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Book Cover
Trigger Warnings:
Don’t Hold Back features a character who has anorexia.
Author's Notes:
Don’t Hold Back is an M/M sports romance with a grumpy gymnast who falls for his sunshiny rival. It has a slow-burn relationship and some hurt/comfort.

Book Info


Chasing Gold

Series Type:
Number In Series:
Cover Artist:
Colette Davison
26 July 2022
Book Type


Reviewed By: Josh Dale


I am going to say it right now, Don’t Hold Back, is likely to be my favourite read of the year.  This story really touches you in unexpected ways.

We know how competitive sports and the sports persons are.  We only see them at events like the Olympics or World Championships.  This book gives us that, but also shows us how brutal training and competing is, and its toll it takes on the competitors.

Some people may find it difficult to read, as it revolves around two young competitors who both are suffering mental health issues, Garret has anger and self esteem issues, and Ryder has anorexia.

I do not know much about Gymnastics or the suffering of those with eating disorders, so I cannot say how accurate the story is.

But let me just say I really felt what these guys are going through, especially Ryder.  It just feels so authentic from start to finish.

I love the Enemies/rivals to lovers, Grumpy/ Sunshine stories, so this one ticked all of the boxes for me.

The story is so well written and paced perfectly, we really get to know each character, their battles with mental health issues, the stress of training.   Once they get together, the banter between them Is so real and fun, Especially Ryder’s nickname for Garret.

The book is uplifting, despite its darker topics.  We go on a journey with Ryder and Garrett, as they fight two battles and build a strong relationship.  They really do bring out the best in each other.  The love oozes out of the words Colette has written.

So why do I believe this is likely my top read this year?  Especially as we are just starting the second half of the year.

Because this story touches you when you read it, the book inspires you to fight for what you want, to dig a little deeper for the strength needed to get over the next hurdle you face.  But more than that, the characters and their journey will remain in my mind for a long time.

Whether you’re a Gymnast / Sports fan or not, I highly recommend you take a look at this book.


Colette's personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. Several years later, she’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

Ever since she could hold a pen, Colette has been writing stories. Always an avid reader and lover of the arts, Colette graduated in Theatre Studies from Lancaster University in 1999, and in English Literature from the Open University in 2010. After studying for a P.G.C.E. in secondary education, and subsequently teaching english and drama for six years, Colette chose to become a stay at home mum and to focus on her writing.

Colette's first M/M romance, Why I Left You, was published in November 2017. Since then she has continued to write books with flawed characters, lots of heart, and happy endings.

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