Title: Keeping Sweets
Author: Cate Ashwood and Jeff Gelder (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC
Release Date: March 27th 2015
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Length: 6 hrs 25 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
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.
Keeping Sweets is a likable, fluffy romance with fewer sexy times that one might expect from a love story set in the porn world.
Eighteen year old Evan Lowry and twenty-seven year old Brandon Court both have pasts which make them pretty perfect for one another. In a way there’s a little hurt/comfort going on. Evan’s deceased mom was an alcoholic and a crappy mother, Bran’s parents kicked him out when he was fifteen because he was gay, and the two gravitate immediately towards one another.
I was prepared this time around, being familiar with Cate Ashwood’s writing at this point, for the predictable use of miscommunication as a plot device to bring angst/conflict into the story. While this is frustrating for me normally, like I said, I was prepared for it so I just let it go.
As a reader I needed to suspend my disbelief for the portrayal of the porn industry. For example, at one point Brandon is supposed to have edited footage of their latest project, but hasn’t done anything with it for four months. Like his company would have allowed that to happen. But I digress.
I liked Jeff Gelder’s character voices and clear diction. He gives an emotional nuance to both Evan and Bran that was really nice to listen to. All in all the characters are relatable and likable, even if the situations aren’t, Gelder gives a fine performance, and the story had enough feels and sexiness to keep me interested. Though I would have liked an epilogue showing hearts and rainbows in the future, it ends well and sweetly.