Keeping Sweets by Cate Ashwood ~ Review by Marc

Hi guys, I’ve had my eyes on Cate Ashwood’s Keeping Sweets for a while now and the book had been patiently waiting on my kindle!  When the opportunity to interview the incredibly nice and talented Cate Ashwood came along I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to read it and man am I happy I did 🙂 I love sweet feel-good stories and this Pretty-Woman-esque novel set in the gay porn industry hit all my buttons right 😉 5 stars!


The facts: This 206 pgs novel was published on march 11th, 2013 by Dreamspinner Press.

Description from the publisher: 

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.

The cover: The cover is one of the reasons why this book was on my radar. I discovered it first in the M/M Romance lists and the cover grabbed me enough to read the blurb, where I found out that it has a gay-for-pay storyline and instantly suspected I might like this book. When all my GR friends started to bully me to finally read it I gave in and got me a copy! I love that the models aren’t just headless, naked torsos. They are sexy like hell, even with their shirts on and I found the way they were framed by a beautiful ocean scenery very intriguing. It kind of cools down the hot tension between the models. And the way the one model looks straight at you, like he’s about to put on a show… really liked this cover. Brooke Albrecht, the cover artist, did a fantastic job 😉

The title: Easy to recognize and remember and unique. Nothing more I need 😉 Especially since it is a very fitting title in such a sweet love story 😉

The story: Evan Lowry has spend his High School years studying, to be able to get away from his abusive home and enter a good college for a science degree. After his mother’s death, his homophobic, alcoholic step-father has told him that he is a great burden on him and only allowed to live in his house until graduation, because he promised it to Evan’s mom. After his graduation, he finds himself without home or money and even with his scholarship, he has to find a way to pay for everyday life, especially since the University is still closed for summer break. When is is looking for a job, he finds an add for a modeling gig and sends his information, even though he firmly believes no one would want him for a job like that. He is very surprised when he scores an interview and realizes the model job is for gay porn. Intrigued by the gorgeous model “Noah”, the fast money he desperately needs  and the chance to gain his first sexual experiences, he agrees to a new path that will change his life.

Evan (aka. Jackson) is incredibly naive and innocent. The 18-year old virgin may come from an abusive household, but he has somehow kept a positive and open-minded outlook on the world. When a new world opens up before him, he jumps in without regrets. He soon falls for the seasoned porn star Brandon Court (aka Noah), who is weary of the cold and unmerciful business and the strain the porn life has put on him and opens his heart fearlessly to the man, who spend his life trying to keep others out to protect himself. From the very first meeting, though, sparks fly between the two men and Evan’s innocence and honesty break through every carefully erected protective barrier. They are drawn to each other in a way that may seem insta-love, but somehow really works for this story. In a way, both complete and need each other and finding each other rescues them from losing themselves.

Evan and Bran are both sweet and sympathetic characters I easily felt in love with. It was great to see the author show that even being a porn star is just a job and the guys are normal humans who fall in love and can be romantic and sweet, even if they have a three-way in front of the camera. Ever since reading Amy Lane’s amazing Johnnies series (Chase in Dark, Dex in Blue, Ethan in Gold, …), I have been completely hooked by gay-for-pay storylines and the way porn stars have to navigate two identities, and finding love even while their job may distort their view on a healthy and desirable relationship. In the end they are just like any other guys, just with more sexual experience and many people who secretly watch and admire their work, while spitting on them in public and treating them like trash. Therefore, many pornstars are looking for true love as well, even after many hot and empty encounters and it was great to see these two guys find their happily ever after. Looking forward to book two! 😉

I absolutely recommend you guys give this sweet romance a try! It’s a really good read 🙂 Perhaps you will even win a copy by commenting on Cate’s interview and giveaway!


Farewell Giveaway
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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5 thoughts on “Keeping Sweets by Cate Ashwood ~ Review by Marc

  1. I too loved Amy Lane’s Johnnies series and also JP Barnaby’s Little Boy Lost series. Both are gritty looks at gay for pay and although this one sounds somewhat sweeter I’m definitely interested in reading it.

  2. Nice review Marc. I enjoyed this one too and would like to see more of their story. I also liked Colt and the other secondary characters. Wonder if there will be any more books following them. 🙂

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