No Holding Back by Kate Evangelista (ARC Review + Giveaway)

no holding backNo Holding Back by Kate Evangelista
Publication Date: October 18th 2016
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

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?

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher as part of the blog tour. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

This was one of my most anticipated reads because I truly loved Nathan and Preston since No Love Allowed and I’m so glad that I wasn’t disappointed! It turned out to be a pretty quick read for me and I truly was left wanting more, but at the same time I was satisfied with it.

Nathan and Preston were truly adorable. They do have opposite personalities and I love how their polarities complement each other. I also love that most of the book’s setting was in Europe like this was truly GOALS AF! What wouldn’t you give just to spend a great time with your best friend-turned-lover in Europe? Seriously!

“You don’t need to sacrifice love just because you have a dream.”

Speaking of, one of the best things about this book was that best friends to lovers trope. I’m a sucker for that type of romance and I will never ever get tired of it. This one really did the job great.

The pacing of the book was mostly good, though it lagged a little in the middle but I didn’t really mind it that much. It was also predictable but hey, at least I got a satisfying ending.

“In everything, the one constant was Nathan.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Kate Evangelista’s romantic story skills leaves you wanting more. Speaking of romantic, there’s a hot shower scene in this book so go read!!!

P.S. I’m not sure if it really was me on the Acknowledgement Page. I’ve yet to confirm with Kate, but if in case it was me, WELL, I’M DAMN LUCKY AND GRATEFUL BECAUSE IT’S MY FIRST TIME TO SEE MY NAME ON THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS HUHU!

GIVEAWAY

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Author Chat with Kate Evangelista + Giveaway

We welcome Filipina Author Kate Evangelista on the blog today as part of the second leg of the blog’s 2nd Blogoversary! Kate’s newest novel, No Love Allowed (check out my review here), has just been published last month!  So check out our short interview with Kate!

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? Can you tell us about it?

Yes. It was a gender bending story about a girl sent to a farm so she could learn how to be a girl and a boy who worked at the far who was so pretty he looked like a girl. I’m actually planning on expanding this story into a novel in the future.

Having books with paranormal and contemporary themes, which genre do you think is more challenging to write?

Contemporary, definitely. There are moments when I reach a point in a contemp book where I’m tempted to add a wizard or a vampire or something equally supernatural or magical. *laughs*

How do you usually find inspirations for story ideas or characters?

Inspiration usually just come. I have a ton of stories lined up in my head waiting to be written. The question always is: who goes first?

Filipino authors being recognized by international publishing companies is a big game-changer for literature in the Philippines. What advice can you give to aspiring Filipino writers like me?

Keep writing. Don’t let doubts and insecurities stop you from achieving your goals. There will be many roadblocks. It’s those who persevere who will make it to the end.

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Can you describe how you felt the night before No Love Allowed was released?

I was so nervous I couldn’t sit still. I’m always like that when a new book comes out. As a writer all I want is for readers to enjoy the stories I put out there. I believe that the stories of my characters deserve to be read, which is why I’m always at the edge of my seat for the readers who discover my novels.

Do you have any bookish news to share?

If you’ve finished reading No Love Allowed, first of all thank you! Second, if you want more? Don’t fret. No Holding Back, which is Nathan and Preston’s story, will come out October 18, 2016. Yes, that’s right! You only have to wait a couple of months and you get another Dodge Cove novel. If fact, you can pre-order their story already. Let them take you on a European adventure.

no holding back

Check out NO HOLDING BACK on Goodreads.

ABOUT KATE EVANGELISTA

kate evangelistaWhen Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full-time and is based in the Philippines.

Author Links:  
Website
 / Twitter / Tumblr / Facebook / Goodreads / Pinterest / Instagram / Wattpad

GIVEAWAY

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No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista (ARC)

no love allowedTitle: No Love Allowed
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publication Date: April 19th 2016 by Swoon Reads
Source: Borrowed ARC from Pinoy Book Tours
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository / Goodreads

Synopsis

It’s all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a new fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, the waitress at the Country Club who just lost her job, is open to new experiences (also, art supplies are expensive!). It’s the perfect setup for them both. Caleb has only one rule for the arrangement: Didi must not fall in love with him.

The summer nights tick by in a whirl of lavish parties, and Didi is enjoying her foray into high society. But Caleb soon starts to worry that this time he’s the one in danger of falling in love…

I received an ARC of this book as part of the blog tour in exchange of a review. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

I first read this novel as a manuscript on Swoon Reads and I did enjoy it. Reading it again as an ARC made me remember all the great feelings I had for this book. For one, this book ultimately got me swooning over Caleb!

The story revolves around Didi and Caleb, the latter privileged and the former seems to be on the other side of the social hierarchy. With that said, it’s somehow expected to have conflicts within friends and family of both characters but what I really liked about this book was it sort of debunked that stereotype. Caleb’s friends actually became friends with Didi as well. Only Caleb’s father was the one who disapproved of their friendship.

“Love destroys people to the point where they don’t even care who else they hurt in the process.”

Both main characters are strong, especially Didi. She also is bipolar and a very talented painter. Caleb and Didi really had an amazing chemistry and their characters were written very well.

I also adored Nathan, Preston and Natasha and I’m really excited to read the sequel which will feature Nathan and Preston!!

Overall, the book was really enjoyable! It’s a very light, fun and a bit emotional read!

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RELISH SCAVENGER HUNT

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Synopsis

I left Lunar Manor broken, seeking comfort in the hands of Laurel “the Dragon” Hardy, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Gossip. Okay, I may have used him to ease the pain He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named caused by his confession of loving someone else. On New Year’s Eve! Granted, he was drunk off his ass, but still! I stay with Larry mainly because the dreams are getting worse. Worse enough to wake me in the middle of the night needing the touch of another to save me from losing my mind.

Unfortunately, the handsome bassist of the uber successful indie rock band, Vicious, is never far from my mind. I thought I was rid of him once and for all only to have him show up at my hotel in London. Luka Visraya’s power over me is intense. No matter how far I run, I always end up circling back to him.

If you think my story is just some romance about two lovers getting back together, think again. Little did I know that returning to Luka meant I’d be plunging myself into a world more familiar than I ever thought possible. Trust me when I say I didn’t believe it either when the truth finally came out.

Hello everyone! I’m here today to bring you the next part of the Relish Scavenger Hunt! I’m pretty much excited for this and I know you are too! Before I proceed with the next page, don’t forget to mark your calendars because Relish is going to be released on January 12th 2015!

Okay so here it is! I hope you enjoy it!

Page 6

That annoyed me the most. To let myself actually fall for him ate at my pride. How stupid could I have been? I knew I had thirty days, yet I allowed myself the delusion of maybe staying with the band longer. I’d lost a part of myself during my stay at Lunar Manor, and it scared me to think I may never get it back. Yana had been right when she’d warned me about the experience breaking people. It certainly broke me. I trembled with hate when I thought of him being responsible.

Luka Visraya—the handsome rock god that I carelessly let into my heart. I deserved the pulsing pain in my chest. I knew better and yet I didn’t listen to my gut. I ignored all the red flags. Of course he was in love with someone else. Of course!

I let a tear fall when the scene of Luka singing to me while I lay “asleep” on a concrete slab came on. I should have known the whole song was a metaphor for his love for Phoenix. How she’d become poison in his veins after she left him for Demitri. The dress with the feathers should have tipped me off too. Phoenix equaled bird that flew out of the ashes, the very tattoo Luka had inked all over his back. Ugh! I hated myself.

“I’m beginning to think you can’t start your day without watching that stupid video.”

Exhaling a shuddering breath, I closed my eye just as Luka leaned in to kiss me. I used my knee to hide any evidence of my hurt, transferring the dampness on my cheek there. I sniffed then sat up straighter.

“It’s not a stupid video,” I said, looking up at the classically handsome guy with bed head grinning down at me. His large hand rubbed between my shoulder blades as if he knew of the knot there that needed easing.

“Just because you’re in it.” He bent and claimed my lips. I tasted the coffee with its cream and sugar on his tongue. I grimaced and pushed him away playfully.

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ABOUT KATE EVANGELISTA

 

kate evangelistaWhen Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full-time and is based in the Philippines.

Author Links:

Website // Twitter // Tumblr // Facebook // Goodreads // Pinterest // Instagram // Wattpad