Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Keeping Casey by Amy Aislin
Keeping Him, Book 1
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?
Ethan must’ve made a sound. Casey’s head swung in his direction, gaze examining him head to toe in what had become standard for Casey ever since his dad died—checking Ethan over for injuries after practice.
Apparently satisfied, he smiled wide, making Ethan’s stomach tumble, and said, “Hey. I have things for you.”
“So you said.” Dropping his gear bag and backpack next to the door, Ethan moved Casey’s backpack off his desk chair and sat, discreetly rubbing a wrist while Casey wasn’t looking. Wrapping them for practices and games helped, but they were always sensitive afterward, no matter what. He rubbed the other wrist while Casey’s back was turned.
A rustle drew his attention to Casey. There was a pile of . . . stuff on Casey’s bed. Brochures, flyers, buttons, business cards, even a GH pennant. Two piles, actually. He picked up the second, smaller one and handed it to Ethan. “Thought you might be interested in these.”
Ethan dropped them on the desk and sorted through them. “I don’t really have time for clu— Oh, hey! Cross-Stitch Fun-Stitch?”
“Closest I could find to needle felting.”
“Speaking of.” Digging into the outer pocket of his bag, Ethan came out with a squat, felt owl only a couple of inches tall and as round as a bowling ball. He tossed the white-and-gray bundle to Casey. “Forgot to give this to you earlier.”
“Another hootie for my collection?” Casey placed it on the windowsill where a dozen other little felt owls sat in a row. Ethan had been making them for Casey since he’d started needle felting in high school, and he knew there were probably three dozen more in Casey’s bedroom back home. “I’ve got something else for you too.” From the other pile on the bed, Casey fished out a button and leaned over Ethan to affix it to his T-shirt, over his heart.
Ethan stilled, worried he’d pull Casey onto his lap to nuzzle his neck if he so much as twitched a finger. At the end of the day like this, Casey didn’t smell like anything excerpt something uniquely him and, very faintly, of shampoo. This close, the olive green in Casey’s hazel eyes was more pronounced and Ethan had to resist the pull to poke at the tiny beauty mark on his chin.
“There.” Casey stood back with a grin.
Ethan read the button upside down. I dig you. “Let me guess,” he said with a chuckle. “You joined the Archeology Club.”
“And the Hiking Club. Signed you up for it too.”
“I know you don’t have a lot of free time, but I figured there might be a few outings you could attend. Like, the first event is on a Sunday afternoon a couple of weeks from now. You can come then, right?”
Sundays were free of hockey practice and games, so unless Ethan was traveling back from an away game with his team, he had Sundays off. “Yeah, probably.”
“Cool. I’ll RSVP us.”
Ethan played with his button, the metal making a click-click sound as Casey moved the rest of his stuff off the bed and onto the coffee table. I dig you. It was simply one friend giving it to another. Ethan shouldn’t read anything further into it, even if he desperately wished Casey meant something else.
There were other buttons that Casey had gotten for him too and Ethan parsed through them on the desk.
Keep your ion the prize. He chuckled. Casey must’ve stopped by the chemistry club to pick these up for him.
There was also Make like a proton and stay positive, Chemists in a lab are in their element, I like to hear chemistry puns, periodically, and Forget hydrogen, you’re my number one element.
The last one he pinned to Casey’s backpack.
Enter the Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of Keeping Casey, Amy is giving away a signed copy of Keeping Casey to one lucky winner!
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About the Author:
Amy’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.
An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group, Amy Aislin’s Readers, to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram and Twitter, or sign up for her newsletter.
Connect with Amy:
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/amyaislin/
[ 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.
—-Written by Amanda—-