Saturday, July 25, 2020

Better Be True (Harrison Campus #3) [Nico & Luke] by Anyta Sunday & Andy Gallo

This book was THE sweetest. I loved everything about it so it's no wonder I finished it literally in one sitting. I'm already sorry this series is over. I hope Anyta and Andy have more plans for collaborations in the future they work so beautifully together - Nico and Luke are a "living proof" of that. While this is not exactly friends to lovers as they haven't known each other for long, it's more of a close proximity to lovers, the easy friendship they established right from the start made the transition from "pretend" to real more than natural. Both men were after a very recent breakup so jumping into a new relationship wasn't the best bet, but I think as both haven't experienced THIS kind of a connection, it was easy to put aside the heartache to build something real.

We've met Nico Giacomo Amato in the previous installment. He's
Isaiah roommate and best friend. While he's definitely the guy who knows how to have fun he doesn't seem to be able to keep any guy long term. People consider him to be "too much" - too touchy-feely, too colorful and too loud. But that's just who he is, and being anything else is simply unacceptable so when Tomas dumps him for exactly these reasons it hurts. That's exactly the moment his sister Elisa asks him to take over arranging her wedding and he NEEDS the distraction. Only problem is, he has to find a place in Philly for the summer to be able to do that and while he generally has the means to do it, he would rather find something cheap. That's where Luke comes in.

Lucas "Luke" DeRosa had it all figured out. He's the man with the plan. Always. So this time it's not different. After 9 months together (mostly long distance) he and Kent are going to share an apartment in Philly and work together in the law firm both are doing their internship in. That's when he gets an Email - an Email (!) - from Kent ending their relationship. As he's already signed his lease with Mrs. Randazzo for a one bedroom apartment - he cannot afford on his own - he doesn't know what to do. Looking for someone to share freaks him out but with his best friend and roommate Coury's encouraging him he puts an ad and hopes for the best.

When Nico sees the ad of the "cozy" apartment in Philly he jumps right in, even after realizing the guy he bumped into a few days ago and gave him the stink eye is the same guy he will be sharing the apartment with. But aside from that encounter they had the best banter and so a bit worried and reluctant they still decide to give it a try.

Things go well right from the start. At least concerning them getting along and finding a routine together. Nico cooks them the best meals and doesn't have to deal with the dishes Luke is more than grateful to wash. They go running together, shopping for groceries Nico is high quality enough for Nico to use. Only awkward thing is the GIANT king size bed they need to share (as the air mattress doesn't want to arrive or function when it finally does). They are also great at pretending they are a couple and with every pretend it's getting harder to keep the act when both want this pretend game to be over and their relationship to be real.

Nico didn't want to disappoint his family by admitting Tomas has broken up with him, and since he never actually mentioned his name he asks Luke to play the part, especially now that he is closer to home (New York City) and everyone is focused on his sister's wedding. For Luke it's trying to play it "cool" at the social events at work - not knowing anyone except his cheating ex who keeps bringing his new boyfriend Sebastian Forsythe to every gathering. 

With every touch, every innocent kiss on the cheek, they fall for each other. Each considerate thing Nico does for Luke, every time Luke compliments Nico for being his true self the lines get blurrier. Spending time together at the apartment but also with Nico's family and at the social events on Luke's work doesn't leave a lot of time to NOT pretend. It's all SO REAL. Yet both men needs to be SURE and that takes a bit more time. Time they need to "test the waters" for Nico to be sure Luke can accept his flamboyant self and be sure he isn't still in love with his ex, and for Luke to risk their beautiful friendship by asking more than Nico is willing to give when he clearly says he needs a break, a time to think and reflect on what he wants and needs his partner to be.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND this one. These are my favorite reads. The tender and sweet. With angst but not too much of it. With the kind of friendship we all want in our lives - accepting, seeing you for who you are, believing in you and when THAT turns to love it's the best kind.

I kindly received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. 

There is still a little bit more than a week till this on is out - August 3rd - Pre-Order it through Amazon / KU.

Read on:
25-27 June 2020

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) ★★★★ 

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