Title: Keeping Sweets
Author: Cate Ashwood
Narrator: Jeff Gelder
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
eBook Release Date: 03/11/2013
Audiobook Release Date: 03/25/2015
Story Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Days away from high school graduation, with hardly a penny to his name, Evan Lowry needs to earn money for college. When he comes across an ad for modeling, he thinks his luck has changed—until he learns he’s interviewing for an adult film and will be expected to have sex. On camera. With other men.
For gay porn star Brandon Court, the shine has worn off of regular shoots. He and his producer, Les, decide to try something new: a reality-show porno set at a beach house. When he meets wide-eyed and naïve Evan for the first time, Brandon isn’t sure if he wants the kid to get lost or get naked. Naked wins.
On set, Brandon takes Evan under his wing, and over the next month, they are thrown together in every intimate way conceivable—except emotionally. Both Brandon and Evan are terrified of trying for anything deeper, and insecurities and doubts wear on their hopes, but the chemistry between them won’t let them slow things down.
My View – Story:
I enjoyed this audiobook. Despite Keeping Sweets revolving around porn stars and set during a porn shoot, the author was able to maintain the overall innocence and romance of Evan and Brandon’s story. That was not something I was expecting, but it was something I was grateful for.
Keeping Sweets is a story of two men both searching for that something missing in their life. For Evan, this is a coming of age and sexual awakening story. He is figuring out who he is and who he wants to be. However, unlike most coming of age stories, Evan is discovering himself on the set of a porn shoot. He confirms his sexuality at the interview, loses his virginity on set, he finds his first love in a fellow porn star. At the start Evan is hero worshiping Brandon who is his first sexual experience. He worries that his attachment is simply because of that fact and not real. But in the end, the hero worship remains and Brandon becomes his first love.
For Brandon, this is an emotional awakening story. He has had all the sex he could want as a porn star, but none of that emotional connection a true love needs. Brandon is 10 years older than Evan and while he is very attracted to him, he is almost like a protective adult figure, guiding him through the big bad world of porn while trying to maintain his innocence as much as possible. While I was a bit worried about it at first, the age gap with Evan being SO young and innocent, I often forgot that age gap existed especially when the men were together. For all his age and pron wisdom, Brandon is a bit of an innocent as well having never really been in a successful emotional and sexual relationship off screen. I did feel like Brandon’s side of the romance was not as well explained as Evan’s and I still wonder exactly why Brandon fell in love so quickly.
I enjoyed watching the men navigate their new emotions and the way those emotions manifested as sexual tension. Never once did I not think sex would not be used as a metaphor for love in this particular story. The author couldn’t help it with the setup she presented. I don’t usually care for this, but in this case it was expected and felt right for this story. I loved the scene when Brandon claimed Evan for all the other men to see. It was raw and emotional and HOT.
Of course there was the big angst moment that lead to Brandon getting his head out of his ass and going after what he wanted in life. He finally realized what he was worth and that Evan was for him. The ending was very HFN and left me wondering if these men will truly make it. Is this relationship destined to be Evan’s first grand romance or will they defy the odds and stay together forever? I don’t know, but I would be willing to read about them again to find out. I would also like Colt’s story. Will we get Colt’s story? Please?
My View – Narration:
Jeff Gelder did a great job on this narration. He did a great job with the characters and I really like that he nailed Evan’s naivete and uncertainties.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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