This book! THIS BOOK! I don't really know what to say and certainly not where to start. I LOVED IT. I loved everything about it. I want everyone to read it. It was a PERFECT slow burn. It took these two FOREVER to actually act on their feelings (which was more than understandable considering the circumstance they were in). It allowed them to actually get to know each other and make the first move when the feelings were already there and it meant much more to both of them.
We've met Darren Gage in the first installment of this series "Better Be Sure" (though this book could TOTALLY be read as a standalone (just be advised there is a little spoiler related to the first book). He started as being the "bad guy", not for his actions but for the lack of, as a friend of Harper he stood by when he was being a total douche. But near the ending he realized he couldn't just stand there and do nothing and so he made the right move and from there things have changed for him in the fraternity though his personal situation just got worse (not that anyone knew about that..)
Darren is born of money. A LOT of money. But it doesn't mean his life is easy. Well, it used to be until he came out of the closet and his father, who was one of the closest people in his life, totally and absolutely shut him from his life. He was crashed. His only hope of proving his father he is not a total failure and disappointment is "winning" the family's scholarship. As one of Darren's ancestors helped found Harrison College, each year there is a scholarship including a position in the family business to a student who wins out of all participants. Yet in a year a Gage is in school the scholarship automatically goes to him as it was meant to be for the family first. Yet this year things are a bit different...
Isaiah Nettles had is all planned. The one thing he didn't consider is a Gage attending the school year preventing him from even attempting to get the scholarship. Unlike Darren he doesn't come from money, far from it.. He works HARD on his studies but also as a yoga instructor to help his family's finances. Winning the scholarship means the WORLD to him which is why when he realizes he doesn't even have a CHANCE to participate he writes a complaint and wins. Against a Gage. When the college's University president Mr. Jenkins makes his life harder on every step for filling the complaint in the first place. But he is confident in himself he WILL make it work - because he has to.
Both guys didn't anticipate their reaction to each other. They both have a good reason to put the effort needed and WIN but working together first for a fundraiser shows both they might be different in their upbringing but they surprisingly have a lot in common. Especially their love for music and not the kind most guys their age listens to. Playing the piano and banjo together bonds them like nothing else ever could. There is no status difference, there is no scholarship, there is nothing but a sense of joy for sharing this wonderful thing between them. Yet when the music stops the world seem to always crush back into them. Wishing they could be just friends, hopefully even more than friends but knowing that making the first step into anything other than opponents ("professional ones") is more than problematic.
Darren has the money, has the opportunity to work at the family business without the scholarship but he still NEEDS it to make his father see him. But you know who else truly SEES him like no one around him does? Isaiah. Even when he says nothing Isaiah looks at him and understands. He tries making this competition as fair as possible when he sees what Isaiah is made to go through but it's never enough, he wants more. More of Isaiah without this thing looming over them. For Isaiah everything about Daren - the real one he get to occasionally see - pushes all his buttons. His selflessness and kindness, his humbleness even though he has many reasons to show off (none of them about his family's wealth though there is that as well) and also their shared love of music and just how amazing it is to simply play together and express themselves through the notes.
Every minute together breaks their resolve to stay "professional" and be the opponents that they are, every moment apart makes them wish for more. Everything is in-tuned when they are together and everyone around them sees it as well - for better and for worse. One public kiss puts everything in danger and though Isaiah doesn't want to risk both his and Darren's future, Darren is wiling to do the right thing even if it breaks his heart. I gotta say, it broke my heart as well. There was no stopping the tears.
This book was beautiful beyond words. It was SUCH wonderful heartfelt ride. Innocent and sweet with a promise love can truly conquer all. There is no excuse not to read this book. Simply NONE. Thank you Anyta and Andy for making the world (even if just the fictional one) a perfect one.
I kindly received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
In a few more days this book will be out - July 1st - Pre-Order it through Amazon / KU.
25-27 June 2020
ABOUT THIS SERIES
Harrison Campus is a New Adult series by Anyta Sunday and Andy Gallo. It contains 3 books and one novella, all revolving college life and finding true love against the odds. All novels are EXTREMELY endearing and sweet, with the most delicious slow burn.
1. Better Be Sure [Jackson Murphy & Edward "Ed" Knowles] (Published 1 June 2020) ★★★★
2. Better Have Heart [Darren Gage & Isaiah Nettles] (Published 1 July 2020) ★★★★★
3. Better Be True [Nico Giacomo Amato & Lucas "Luke" DeRosa] (Published 3 August 2020) ★★★★★
3.5 Better For You [Evan Tergen & Charlie O’Leary] (published 1 March 2021) ★★★★