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Noah & Katie #1

Pushing You Away

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I’ve been in love with my best friend Katie Walker for as long as I can remember. We may have shared our deepest, darkest secrets but that one I’ve kept to myself. Before I got the courage to confess my true feelings, my cousin Gabe moved to town and swept Katie off her feet. 

I should’ve admitted how I felt but I couldn’t—especially once they got married.

When I caught Gabe cheating on his pregnant wife, I snapped. A deadly fight erupted and before I could comprehend what happened, I was charged with his murder and sent to prison.

The day I’m released, I go straight to Katie’s house. But after pushing her away for a decade while I was behind bars—she slams the door in my face—wanting nothing to do with me. 

While she’s determined to pretend I don’t exist, this time I’m not going anywhere. 

PUSHING YOU AWAY is a slow burn, angsty friends to lovers romance with lots of small-town, Southern drama. It's book 1 in the Noah & Katie duet and must be read in order.


First published February 16, 2021

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About the author

Kennedy Fox

94 books5,632 followers
Brooke Cumberland and Lyra Parish are a duo of romance authors under the USA Today pseudonym, Kennedy Fox. Their characters will make you blush and your heart melt. Cowboys in tight jeans are their kryptonite. They always guarantee a happily ever after!

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 268 reviews
Profile Image for ABookLover73.
375 reviews214 followers
February 17, 2021
FIVE PUSHING STARS for Katie and Noah 💚💜💚💜!!!



Kennedy Fox wrote one more amazing book that aroused so many emotions inside me and of course, left me breathless in the end because...

It ends up with the cliffhanger!

But that didn’t decrease my feelings for this book if nothing else, now I’m looking forward to the next book in the duet.

"Pushing You Away" is a contemporary slow burn small-town romance with friends to enemies to lovers trope which will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

Katie and Noah's relationship slowly rebuilds itself from hostile to friendly to become a loving one filled with a bunch of sparks.

If you're looking for an emotional romance and you also love Kennedy's writing style, then this is the book for you!!!

Highly recommended!!!

P.S. Can't wait to read "Holding You Close"!!!
Profile Image for PP's Bookshelf.
2,211 reviews330 followers
February 12, 2021
No one can beat Kennedy Fox when it comes to second chance romance. Pushing You Away is another example of their brilliance. I don't know how they get these devilish ideas to make us suffer through an absolute emotional ride. But I am grateful that they have an endless line of complex plots, wonderful characters and soul deep feels.

Pushing You Away is the first book of Noah & Katie duet. Noah is coming home after serving twelve years in jail in charge of "murdering" Katie's husband Gabe. They had feelings for each other beyond friendship but the timing wasn't right ever and then Noah's cousing Gabe swooped in. Noah isn't actually guilty and this is his chance to show Katie how much she means to him. But some people are after Noah and Katie doesn't know how to handle all the complicated feels.

Kennedy Fox once again nailed the small town feels and the big extended family love. Noah and Katie's friends and families all connect to create a beautiful vibe. I am so sad and worried about Noah. He is the proverbial good guy( who becomes extremely bad while seducing Katie). Life has been so unfair and he has been trying so hard to restart. But the past is haunting him and I was reading and biting nails and wishing they won't succeed. And that ending was brutal. Katie is wonderful. She is a working single mother and she rocks it. Well she does have her moments but who doesn't? She has a beautiful soul and she completely embraced Noah. And the angst! Oh wow! The reunion and the way they confessed their love- brought me to tears. Also the chemistry is on fire. The author duo perfectly pictured the confusion, the hesitations, the undeniable pull and the electrifying connection!

Kennedy Fox got my heart to beat, break and swoon so intensely in Pushing You Away. The wait will be torture but so worth it!

I reviewed an early copy voluntarily
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,011 reviews119 followers
February 12, 2021
Oh man.. I really enjoyed this book! It was a very fast paced read and even though I didn’t read the first duet of this series, I wasn’t lost and I felt like these characters were my friends! But why isn’t Noah real?? He was such an amazing hero. His absolute devotion to not only Katie but his family was so admirable. Katie was such a strong woman and I loved her ability to just take no shit and do it all! Of course, the cliffy was a doozy and March can’t come soon enough!!

Profile Image for TMR.
548 reviews683 followers
February 26, 2021
Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Happy belated release day to PUSHING YOU AWAY, Kennedy Fox! So sorry to be posting a late review but stuff happens in life. But here I am now.


This book has been quite an intriguing ride for me, with all the pent up sexual tension, miscommunication, undeclared feelings, teenage memories, single parenthood, construction work? (I guess) and lots of Noah and Katie in general.

I loved every minute spending time with the two and sincerely wish for an even better sequel and find out what really happened to Noah and why someone is so hell bent on killing him.

This was the most wonderful book I have read by Kennedy Fox, considering they are new to me. But boy I think I will definitely enjoy a lot more by them in the future.

Until the nexxt read,

Profile Image for Erin Lewis.
4,455 reviews138 followers
February 14, 2021
4.5 Star Pushing You Away (Ex-Con Duet #3) by Kennedy Fox

I love friends to lover’s story and Pushing You Away was an entertaining read and is Katie and Noah’s story. Noah has been in love with his best friend for years but circumstances and his cousin Gabe got in the way and she had no idea how Noah truly felt.

Noah goes to prison after a fight leaves Gabe dead and despite Katie's attempts to keep in contact with him, he refuses to see her. When he is finally released the first stop Noah makes is to Katie but she is not welcoming, far from it. However after so many years, Noah is determined that Katie know how he really feels and thankfully Katie decides to give him a chance.

This is a story that built slowly, with some angst and was well written and is book one in their duet, so you have been warned that this ends in a cliff hanger.

Kennedy Fox drew me in and kept me invested from the first to the last chapter with this emotional read.

I cannot wait to read the conclusion to Noah and Katie’s story in Holding You Close.
Profile Image for Brittiany.
113 reviews46 followers
April 21, 2021
Pushing You Away is Book 1 of Noah and Katie’s duet. If you read/listened to Tyler and Gemma’s duet then you saw a glimpse into Noah & Katie’s history and boy is it a tragic one.

Noah has been in love with best friend Katie for years. Unable to admit his feelings for her due to his fear of rejection his cousin Gabe swoops in and steals the girl. 6 years later Katie and Gabe are married and expecting. At this point, Noah and Katie’s friendship is as strong as ever. Katie and Gabe’s marriage? Not so much. With Katie a week away from her due date and Gabe running around on Katie, Noah confronts Gabe who instigates a fight. Push comes to shove (literally) and Gabe is now 6 ft in the ground and Noah’s arrested and sentenced for involuntary manslaughter.

Noah harbors so much guilt for leaving Katie a window and her newborn without a father that he refuses to see her while serving his sentence. Upon his release he seeks Katie out determined to make amends. Katie, hurt by Noah pushing her away, is determined not to let Noah in. Forced proximity has Noah and Katie rekindling their friendship and leads to Noah fessing up to the feelings he’s always had for Katie, who then admits she felt the same way. And so begins the transformation from friendship to something more.

Nothing worth having ever comes easy though and Noah and Katie know their path to happiness is going to be a rocky one. Especially with Gabe’s parents having such an active role in Katie’s son’s life. That and the person lurking in the shadows plotting their revenge against Noah...

This one ends in a cliffhanger as excepted since it’s a duet. Book 2 isn’t out on audio yet but if your too impatient to wait you can always grab the ebook version. Lia Langola and Tor Thom did an excellent job narrating (I think this actually might be my favorite audio these two have narrated) so I’ll be holding out for the audio release myself.

I’m not going to lie, after learning Noah and Katie’s backstory in Tyler and Gemma’s duet I had pretty high expectations for their story. I should have known that KF wouldn’t let me down. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, I freaking love this writing duo. Always the perfect mix of angst, suspense, and romance. I can’t wait to see where they take us in the next book in this duet!
Profile Image for Alecia (The Staircase Reader).
988 reviews67 followers
February 19, 2021
How could you leave me hanging over the cliff like that!
I think my heart stopped for a millisecond with that last sentence…..
There are no words to describe what I’m feeling at this moment.

In My Own Words:

Pushing You Away is the third book in the Ex-Con series and the first book in Katie and Noah’s duet. This duet is told from both Katie and Noah’s point of view. This is a novel about redemption and finding love after tragedy. It’s about reclaiming friendship and lost love.

Noah is now a free man after spending the last ten years in prison due to involuntary manslaughter. It’s now time for his readjustment into society and living in a town where the gossip mill is hot, it’s safe to assume Noah isn’t going to have an easy time reclaiming his life.

It’s been a long ten years since Katie last saw or spoke to her best friend, Noah. Now he’s out of prison and back in their sleepy town. What’s a girl to do, but avoid at all cost and focus on raising her boy and getting her new house renovated.… If only it were that simply to avoid your only heart’s true desire… if only.

My Thoughts:

As you all may know, Kennedy Fox is known for their brutal cliffhangers *within their duet series*. And I’m legit still over here looking over that damn cliff and impatiently waiting for Holding You Close to release…. Is it March yet?!

Kennedy Fox brought the swoony vibes to the table with Pushing You Away!!! Noah’s journey hasn’t been the easiest of paths. He fought to protect his best friend and in doing so, irrevocable damage was done. There are some actions and words you can’t take back and this man learned a tough life lesson. You don’t let your anger control you, you control your anger. I loved the redemption his story brought to this novel. I loved the fact that prison didn’t harden his character, he was still the sweet, swoony, and compassionate man he’s always been. In most cases he’s a lover, not a fighter. Let’s face the facts, Noah is going to be a hard character to get over, that’s for damn sure. This man will no doubt be a top ten book boyfriend of 2021 for me.

You all know, I absolutely love when authors bring the strong single parent vibes in their novels. The fragile vibes coming through the innocence of children literally causes my heart to turn to mush. Owen is Katie’s ten year old son, my heart is breaking for this kid and it continues to break when I imagine all the shit that is about to go down in his life. But no matter what he has gone through and what he will continue to go through, there is no doubt he has a kickass mom by his side walking him through this world. And that is the main reason why I loved Katie so much. She’s not only independent and fierce, she’s an attentive and caring mom.

I loved the fact that these two had a huge ass elephant in the room whenever they were together. These two were the best of friends from the moment they first met. The love of friendship eventually led to a relationship love, but being so young, the two were careless with that love and hid it behind a steel vault. Which brings me to why I rated this book a four start instead of a full five star rating. I wanted to experience more of their past friendship. I wanted those moments and I feel like If I was given those moments I would have felt the connection and the chemistry more between the two. I would have fallen a bit more in book love with their relationship. I just needed a bit more background and memories of the two.

Overall, All I can think about right now is…. I NEED MORE…. I need to see these two finally have their shot at love. I need to see them ride off into the sunset with their family. I cannot wait for Holding You Close!! It’ll be here soon enough, but soon enough isn’t quick enough for this impatient woman. Highly recommend this novel to all those who love swoony heroes and independent heroines!



Find me here:
The Staircase Reader
Profile Image for A Book Obsessed Brit.
549 reviews61 followers
April 21, 2021
After listening to Tyler and Gemma's duet, I was dying to get my hands on Katie and Noah's story. After the hints at their history, their ruined friendship following Noah's 10 year jail sentence I was hoping that this was going to be one angsty ride!

Noah holds so much regret over what happened the night that changed his life in everyway imaginable, finally getting the full story over what happened truly made me feel for him. Then living the next 10 years in jail, in shame and regret knowing the damage you caused to the only woman you can picture spending your life with seems such a cruel existence. So on the day of his release when he goes to see Katie and she slammed the door in his face I was ready to see how the table were going turn during this one.

Katie and Noah's history is too intertwined for them to avoid each other for long and Noah's persistence and determination to get just 5 minutes we Katie is handed to him when he is targeted with vandalism and violence feeling unwelcome and unwanted by a lot of townsfolk. My heart continued to hurt for Noah, he's trying to live an honest life and at every turn he is met with judgement and rejection. When Noah and Katie are put in a situation of forced proximity, their chemistry sizzled. My mind is spinning with worry over their budding relationship becoming public knowledge, with Katie's son finding out Noah's past in regards to his Father. And of course as ever that bombshell at the end about who is being the attacks... I have theories and I need book 2 stat.

Tor Thom and Lia Langola performed brilliantly as Katie and Noah. They managed to portray the longing and the regret, the determination and the connection these characters had towards themselves and each other. It made for easy listening and I am looking forward to another great performance in book 2.
Profile Image for Jennifer English.
102 reviews3 followers
February 13, 2021
Maybe I'm alone in my feelings but I am so upset on Noah's behalf. For reals, no one, and I mean no one, fought for him to keep him out of prison. Not even himself. I feel like that was a wasted 10 years in prison, and not just because he was in prison but because he should have never gone in the first place.

Now as others have said, this is a duet, meaning your left hanging by your fingernails at the end, and holy cow what a cliffy to leave us hanging from!! This is a slowish burn, kind of sorta a second chance romance where two best friends who were secretly in love with each other reconnect after 10 years apart. I love how Noah goes out of his way to prove himself to Katie over and over again, he's just so sweet in his dealings with her. Up until things start getting steamy. Then he gets all kinds of growly and alpha and man was that hot!!

Katie is a single mom and makes sure her son is her number 1, even when it comes to Noah. I hate how she feels like she has to hide her blossoming relationship just to keep the peace with her ex(?) in-laws. The besties are an amazing support system for Katie and tho I haven't read the previous duet, I didn't feel like I was missing anything while reading Katie and Noah's story. I can't wait to read the second half of the story!!
Profile Image for Book Maniac Forever.
930 reviews345 followers
February 15, 2021
⭐️ 4 "Friends Forever" Stars ⭐️
Kennedy Fox excel at writing lovely romances brimming with feels and featuring endearing protagonists. Pushing You Away had me intrigued since I read the first book in the Ex-Con Series and WOW… this friends to lovers romance was so amazing!

I was expecting more angst between this couple after how Noah pushed Katie away for ten years while in prison. Yes, it starts with Katie being resentful of her friend for keeping her at arms length during his imprisonment, but the rapid evolution of their feelings wasn’t surprising and felt right to me though. They forged such a profound bond in their teens and these feelings were just dormant under all the hurt. Seriously, this couple was so adorable and their chemistry perfect. Their shared moments were a great blend of cute and steamy!

Noah is truly a good man at heart. I cherished his devotion to Katie, but also felt his anguish and regrets for losing the girl of his dreams years earlier. Maybe it’s the reason he’s so focused to win her once and for all by acting so thoughtful. Katie is a strong and independent single mom, driven to provide the best for her son. She has a feisty personality I highly enjoyed.

This read had my emotions ever-changing! One moment I was choked up by Noah’s cruel faith following the poignant prologue, the next instant I was swooning over his sweetness and tangible love for Katie. This start to the Noah and Katie Duet was so good and with the way this book ended, I’m so ready for the continuation of their story in Holding You Close!
Profile Image for Rochelle.
1,567 reviews
February 18, 2021
Book 3 in the Ex-Con series and book 1 in the Noah and Katie duet. I have read several books by Kennedy Fox and with each book I read, I fall in love more with the stories that are created by this writing duo. Loved this friends to enemies to lovers romance between Noah and Katie. They were best friends before an accident pulled them apart. Noah kept Katie at arm’s length while he was in prison and when he got out, she pushed him away. Loved watching them work their way back to each other after losing all that time. Their romance pulled me in from page one and I can’t wait to see how it turns out in book 2.
Profile Image for Ellie.
190 reviews5 followers
February 12, 2021
Pushing You Away is the second set of duet books in the Ex Con Duet Series and revolves around Noah and Katie. Noah and Katie are childhood friends who have been secretly in love with each since they were children but neither one ever acted on those feelings for fear of the other not reciprocating and losing the others friendship. Eventually, Katie marries Noah's cousin, Gabe, and is pregnant when one night Noah confronts Gabe at a bar and things turn for the worst. Noah ends up in jail for ten years as a consequence of that night and refuses to see or write Katie during that time which only makes her resentful of Noah. When Noah is finally released from prison, Katie refuses to see him but he's not going to let her get away again and it's only a matter of time before he makes her his.

Admittedly, I haven't read the first duet set in this series so I wasn't expecting the small town vibe but I just loved it. Every character has history with each other and what really stood out to me were the relationships and connections the leads had with their family and friends. The dialogue just flowed between them all and made it that much more realistic and easier to connect with.

Katie and Noah were just so cute. They truly care for each other and just loved them reminiscing about their childhood and all the antics they would get into. I loved all the scenes with Katie and her son and also loved the scenes with Noah bonding with him as well. I will say, that the book is kind of a slow burn but man, when it happens, it's hot as all get out. Noah is the sweetest and I'm glad that even though he was in prison and suffered quite a bit, he didn't let that experience make him bitter and angry. He's still the loveable guy that his friends and family adore. Katie's a feisty, no nonsense single mama who also hasn't had the best go in her life but she doesn't let that deter her from going after the things she wants which includes buying and fixing up her dream home. I just love her determination.

In all, I really enjoyed this first installment and look forward to reading the second as there are some very suspenseful elements as to who would want to cause harm to Noah and Katie. It ends with a bang and I am dying to know how it all plays out. I think if you enjoy small town romances with low angst but high on the charm and is an easy read, I highly recommend this to you.

*ARC graciously provided by Kennedy Fox and company in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Pauline Gaynor.
182 reviews111 followers
February 14, 2021
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book and let me just say, I could not put this book down! If you are a fan of romance you NEED to read this book. From the minute I picked this book up I absolutely could not put it down! This is a fast paced, addictive romance novel with characters you will absolutely fall in love with!

This is the third book in the series and I definitely recommend reading the previous duet first to get the full experience. This book will make you want to move to a small town in Alabama because while their may be drama and gossip there are men there you wouldn’t be able to help falling for.

Noah and Katie are our dual perspective main characters, but we do get more of Gemma, Tyler, and Everleigh who we were introduced to in the first duet of this series. This book is the perfect balance of plot development, character development, and steamy moments! I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on the next one!
Profile Image for SCBookAddict.
635 reviews48 followers
February 11, 2021
I've been waiting on Noah & Katie's duet since they were introduced/hinted at in Tyler & Gemma's stories.

Noah was sent to prison for the death of his cousin, who also happened to be Katie's husband and the father of her son, Owen.
If you've read the duet prior to this (or the blurb), then this is nothing new.

Now that Noah is finally released, he has to win back the trust of his best friend and the girl he let get away years ago.

On top of that, there is someone or someones out to make a point that Noah isn't welcome.

This story a slow burn but when it finally gets heated - HOLY CRAP - it gets incredibly hot!

I have this love/hate thing with Kennedy Fox and their duets! I love the stories but freaking H - the cliffhangers!!! I can't wait to see how this story plays out! Kennedy Fox did an awesome job at teasing this one! So much drama!

While it's not necessary to read Tyler & Gemma's duet prior to reading Noah & Katie's story, their story is worth reading and teases Noah & Katie's as well as the bond between all three girls.
Profile Image for Renee.
3,856 reviews48 followers
February 23, 2021
I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author to review for Stephanie's Book Reports.

I've been in love with my best friend Katie Walker for as long as I can remember. We may have shared our deepest, darkest secrets but that one I've kept to myself. Before I got the courage to confess my true feelings, my cousin Gabe moved to town and swept Katie off her feet. I should've admitted how I felt but I couldn't-especially once they got married. When I caught Gabe cheating on his pregnant wife, I snapped. A deadly fight erupted and before I could comprehend what happened, I was charged with is murder and sent to prison. The day I'm released, I go straight to Katie's house. But after pushing her away for a decade while I was behind bars-she slams the door in my face-wanting nothing to do with me. While she's determined to pretend I don't exist, this time I'm not going anywhere.

This is the first book in Noah and Katie's Duet. It is filled with angst and it is fast paced. I think I devoured this thing because it was over so quick but it is just that good that you won't be able to put it down. Katie and Noah have been friends forever and he has some of the the most intense feelings for her and just when he works up the courage to tell her how he is feeling his cousin Gabe moves to town and sweeps Katie off her feet and they end up getting married. Then comes the day that Noah finds Gabe cheating on Katie and a they get into this huge fight that ends up in Noah being send to prison for murder and he pushes Katie away. Big time. Now he is out of prison and the first place he is going is to Katie's and she shuts him out and wants nothing to do with him. Can he win her back? Will things ever be the same? You have to read to find out. This book is so amazing and a great friends to lovers book that will have you reading from cover to cover before you even realize what you have done.
Profile Image for Jenifer Briggs.
1,374 reviews155 followers
February 16, 2021
3.25-3.5 Stars

I'm just gonna call it: I think I'm broken. I have been so freaking excited for Noah and Katie, especially with all the built up angst, pain, missed opportunities and guilt, I just couldn't WAIT. But this turned out to be really low on the angst, and high on the super sweet. Which is fine, it is, I just was ready to feel the pain (can you tell I'm a masochist when I read?😂) and I understand that this is a duet, so I knew we would be on a wicked cliffhanger and things probably wouldn't start to get really interesting until about 70% in -- and that didn't bother me at all. I absolutely adore these ladies and the way they write their books, but I felt like there was something missing.

I also feel like the big bad was pretty obvious, unless there's going to be a hellish twist. I am very curious to see how Katie will handle her current circumstances, and what that will mean for Noah AND Owens safety.
So I'm definitely excited for part two!

Overall, I feel like this was a scenario where it was me, not the book.

**I received an ARC of this book and these are my honest opinions.**
Profile Image for Jackie Wright.
4,542 reviews87 followers
April 23, 2022
Pushing You Away is the first book in Noah & Katie’s duet and this is the second set of books in the Ex Con Duet Series. Katie and Noah are childhood best friends, they grew up together and it was expected they would be together throughout their life but Noah’s cousin Gabe got in before Noah had a chance to let Katie know his feelings and that’s where this tragic story starts.
Noah ends up in jail for a tragic accident after confronting Gabe in a bar for having an affair and the consequences of that night leave Katie to raise her son alone.....
Fast forward 10 years and Noah is home but like all small towns the only people happy to see him are his father, his sister and her partner so will life ever be the same for the man who has never forgotten his first love and will Katie ever open up to the feelings she still has for the man who stole her heart all those years ago.....

This starts off as a tragic, sad, emotional story but as you turn the pages you get to know the characters and I’m sure like me you will be wishing and hoping they find away to get past the past. Pushing You Away touched me on so many levels and this beautifully written first instalment has left me needing book 2, Holding You Close.

Lia Langola and Tor Thom did a fantastic job bringing the characters and their tragic story to life. They were spot on with every e toon felt through out this great listen.
Profile Image for Maddie (Bookaholic_Dreamer).
708 reviews45 followers
February 12, 2021
The love that Katie and Noah had for one another, but never occurred from both having been kept it a secret from each other, still burned even after 15 years.

I had been so excited for Noah and Katie’s story, ever since I came across it last year after reading the blurb. And safe to say I wasn’t disappointed!


Noah and Katie’s story Pushing You Away is the second duet in the Ex-Con series from Kennedy Fox.
After having served 12 years in prison, for the accidental killing of his cousin. Noah Reid is officially a free man, returning to his hometown Lawton Ridge, where he left behind his dad, little sister Gemma. And most importantly his best friend/love of his life (though she doesn’t know) Katie Walker Reid, who just so happens to be the widow of Gabe Reid (the cousin he killed) and a single mother raising her son Owen.
Though they say time heals all wounds, is Noah and their friendship enough for Katie to forgive him after he let her go many years ago?

Let me start by saying, Noah and Katie are definitely my favourite couple!
They had a truly unique, beautiful and special friendship. Always there for each other growing up, helping the other out when needed. And the fact that they could be themselves around the other. Never really having to worry about offending or being embarrassed around each other. Plus there was the fact that even though there friendship had fallen apart (when Noah was in prison), they still continued to care about each other. The proof being all the mementos they kept from their childhood friendship.

With everything Katie has been through, I had to give her props. Yes, she had help from loved ones. But at the end of the day, she still went through it all alone and continued to do so. The fact that she didn’t let it stop her or bring her down from forging on with life! That definitely showed she is a strong woman! Everything she went through with Gabe, she definitely didn’t deserve. But in a way, it helped because it made her the independent, strong, fierce single mother that she is now.

Poor Noah! It sucked what he had to endure and go through. Especially since he had good intentions right before everything went down.
And though he paid his dues, I felt bad that he still continued to suffer with the constant whispers and the incidents that happen to him and his loved ones because of him. He definitely didn’t deserve any of that.

It did suck watching Katie push Noah away, when he tried to make things right with her. But I couldn’t blame her, since he did ignore her and push her away for 12 years. Then again, I could understand where he was coming from too, with when and why he did that.
But I have to say I liked that Katie didn’t give in so easily, making Noah realise that this isn’t something that could just be swept under the rug with all is forgiven. No, he had to work at deserving her forgiveness.

There was many emotions and feelings to absorb in this story. I definitely loved that it was a slow burn romance, not only because it made it more realistic. But the fact that Noah and Katie had been through hell. And so to jump right into it wouldn’t seem right. Plus it was definitely going to take time for both to adjust to this new step that they were planning on taking together. Given that they have others to think of and consider with this big decision of theirs they’re making.
The slow burn made it all the more romantic, beautiful and alluring watching the couple coming together over time. With Noah and Katie, their friendship and love made their chemistry all the more enticing. Watching it blossom all over again, but this time turning into the love they never got to have together in the beginning.
At the same time, still trying to overcome the hurdles stopping them from truly being together like they’ve wanted. Especially after all those years of never being.

I definitely had my suspicions from the beginning. But when that crescendo peaked with that climax, that’s when I knew! I was right! However that doesn’t mean I wasn’t shocked! Because of course I was, especially since I know there’s more to come!
I definitely can’t wait to see how Kennedy Fox will play out Noah and Katie’s story in the next book Holding You Close!
If you’ve read any of the previous Ex-Con series, then I would highly recommend you check out Pushing You Away! It will do you no wrong!

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Elsa Gomes (BookishAurora).
2,080 reviews262 followers
February 12, 2021
Rate:  4,5/ 5 stars

Been waiting for this couple for what seems like such a long time. Noah and Katie captured my attention from the first moment they were mentioned, I knew from that moment onwards their story would be amazing.

Their story is kinda of sad due to the incredibly tragic past they share but their book was so good and sweet. This couple is just adorable. They were pretty sexy too, don’t worry! I can’t wait to get more happy moments between them and see how Noah reacts to Katie’s news.

Owen was so sweet too. He’s such a cute kid and he took to Noah so fast. I can’t wait to see them be a family. We also get a lot of the previous couple and seeing them so happy was so great. I loved Tyler and Noah’s relationship. Tyler was such a great and supportive friend.

The story wasn’t as angsty as I had first thought it would be. I had expected Katie to make Noah work harder for her forgiveness. She didn’t make him grovel nearly as much as she should have. Even still I enjoyed watching Noah beg her to listen to him. She was sort of forced to help him because someone was out to get payback for Gabe. That forced them to spend time together and finally talk about what happened and how they always felt. Those moments were the best to read as they worked on Katie’s house and shared their feelings. I always love to read about house renovations, especially when they’re detailed. It’s so fun to me!

The suspense plotline on books always makes them more amazing to me. I love coming up with theories and being shocked when things are revealed. At first I had no idea what was going on but things got a little clear for me at one point. I’m excited to see if Noah and Katie will figure things out themselves and how everything will play out in their second book. I have a feeling KF are gonna throws us for a loop right at the beginning of Holding You Close. I’m ready to see how Katie and Noah’s story will end. There’s so much to be explored, specially with how KYA ended and that little detail in the blurb of HYC.

➳ARC kindly provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

➳ Order at: Amazon US

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Profile Image for Christine Nguyen.
285 reviews63 followers
February 13, 2021
Here we are with the next duet in Kennedy Fox's Ex-Con series!! :D I loved Tyler and Gemma's story so much so I was really excited to jump into Katie and Noah's story. They both have always had feelings for one another but decided to not act on it. Unfortunately, Katie ended up marrying Noah's cousin, Gabe, and having a kid with him. However, things become even worse, and it ends up that Noah goes to jail for Gabe's murder :O I was really curious to see how KF was going to spin it all and see it all unravel. Similar to Gemma and Tyler's story, we got hints of Katie and Noah past and why they were so close, and how much they relied on each other.

Katie was definitely relucant to let him back into her life from the start when he returns to town, but I love how they end up working together to fixing up her dream home, and also spending time with her son, Owen too. This story had me feeling both very happy since we got to see them rekindle not only their friendship, but what could've been, but also had my feeling stressed because there were people in town that clearly were not happy that Noah returned. It does end on a bit of a dramatic cliffhanger, but I'm so glad the wait for the duet conclusion is only a month away! I loved this first start to their story, and I might just like this story a bit more than the previous one (sorry Gemma and Tyler!!). There's just something about second chance romances that are super angsty that I love, but also just have so many emotions wrapped up in it. All in all, a solid read! It has what you want from a KF novel: drama, swoonworthy lead who just LOVES the heroine so much, a fun friendship group, supportive friends (I loved how supportive Tyler was throughout this book), and a big emphasis on family dynamics. I think fans of KF will love it, but also if you are new to KF, I definitely recommend starting from the very beginning.. since all their stories are interconnected some way and it's just nice to see how it moves along the path!

Disclaimer: I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Kennedy Fox in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog).
5,175 reviews175 followers
February 20, 2021

Amazon US / Amazon Worldwide / Apple iBooks / Kobo / Nook / Google Play

Noah has been in love with his cousin Gabe's girl, Katie, forever. When circumstances have him go away to prison for Gabe's death, he pushes Katie away during the guilt he experiences. But he's out now and home, will Katie ever speak to him again?

I remember while reading Tyler and Gemma's story, feeling so badly for Noah and wanting his story. I am so glad I got it because it's everythig I had been hoping for - emotional, steamy, and sweet as he and Katie fell so hard for each other. Of course there was a horrible cliffhanger, but I know things will work themselves out in Holding You Close.

ARC via author for an honest review.

Review / Release Blitz: Live Through Books Blog.

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Profile Image for Morgan.
287 reviews21 followers
February 16, 2021
Full Review on thegraduatedbookworm.com

First, I would like to thank Kennedy Fox for sending me an ARC Copy in exchange for an honest review!

Let me start off by saying, WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F***! If you don't know already, Kennedy Fox is KNOWN for leaving us wanting more, especially with their duets, and this one is definitely no exception! The cliffhanger that they left me in, had me SO close to throwing my tablet across the room! Well played ladies!

Personally for me, I had an itching over what was going to come about, but I definitely didn't expect it to be the way that it was! I honestly don't want to spoil anything because DAMN these ladies hit you where it hurts!

This was a roller coaster ride of emotion, love, loss and a whole lot of sexual tension just wait to be released! Pushing You Away left me with a whole lot of feels and honestly, I'm still not over it...

Although I know a lot of people hate not having book two, but do yourself a favour and GO GET THIS BOOK!

Overall, this was a great story! It was so fast paced, keeping me on the edge of my seat, and wanting so much more... just to tease me with this massive cliffhanger that was amazing! The relationships that all the characters have with one another, including their friends (Gemma, Tyler, & Everleigh who you meet in the first duet) was just amazing!
May 24, 2021
Reading and Listening to a Kennedy Fox book is like eating your favourite comfort food or coming home after a long day. Kennedy Fox books are all about love, comfort and reminding you there's good in the world.

Pushing You Away is the first book in the Noah & Katie Duet which is part of the Ex-Con Duet Series. Written in dual perspective, Noah Reid and Katie Walker have a history wrapped in angst, mistakes and heartache.

Noah Reid has been locked away for the past 10 years for a mistake he regrets and has isolated himself from as many people as possible. The only thing that kept him going was thoughts of seeing Katie Walker, even though he banned her from seeing him behind bars in a jump suit.

Katie Walker lost 2 of the most important men in her life in one night. She's spent the past 1o years concentrating on her son Owen and providing him with a loving home as a single parent. Even though she's missed Noah so much, letting him back into her life is the last thing she wants to do. The fact that he's so good with Owen is the only reason she's not completely ignoring him.

Noah and Katie are the epitome of angst. There story is one full of love and steam where miscommunication plays a huge part in the mystery of how these two will find there way too each other.

Narrators: Lia Langola & Tor Thom
Story: 4
Performance: 5
Overall: 4
Profile Image for Erin Lewis.
4,455 reviews138 followers
March 7, 2022
4.5 Star Pushing You Away (Noah & Katie Duet #1L (Lawson Ridge Duet Series #3) by Kennedy Fox

I love friends to lover’s story and Pushing You Away was an entertaining and emotional read and is Katie and Noah’s story. Noah has been in love with his best friend for years but circumstances and his cousin Gabe got in the way and she had no idea how Noah truly felt.

Noah goes to prison after a fight leaves Gabe dead and despite Katie's attempts to keep in contact with him, he refuses to see her. When he is finally released the first stop Noah makes is to Katie but she is not welcoming, far from it. However after so many years, Noah is determined that Katie know how he really feels and thankfully Katie decides to give him a chance.

This is a story that built slowly, with some angst and was well written and is book one in their duet, so you have been warned that this ends in a cliff hanger. Kennedy Fox drew me in and kept me invested from the first to the last chapter with this emotional read.

The performance by Lia Langola and Tor Thom was spot on for Katie and Noah and they did a good job in expressing the emotions that these characters went through.

I cannot wait to read the conclusion to Noah and Katie’s story in Holding You Close.
Profile Image for Drea.
1,231 reviews13 followers
February 12, 2021
I’m so excited to be back in Lawton Ridge! Tyler and Gemma’s story was fantastic. They set the bar high for a great love story, and introduced us to fabulous friends and new characters. I could not wait for the next couple in the Ex-Con Duet Series.
Noah and Katie delivered! I love friends to lovers and second chance romance and Noah and Katie hit all the marks! They both were totally in love with each other as teens, but were too afraid to admit it. Noah missed his chance and Katie ended up with Noah’s cousin. When Noah confronts Katie’s cheating husband, a fight breaks out and Noah is charged with murder and sent to prision.
It’s been 10 years, Noah has served his time and he’s ready to prove to Katie that he deserves a second chance. Y’all I love Noah! He is so damn swoony! He’s loyal, kind, and still totally in love with Katie.
Katie has learned to be independent, and is hesitant to let Noah in again for fear of more heartbreak, but their friendship and the love they have always had for one another wins. It’s a perfect mix of steamy and sweet when these two finally come together!
I love how memories of their teen years and friendship were perfectly interwoven throughout the story. I love that they finally communicated and were able to work through their past and grow stronger in love together. Of course it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The town of Lawton Ridge hasn’t forgotten Gabe’s death and someone is making it known that they’re not happy Noah is back. Who is it?
Y’all, I CAN NOT WAIT for the conclusion of Noah and Katie’s story!
Profile Image for Read.Review.Repeat Blog.
4,964 reviews92 followers
February 17, 2021
Gosh, this story was so good! I felt so bad for Noah. Katie and Noah are so great together and I love their slow burn. Katie doesn't give in easily and makes Noah work for it. Oh boy, when they finally give in. Noah goes all alpha and it's hot. Being that this is a duet it does end on one heck of a cliffy. I cannot wait for book 2!! Definitely check out book 1; you will not be disappointed. ~Andrea

"Kennedy Fox are the queen's of duets that will suck you in and have you rooting for all of the HEA's. Katie and Noah's story is no different. Everyone lives with regrets but Noah and Katie's inability to lay their hearts on the line as teenagers. One event affected their future.

This story is a second chance, enemies to lovers story. As each layer of their past and future collide I was root for Team Noah and Katie as hard as Katie's friends Gemma and Everleigh did. I wanted to wrap Owen in a hug knowing the next revelation will affect him. Cannot wait to see how the rest of the story plays out.

""""My heart can’t not be in love with you.”"" ~ Noah
“You deserve the best, even if the best isn’t me,"" ~ Noah" ~Cindy
Profile Image for Jess (ireadergosum) Reviews.
731 reviews22 followers
February 16, 2021
As per usual, I NEED book 2 right this minute. Luckily, Kennedy Fox never makes us wait long. Book 2: Holding You Close comes out on March 16th.

Okay, back to this book. I love Noah. I have been so curious about both Katie and Noah since we get hints about their situation during Tyler and Gemma's Duet. They sure do have a lot of cards stacked against them with what has happened in the past! And then there's the current drama bringing that romantic suspense aspect into the picture. In true Kennedy Fox fashion, they gave us a ton of little details within that damn cliffhanger they leave us with. I am picking up what is going on with this one and I am looking forward to seeing how it unfolds and all the details come together. I'm definitely rooting for these two!

Thank you to Kennedy Fox for an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for lowkeyreader.
4,257 reviews43 followers
February 16, 2021
I have been waiting for Noah and Katie's story ever since they appear in the previous duet. And now we know why Katie slammed the door on his face😆

The book started with a flashback that led to what happened to Noah being sent to prison. He's now released and back to their hometown. He's trying to make things right with Katie because he pushed her away while he was in prison. They have been friends for as long as they can remember, and he has always been in love with her. There's no way he would let her push him away. And maybe this is finally their chance..

𝐼 𝑠ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑’𝑣𝑒 𝑎𝑑𝑚𝑖𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑑 ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝐼 𝑓𝑒𝑙𝑡 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑐𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑𝑛’𝑡—𝑒𝑠𝑝𝑒𝑐𝑖𝑎𝑙𝑙𝑦 𝑜𝑛𝑐𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑔𝑜𝑡 𝑚𝑎𝑟𝑟𝑖𝑒𝑑.

Katie and Noah are amazing. Even though I want them to just admit their feelings all those years ago. But the way their story is lined up made it more satisfying to read when they finally did. I was literally on the edge of my seat towards the end of this book. Of course, Kennedy Fox wouldn't let their story end without a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. I can't wait for the continuation of their story!
Profile Image for Liz.
3,422 reviews58 followers
February 15, 2021

Pushing You Away by Kennedy Fox is the first book in the Noah and Katie Duet and the third book in the Ex-Con Duet series. It’s a friends to lovers story that will captivate you from the start. Katie and Noah were best friends and always there for each other. Noah had feelings for Katie, but before anything could happen, his cousin swept in and connected with Katie. Then in a moment it all changes and they are apart for years. Now Noah is determined to reach out to Katie but now she wants nothing to do with him. Though her heart may want something different.

There is another duet in the series and I do suggest reading it prior to starting this book. They are about another couple but the story does build from each book as well. And honestly, they are all worth reading! Pushing You Away by Kennedy Fox was full of angst and so many feels. I loved and cannot wait to start the next book!

Read and reviewed for Sultry Sirens Book Blog.
Happy reading!
Profile Image for Meghan901.
1,045 reviews22 followers
February 15, 2021
5 Stars

Pushing You Away by Kennedy Fox is the first book in the Noah and Katie Duet and it was ahhhhhmazing! This incredible duo writes second chance romances like nobody’s business and continually blows me away with each book they put out. Full of angst, forgiveness, and a whole lotta love, Pushing You Away is hands down one of my favorite stories they’ve ever written.

I have been waiting for Noah and Katie’s story for what seems like forever and let me just say it was totally worth the wait. I loved both of them from the get-go and watching their story unfold just about did me in. Noah is so sweet, caring, and head over heels in love with Katie. Katie has had to learn to be strong for her son and is hesitant in starting anything. Will they finally get their chance at a HEA? Or will something prevent that from happening?

I loved this book SO. FREAKIN’. MUCH. And that ending?!?! I am so excited to see how it all plays out. Highly recommend reading this book!
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