Friday, October 28, 2016

Me on No Holding Back

Title: No Holding Back
Author: Kate Evangelista
Release Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads (Macmillan imprint)

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?

No Holding Back is a sweet story about friendship and love, about focus and determination.

Nathan is determined to plan this luncheon for Preston's overbearing and controlling mother, even if she keeps undermining his ideas. But he knew she would be this way, he and Preston have been friends for years. And Nathan's been crushing on him for almost as long. He knows Preston, knows how driven his is when it comes to swimming. Nathan knows how sometimes Preston gets too focused, too involved. Which is why this vacation to Europe is actually a great idea. Give them both time to relax, even while Nathan is busy planning. And maybe Nathan would finally gather up all his courage and tell Preston how he feels? But what if it doesn't work out?

Preston has tunnel-vision when it comes to swimming. It's all he knows, all he works towards. He's been dreaming of making the Olympic team for years, and now he's one step closer. Maybe. If the club coach would ever e-mail him to let him know whether or not he made it in. It's a good thing he has Nathan as a friend, setting him straight when Preston stresses out and over-thinks. But this European vacation idea? He's not so sure. What if the e-mail comes early? And once he's in Europe, why are things sometimes awkward with Nathan?

This is a sweet story about two young men who need to stop and be honest with each other, with themselves. Stop and look around and think about what they really want. But that was it. I kept searching for substance. And there were moments when the story stuttered and dragged on. It's a bit of a clichéd story. But if what you're looking for is a sweet and simple gay romance, if you like the friends to something more trope, then give this a read.

(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)

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