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Noah & Katie #2

Holding You Close

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After serving a decade long prison sentence for an accident that resulted in my husband’s death, Noah Reid returns. Even if he was my childhood best friend and the first man I secretly loved, I refuse to make it easy for him. But the heart never forgets and those old repressed feelings quickly bubble to the surface.

Loving him is a dangerous game but one I’m willing to play. 

Flirting leads to falling between the sheets, and I’m forced to deal with the guilt of what we’re doing. Viciousness towards Noah runs rampant and while revenge trickles through the streets of Lawton Ridge, I realize there’s more on the line than just my heart. While I’m afraid that my son and I will be caught in the crossfire of those who want to hurt Noah, I can’t walk away. 

Secrets are revealed and revelations are made, but losing him again isn’t an option—especially since I’m pregnant. 

HOLDING YOU AWAY is a slow burn, angsty friends to lovers romance with lots of small-town, Southern drama. It's book 2 in the Noah & Katie duet and must be read in order.


First published March 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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5 stars
393 (55%)
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236 (33%)
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66 (9%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 258 reviews
Profile Image for Erin Lewis.
4,455 reviews138 followers
March 16, 2021
5 Star Holding You Close (Ex-Con Duet #4) by Kennedy Fox

Holding You Close picks right up where Pushing You away finished so if you haven’t read that book then you need to STOP and read that one first as they must be read in order.

I love friends to lover’s story and this book was just as riveting as their first book. Holding You Close was an entertaining read and is the conclusion to Katie and Noah’s story. It was also one I read through in almost one go as I simply could not put it down.

This is an emotional roller coaster of a read, it is a story that built slowly, with some angst, drama, mystery and suspense; it was well written. Their journey was not without bumps but it was worth it. I freely admit to tears on occasion and I cannot wait for the next book.
Profile Image for ABookLover73.
375 reviews214 followers
March 30, 2021
FIVE HOLDING STARS for Katie and Noah 💚💜💚💜!!!



Kennedy Fox wrote one more amazing duet with a perfect conclusion that stole my heart.

"Holding You Close" is a contemporary slow burn small-town romance with friends to enemies to lovers trope full of drama but also funny moments.

I absolutely enjoyed reading this duet and I can't wait for more books from this series because I know they'll be also amazing.

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

Highly recommended!!!
Profile Image for Pauline Gaynor.
182 reviews111 followers
March 13, 2021
I have been on the edge of my seat waiting for the chance to read the conclusion of Katie & Noah’s story. Now that I’ve had the chance to read an ARC copy I could not be more happy about the way this turned out! I’ve read so many Kennedy Fox novels at this point that I have such high expectations, and they manage to exceed them every single time!

After the cliffhanger with Pushing You Away I wasn’t sure how this series could get better, but it did! This is the fourth book in a series of duet’s and again would recommend reading the previous duet to get the full reading experience! This series has small town life, strong female characters, and absolutely swoon worthy guys!

I love Kennedy Fox’s ability to seamlessly tell the stories of three couples through the series, while focusing on a different one in each duet. In this duet we still got to know about what was going on with Tyler and Gemma from the previous books and it just makes you want to read that much more!

I could not put this book down, I told myself I would only read a few chapters before bed but now it’s 1:30AM and I stayed up late to finish! You absolutely will not be disappointed!!
Profile Image for Lindsey (Linz Readz).
1,055 reviews36 followers
March 16, 2021
I couldn’t have wanted more for the conclusion to Katie and Noah’s story!

After suffering from the cliffhanger ending of book one, I was dying to get my hands on the rest of their story. I loved everything about both halves of Katie and Noah's journey to a happily ever after. I guesses the answer to the mystery early on but it did not take away anything from my reading experience.

I was so happy that we got to see Katie and Noah's growth as a couple, and family, beyond all of the drama. Everything they went through only strengthened them as individuals and even more so as a couple.

This author duo knows exactly what I need before I even do. They hit it out of the park everytime and I can't wait to see what happens with the next and final duet in this series.

Grateful to have received a complimentary ARC copy to honestly review.
Profile Image for Trish- Late Knight Luna Reads.
1,457 reviews6 followers
March 11, 2021
The first book of this duet left on a cliffhanger and started right back up leaving me on the edge of my seat. I stayed up as long as I could to finish it until my eyes started closing. I woke up an hour early before my alarm went off just so I could finish the book.

Noah is in the hospital after the accident and Katie is there for him. Everything that was built up in the first book, Katie is starting to put the pieces together that this is no coincidence. This story was a wild ride that led up to an epic conclusion that was a rollercoaster of emotions.

Noah is just perfection. Absolutely caring, protective and swoon worthy. Katie is one of my favourite characters from the Kennedy Fox world. She’s strong and independent. Noah and Katie’s relationship was amazing and I loved how Owen was never forgotten. Noah was a friend first and then became a father figure to him. You could see how much that impacted Owen

I absolutely loved how this story evolved. They had to go through hell to be together and they’re a stronger couple for it. Kennedy Fox set up the end of the book for the next duet featuring Archer and Everleigh. I can’t wait to see what crazy, twisty road they bring us down next.
Profile Image for Alecia (The Staircase Reader).
988 reviews67 followers
March 16, 2021
Oh my goodness gracious! Kennedy Fox has, once again, pulled me into their web of tales and caused me to fall in love with their characters. Noah and Katie's story is unforgettable!

Holding You Close is the second book in Noah and Katie’s duet, if you haven’t read Pushing You Away yet, I highly recommend you do that before reading on with this review of Holding You Close. Trust me when i say, you don’t want to miss out on all the suspense this single mother and her best friend are put through! This was a duet I couldn’t put down.

Katie and Noah’s conclusion picks up where the beginning leaves off. Noah’s in the hospital and in his state of awareness he recognizes voices in his hospital room making plans for his demise. But what those two individuals don’t realize, Noah isn’t going anywhere without a fight. He has too much to live for now.

I loved seeing Noah’s sweet side just a bit more in this novel. He had some hard situations to face, and not just with the folks who wanted him dead. This man fell in love with a woman who was once his best friend, and who was also once his cousin's wife. She has a son out of the relationship with Gabe. A son who never got to meet his father, a father who Noah accidentally killed when a fight broke out between them. This man had the weight of the world on his shoulders… but he never once backed down. He took the heavy in strides. He concealed his demons and fought for the life he should have had all those years ago. And guess what, good eventually wins in the end.

I think I liked the moments with Katie’s son, Owen, the most. This kid had the weight of the world on his shoulders also. I was scared for him to find out the brutal past that revolved around his dad, Gabe, and Noah. I was scared the kid would be too young to understand that accidents happen. But this kid took the news with a spoonful of maturity! I honestly sat back with my eyes wide and a smile on my face. I was expecting the lash out period and I’m slightly thrilled that Kennedy Fox decided to take a different route with this touchy subject. I loved how Owen handled it. I loved how Owen still had the same respect and heroism vibes for Noah as he did before learning the past truth.

As for Katie, I loved her willingness to stand by and defend Noah through thick and thin. She was his ultimate ride or die. She smelled bullshit coming from ____ and her mama bear claws came out until the moment the truth was exposed. I loved her protective nature for all those she loved. She put herself in the line of fire many times to protect all. I really loved her character throughout this duet.

Overall, this was a great ending to a wonderful duet. The four star rating is due to my nit-picky self. I felt a few scenes were rushed and I wanted a few more one on one chats between Noah and Owen. But as for the rest of the novel. My heart is full and happy. What can I say, I love a Kennedy Fox Happily Ever After!!



Find me here:
The Staircase Reader
Profile Image for Jessica Marsh.
230 reviews50 followers
March 16, 2021

If you are looking for a dramatic, steamy, and lust filled romance... Noah and Katie's story is for you! The love between the two, regardless of their past really stuck with me from the beginning and I was rooting for their relationship from the get-go! I am so glad that it picked right up from where the last book left off because that cliffhanger killed me! I was able to predict who was behind everything, but I was second guessing my prediction the entire time, which definately kept me on my toes. Will I tell you what the duo of Kennedy Fox did to me? No. You need to read it to find out. I just adored their story and I cannot wait for the next duet in the ex-con series!
Profile Image for TMR.
548 reviews683 followers
December 10, 2021
Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger warnings: Assault, murder, shooting, verbal abuse.

Another Note: This is the second and final book in the Noah and Katie Duet. The first book is Pushing You Away. Please read in order.

Pushing You Away By Kennedy Fox (Review) - in case anyone felt like catching up from the first book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Wow, KF have done it again!

As you know, I mostly get nervous reading sequels, because who knows if they'll live up to their predecessors.

But this one did, and can I actually say more fantastic than the last one.

Yes, even though it took me some time to get to the second book, I am glad to be here anyway. I didn't realise I missed Noah and Katie so much until I started reading their story again.

There was still so much emotion, romance, bonding, and just so much understanding and everything good that my heart would've exploded from all the good things that started to happen to Noah and Katie, both professionally and personally.

Plus Katie's kid, I missed so much too, adorable little tyke, wish I could've kept him for myself hehe.

But there were plenty of crazy and weird too, with someone still after Noah terribly. But luckily together as a team, Noah and Katie manage to beat all odds and show us that love is stronger than anything in this world and not even crazy people can stop them from being together.

As always, I enjoyed hanging with the side Cs as well, because you know they're also the reason why Noah and Katie are together.

Overall, a very happy, suspenseful, full of action, love and care novel that made my heart swell, tears almost surfacing and just so much emotional overload.

God, I would love to enjoy another KF book whenever it releases.

Until the next read,

Profile Image for bookspaced.
646 reviews16 followers
March 15, 2021
After the cliffhanger ending from book one in Noah and Katie‘s duet I seriously needed to get my hands on book two.

Noah and Katie are just perfect for eachother. They went through so much they both deserve a happy ending. I seriously loved everything about this duet. From the mystery, to the steamy scenes and especially the family and friendship bond all characters had with eachother.

Sadly I did figure out the mystery in book one and for me it was resolved to soon into the book. But I really enjoyed seeing Noah and Katie become a family and become even stronger throughout the book.

Profile Image for PP's Bookshelf.
2,211 reviews330 followers
March 12, 2021
After reading Holding You Close by Kennedy Fox I have only one thought. Every woman needs a Noah in her life. And every man needs a Katie for him. This story is THE definition of true partnership and undying devotion between two soulmates. This gorgeous love story will take you on a rollercoaster of swoon, steam and suspense.

The author left me with a major cliffhanger when I didn't know if Noah will survive for his second chance. After the unfair stint at prison, Noah is finally back to Lawton Ridge and this time he won't let Katie go. These two are just getting their lives back on track after years of heartache, misunderstanding and angsty love. But someone is trying to ruin their happiness.

First of all, wow. Just wow. I have felt so much happiness and simple goodness while reading this story. While cursing the authors for giving me panic attacks with all those dangerous twists. But those adventures only sweetened the deal. Because Noah and Katie's love came out stronger. And the happily ever after..oh my heart! I almost passed out from swooning and sighing too hard. Noah is the perfect man. He took care of Katie. Protected her. Cherished her. Accepted her life as it is. And tried his best to make her happy and safe and loved. On the other side, Katie supported him all the way while he adjusted to the new life. She is amazing. She has a genuine heart and she has so much strength in her loving heart! Their chemistry was so so beautiful and touched my heart deeply. The extended family of Noah and Katie is quite big and provides a great support system. I loved seeing the joyous celebrations of all the small and big life events. And the epilogue brought tears in my eyes!

Any story written by Kennedy Fox gurantees all kinds of intense emotions to overflow your heart. Holding You Close was no exception. I am absolutely in love with Noah and Katie and their epic love story.

I reviewed an early copy voluntarily
Profile Image for Jackie Wright.
4,542 reviews87 followers
May 15, 2022
Audio Review
I was excited for book two in the Noah and Katie duet and I wasn’t disappointed, Holding You Close was everything I expected and so much more.
I want to first say please don’t pick this book up without reading the first book in this duet because this picks up right where Pushing You Away finishes, it’s the conclusion to Noah and Katie’s story.
This is not just a story this is a journey that will take over your life, it’s a captivating romance that will draw you in and stay with you long after the final words have been read.
Noah is in hospital after an attempted assassination and it’s now time to find out who’s behind the attempt on his life. As Noah starts the road to recovery we see him and Katie growing closer and determined to find out who is out to destroy their relationship.
I loved joining this couple on their journey, I loved watching them grow closer as they accepted the love they felt for each other. I loved the relationship they shared but what took this romance to another level was the love Noah felt for Owen, it was wonderful to watch him become the father, Owen desperately wanted. This is a duet with all the feels and I highly recommend you one click this gem of a read, it’s a romance with the perfect mix of love, passion and mystery.
The narration by Lia Langola and Tor Thom was everything I have come to expect by these talented narrators. They hit every emotion and they really brought the characters and their journey to life.
Profile Image for Renee.
3,856 reviews48 followers
March 13, 2021
I received a copy of this book from the publisher/author to review for Stephanie's Book Reports.

After serving a decade long prison sentence for an accident that resulted in my husband's death, Noah Reid returns. Even if he was my childhood best friend and the first man I secretly loved, I refuse to make it easy for him. But the heart never forgets and the old repressed felling quickly bubble to the surface.
Loving him is a dangerous game but one I'm willing to play.
Flirting leads to falling between the sheets, and I'm forced to deal with the guilt of what we're doing. Viciousness towards Noah runs rampant and while revenge trickles through the streets of Lawton Ridge, I realized there's more on the line than just my heart. While I'm afraid that my son and I will be caught in the crossfire of those who want to hurt Noah, I can't walk away. Secrets are revealed and revelations are made, but losing him again is not an option.

This is the second book in the Noah and Katie Duet. You need to read Pushing You Away first so you not lost and can enjoy Holding You Close like it is mean to be enjoyed. This book picks up right where the cliffhanger left us hanging in Pushing You Away. I thought I was going to have heart failure right there but then I about exploded when Noah is sent to Prison for an accident. But now he is out and back in Lawton Ridge and the first thing on his mind is Katie, and if she was honest with herself no matter what he has started on her mind this entire time too. Now the time has come for these two to get their lives back. To have what they should have had from the very beginning. If only things were ever that easy though. Now they are going to have to deal with people wanting revenge. I have to stop talking about the story right there, or I am apt to give away something important. Though I will tell you I closed this book wanting to talk bot someone about what I had just read but there was no one here for me to tell. Plus this book has so much going on I don't know how you would tell anyone everything and not leave something out Oh my stars why do boys not read books so you have a reading buddy to talk about these amazing books when we finish or share a book hangover or two with? I loved these characters. Katie and Noah were fated to be together and I loved how hard they fought to be together no matter what. There are twists and turns, dangers and passion and a angst filled love story like no other between the pages of this book. I am so sad that my time with Noah and Katie is over. But, I know that my heart and mind will never ever forget them.
Profile Image for Jenn Amy.
894 reviews73 followers
April 4, 2021

Good conclusion.

Katie and Noah’s story is filled with so much angst and drama. After the way Pushing You Away ended I was eager for the conclusion. The story picks up exactly where the last book left us off. For the first half I was so eager to know how everything would turn out for this couple.

Noah is the most beautiful man. He has been in love with Katie since they were children and he isn’t about to let a crazy stalker stand in his way of making Katie and Owen his permanently. I loved his attitude and protectiveness.

In Pushing you Away I struggled with Katie’s character and while some of those qualities were still present in this book for the most part she redeemed herself. Katie is loyal and protective of her son Owen and to Noah as well. She will do anything to keep them both safe and protected.

I struggled with the storyline in the sense it was all very predictable and seemed to wrap up to perfectly in the end. Almost too perfect. I do like how the the final books in the series were introduced. I can’t say this was my favourite in the series but regardless I’m invested in the stories and characters and am eager for Everleigh and Archer’s duet next.
Profile Image for Confessions of a Bookaholic.
452 reviews20 followers
May 5, 2021
True Love for the WIN!!!!!!

After the cliffhanger leaving Noah in the hospital in Pushing You Away I couldn't wait to dive into this story. Naturally it picks right back up where PYA left off and I couldn't have asked for anything better for these two. The fierceness that Katie and Noah love each other is that of fairytales. That man will do ANYTHING for Katie with no questions asked and she is just a selfless when it comes to him. It is almost as if Noah's sole purpose in life is to love Katie and Owen...he is exactly what was missing in their life. I was left teary eyed quite a few times as Noah and Owen's relationship evolved. Just when I thought I couldn't love Noah as much as I did....he proved me wrong and my heart just completely overflowed.

It wouldn't be a KF book if there weren't major plot twists that get your heart pumping and leave you neglecting the real world around you. You get sucked into the main characters and the numerous side characters you grow to love just as much. I cannot ever get enough of them and love how they pop up all through the series. Kennedy Fox has such a knack at setting up the next story and I cannot wait to see what is in store for Everleigh and Archer.

***I was given an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review***

******AUDIO REVIEW******
Well, I didn't think it was possible to love two narrators anymore than I already did but Thor and Lia did a stellar job bringing to life the second part of Noah and Katie's beautiful story. Emotions were higher in this story for the characters and said emotions were shown with perfection in the narration. I absolutely loved the chapter at the pumpkin patch when I read it but hearing it was 1,000 times more touching.

With the cliffhanger we were left with in PYA I knew HYC would be full of suspense until we knew who was behind what happened to Noah. I love how at about the halfway point in the book all of that comes to blows and we get to enjoy seeing Noah and Katie start building their life together in the last half. I have said it before and I will say it again....Noah is absolutely PERFECT and he treats Katie like the queen she is. The numerous Star Wars references were another favorite. Just like in their other duet stories KF gave a little look into what will end up being Everleigh's story and I cannot wait for that one.
Profile Image for Maddie (Bookaholic_Dreamer).
708 reviews45 followers
March 14, 2021
4.5/5 ⭐️

Holding You Close starts off right where Pushing You Away ended on the cliffhanger. Which I was happy to see, so no time is lost, with knowing what is happening without having to remember by reading the previous book all over again.

This book jumped straight into the story, with the momentum gradually building, leading to the BIG BANG that was expected given what happened in Pushing You Away and how it ended.
There definitely a lot of emotions to feel, especially in the first half of the book. Given that a lot was occurring in their lives, Noah being in an accident and Katie worrying about him (wanting to keep him safe and not lose him again) on top of trying to juggle her work, looking after Owen and figuring out who is hurt Noah and whether they would be back again.
It’s an uphill mountain battle for both with those bumps and hurdles that they’re still continuing to go through and trying to overcome together to have their happiness that they deserve in this book.

I was definitely not surprised when the bomb dropped on the surprise mystery twist. But only because I had suspected it from the beginning. It was still crazy to see it all go down. However I was surprised by how early in the book it all went down. I would’ve thought and expected it to happen later in the book, since that is what usually occurs. It actually had me thinking would I lose interest in the book, since what else could happen, given that the big showdown had occurred.
However, I didn’t lose interest at all. I absolutely loved it, getting to see and delve deeper into Noah and Katie’s love story. Which continues to grow through the exploration of their journey throughout the rest of the story. It was beautiful, romantic, adorable and so sweet how loving and affectionate Noah was towards Katie. The way he wanted to do as much as possible for her, to make up not only for their loss time. But also everything he had put her through, with trying shoulder her burden with in helping fix her dream house so it could be ready to move in sooner rather than later.
Proving they were definitely meant to be together and deserved their HEA more than anything or anyone given everything that had both gone through.
They were soul mates, who were destined to be together and it was proven too. Given after everything they had fought and been through, they still managed to find their way back to each other. Building a stronger and everlasting bond together with their love.
Plus that steam! Kennedy Fox yet again, bought the sexy factor whenever Katie and Noah would come together in their UNINHIBITED LUSTFUL acts of BURNING HOT, TORRID PASSION! Someone definitely needed to crack a window, given just how HOT and STEAMY it got. They were like animals in heat, once they started they didn’t want to stop!

After reading both Pushing You Away and Holding You Close, I can honestly and safely say Noah and Katie are definitely my favourite couple. There was something about them both and their love story that gripped you from the very beginning and tugged on your heart strings. Especially with the uphill battle they fought and overcame to get their HEA together.
And the fact that Noah never really gave up on Katie, even when he thought he wasn’t worthy or deserving of it for what he did to his cousin Gabe.

Kennedy Fox totally came through with the conclusion to Noah & Katie’s story in Holding You Close, especially with that epilogue. I loved that they included a POV from Owen (in the epilogue), it was unexpected but the cherry on top of the sundae. I hope he gets his own book in the future, because I would love to see him grown up.
If you’ve read any of the previous Ex-Con series, then I would highly recommend you definitely check out Noah & Katie’s story! It will do you no wrong!

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jess (ireadergosum) Reviews.
731 reviews22 followers
March 14, 2021
After that cliffhanger, I was so ready for this one. I have been so curious about both Katie and Noah since we got hints about their situation during Tyler and Gemma's Duet. I knew they'd have a rocky ride! I kind of guessed a lot of what was going to happen, but I was still interested to see what Kennedy Fox was going to do with this one. They definitely did some great foreshadowing in this one and gave us a lot of the aftermath of all the craziness. It was nice to see how these two adapted to all of the things against them after the dust had settled. In true Kennedy Fox fashion, there was the drama, they were steamy times, and there were the awesome friendships. I do love this crazy interconnected group of friends, that's for sure. Oh, and of course we got little snippets of what Everleigh will be dealing with in her duet with Archer, and man, I do not think I'm ready for the wildness that is her. Thank you to Kennedy Fox for an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Rachel.
42 reviews
March 14, 2021
Katie and Noah’s story was absolutely amazing but not without some bumps along the way. Trying to work past the events that led to Noah spending a decade in prison proves to be an issue with some people. Secrets come out and you’d think that when everyone finds out it’ll be a disaster but there’s a real amazing story of love and family and forgiveness that goes a long way to making everything great.

We see single motherhood and all the crazy stuff that happens with that, a preteen boy who’s dealing with multiple changes happening at once, a guy who’s trying to find his place in the family without stepping on toes. But they all seem to make it all work out the way it’s supposed to and the way that works for them.

This book also does a great job with setting up another storyline that will be in the next duet. You can’t help but fall in love with all the characters in this book and can’t wait to read what happens next.
Profile Image for Erin Lewis.
4,455 reviews138 followers
March 10, 2022
5 Star Holding You Close (Ex-Con Duet # 4) by Kennedy Fox


Holding You Close picks right up where Pushing You away finished so if you haven’t read that book then you need to STOP and read that one first as they must be read in order.

I love friends to lover’s story and this book was just as riveting as their first book. Holding You Close was an entertaining read and is the conclusion to Katie and Noah’s story. It was also one I read through in almost one go as I simply could not put it down.

This is an emotional roller coaster of a read, it is a story that built slowly, with some angst, drama, mystery and suspense; it was well written. Their journey was not without bumps but it was worth it. I freely admit to tears on occasion and I cannot wait for the next book.

The performance by Lia Langola and Tor Thom were spot on for Katie and Noah and they did a good job in expressing the emotions that these characters went through.
Profile Image for Read.Review.Repeat Blog.
4,964 reviews92 followers
March 16, 2021
I was so relieved to finally receive the conclusion for Noah and Katie. It was so good! This was full of plot twists and kept me reading way too late. I have zero regrets. I loved watching them grow closer and how darn romantic Noah could be. Totally swoon-worthy. This is definitely a must read and I am excited for the next couple!! ~Andrea

"Katie and Noah's HEA is so good! In this action packed conclusion we find out who the protagonist is, secrets are unveiled and a proposal scene that I guarantee you will need tissues for. If ever there was a couple that was meant to be it is Katie and Noah. They have fought tooth and nail for their happiness and future. Loved it!

""I only ever wanted it to be you. The only thing that matters now is that it'll only ever be you-at least if I have anything to say about it."" ~ Noah" ~Cindy
Profile Image for Love & Lavender Book Review.
484 reviews29 followers
March 17, 2021
Picking up right where book 1 ended, Noah and Katie’s love story continues and with it, a dose of danger, romance and the perfect HEA for these childhood friends turned lovers.

While the threat to Noah’s life is resolved fairly quickly, Katie and Noah navigate all that life has to throw at them as they figure out what having a family looks like with Owen and finishing their beautiful home. Adding in Tyler, Gemma and Everleigh, the story is full of chemistry, love and laughter. Katie and Noah give us plenty of steam and passion to sink our teeth into! I loved how their relationship came full circle. I can’t wait for Everleigh’s story next.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Savannah Medina.
522 reviews17 followers
March 15, 2021
I've been counting down the minutes until I got to read the conclusion to this duet, and OH MY GOODNESS Kennedy Fox did not disappoint!!! Noah and Katie are such a mind blowing, emotion blasting, friendship building couple!

THIS is a story of true love. THIS is what dreams are made of. THIS is what I read romance for, real people with real struggles, heartache and betrayal and overcoming obstacles. Owen will absolutely melt your heart with his sweetness and acceptance, and Noah is going to 100% make your ovaries explode! I'm whole heartedly looking forward to the completion of the Ex- Con series so I can continue to see how Noah and Katie's relationship, friendship, and marriage develops! 5/5 stars, absolutely freaking recommend!!! ❤❤❤❤❤
Profile Image for Rochelle.
1,567 reviews
March 16, 2021
Book 4 in the Ex-Con Duet series and book 2 of Noah and Katie’s story. When their previous book ended on a cliffhanger, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the rest of their story and let me just say, it was worth the wait. Loved everything about this book. You will be taken on a roller coast3r ride of emotions that is breathtaking and heartbreaking all at once. Loved their story and can’t wait to read what is coming up next in the series.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,011 reviews119 followers
March 15, 2021
Oh Noah. He’s a dreamboat, plain and simple. He had me swooning and sighing and wishing he were real.

This book had a little bit of action that resolved quickly, and read like an epilogue but I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next duet!

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Shyanne Lindballe.
137 reviews2 followers
March 18, 2021
The perfect ending!!! This book was everything. I absolutely loved it. Kennedy fox knows how to give you everything in a book. It was absolutely beautiful and gave you just a enough details to have you impatiently waiting for the next books to be released. The last little bit of the book had me bawling like a baby.
Profile Image for The Romance Book Disciple (Samantha).
1,902 reviews316 followers
March 16, 2021

The finale of Noah and Katie's story! Obviously, you MUST read these in order, so make sure you have read Pushing You Away first.

We ended book 1 with a character in the hospital so I was eager to dive back in. Who tried to kill him? How are they going to put an end to it all? Katie and Noah are easy to root for and I was their ride or die when it came to making sure they got their HEA! Owen, Katie's son, and Noah build a stronger bond in this book and it was great. I hate to use such a cliche phrase, but rollercoaster is the best way to describe your emotions while reading. There are the moments of worry for Noah, passion between Noah and Katie, fatherly love between Noah and Owen, and hatred for some of the townspeople. It will certainly keep your mind off your own worries for a few hours.

This was my first Kennedy Fox duet and I must say I am pleased as punch! There is angst, but it wasn't too much for my tastes, the devotion between the hero and heroine is rock solid, which I love, and the writing was great.


  POV: dual 1st
  Tears: no
  Trope: friends to lovers, single mom
  Triggers: none
  Series/Standalone: series (you must read Pushing You Away first)

Conjugal Visits by Lani Lynn Vale, Much Ado About You by Samantha Young, The Wreckage of Us by Brittainy Cherry...then you will probably like Holding You Close!

Holding You Close
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Profile Image for Erin McFarland.
374 reviews12 followers
March 16, 2021
After that edge of your seat cliff hanger, we finally get the answers we've been waiting for....and then some. Holding You Close picks up right where the first book lets off, so you don't have to do a reread, unless you want to of course.

The first half of the book moves fairly fast, as it's a race to see if they can catch who left Noah to die. On top of that, Katie and Noah are navigating their new-ish relationship, Owen, and just the day to day issues couples face.  The climax to the cliff hanger happens within the first half of the book, which on the surface might seem a little strange, but for me it worked. It worked because so many times we are left with the suspense building up to the point it takes over the story and all we get of the after effect is an epilogue that might be 3-4 pages max. Here we get the rest of the dang book! There is so much for these two to work through, even after the initial drama is resolved. Owen being the main thing. The way Kennedy Fox wrote Owen in this book was amazing. His character grew and flourished. As Adri said, was it Noah's influence? Maybe. Was it Katie's amazing parenting...absolutely. This kid had an amazing support system, so did his mom. The supporting characters cracked me up, especially Everleigh. I cannot WAIT for her book. There again, we get a little hint at some mystery and drama that I can't wait to dive in to. While there wasn't as much drama throughout the entire book, the story didn't lack in emotion. This one took me on a roller coaster fro
Profile Image for Elsa Gomes (BookishAurora).
2,080 reviews262 followers
March 16, 2021

Rate:  4 / 5 stars

Had been waiting on pins and needles for this conclusion. Noah and Katie deserved their HEA and I couldn’t wait to see how their story would end and it couldn’t have been sweeter.

These two were such an amazing and cute couple!! And Noah’s relationship with Owen was amazing. I really loved how they fit so well since the very beginning and Noah treated Owen as his own.

When it comes to the romance and the character getting what they deserved (well except for that bomb dropped at the end, I so was not expecting any of that🤯), I was very satisfied and really enjoyed Katie and Noah just being happy and building their future together.

Now when it comes to the suspense part of the story, I was a bit disappointed with how everything that happened was dealt with and how fast the main issue of the suspenseful plotline was solved (before 50%). There was so much potential to build that plotline. It ended up feeling like this book was divided into two books where the second part was more like a bonus novella where you get to see how the characters are doing after a while. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy when the characters are finally happy and get to enjoy each other but I’m just used to a heavier suspense/mystery plotline with KF’s duets so when I read this book I was a bit disappointed with how it went in the beginning. But even still, it’s a great read and if you love Noah and Katie you’ll be so happy for them and how their story ended.

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

➳ Order at: Amazon US

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Profile Image for Stefanie Kral.
704 reviews24 followers
March 17, 2021
✯✯5 Noah & Katie Filled Stars!!!✯✯

After finishing Pushing You Away I’d been dying to get the second book and finish Noah and Katie’s story.

We pick up right where we left off with Noah being run off the road and in the hospital. Everybody’s still trying to figure out exactly what happened and who’s behind it and why.

When they figure out who’s behind trying to kill Noah nobody’s really shocked but they wished they knew exactly why this person had vengeance in their eyes. Now they gotta find them Bc they went into hiding. Tyler called his friend Eric to come and keep an eye on Noah until the situation is resolved.

Noah and Katie are also really giving their relationship a shot. They’ve been best friend’s forever but haven’t spoken for ten years and they’ve both changed. And, Noah’s trying to show Owen how much he really loves and cares for both him and Katie.

This book & entire storyline was everything!!! Noah’s really the perfect man, boyfriend and father. Katie is one strong & amazing women and mom. Then there’s Owen. He stole my heart. When he confronted Noah about what happened with Gabe I legit held my breath. Owen’s such an understanding young man and saw things for what they truly were and handled it better then I’d hoped. And, the epilogue was perfect.

I’m looking forward to Archer and Everleigh’s story. And seeing what happened when Archer showed up I hope he’s got patience. Bc, he’s gunna need it with Everleigh LOL.
Profile Image for Ellie.
190 reviews5 followers
March 14, 2021
Holding You Close picks up immediately where Pushing You Away leaves off with Noah in the hospital after an attempted assassination. I'll be happy to report that he is well but a little banged up but now with the mystery of who is trying to kill him and why.

The mystery gets wrapped up pretty quickly but that can be attributed to the fact that this book was very fast paced which I really liked. I like the fact that book is such an easy read and very low on the angst and drama considering the revenge plot. It's a nice break from my usual darker reads. As with the first book in the duet, there is lots of dialogue between the characters which makes it easier to connect with them and believe their close knitted relationships. It actually reads like a screenplay which I think is pretty cool but if I had only one criticism, I wish the scenes were more descriptive so we can see the full picture.

I just really enjoyed this book and Noah and Katie's growing relationship. I found them so incredibly sweet and the fact that they've known each other since they were children adds an extra layer to their love story. I also really liked all the scenes with Owen and am happy that in the end they were honest with him about everything and loved how much he matured in the epilogue.

The duet was just a fun, sweet, fluffy and definitely sexy read. I recommend it for anyone that enjoys a small town romance with a lighter side. Definitely a great read.

*ARC graciously provided by Kennedy Fox and company in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jasmine | Filthylittlereader.
1,156 reviews59 followers
March 15, 2021
The conclusion to Katie and Noah’s story did not disappoint! It was intense and passionate. Noah, oh that man freaking slaaayed me in the best way at the end. It was truly the most perfect ending for them.
For the first half, Kennedy Fox had me on pins and needles with anxiety waiting for the truth behind Noah’s attack to be revealed. But, the truth bomb that dropped on me left me shocked.
So often, a couple, whether it be internal or external factors, struggles the majority of book and in the last ten or fifteen percent we see them as a couple and the book ends.
In Holding You Close, we got so much more than that. What I absolutely loved about this book is that we got to see Noah and Katie’s growth beyond all the drama. We bared witness to Noah and Katie’s growth both as both as individuals and as a couple. Everything they had been through only strengthened their bond. Noah’s relationship with Owen had its problems but we had a chance to be a part of how they worked through and overcame their obstacles. Katie and Noah had been through so much and their hea journey was a tumultuous one so I really appreciated how Kennedy Fox gave us a look into their coupledom after the dust had settled. Instead of being left with their hea but we got to truly experience them living it and I loved that.
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