Saturday, July 4, 2020

ARC Review: Better Have Heart (Harrison Campus #2) by Andy Gallo & Anyta Sunday

Better Have Heart (Harrison Campus, #2)
They hate everything about each other, so why do they harmonize so well?
Isaiah Nettles wants a chance. A chance to help his family.
The prestigious Gage Scholarship will secure his future. He needs this. The competition might be hot, but Darren Gage is a golden child. No way will Isaiah let an entitled rich kid be handed the award.
But what if Darren is more than an entitled rich kid?
Darren Gage wants to be seen. Seen as more than just his name.
The Gage Scholarship will let him shine. He needs this. Sure, Isaiah is insanely sexy—and right to stand up for himself—but he is the competition. No way will Darren let just anyone take his legacy.
But what if Isaiah isn’t just anyone?
"Better Have Heart" is an enemies to lovers, slow burn M/M romance with a HEA. This New Adult, college, opposite attract, rich-boy poor-boy novel can be read as a standalone.

Todd's rating:

This was a fun and compelling "competitors to lovers" story with a suuuuuuper-slow-burn edge.

After a few bad experiences dating wealthy guys at Harrison, cash-strapped scholarship student Isaiah had a huge chip on his shoulder when it came to rich frat boys.

Enter Darren, the richest of the frat boys, and one of the asshole characters from book 1 of the series, who also happens to be Isaiah's competition for the scholarship that Gage desperately needed to better support his struggling family.

And although Darren didn't need the scholarship financially, he saw it as a way to begin repairing the broken relationship with his once-close father, which has suffered since he came out as gay.

In spite of the initial attractions, their first interactions were, as to be expected, prickly and contentious. Until they eventually weren't.

I loved seeing the guys soften their cut-throat fighting for the coveted prize into a more healthy and genuine "may the best man win, but I'm going to give it my all" attitude.

The real turning point for me was when the pair spent the weekend at "Chateau Gage", where they started forming a much deeper personal relationship, and I absolutely adored Darren's loving and fun mother. Plus, the mud and hose scene was freaking hilarious.

Other than the scholarship competition itself, much of the drama in the story was derived from the scheming and unfair treatment against Isaiah by the university's scholarship administrators, which turned out to be some master-level bullshit that had to be overcome.

If you're looking for steam, you'll need to be patient here, since the actual sex showed up very late in the game; however, there was quite a bit of mouth rapey, body cavity search-level kissing before that point. Like, woah! Intense kissing was *intense*, and then some.

The story ended with an HEA and an insanely sappily-sweet epilogue, with quite literally everything wrapped up in nice, shiny bows (maybe even a little too shiny?), but I thoroughly enjoyed the story, so I'd rate it at around 4.25 stars and highly recommend it.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the authors in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.

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