Young Adult

Romantic European Trip and Ripping Pectorals // No Holding Back by Kate Evangelista

nhbNo Holding Back by Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Swoon Reads (18th Oct 2016)
Series: Dodge Cove #2
Format/Source: ARC (won from Twitter giveaway by Kate Evangelista)

Everyone knows that Nathan is in love with his best friend, Preston…Everyone except Preston. Nathan has always accepted that Preston was too focused on his swim training to worry about love. But Preston is heading off to train for the Olympics soon, so if Nathan wants his chance at love, he has to speak up now. But saying “I love you” is surprisingly difficult, even for someone as confident as Nathan. Maybe a whirlwind vacation in Europe could help? But… what if it doesn’t work out and he loses the best friend he’s ever had?

I have been looking high and low for a good gay YA lit for some time now. I liked Boy Meets Boy, I didn’t really like Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda but I was not deterred from finding a book that centres on same-sex couples that is either enjoyable or impactful. Luckily for me, I managed to win an ARC of Kate Evangelista’s No Holding Back which was all kinds of adorable and swoony, and it did live up to it being a Swoon Read!

Note: this is the second book in the Dodge Cove series, with No Love Allowed being the first book. If you haven’t read No Love Allowed, it’s totally fine. You will still love Nathan.

No Holding Back, in short, is a love story between best friends Nathan and Preston. Nathan has always been in love with his best friend since forever and not willing to risk their friendship, he has kept his feelings from Preston to himself. However, with the upcoming Olympics looming, Nathan feels like this is his last chance to confess his feelings to Preston.

Preston’s only life goal is to swim. Swimming is his life and he knows that he can’t risk being distracted by anything else other than swimming if he wants a shot at the Olympics. Hence, when Nathan and his Mum suggest a holiday in Europe to take his mind off swimming for a short while, he isn’t convinced that it’s a good idea. Surely a European escapade is what the pair need, don’t you think? Saucy wink.


If you’re looking for something sweet and cute and completely 100% swoon-worthy, look no further because No Holding Back was just wonderful. It gave me all the feels. I kept getting that stinging feeling in my nose and before I knew it, I was tearing up because Nathan and Preston were so fucking adorable. Relationship goals, people. I swear to God, my heart would melt if a) I had one and b) I am capable of showing emotions.

Join Nathan and Preston as they explore the splendour and wonder that Europe has to offer in No Holding Back because as I write this review, I am dying to read it again. I loved Nathan because he reminded me so much of myself – yes, I am sassy and all around fabulous but you know that already, don’t you? – and Preston was such a stud. There was a part in the book that had the moment and I fanboyed so hard in my room. Luckily no one was there to watch me flail and swoon and grin like a complete lunatic.

Kate Evangelista had me lusting over a romantic European trip as I was reading about Nathan and Preston’s little whirlwind adventure. From the haunting cobblestoned streets of Venice to the beautiful English countryside, I loved every page of No Holding Back and I had to rein myself in from gushing and sighing in happiness as I turned the last page. Just read No Holding Back, please. You won’t regret it. PS. There’s a hot shower scene so be prepared.


It also irked me that I didn’t see Preston competing during the Olympics. Such a shame that I couldn’t unleash my inner fanboy. But I don’t mind settling for Arthur Nory.

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