and-jock trope, but that's not the case. Yes, Ethan plays a sport, but he's also a science major. Casey is nerdy, but he also enjoys hiking. And though I've seen the nerd/jock trope done brilliantly ( Power Plays and Straight A's comes to mind), the book kinda subverted expectations, and it was interesting. Anyway, Ethan and Casey, surprise surprise, are in love with one another. But of course, neither knows the other's feelings. And they have valid reasons not to confess those feelings. Both of them lost a parent five years ago in a workplace accident. Casey, since then, has had trouble getting close to people. He generally pushes everyone away. So dating Ethan and making himself even more vulnerable is just not something he's prepared to do. For Ethan's part, he knows Casey isn't open to dating, so there's really no point in telling him anything. And it's their fake-boyfriend act, thanks to a homophobic teammate of Ethan's, that finally makes them wonder if the feelings are worth confronting. These were all things that I liked about the book. Also, I'm a fan of the pining and longing. But I was never very invested in the relationship. I mean, it was good, but not something I'd want to revisit. Also, Casey's hangups kinda bothered me. Ethan lost his mom the same time Casey lost his dad. And I don't like that Casey gets to act like he's the only one having a hard time. And, more importantly, that the book focuses only on Casey's struggle. I mean, Ethan has issues with his dad, but the whole thing got convenience-d away in a single phone call. I did like how the book dealt with Ethan's rheumatoid arthritis, though. Not just the symptoms; but the lifestyle changes and decisions one has to make to live with RA. Finally, a thing that bothered me almost as much as something Casey did toward the end, and that was all the character cameos. I've mentioned in plenty of my reviews how much fun it can be when characters from previous books show up. But this is supposed to be a new series. And it's one thing if one or two people show up briefly, or if you want one of them to be a side character. But this was half a dozen of them in multiple scenes. None were developed enough to feel like side characters, and there were so many names being thrown around... I've read almost all of Aislin's books, and even I got confused and annoyed. And again, this is supposed to be a new series!  Overall, this just wasn't a very memorable book for me. Still, I'm not giving up on the series or the author. I hope that her next book is more... something that I can't put my finger on. Entertaining? Exciting? Lively? I don't know. One last thing, it's something I wanted to mention, but I couldn't figure out where to put it in the review: there's no sex in the book. There's one scene, but it's like half a page and not graphic. Some people might be fine with that (I was), but others might not, and I just thought I should let you know.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Imanewreader

    that was khyuuuuuuute that’s the kind of best friends to fake boyfriends to lovers i love to read ! and seeing characters from Stick Side appear (it takes place yeaars after it) was AWESOME ! omg i missed Roman and Cody so much they were my absolute favorite of the series and Ethan and Casey are their fœtus version lol loved it !!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I’ve read most of this authors previous work and am a huge fan so I was looking forward to this book. I was so disappointed when it started off slow and for some reason things just weren’t clicking for me. Somehow the storytelling seemed off…a kind of third party narration that just didn’t hit right, more telling than showing. Plus I couldn’t connect with the MCs and actually kind of disliked one of them. I contemplated giving up. Then all of a sudden things started clicking. The storytelling got I’ve read most of this authors previous work and am a huge fan so I was looking forward to this book. I was so disappointed when it started off slow and for some reason things just weren’t clicking for me. Somehow the storytelling seemed off…a kind of third party narration that just didn’t hit right, more telling than showing. Plus I couldn’t connect with the MCs and actually kind of disliked one of them. I contemplated giving up. Then all of a sudden things started clicking. The storytelling got better, almost like someone else started writing the book and now Aislin was there saying “ok, I’ve got it from here.” And I started to connect to the MCs, especially Ethan (Casey was still irritating me a bit) and the action of the story picked up. I was also excited to see characters from previous books making an appearance which I had not been expecting, having not made the connection. Once things turned for the better the book was great. We got the whole gamut of emotions. I was choked up, there was laughter, there were tears, and I wanted to throat punch a couple people. I always call that a win. The crisis moment was tense and completely captivating…I couldn’t put the book down wanting to see what happened and this turned into an all night read. The ending was sweet. I hope there’s another book as I loved the way this one ended and would love to follow Casey and Ethan’s journey as well as get to know other characters from the book better. I had some minor issues with parts of the book that seemed to indicate lack of research or unrealistic plot points (can’t mention the specifics without spoilers) and that always annoys me but it’s nothing that completely derails the story. I just find it so frustrating when authors set their stories in a real setting that has real parameters in which it operates and then they ignore the realities of that setting. And sorry, I don’t buy the “it’s fiction” or “willing suspension of disbelief” as you chose a setting/environment that exists in our reality. In my mind, if you just ignore basic realities it’s lazy storytelling as you just didn’t want to figure out how to work your story in the parameters you set for yourself. (And yes, it’s a pet peeve of mine, most people probably won’t care, most probably won’t even notice, and I should just shut up now!) In summary, while the story started slow once it took off it was engrossing, hit all the emotional buttons and had a sweet and satisfying ending and that is what I assume we all want from a book. Plus, I’d like to read more about these characters so that is always a good sign. **I voluntarily read an arc and this is my unbiased opinion.**

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ravenclaw Silverstripe

    I enjoyed this new book. Admittedly, it did take me until-I want to say 40% into the book to really get into it. Apart of the reason for that may have to do with that there were a lot of characters from the author's previous series (Stick Side) that were featured in this book that I did not know or did not remember. I only read a couple of the books in that series with plans to read the ones I forgot about at some point ( My TBR pile is ridiculous). All the cameos confused me for a minute becaus I enjoyed this new book. Admittedly, it did take me until-I want to say 40% into the book to really get into it. Apart of the reason for that may have to do with that there were a lot of characters from the author's previous series (Stick Side) that were featured in this book that I did not know or did not remember. I only read a couple of the books in that series with plans to read the ones I forgot about at some point ( My TBR pile is ridiculous). All the cameos confused me for a minute because I didn't know why they were significant, and it clearly felt like their presence within the story was supposed to mean something, and it frustrated me that I did not immediately get it. The fake boyfriends and best friends to lovers tropes fit within this story as Casey and Ethan were quite the adorable couple. More so adorable because they did not realize (like everyone else did) that they were essentially already acting like they had been dating each other for years. I loved that the author featured a character with a chronic disorder; the added bonus of featuring that and not having the character be identified by that really impressed me. At times though I felt that Ethan was a bit ashamed of his diagnosis, and that made me a bit protective of him. I could understand why he didn't want to burden his problems on anyone, but I wish he stuck up for himself more. He kept shouldering all these responsibilities on himself and ignoring the help of his friends (Brant and Theo) who desperately wanted to support him. He was quite stubborn in his whole "a man is a island" mentality. Another thing I struggled to like or fully understand was Casey's flight response in certain situations that triggers past trauma. I get that Casey does not have full control over how he reacts to his personal triggers, but I could not help but feel angry on Ethan's behalf. I think I wanted Casey to fully understand how lucky he is to have Ethan in his life because that is the one person who would never judge him on his bad decisions or panicked reactions. Overall, this was a great beginning to a new series, and I hope we get to learn more about Brant in the next installment. Oh, I do hope Brant is next, but I would appreciate less Britton (who doth protest FAR too much). Also want to add that I loved the LGBTQ rep in this already. There were Gay, Bi, Demi, & Pan (possibly) characters featured in this series, and it definitely made me happy to see that. *I received an ARC of this title through Gay Romance Reviews and have given my honest review.*

  5. 4 out of 5

    Miriah

    I don’t knowwww.... maybe 3.75 stars? Much of this book worked for me. There were even parts where I texted my husband to tell him how much I was enjoying the story. I loved the story of two best friends finally officially dating even though they’ve been “dating” for years without realising. I loved seeing a bunch of her precious characters, although their reason for being included was a bit of a stretch. I loved the side characters. There were other parts of the book I really didn’t like, or ju I don’t knowwww.... maybe 3.75 stars? Much of this book worked for me. There were even parts where I texted my husband to tell him how much I was enjoying the story. I loved the story of two best friends finally officially dating even though they’ve been “dating” for years without realising. I loved seeing a bunch of her precious characters, although their reason for being included was a bit of a stretch. I loved the side characters. There were other parts of the book I really didn’t like, or just felt like I was left wanting. This reads as a very mild NA book, which I wish I’d known going in. I’m a bit tired of NA books and the “blue balls” they leave me with. There is no steam in this story. There’s a ton of plot lines that are never resolved - things that are brought up once and never followed through with. Casey was kind of an asshole and Ethan was kind of a pushover. I didn’t like that we didn’t see Ethan and Casey’s family discover that they were finally together. The pacing was odd, and a lot of scenes fell flat. We got two angsty stupidity scenes, etc. But still, after all that, I’ll definitely be back for more because I did enjoy the characters.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Keeping Casey is such a sweet college romance, between best friends who have always secretly wanted more. Mostly what kept them from taking that step was fear and miscommunication. Casey and Ethan were always so tuned in to each other. The ways they looked out for the other's needs and interests was admirable. The storyline was interesting and the side characters were the kind you want more of, so here's hoping to see future stories. I did tear up a bit at one point, and had a hard time putting Keeping Casey is such a sweet college romance, between best friends who have always secretly wanted more. Mostly what kept them from taking that step was fear and miscommunication. Casey and Ethan were always so tuned in to each other. The ways they looked out for the other's needs and interests was admirable. The storyline was interesting and the side characters were the kind you want more of, so here's hoping to see future stories. I did tear up a bit at one point, and had a hard time putting this down. The steamy moments weren't a huge focus, more of just another part of their relationship progression. And I think that worked best in this particular story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Amy Aislin

    Coming February 23, a college romance between childhood best friends who've been dating this whole time but are too dense to know better. Also fake boyfriends between said BFFs. Because reasons. Pre-order it now! AMZ -> http://readerlinks.com/l/1639037 Apple -> http://readerlinks.com/l/1639038 B&N: -> http://readerlinks.com/l/1639039 Kobo -> http://readerlinks.com/l/1639040 Content warnings: grief over an off-page past parental death, minor panic attack, chronic pain, mild homophobia Coming February 23, a college romance between childhood best friends who've been dating this whole time but are too dense to know better. Also fake boyfriends between said BFFs. Because reasons. Pre-order it now! AMZ -> http://readerlinks.com/l/1639037 Apple -> http://readerlinks.com/l/1639038 B&N: -> http://readerlinks.com/l/1639039 Kobo -> http://readerlinks.com/l/1639040 Content warnings: grief over an off-page past parental death, minor panic attack, chronic pain, mild homophobia

  8. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    [ I received a digital arc for an honest review] Keeping Casey is the start of a new MM romance series by Amy Aislin. The romance story between best friends Casey Preston and Ethan Rain. They both love each other, but one's afraid of confessing his feelings and losing him and the other doesn't think he feels the same. When they decide to solve a problem with a homophobic teammate by being fake boyfriends, all of a sudden feelings are being forced into the open, and it will either break their frie [ I received a digital arc for an honest review] Keeping Casey is the start of a new MM romance series by Amy Aislin. The romance story between best friends Casey Preston and Ethan Rain. They both love each other, but one's afraid of confessing his feelings and losing him and the other doesn't think he feels the same. When they decide to solve a problem with a homophobic teammate by being fake boyfriends, all of a sudden feelings are being forced into the open, and it will either break their friendship or evolve it into what they both secretly want it to be. "Casey's voice alone did crazy things to Ethan's nerves. Keeping his feelings to himself was quickly becoming impossible." I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Both Casey and Ethan were sweethearts and their friendship was precious. They were affectionate, and you never doubted how they feel about each other. Ethan has rheumatoid arthritis and plays hockey, he doesn't let his RA hold him back. He's always there to lend a hand to his family and friends, putting others before his own discomfort and needs. An introvert who would rather chill with his best friend and needle felting little animals than go out partying. Casey is kind and focused. He has routines and methods that help him focus to get things accomplished, it also keeps him busy which take his mind of his grief. He never really faced his fathers passing, and it's one of the reasons why he holds himself back from Ethan. His fear of losing him keeps him from taking that next step and his indecision about them when it matters the most hurts to read. "Ethan held Casey's every murmur, every gasped breath, every kiss, every trail of nails across his skin, in the palm of his hand to cherish always." I also really enjoyed the supporting characters, their friends Brant and Theo were entertaining and called them out on their obliviousness. While this is the start to a new series, fans of Amy Aislin's previous books will be pleasantly surprised by familiar locations and friendly faces. Since Ethan is on the college hockey team there are cameos from some of the leads from Aislin's hockey series and our lead characters themselves are from her fictional town of Lighthouse Bay. Keeping Casey is a friends to lovers mm romance with the fake relationship trope thrown into it ( which is one of my all-time favorite tropes). This was a sweet comforting read with just the right amount of angst and a whole lot of love.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amy Dufera - Amy's MM Romance Reviews

    Damn, I love this book! Keeping Casey is an amazing sports romance by Amy Aislin. The first book in the Keeping Him series, it's a wonderful college hockey romance. Casey and Ethan are best friends. They're the kind of best friends one dream of having. A bromance for the ages. Except that they're also secretly in love with each other. This is a book that has all my favorites in one. Sports. Hockey specifically. College. Best Friends. I can't get enough of books like this. The men are best friend Damn, I love this book! Keeping Casey is an amazing sports romance by Amy Aislin. The first book in the Keeping Him series, it's a wonderful college hockey romance. Casey and Ethan are best friends. They're the kind of best friends one dream of having. A bromance for the ages. Except that they're also secretly in love with each other. This is a book that has all my favorites in one. Sports. Hockey specifically. College. Best Friends. I can't get enough of books like this. The men are best friends who have been acting like a couple long before they were. They're always together as best friends, but never made the move to be together in a relationship. Until Casey helps out his bestie by pretending to be his boyfriend. I love these men, and the depth of their backgrounds. Casey's past has left him in fear of losing those he loves. He's terrified to allow love into his life. It's definitely heartbreaking and has me wanting to hug and love him. Ethan's sexuality is well explored. He's asexual and has always been in love with Casey. But, damn, once the physical want and need hits, watch out! Love it! The characters are charming, the storyline sweet, and the ending wonderful. As well, there's some good humor sprinkled throughout. Everything about this story is sweet and tender. Well, almost everything. I mean, there is a homophobic teammate to deal with. And there's so fear and anxiety. But, it's all wonderfully done. One overriding theme is that of grief. The author excels in exploring that there is no one way to grieve. Everyone grieves differently and at their own pace. And then there's the RA. I appreciate the way the author deals with this aspect. It's written with knowledge and care. As someone who has arthritis myself, I fully relate to the way this is all explored. It's a big part of who Ethan is, and I'm glad it's written as such. I truly adore Keeping Casey. This is another fabulous hockey romance by Amy Aislin. With appearances by some of her characters from her Stick Side series, the fun just increases. I can't wait for more of this series.

  10. 5 out of 5

    George

    Glen Hill (VT) College students, Casey Preston and Ethan Rain have been best friends since childhood. They share - and have dealt differently with - the tragic loss of a parent. Both want to be more than just best friends. Both, for different reasons, have convinced themselves that can never be. Early on Casey says, ‘You’re all I see, Ethan.’ That simple declarative statement resonates throughout the story. I received a copy of this book from Gay Romance Reviews and this is my 3.75 Star honest re Glen Hill (VT) College students, Casey Preston and Ethan Rain have been best friends since childhood. They share - and have dealt differently with - the tragic loss of a parent. Both want to be more than just best friends. Both, for different reasons, have convinced themselves that can never be. Early on Casey says, ‘You’re all I see, Ethan.’ That simple declarative statement resonates throughout the story. I received a copy of this book from Gay Romance Reviews and this is my 3.75 Star honest review. Amy Aislin’s ‘Keeping Casey’ addresses so many issues that it’s almost as difficult to characterize the novel as it is to keep track of the sexuality of the multiplicity of characters she’s created. The term ‘no labels, please’ comes to mind. As the novel begins, Casey is an archeology major. Ethan is a biochemistry major, and a gay hockey player who knits to relax. What few others know is that he also has rheumatoid arthritis. Topics such as grief, loneliness, friendship, homophobia, chronic disease, homosexuality, bisexuality, demisexuality, love, loss, doubt, compassion, and more are explored through the multiplicity of characters the author has created. In fact there are nearly two dozen supporting characters and at least one charming kitten, Sasha, who appear during the course of the story. Some issues are addressed with greater understanding, sensitivity, and realism than others. For instance, it’s hard to believe that even today a National Hockey League team would have as many gay players as the fictional Vermont Trailblazers. Still, the members and coaches of that team play important roles in helping the protagonists realize what their lives together could be. There are wonderful descriptions of some aspects of college life - particularly a scene where Casey explores the various student groups available to underclassmen and collects pins from each. Two I particularly liked were ‘I dig you’ one of the pins from the Archeology Club, and ‘Forget Hydrogen, you’re my number one element’ one of the pins from the Chemistry Club. ‘Keeping Casey’ is a stand alone M/M romance novel. The author notes that there are other ‘stand alones’ available featuring some of the secondary characters in this book. If you enjoy 'Keeping Casey', you may want to explore some of the other novels as well.

  11. 5 out of 5

    WycEd Reader

    Check out our full post for KEEPING CASEY on Wicked Reads, which includes an excerpt. Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team Ruthie – ☆☆☆☆ This is the first book in a new series, but any Aislin fan will find some old friends popping up from the Stick Side series, and there is even mention of Lighthouse Bay... I really enjoy such references, it makes me feel like I'm at a family event and catching up on latest happenings! Casey and Ethan have been best friends forever, and have a common bond as ea Check out our full post for KEEPING CASEY on Wicked Reads, which includes an excerpt. Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team Ruthie – ☆☆☆☆ This is the first book in a new series, but any Aislin fan will find some old friends popping up from the Stick Side series, and there is even mention of Lighthouse Bay... I really enjoy such references, it makes me feel like I'm at a family event and catching up on latest happenings! Casey and Ethan have been best friends forever, and have a common bond as each lost a parent in a construction site accident. I found that rather weird, but whilst it has to some extent shaped their views, particularly Casey, who does not want to love anyone in case they leave him. We see almost immediately that his love for Ethan knows no limits, and yet he hasn't acknowledged the issue. The way that they do finally come to terms with how they both really feel is beautifully written. It is gentle, loving, and passionate. As well as navigating college as older (but still under 21) new students, these two men give us two very different experiences, and yet are almost always together. Ethan is playing hockey, but silently suffering with a chronic illness. He stands up to the homophobic captain, and yet cannot face telling anyone that he is sick. It is an interesting facet to Ethan's character. As a lecturer who is no fan of group work assignments, I loved that element of Casey's story, and I could predict exactly where that was going! There are lots of fun elements to this book. and I am really looking forward to the next one! Reviewers received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ruthie Taylor

    ~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~ This is the first book in a new series, but any Aislin fan will find some old friends popping up from the Stick Side series, and there is even mention of Lighthouse Bay... I really enjoy such references, it makes me feel like I'm at a family event and catching up on latest happenings! Casey and Ethan have been best friends forever, and have a common bond as each lost a parent in a construction site accident. I found that ~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~ This is the first book in a new series, but any Aislin fan will find some old friends popping up from the Stick Side series, and there is even mention of Lighthouse Bay... I really enjoy such references, it makes me feel like I'm at a family event and catching up on latest happenings! Casey and Ethan have been best friends forever, and have a common bond as each lost a parent in a construction site accident. I found that rather weird, but whilst it has to some extent shaped their views, particularly Casey, who does not want to love anyone in case they leave him. We see almost immediately that his love for Ethan knows no limits, and yet he hasn't acknowledged the issue. The way that they do finally come to terms with how they both really feel is beautifully written. It is gentle, loving and passionate. As well as navigating college as older (but still under 21) new students, these two men give us two very different experiences, and yet are almost always together. Ethan is playing hockey, but silently suffering with a chronic illness. He stands up to the homophobic captain, and yet cannot face telling anyone that he is sick. It is an interesting facet to Ethan's character. As a lecturer who is no fan of group work assignments, I loved that element of Casey's story, and I could predict exactly where that was going! There are lots of fun elements to this book. and I am really looking forward to the next one!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Xanthe

    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 j 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. Definitely a recommended read. I received an ARC and am happily giving a review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    ButtonsMom2003

    I couldn't put it down! I’ve been reading Amy Aislin’s books for a little over three year now and I have loved them all. I am particularly fond of her hockey books and Keeping Casey is a great addition to the rest of her work. Friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes and this one combines that with a fake boyfriend scenario which just adds to the deliciousness. If you are looking for a lot of hot, sexy time you won’t find it in this book but don’t let that keep you from reading it. W I couldn't put it down! I’ve been reading Amy Aislin’s books for a little over three year now and I have loved them all. I am particularly fond of her hockey books and Keeping Casey is a great addition to the rest of her work. Friends-to-lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes and this one combines that with a fake boyfriend scenario which just adds to the deliciousness. If you are looking for a lot of hot, sexy time you won’t find it in this book but don’t let that keep you from reading it. What you will get is a story with so much heart that it brought me to tears more than once. Ethan and Casey have been friends forever. They both suffered a tragic loss that impacted their lives greatly. Ethan managed to bounce back fairly well but Casey still struggles and won’t allow himself to get close to anyone for fear of losing them. Ethan also faces a health challenge and Casey is concerned about hockey causing Ethan more pain. Some of my comments above may make you think that this is an overly angsty story but it isn’t. It’s a great story about the life of a couple of college kids, the friends they make and how their personal struggles, school work and sports, impact their lives. There is a great HEA and I loved the epilogue but I hope we see more of Ethan and Casey in future books in this series. Fans of Amy’s Stick Side series will be pleased to see some familiar faces turn up in Keeping Casey. A copy of this book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mrs.V

    Back to hockey with Amy Aislin! I love this author’s writing style, it’s catching and engaging and her books always drag me in from the first to the last page! This new college-age, hockey book is a real treasure. Ethan and Casey have been best friends for all their lives. They are so close and so in tune with each other that everybody who meets them just assumes they are together. Secretly, they are both in love with the other, but they both have something preventing them to take the step to ch Back to hockey with Amy Aislin! I love this author’s writing style, it’s catching and engaging and her books always drag me in from the first to the last page! This new college-age, hockey book is a real treasure. Ethan and Casey have been best friends for all their lives. They are so close and so in tune with each other that everybody who meets them just assumes they are together. Secretly, they are both in love with the other, but they both have something preventing them to take the step to change their relationship… until they stage a fake relationship. The book is very sweet and it has a lot of funny and light-hearted moments, but it’s also very deep, as it deals with unresolved grief and a chronic disorder. It gets very emotional at points, but not too heavy, and the underlying tenderness between these two boys is always there to keep you reading because you want to see them finally settled in their HEA. I absolutely adored seeing so many acquaintances from the Shots on Goal series make a reappearance, it was so good to catch up with their lives.

  16. 5 out of 5

    E.Muddle

    Keeping Casey is a beautifully sweet college hockey romance featuring two lifelong best friends. It has pretty much all my favourites things: friends to lovers, all the mutual pining, wonderful side characters, college hockey, and some cameos from the Stick Side series that made me squeal out loud! Ethan and Casey are very much in sync, so much so that I had no trouble in seeing that they belonged together right from the beginning. The depth of their connection meant I could really enjoy their j Keeping Casey is a beautifully sweet college hockey romance featuring two lifelong best friends. It has pretty much all my favourites things: friends to lovers, all the mutual pining, wonderful side characters, college hockey, and some cameos from the Stick Side series that made me squeal out loud! Ethan and Casey are very much in sync, so much so that I had no trouble in seeing that they belonged together right from the beginning. The depth of their connection meant I could really enjoy their journey in going from friends to fake boyfriends to the real deal. It’s not free from hurt or angst though, and both Ethan and Casey have to deal with fear and grief. I do applaud how the issues of Ethan’s illness and Casey’s grief were dealt with. It makes the story raw and emotional and puts your heart on the line right alongside these beautiful characters.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I got this as an ARC and I really didn't like it because it had a LOT of my personal writing pet peeves, but I also know that I chose a book full of tropes I don't really like (new adult, sports romance), so I'm not sure it's fair to rip it apart. Keep reading if you really want to know what I thought of this book, otherwise just ignore this one and try a different review. The story was as juvenile as you'd expect NA to be, and though the writer was super careful about setting up scenes (describi I got this as an ARC and I really didn't like it because it had a LOT of my personal writing pet peeves, but I also know that I chose a book full of tropes I don't really like (new adult, sports romance), so I'm not sure it's fair to rip it apart. Keep reading if you really want to know what I thought of this book, otherwise just ignore this one and try a different review. The story was as juvenile as you'd expect NA to be, and though the writer was super careful about setting up scenes (describing rooms down to the furniture placement even), she didn't show the same care in describing her characters or giving them much of a personality. The characters were fairly generic and interchangeable, and I didn't care much about them. The reason I chose to read this book is because there are a LOT of hockey romances in the m/m genre, and I thought I would try one to see what the attraction is to this sport in particular. I grew up in hockey country, and I legitimately can't imagine a sport less hospitable for being out in, and I have to say that this book was so unrealistic that it has done nothing to change my mind. The author has set up a whole professional hockey team full of same sex couples, and she decided to put every single character from former books into this one even though they add exactly nothing to the story. This is one of my biggest pet peeves that writers do: sure, put your characters in from other series if it adds something, but if it doesn't add anything I just get increasingly annoyed about having to read about characters I know and care nothing about. Just keep the focus on the main couple and quit wasting my time! Additionally, there was a lot of random stuff thrown in that made the story less than cohesive: the one character did needle felting in a few of the chapters before that got dropped, there was a big deal made about a group project that didn't end up being a big deal, there was a bunch of talk about joining clubs and making friends that never really developed, and then there was a bunch of conversation about the fake boyfriend trope in the book between the characters: "Isn't that something that just happens in books?" The whole book is just silly and pointless. So yeah, hated it. Don't recommend. Won't read anything else by this author.

  18. 5 out of 5

    mrshouseofharrison

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was just sweet. All the characters were sweet, the storyline was so sweet. I really enjoyed it. There wasn’t a lot of angst, and the angst there was felt natural. I didn’t feel SUPER connected to the characters, but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that Ethan and Casey had known each other since they were little; lots of shared history and secretly in love with each other for a long time. It felt like the only thing that changed when they finally started dating for real wa This book was just sweet. All the characters were sweet, the storyline was so sweet. I really enjoyed it. There wasn’t a lot of angst, and the angst there was felt natural. I didn’t feel SUPER connected to the characters, but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that Ethan and Casey had known each other since they were little; lots of shared history and secretly in love with each other for a long time. It felt like the only thing that changed when they finally started dating for real was how they were physically. And I would have loved to have read more about that. Instead they kissed... no description. And when they had sex with each other for the first time, it was also Ethan’s first time ever, with anyone. And I wanted more information, more description, more insight into their feelings about it. Overall I liked it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fernanda Parente

    I don't know why, but it took me a while to get into this book. It's one of my favorite genres, but there was something that didn't hold me as usual, I didn't give up, and suddenly I couldn't let go of the book until I finished it. 2 friends always in love with each other without the other knowing, advances and setbacks between them left me in love with these 2 kids and their college friends It was the first book I've read of this writer, but now I have to go back and read the books of the hockey I don't know why, but it took me a while to get into this book. It's one of my favorite genres, but there was something that didn't hold me as usual, I didn't give up, and suddenly I couldn't let go of the book until I finished it. 2 friends always in love with each other without the other knowing, advances and setbacks between them left me in love with these 2 kids and their college friends It was the first book I've read of this writer, but now I have to go back and read the books of the hockey team mentors. I received an arc in exchange for an honest review

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ana Nimity

    I've read the Stick Side series and enjoyed them. Keeping Casey is a sweet spinoff of those. Sweeter, if that's possible, maybe because the characters are younger. There's also very little sex, so if you're looking for heat, this may not be the book for you, but if you're looking for a fairly low angst sweet story with loveable characters, then you've found it. It's not necessary to read the first series to enjoy this one, but they are excellent, and characters from them have guest appearances i I've read the Stick Side series and enjoyed them. Keeping Casey is a sweet spinoff of those. Sweeter, if that's possible, maybe because the characters are younger. There's also very little sex, so if you're looking for heat, this may not be the book for you, but if you're looking for a fairly low angst sweet story with loveable characters, then you've found it. It's not necessary to read the first series to enjoy this one, but they are excellent, and characters from them have guest appearances in this book, so you should consider starting at the beginning and reading them all.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anabela.M.

    This was a really fun fake boyfriends/ friends to lovers romance. The premise here was cute, and the fact that Casey and Ethan were already close made the development of more between feel real and believable. These two friends started off with a great bond and the fake relationship gave them the unexpected chance to explore their attraction. The growing chemistry and sexual tension was so hot, lots of teasing, but with an incredible tenderness, and the excitement of something new. Their feelings This was a really fun fake boyfriends/ friends to lovers romance. The premise here was cute, and the fact that Casey and Ethan were already close made the development of more between feel real and believable. These two friends started off with a great bond and the fake relationship gave them the unexpected chance to explore their attraction. The growing chemistry and sexual tension was so hot, lots of teasing, but with an incredible tenderness, and the excitement of something new. Their feelings gradually matured and the relationship that developed between them just flowed in a natural and inevitable way. I really enjoyed this story. Casey and Ethan were a blast to read and together they were incredibly cute and loving. Keeping Casey was charming and easy to get lost in and it's definitely a recommended read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lizzy (reviewsshewrote)

    So. Fucking. CUTE. Friends-to-lovers AND fake boyfriends? Sign me the fuck up. I’ve loved every book I’ve read by Amy, but I LOVED getting to see returning characters in this one. Not to mention a main character with a chronic illness? Hell. Yes.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Roberta Blablanski

    Amy Aislin is a new-to-me author, and I appreciate the opportunity the author provided to read an advance copy and review. Keeping Casey is hockey-heavy and, while knowing the ins and outs of the sport isn't necessary, I feel like I would have gotten more out of it had I previously read other Aislin books. From what I gathered, there were several cameos from hockey players from the author's other series. While I could appreciate connecting one series to another, I felt somewhat disconnected from Amy Aislin is a new-to-me author, and I appreciate the opportunity the author provided to read an advance copy and review. Keeping Casey is hockey-heavy and, while knowing the ins and outs of the sport isn't necessary, I feel like I would have gotten more out of it had I previously read other Aislin books. From what I gathered, there were several cameos from hockey players from the author's other series. While I could appreciate connecting one series to another, I felt somewhat disconnected from the main characters of Keeping Casey. The fake relationship trope is one of my ultimate favorites, but that plot line in this story fell flat for me. The actions of the characters pretending to be a couple felt inconsistent to me. There was a lot of unnecessary wishy-washy back and forth between Casey and Ethan that didn't make a lot of sense to me. I felt Ethan's condition was handled really well. For something that affects a person's everyday life, the inclusion of RA wasn't overwhelming or distracting. I also enjoyed his friends Theo and Brant. Perhaps they will get their stories in this series? Overall, I didn't dislike Keeping Casey, but I think I could have enjoyed it more had I been familiar with the hockey players from this author's other series.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Rep: gay, demi, bi, no label I like what I like, RA, grief CW: past death, panic attacks, sports injury Wow. The way this book handles grief is so spot on for my personal experience it’s scary. Such a well written book. Casey and Ethan are so cute together. I’m such a sucker for childhood friends and then throw in fake dating and mutual pining. Gahhh so good!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Fake boyfriend/couple is one of my favorite tropes! And this book had everything to make this trope good! I loved how Casey and Ethan were as friends and how close they were. How they supported each other and were there no matter what. So when they have to act as if they are a couple it was so natural for them the only difference is now they were kissing too. But it wasn't just as easy anymore for them. I loved how we got to read all the emotions these two went through! Nothing was skipped over o Fake boyfriend/couple is one of my favorite tropes! And this book had everything to make this trope good! I loved how Casey and Ethan were as friends and how close they were. How they supported each other and were there no matter what. So when they have to act as if they are a couple it was so natural for them the only difference is now they were kissing too. But it wasn't just as easy anymore for them. I loved how we got to read all the emotions these two went through! Nothing was skipped over or missed out. You were with them the entire way and when they panicked you panicked with them! If you love a friends to lovers, fake relationship book then this is a must-read for you!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Roger Hyttinen

    Blurb: 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, th Blurb: 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? Review: Keeping Casey is a sweet college romance that contains many of my favorite tropes/elements: gay hockey players, friends-to-lovers, and fake-dating, so I was super excited to delve into this book. The story follows Casey and Ethan, who have been best friends throughout their entire lives. Ethan is demisexual, and Casey is gay, and both of them have a secret crush on the other — but neither has ever been brave enough to act on their feelings, each certain that their love is unrequited. Thus, there’s plenty of angst as well as mutual pining going on. What’s fun is that pretty much everyone around them assumes that they’re a couple because of the way they act towards each other, and their friends call them out on it more than once. It’s also worth mentioning that the boys are bonded by a shared family tragedy: they both lost a parent in the same horrific construction accident, so this tragedy has overshadowed their decisions in life and affected each of them in different ways. They take care of each other, support each other, and provide that unconditional yet unspoken love that really is what they both need so desperately. Their relationship takes a turn when, on the fly, they decide to become fake boyfriends in order to put Ethan’s homophobic team captain in his place. Suddenly, their intense feelings for each other are forced out into the open with some unexpected results. I love how these two move through so much indecision and inner doubt as they toy with the idea of falling for each other. Note that this is an extremely slow burn and low heat story — in fact, they don’t even kiss until near the end of the book. In this way, sex is secondary to the intense emotional bond that the men share. So if you’re looking for a steamy romance, this isn’t it. What we do have, though, is a deep love and bond between two men who have intimate knowledge of each other’s faults and imperfections. Yes, both characters are flawed and slightly broken — but their complementary characteristics balance out their flaws. Though this is a tender, lighthearted romance, there’s also a serious aspect to it as the story delves into topics such as homophobia, love, grief, parental distancing, chronic illness (Ethan is living with rheumatoid arthritis), fear, insecurity, and sexuality. The sprinkling of humor throughout, however, kept the story from being too heavy. Though Keeping Casey may be a bit cliché in the way that it ends up resolving some pretty big problems and conflicts, it is an endearing romance that allows a reader to enjoy a bit of escapism into a beautiful relationship that never really falters. Their love is engaging and passionate — and Casey and Ethan have become one of my favorite couples. They both become different people by the end of this book, and it is lovely to see it happen. So though a tender romance is at the heart of this book, the story is also about facing unimaginable heartbreak and loss — and coming out stronger on the other side, no matter how long it takes you. NOTE: This book was provided by the author via GRRT for the purpose of a review on Rainbow Book Reviews.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gabi

    5 stars. This was lovely. Sweet, full of feelings and a little sad. Everything I wanted going in. The writing style and perfect edition all come together to tie up this lovely story. This story is the second best friends to lovers I have read from Amy Aislin and I sense a pattern. It's very OTT with the feelings, full of all consuming devotion to each other. I love it (one of the reasons I have read The Play of His Life quite a few times). But I understand that isn't for everybody. So if that's 5 stars. This was lovely. Sweet, full of feelings and a little sad. Everything I wanted going in. The writing style and perfect edition all come together to tie up this lovely story. This story is the second best friends to lovers I have read from Amy Aislin and I sense a pattern. It's very OTT with the feelings, full of all consuming devotion to each other. I love it (one of the reasons I have read The Play of His Life quite a few times). But I understand that isn't for everybody. So if that's not what you like maybe skip this one, you know? Told with double POV this story follows best friends Casey (20yrs) and Ethan (20yrs) as they struggle through their first semester at college and realize their feelings are not as impossible as they thought. I loved both MCs so much. Both were very real characters with troubles and faults. Casey's grief was so real and how dedicated he was to keeping Ethan safe and healthy really touched me. The reason for him to keep his feelings from Ethan broke my heart and made me mad at the same time. (Heads up: if you struggle with grief be careful. Maybe it's me in particular but I was really broken after some bits.) I honestly want to keep Ethan by my side and make sure nothing bad ever happens to him. I understood Casey perfectly. If this book had been written differently I would have said Ethan got handed a bad hand in life but it never felt like it and he never feels like it either. He was just so whole even after his mom's death and his diagnosis and while he is still learning how to cope with certain aspects of his life. Ugh, why can't I keep him? But I loved them together most. How well they knew one another, how they cared for each other. I appreciated how the story doesn't dwell on the fake bit of the story but it uses it as a way to move them into talking about their feelings. And once they are together as a couple? Be still my heart. As perfect as it gets really. To add to perfect, all the secondary characters were likable and I can't wait to read more about them. I hope the next books in the series follow Brant and Theo as each get their HEA. I could even like a redemption story for Britton. Look, this book is not for everyone. A lot of people won't enjoy what made this so good for me. But if you don't mind OTT devotion and a lot of feelings of love this one is perfect for you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! Cheating: (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)] Love triangle: (view spoiler)[No. (hide spoiler)] Strong homophobia: (view spoiler)[Mild homophobia, nothing extreme. (hide spoiler)] Triggers: (view spoiler)[Grief, chronic illness, some violence. (hide spoiler)] HEA: (view spoiler)[Yes! (hide spoiler)]

  28. 4 out of 5

    TJ

    When I heard Keeping Casey was a best friends to lovers/fake boyfriend book I was excited. Add in hockey players and this might as well have been written for me. I was expecting a good romance as usual from Amy Aislin but there was so much more to this. Themes of loss, grief, fear, homophobia, chronic illness as well as acknowledgement of different sexualities are all explored. Casey and Ethan have a solid bond forged by a lifetime of friendship and loss of a parent in the same accident. Family When I heard Keeping Casey was a best friends to lovers/fake boyfriend book I was excited. Add in hockey players and this might as well have been written for me. I was expecting a good romance as usual from Amy Aislin but there was so much more to this. Themes of loss, grief, fear, homophobia, chronic illness as well as acknowledgement of different sexualities are all explored. Casey and Ethan have a solid bond forged by a lifetime of friendship and loss of a parent in the same accident. Family trauma has shaped them into the people they are now as they start college. Ethan is afraid of relying on anyone and shoulders all his burdens alone and Casey is terrified of losing again and he’s closed himself off emotionally to deeper friendship or love. They are an island unto themselves but stuck in the same patterns. Ethan accepts his love for Casey while believing it will remain unrequited. Casey refuses to even examine his own feelings. Add to this Ethan’s diagnosis of a chronic illness and they have a long road between now and a future. It’s obvious to everyone except theirselves that they are meant to be together. Ethan’s chronic condition is presented with respect and matter of fact. He has valid concerns about his future and the impact on future relationships as his condition progresses. The author has obviously done some research and it’s nice to see. The college scenes were very well presented. Too often in freshman college based books I find what feels like adults thrown into an unrealistic nod to a college setting but the detail and vividness of their college life and the people in it made them feel like their actual age, which goes far towards explaining some of the decisions they make. Casey frustrates me more than a few times as he finds his way, and I was shouting at my reader a few times as he hurt Ethan feelings again! Thankfully they move past that and embrace being together fully. There are some great supporting characters. Brant, Theo and Joyce are wonderful and supportive. In fact Harkrader becomes my favorite secondary character. His blunt truth bombing put things into perspective more than once. I also need to see more of “prissy”Parker Sloan. He needs to have his own story. We also get some great side cameos from Amy Aislin’s Stick Side series. Keeping Casey has a lot of love, and longing and a first kiss worth waiting for. There is heat but if you’re looking for graphic steaminess this isn’t the book for it. This is pure angst, heartfelt romance and a a wonderful start to a new series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    4.75 Stars A sweet and tender stand-alone novel, that explores the feelings of friendship spilling over into love. There is an innocence to the MCs that really endeared them to me. Both men are young and yet mature at the same time. Their joined past life experiences have altered their perceptions of the future. For Ethan, who is a promising college student and dedicated hockey player, he has taken on a great deal of responsibility. A tragedy that overshadows both Ethan and his best friend Casey h 4.75 Stars A sweet and tender stand-alone novel, that explores the feelings of friendship spilling over into love. There is an innocence to the MCs that really endeared them to me. Both men are young and yet mature at the same time. Their joined past life experiences have altered their perceptions of the future. For Ethan, who is a promising college student and dedicated hockey player, he has taken on a great deal of responsibility. A tragedy that overshadows both Ethan and his best friend Casey has shaped both men’s life choices. It has made Ethan determined to tackle any issue, realizing his father doesn’t want to hear about his problems. This along with battling a chronic illness gives the young man an extremely full plate. Casey is so adorable, I just want to hug him and place him somewhere safe. He brings out my maternal instincts. The same accident that forever changed Ethan’s life, nearly suffocated Casey. The loss of his father is something Casey can’t get past. We learned very early on about this life-altering event that happened five years ago. This has also shaped Casey’s choices and outlook on life. His future career path along with the deep-rooted fear of commitment consumes him. He is deeply in love with Ethan, but his fear of losing someone again has him frozen in place. We know from the very beginning both men secretly love the other. While Ethan’s loss has made him fight harder for his goals, the real challenge is Casey, who has shut the door and drawn the blinds on relationship commitments. He may love Ethan, but he can’t imagine surviving if something happened to him. A unique love story, where one horrible day changed the trajectory of two young boys’ lives. Now, as grown men can they have the life they both crave? I highly recommend this book that centers around two genuinely decent people that seem not only perfectly matched, but truly kind and hard-working. Low in angst and loaded with good feels, I hope you enjoy this story. Happy reading! * * * Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement. * * *

  30. 4 out of 5

    The Word Nerd Reviews Blog

    This was my first book by Amy Aislin and it was a very enjoyable read. Keeping Casey is about childhood friends who discover that they’ve been ‘dating’ for as long as either of them can remember just without – and I quote – ‘without the sex and kissing and stuff’. This was an extremely light and easy read, although it did delve into serious subjects such as Ethan’s chronic illness, homophobia, and Casey’s grief over his father that he’s still not completely confronting, but their was enough humo This was my first book by Amy Aislin and it was a very enjoyable read. Keeping Casey is about childhood friends who discover that they’ve been ‘dating’ for as long as either of them can remember just without – and I quote – ‘without the sex and kissing and stuff’. This was an extremely light and easy read, although it did delve into serious subjects such as Ethan’s chronic illness, homophobia, and Casey’s grief over his father that he’s still not completely confronting, but their was enough humour that it never became heavy. It was given an extra element in that Ethan is demisexual and he has bonded with Casey. For him, there is no one else. Although not demi, Casey feels the same way, but he believes he can’t give Ethan what he needs and deserves so he refuses to acknowledge his and Ethan’s feelings. This is a very emotional book, it’s a romantic read rather than a steamy one. There is only one sex scene, and it is not very descriptive, it’s more intimate than steamy. A beautiful scene, but if you’re looking for smoking hot sports type romance book sex, then this is not for you. Keeping Casey was well written, and it was easy to like (and dislike) the entire cast of characters. We meet with characters from the author’s other series, but it is not necessary to have read the other books to follow their interactions. There is very little by way of backstory mentioned, just enough to whet your appetite to read their stories in full. Overall, Keeping Casey was a lovely story with a very satisfying HEA. Follow Me: Facebook & Twitter

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