Keeper by Nicole Dykes

If only you could be with your best friend forever. But Camden needs to leave his small hometown behind, which also means leaving his best friend behind as well. Kingston will do anything for Camden and perhaps his love for Camden is more important than anything else. Keeper was another of those highly sought after ARCs.

From the blurb:

Kingston Wells

I like to party. To have a good time.
Life’s too short not to. I learned that when I lost my grandpa.
He told me to have fun while I can, and I intend to.
Although sometimes when you’re having a good time, you forget others may see you as irresponsible. And sometimes you screw up.
I’ve definitely screwed up a time or two.
But I’m still determined to have fun. And along the way, I’m hoping I’ll convince my best friend, Camden, to do the same.
He’s too serious. Too focused. Too busy taking care of everyone to just relax.
And that’s where I come in.

Camden Prescott

I may only be eighteen and a senior, but I have too much on my plate to be a kid.
Too many people depend on me, but I can handle it.
I have to handle it. My mom needs my help. My little sister needs me. And Kingston, my best friend in the world—yeah, he definitely needs me.
Because while he’s busy having fun, I’m busy cleaning up his messes along with everyone else’s.
It’s not all bad though. He’s there to make sure I occasionally have fun, and I’m there for him when he needs to take life seriously.
Because that’s what I am . . .
The Keeper.

Heather's Review:

Best friends to lovers, high school seniors (18+), bi-awakening, slow burn, low angst and AMAZING!  No matter what age Nicole Dykes' characters are, she builds complex and interesting characters and sets them into well crafted scenes and stories... It was so easy to imagine exactly what the Dairy Queen would be like, the excitement of the football games, and the small town homophobia and secrets that surrounded Camden and Kingston in their small town...

This book was such a beautiful read with just the right amount of heat, a lot of sweet and a little angst at having to forge their own paths after high school graduation... It's a perfect read when you need a feel good HEA!

Rating: 5 Stars

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

The friendship and tight bond between Cam and Kingston is one to be jealous of, which coincidentally seems to be a theme with Kingston's long term girlfriend. Kingston is the bright one, the guy who's always smiling and enjoying what life brings. Cam is the opposite. He doesn't have time to enjoy everything life has to offer because he's too busy taking care of everybody else. No one knows this more than his bestie Kingston.

"I've watched him trying to carry everyone his entire life. His mom when his dad left. Our team. Me. Everyone he comes into contact with.

Camden Prescott is his world's keeper. And it's not fair."

Cam truly broke my heart. He has his heart set on leaving the small town he grew up in and moving into the city for college, a place where he can be himself, where all he has to worry about are his grades, and where he can finally be open about his sexuality. Before he can do all this though, Cam has to graduate high school in a few months and break the news to the man who means more to him than anything in the world that he's leaving him. I swear I held my breath through that entire tension filled conversation. How do you tell your best friend that you're planning to leave, likely to never come back? How do you tell him he's one of the reasons you have to go -- That being in love with your straight best friend isn't healthy and you need the space to move on?

"I have to get out of here, Kingston. And as my best friend, you need to let me."

What follows that conversation is a beautiful story of how friendship can slowly turn into love. And not just any love, no the love between Kingston and Camden is the forever kind. It's not often you meet your soulmate so young, but Cam certainly did. It just took Kingston some time to catch up. Even before things turned physical, Kingston was always the sun in Cam's sky.

Rating: 5 Stars

SNik's Review:

Standalone. Childhood best friends to lovers. Slow burn. Dual POV. 

Best friends forever, Camden and Kingston are seniors in high school in a small town in Kansas. Camden has always been the responsible one, and now he has the chance to leave for college and finally live his authentic life for himself. 

Kingston can’t imagine ever leaving their hometown, and losing Camden will be devastating, but when he realizes that Camden needs the freedom to be openly gay and not be burdened by family obligations he solely focuses on Camden’s happiness. 

The descriptions of loving a small town but desperately wanting to experience something bigger is so relatable, both nostalgic and heartbreaking. Camden and Kingston’s absolute commitment to each other in a loving friendship that is strong and unbreakable but grows even deeper and emotional was so lovely to read. 

This author really conveys the emotional honesty Camden and Kingston share, their feelings of fear and love are expressed with no hesitation and I loved every interaction between them. 

Romantic story with an HEA that is believable for a couple of men absolutely committed to their person.

Rating: 5 Stars

Angel's Review:

This was an adorable, slow burn, friends to lovers, small town romance. Nicole knows how to make characters you can't help but fall for. I was cheering Kingston and Camden on, I desperately wanted them to figure things out, and they did! They got their happy ending that was so, so good. I loved everything about this book, how their relationship started as being each other's safe places to becoming so much more than what they prepared for. 

I really enjoyed how goofy and caring and playful Kingston was, he was always trying to make things better for Camden in his own way which I thought was so cute and sweet. And Camden was the teen who had to grow up too fast, he didn't have time to be a kid and fool around. He had to work to support his mom and his sister and he had a big secret to hide. 

Nicole hits it out if the park with yet another great book with amazing characters. 

Chapter 13 was my favorite, I straight up giggled reading it, I love how honest and endearing if not a little naive Kingston is. He's trying to show his support in his own way. 

This book was really exceptionally written, amazing characters, a well thought out plot, a happy ending and extra spicy scenes. Not to mention lots of funny and sweet moments. 

"He makes me better.To do better. Everything is better with him. And I'll make sure the rest of my life is totally full of him. My best friend. My whole world." 

I recommend this to anyone who wants a pick me up, a good laugh, and aw out loud moments. 

Rating: 5 Stars

Tatted_book_freak's Review:

An enjoyable read by an amazing author! This is exactly why I have grown to love her books so much. She has a mixture of angst, intimacy, turmoil, and emotions mixed into one captivating story. Even though this was not my go-to troupe, Nicole does such an amazing job that even though it was a best friends to lovers story, the slow burn of their building would grasp anyones attention. 

“๐•Ž๐•– ๐•ฅ๐•ฃ๐•ฆ๐•ค๐•ฅ ๐•–๐•’๐•”๐•™ ๐• ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•–๐•ฃ ๐•ž๐• ๐•ฃ๐•– ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•’๐•Ÿ ๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•ช๐• ๐•Ÿ๐•– ๐•–๐•๐•ค๐•–. ๐•Ž๐•– ๐•”๐•’๐•Ÿ ๐••๐•  ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•š๐•ค ๐•—๐• ๐•ฃ ๐•–๐•’๐•”๐•™ ๐• ๐•ฅ๐•™๐•–๐•ฃ, ๐•’๐•Ÿ๐•• ๐•š๐•ฅ ๐••๐• ๐•–๐•ค๐•Ÿ’๐•ฅ ๐•™๐•’๐•ง๐•– ๐•ฅ๐•  ๐•“๐•– ๐•’ ๐•“๐•š๐•˜ ๐••๐•–๐•’๐•.”

The trust that these two have in each other is absolutely beautiful, and allows a solid foundation for their relationship to blossom into an intimate connections that is unbreakable. Their connection is one wrote in the stars, lasting beyond a lifetime.   A true friendship with a love so raw and pure it’s intoxicating and made for perfection! 

“ษชแด›’๊œฑ แด€สŸแดกแด€ส๊œฑ ส™แด‡แด‡ษด แด„แด€แดแด…แด‡ษด แด€ษดแด… แด‹ษชษดษข๊œฑแด›แดษด.”

Rating: 5 Stars

Keeper is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.