Keeping Him #1
Genre: Contemporary, Series
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?
I got pulled into this book and invested in both Casey and Ethan immediately. They’re both dealing with the grief of losing parents, and I felt for both of them. Casey’s reaction to anything emotional is to withdraw, and Ethan’s got a chronic illness to juggle on top of everything else. I loved these guys as friends, and wanted them to act on their true feelings and have their HEA.
Casey and Ethan are both layered characters, and although I felt frustrated on Ethan’s behalf with Casey’s fake boyfriend dance, I could understand his fear in taking that step from friendship to romance with the person he truly cares about. The details in this story are wonderful, like Ethan’s needle felting addiction, and Casey’s love of archaeology and why. I like that, although Ethan’s built for his hockey player role, he’s quiet and unassuming, and just gets on with his life, despite his illness. The descriptions of their growing and changing relationship are wonderfully emotional and heartfelt.
I love stories that take part in shared universes, and got a kick out of mentions of characters from the other book I’ve read by this author. Some of the other characters felt like they came with a rich history of their own, so I’m very happy that I now have another series I need to read too. I loved that Casey and Ethan come from Lighthouse Bay, and want to read more of Roman, Cody, and their teammates. As well as the hockey guys, I loved the supporting cast and how they added to the story, and felt like family, especially Theo and Brant. Sasha the kitten needs a mention too. I have a weakness for stories that have cute cats.
The glimpse into their life a few months on is very satisfying and sweet.
5 out of 5 stars.