My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: October 18th 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT, Friendship, Traveling
A romantic European vacation is the perfect excuse to let go in this highly anticipated sequel to No Love Allowed 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?
Favourite quote: ‘‘One pot brownie changed everything.’’
Alright, alright, perhaps not the best of the quotes to choose from, but it’s what it unravels in the story that makes it so darn important and hilarious.
No Holding Back is supposedly the sequel to No Love Allowed but, to tell you the truth, I had no idea when I requested it, and I fully understood everything about this one. Even the secondary characters charmed me.
That’s what it is: charming to the max.
It’s a ‘‘best-friends-to-lovers’’ trope, which seems to be extremely popular in gay romance stories—or maybe it’s just me being a human magnet for them and attracting them all my way.
Regardless, I spent such a great afternoon in No Holding Back’s company; therefore I really hope (though perhaps it’s only wishful thinking) that this couple will make its reappearance as lead characters in a future Kate Evangelista book.
I was thoroughly entertained by Nathan and Preston’s adventures in Paris, Ireland, Greece, Amsterdam, etc. What better way to mentally travel through Europe than with books?
The romance is also very sweet—BUT, it does have a GFY (gay for you) vibe. I didn’t find it 100% realistic, but since I was having too much of a great time with it, I decided to shake the unrealistic elements off for the duration of my reading time.
But really, I’m surprised—impressed, even. I doubted I would be disappointed with it, since I have yet to be disappointed with any Swoon Reads title, but I honestly had no idea I would finish it so quickly and that b/c of how enjoyable it was.
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