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No Holding Back (Dodge Cove Trilogy) Paperback – October 18, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—The sequel to No Love Allowed follows Nathan and Preston as they take the European summer vacation meant for Nathan and his cousin, Caleb. While Caleb and Didi spend their summer in Dodge Cove, Nathan plans to distract Preston from his busy swimming schedule while also using the trip as an opportunity to confess his true feelings for him. Reluctantly, Preston joins Nathan on the extravagant trip but almost immediately dashes Nathan's hopes and completely ignores his not-so-subtle romantic messages. Convinced that his feelings are unrequited, Nathan becomes withdrawn and considers returning home to pursue his own career goals. However, his twin sister, Natasha, suddenly arrives in Greece to give the protagonist the support he needs to follow through with his decision. Readers will need some familiarity with the first book to fully understand the characters and the plot. Unlike its predecessor, this title exists solely in the jet-setting world of ultrarich teenagers whose worries center primarily on their love interests. Preston's anxiety about making the Olympic swim team and Nathan's worries about pulling off the party of the year for Dodge Cove's social elite are some of the characters' concerns. Teens interested in LGBTQ romances may overlook the wealth-filled setting in favor of the characters' internal struggles. VERDICT Purchase where the previous volume is popular.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD
"No Holding Back is an intriguing novel featuring diverse characters and romance built not only on attraction but also lifelong friendship and support." ― VOYA
No Love Allowed:
" Evangelista takes a familiar story of young love and makes it fresh." ―VOYA
"Given the growing awareness towards understanding the stigmas, issues and concerns surrounding mental illness, I find it refreshing that this book doesn’t preach about what to do or how to be – it just tells a story of two people who fall in love and who just also happen to struggle with issues that deserve a place to be talked about." -Whatsageek.com
“Wow. I loved this. LOVED it. Kate used a deft touch, getting Didi just right. I’m looking forward more in this series because all the main players deserve their own stories. Read this book. You will NOT be disappointed.” - Christine Ashworth, Swoon Reader
“It’s like a modern fairy tale.” - Camelle, Swoon Reader
“The romance was incredible. There was also a great set of secondary characters. Nathan was my favorite. And I'm so thrilled that he's going to get his own story too. I can't wait for it. The perfect YA contemporary romance for me. It had humor, romance, awesome characters and great writing. Pretty much everything I want in a book.” - Stephanie (Bookfever)
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Top customer reviews
It’s good fortune then that Nathan’s cousin Caleb cancelled on their jet-setting European holiday. It would be the perfect distraction, Nathan thinks, as well as the perfect opportunity to confess to his best friend that he loves him.
Preston’s obsession with swimming and someday winning gold on the world stage leaves his sexuality a bit of a wild card. He doesn’t date, presumably because between eating, training, and sleeping, there’s not much time left for anything. More than obsessed, though, he’s oblivious to how his behavior affects Nathan. He physically attacks him to retrieve a phone Nathan took away for his own good. He ignores Nathan while they’re strolling about Paris. A few days later, he pretends to be Nathan’s boyfriend whilst eating the “couple’s special” at an Irish pub and has no idea why it back fires.
Nathan, meanwhile, has dueling preoccupations on this trip. While trying to distract Preston from his phone, he spends hours on his own devices planning a luncheon for Preston’s mother. Eleanor Grant is the Dodge Cove matron tasked with hosting this year’s event, and the woman has a reputation for working her contractors into mental breakdowns. If Nathan can impress her by arranging the event while out of the country, he’ll have the only recommendation he’ll need to launch a career of event planning.
Throw in Nathan’s sister, her ex-boyfriend drama, and a pot brownie in Amsterdam, and the winds finally push Preston and Nathan to the perfect spot for a should-have-been first kiss. But a heartbreaking end to their vacation follows it, because despite his efforts to be with Nathan in the moment for once, Preston is still Preston.
No Holding Back is, ironically, a story about people who in many areas of their lives don’t have to hold back anything. Preston and Nathan are rich, good-looking boys, with family connections. Nathan’s sister got on a plane for Greece because she was bored. Preston’s mother suggested pulling up the tile floor of a century-old landmark because it didn’t match the décor in Nathan’s proposal.
Yet, they do hold back. Preston can’t train as hard as he wants if he wants to keep his shoulder working. Nathan is afraid to destroy his friendship with Preston by telling him the truth. And Preston’s mother doesn’t have the relationship she wants with her son, because she can’t seem to drop her demand for perfection long enough to enjoy affection. I actually think she gives Nathan the chance she does--and pushes him so hard from a far—just to see if he can love Preston without compromising everything else.
The drawback of the Dodge Cove series is teenagers with no concern about money. Evangelista addressed that in No Love Allowed by showing Didi, unemployed and mentally ill, deftly holding the reigns of her dignity in the midst of Caleb’s privileged friends and family. In No Holding Back, Preston’s father lends Nathan his private jet for their vacation and the boys stay in luxury hotels with almost continual access to cell service and WIFI. Every problem they encounter is strictly due to one of the boys getting pissed at the other and it’s resolved with apologies and/or time. As a reader, I feel kind of robbed of the experience of a European road trip with ferries, trains, hostels and backpacking going wrong for kids raised with private staffs. I believe Ms. Evangelista missed her opportunity to bring Nathan and Preston down to the reader’s level, where a romantic relationship between best friends could have ignited after they found the umbilical cord to their privileged lives suddenly cut.
I give No Holding Back 3.5 stars and recommend it to fans of contemporary YA romance.
Nathan has always been supportive of Preston's dreams and is cheering from the sidelines. He has a busy life, but he makes sure he has plenty of time for his best friend. Nathan loves parties and likes nothing more than planning them for other people, so he's setting up his own business. Preston's mother is his first prestigious client and she can give Nathan's career an enormous boost. Before her terribly important event Nathan takes Preston to Europe though. Will he finally have the chance to tell Preston how he feels and does he dare to risk their friendship?
No Holding Back is an incredibly sweet love story. Nathan is very easy to like. He's enthusiastic, he has good taste, he's cheerful and he's kind to everyone around him. He's a fabulous whirlwind and his animated chatter kept putting a smile on my face. Preston's main focus is swimming and he needs the water to make sense of his feelings. He's pretty single-minded and focuses mainly on two things, swimming and spending time with his best friend Nathan. He's a caring guy with a lot of talent and promise. Nathan and Preston are endearing together and they treat each other with so much tenderness, love and sympathy that it's obvious they're meant for each other. I couldn't wait to find out if their journey through Europe would bring them what they both need the most.
Kate Evangelista has a wonderful sensitive way of looking at the world. It's what I like most about her books. She writes about true love in all forms. She also makes the imperfections in the personalities of her characters their most adorable characteristics, which is something else I like a lot about her stories. Her writing has a nice natural flow and she writes books I just have to read in one sitting. I can never put them down and am always spellbound by the way she describes emotions. There's so much going on between Nathan and Preston and most of it is cute, but there's an underlying layer of depth in the form of insecurities about the future and the consequences of risking a childhood friendship as well. Nathan is the outgoing one and while Preston is quiet he has plenty of lovely hidden qualities. I fell in love with both of them, they're absolutely amazing and they have great chemistry. I highly recommend No Holding Back, it's such a charming fast-paced romantic story.
Most recent customer reviews
Author: Kate Evangelista
Genre: Adult MM Romance
Format: Ebook - NetGalley
This was such a good MM romance, and Nathan and Preston were just so good together.Read more
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars
No Holding Back is the sequel and companion novel to No Love Allowed, which was a...Read more