Saturday, October 15, 2016

NO HOLDING BACK BY KATE EVANGELISTA - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone,

I am back with another book review, today it is the companion novel to No Love Allowed, No Holding Back by Kate Evangelista.


Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Firstly, this is the companion novel to No Love Allowed, which came out last year. I read and reviewed that book as well, and I think these books definitely need to be read in order. You will get spoiled for the couple in the first book if you read this book first.

Anyways, this book focuses on Nathan, Caleb (from the first book's) cousin and his relationship with his childhood best friend, Preston. It's pretty much clear to everyone, except Preston that Nathan has feelings for him that are outside those of a best friend.

Preston is focused on training for the Olympics in swimming, but when he starts to obsess about the results of whether or not he will get to train with the top trainer, Nathan decides to whisk him away to the European trip he planned for him and Caleb, who cancelled last minute, to help take his mind off of things.

I won't say much more about the plot, you'll have to read the book for that.

While it's been a while since I read No Love Allowed, I do know that I really enjoyed it. This book, not as much. I think part of the problem is that it is so short, just barely over 200 pages, there wasn't enough space and time to really develop either the characters or their relationship.

I also felt like some of the conflicts in the story, there were a few too many for my tastes, took away from the story itself. I think the biggest problem Preston and Nathan had was that they didn't communicate. Nathan wanted one thing, but wouldn't tell Preston what it was. Preston was so in his own world that nothing Nathan did got through to him.

This is (obviously) an LGBT romance, Nathan is openly gay, and while I don't recall much about Preston from the first book, I believe he is either gay or bisexual. I'm trying to broaden my horizons a little bit, because we need to support books and authors who have LGBT elements in them. The romance itself isn't that great, but I think that is just because I can't really see the characters romantically involved. They seem much more like friends than anything else.

I just don't know if this book worked for me on a lot of levels. Nathan was the only character I actually liked, but even he wasn't much to keep me invested in the story. I think the only reason I finished it so fast (about an hour and a half) was because it was so short and straightforward. There were just so many things thrown in that I'm not sure actually belonged. Natasha randomly shows up to find her ex Jackson (I'd bet anything that was to cue up a book for the two of them next), Nathan planning Preston's mom's luncheon (I get that is his dream, but it didn't really seem integral to the plot itself), and just the way Preston acted most of the time, he was so all over the place, first he maybe felt things, then he didn't, etc.

Overall, this book was not my favourite, definitely not within this series.


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