Better Be True by Andy Gallo and Anyta Sunday
Series: Harrison Campus #3
Publisher: Andy Gallo & Anyta Sunday (Self Published)
Release Date: August 3, 2020
Subgenre: M/M Romance
Synopsis for Better Be True:
Two friends. One bed. A big Italian Wedding.
Nico Amato is in trouble. He’s in love with his roommate. Who’s hung up on his ex. This so isn’t part of his summer plans. Luke’s an all-American jock, a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy. The kind of guy who thinks Nico is too much.
That doesn’t stop Nico from pretending to be Luke’s boyfriend, once, twice, thrice . . . A friend does what a friend does to make an ex jealous.
Just . . . How many favors before Luke gives up on his ex?
Lucas DeRosa has a problem.
His roommate pushes every one of his buttons. Every. Damn. One. This so isn’t part of the script. Nico is flamboyant, a tight jeans/purple blazer kind of guy. The kind of guy who thinks Lucas is boring.
That doesn’t stop Luke from pretending to be Nico’s boyfriend again, and again, and again . . . A friend does what a friend does to repay a favor.
Just . . . How many favors before he wins Nico’s heart?
“Better Be True” is a roommates to lovers, fake-boyfriend, slow burn M/M romance with a HEA. This New Adult, college, opposite attract novel can be read as a standalone. The Harrison Campus series can be read in any order.
“Hey.” Nico shut the back door and sat next to Luke, handing him a glass of wine. “Here. It’s a full-bodied zinfandel.”
“Thanks.” More cluelessness. What made the wine full-bodied? “Sorry.”
“For what?” Nico set his drink down and gently rubbed Luke’s back. “I thought things went well.”
The smooth motion soothed some of Luke’s anxiety. He leaned into the massage.
“Clearly I didn’t study the right things.”
Nico’s hand paused on his back. “You studied to come here?”
“Just food stuff. I didn’t want to sound stupid.”
Nico’s hand drifted up and kneaded the tight muscles in Luke’s neck. “That’s . . . really considerate of you. Thank you.”
Luke tasted his wine, and Nico removed his hand. Once gone, Luke missed the contact. Not that he could ask Nico to keep doing it. “Yeah, well it didn’t help. I still looked stupid, and your family thinks I’m an idiot.”
“Actually, they really like you.”
“You don’t have to be nice.”
“No, really. If they didn’t like you, you’d know it. Elisa brought home this total dickwad once. Five minutes into dinner, Papà and Nonno started talking smack about him in Italian. Nonna called him a jackass, which is about the second-worst curse word she uses.”
“What did your sister say when this was happening?”
“I think she was more embarrassed by the guy than by the family. Even she could tell he was being a jackass.” Nico picked up his glass. “You, however, were great.”
“I’m serious. You were respectful, but not too meek. You didn’t try to turn any conversation onto yourself, and you offered to help clear the table. That alone earned you Nonna’s seal of approval.”
“Now I know you’re lying. She almost stabbed me with her fork when I offered.”
Nico snorted. “I saw that. But it’s not what you think. Guests don’t help.”
“Yeah, but he’s about to marry my sister. If you kept coming home with me, then they’d expect you to help.” Nico bit his lip, frowned, and stared into the yard. “But I promise I won’t foist this craziness on you again.”
The finality of Nico’s promise filled Luke with . . . something. Regret came closest. “It’s all good. Your family’s great.”
“They are great, and I love them to death.”
Nico eyed the back door and leaned in to whisper, “Sometimes they’re a bit much.”
Luke laughed. “That’s all families.” He bumped his shoulder against Nico’s. When Nico pushed back, Luke didn’t move.
They sat, pressed together, staring out at the yard.
Fake boyfriends. Fake boyfriends. Fake.
Nico had made it clear he wasn’t ready to date, let alone have a boyfriend.
Besides, Luke wasn’t in the right place to date either. So why did it feel like jolts of electricity kept zapping between them? And why, when the conversation inside had gotten lively, had Luke felt warm and heavy? Like he was with family.
5 Sugary Stars
What an absolute treat this story was. I am loving the teamwork of Gallo and Sunday as their joined chemistry results in a perfect book. Book 3 of the Harrison Campus series can be read as a stand-alone.
Nico is so full of life. It’s a shame that sometimes life can’t appreciate him for what he is, an outgoing young man that up until now has never hidden what makes him feel good. His unique and bold clothing choices have always felt right until a guy he was serious about dumped him because he didn’t dress like a jock! Nico is not exactly sports’ literate. Now he is second-guessing himself as this last rejection really stung.
Luke accepted an internship in Philly to be near his boyfriend. Kent has a lot in common with Nico’s ex. He is also a selfish idiot. Poor Luke also finds himself freshly dumped as Kent found someone new. This cheater also made Luke feel insecure, claiming he had to find a new love interest because Luke was so boring. Now Luke is desperate to find a replacement roommate. He can’t swing this place by himself (thanks, Kent) and puts out an ad, hoping to find the right person to share the rent.
Nico has agreed to help his sister plan her wedding due to last-minute problems with the wedding planner she originally hired. This is a great solution as he can retreat from bad memories and help his family he adores. Nico is from a big tightly-knit Italian clan. Oh my gosh did the Italian slang names for food bring back a rush of memories for me. I haven’t heard most of them since I was a kid so this book quickly endeared itself to me. Nico’s family owns a very successful bakery and I loved all the tempting descriptions of these artisan confections.
The men decide to room together and yes, the sparks fly but both have been badly hurt. Nico still feels self-conscious about his old boyfriend’s cutting assessment of his clothes and he dresses more conservatively around Luke. Luke may be a jock but he is light years more advanced in human kindness than Nico’s ex. Nico just hasn’t realized this yet. Luke and Nico help each other out by being a convenient date for each other’s functions. At first, I didn’t realize this was a fake boyfriend theme and I must say it was one of the more believable stories in this topic I have read.
Both men were so amazing together and the story had the perfect blend of realistic angst and a nice slow burn romance. I strongly recommend this delicious story and hope you will indulge. Happy Reading!
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement.***
~ * ~ Jo‘s Review ~ * ~
I really don’t know how to start this review. Is it okay to start with “Loved it” or “ Great book“ or should I start by saying “Well written”? Do I mention the 2 previous books, which you should totally have read? I tried googling how to write a review as I dithering but they sounded soo boring… “talk about the narrative voice”
Why the dither you ask? Well, all I want to say is: “This is such a great, sweet book that I loved. You should buy it.“ But that’s not fair to the authors as it really doesn’t do it justice. So, I will do better.
This is a college romance, roommates to lovers story. Both our MCs have been dumped, to put it bluntly, and are hurting. However, they both now have to spend the summer in Philly. Luke has an apartment but now needs a roommate, Nico needs somewhere to stay. And from there we have the basis of a great love story. The MCs are very different, Nico is from a large Italian family with a successful bakery. The authors do a great job of creating a real authenticity to him and his family. He is loud in appearance and character but the end of his relationship has shaken his confidence and there’s a vulnerability about him that made him very real to me. I loved his snark but also his empathetic and caring side. Luke is the sports type, baseball for him. He’s got to face his ex every day as they are interning together; a fact made harder by the presence of the new man and the obvious fact he’s been cheated on. He’s struggling to get over that. He’s obviously a genuine soul, family is important and stability. Just the kind of guy you’d want for your child.
So, what do two guys who hardly know each other; are forced to become rooms mates due to necessity and oh, have to share a bed (a running thread of an inflatable mattress is great)? Why, fall in love of course and then try to ignore it to save themselves from more heartache. The chemistry is there, the friendship and the trust, too. They just need to face what else is there.
I really enjoyed the way the story arc went with the book. It didn’t feel rushed, no bed antics until it worked in the story. We get to see both points of views and you really get a sense of who each MC is and where their emotions are coming from (there I did narrative voice too, whooo). They are sweet, funny together and it doesn’t feel forced as some opposites attract can.
So this is a total recommendation for me. I’m loving the series (do read them all, you don’t have to, to enjoy this one but they are definitely worth it). This may even be my favourite. So yeah, a one-click buy it book.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure, a review wasn’t a requirement.***
About the Authors:
Andy Gallo prefers mountains over the beach, coffee over tea, and regardless if you shake it or stir it, he isn’t drinking a martini. He remembers his “good old days” as filled with mullets, disco music, too-short shorts, and too-high socks. Thanks to good shredders and a lack of social media, there is no proof he ever descended into any of those evils.
Andy does not write about personal experiences and no living or deceased ex-boyfriends appear on the pages of his stories. He might subconsciously infuse his characters with some of their less noble qualities, but that is entirely coincidental even if their names are the same. And while Andy leaves the hard sci-fi/fantasy for his alter ego, Andrew, in his mind a touch of the supernatural never derailed a good relationship.
Married and living his own happy every after, Andy helps others find their happy endings in the pages of his stories. He and his husband of more than twenty years spend their days raising their daughter and rubbing elbows with other parents. Embracing his status as the gay dad, Andy sometimes has to remind others that one does want a hint of color even when chasing after their child.
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A bit about me: I’m a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. I love to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love. Some of my favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries. I write a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy. My books have been translated into German, Italian, French, and Thai.
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BETTER BE TRUE by Andy Gallo & Anyta Sunday. Enter for the chance to win one of following prizes: One $10 Amazon gift card or one of three ecopy packages of BETTER BE SURE & BETTER HAVE HEART.