Member Reviews

When I saw this book mentioning Newsies, I couldn’t have clicked “request” any faster. I had to “seize the day.”

We Could Be So Good is based in the 1950’s in NYC and stars Nick (the star reporter!) and the newspaper owner’s son, Andy. It was a bit of a slow start, but I was hooked from the beginning. I am slightly ashamed of myself for being so ignorant of the history; I vaguely knew of the Stonewall Riots but it didn’t really click for me how bad it really was for the gay community. Needless to say, Nick is not out or openly gay.

And Andy is just his best friend…until he gets dumped and stays with Nick. And then he starts to examine his feelings more.

I loved watching them fall in love, or more specifically, recognize themselves as already in love. Nick and Andy were like two halves of a whole; both just wanting the best for the other. We Could Be So Good was sweet and loving and adorable and another great read by Cat Sebastian.

Thank you to Avon Books for the review copy.

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This gave me so many fuzzy feelings! I was worried it would be too depressing since this takes place in a pre-stonewall NYC. Since it's the 1950s there is a real danger that the character will be arrested.

However, Nick and Andy found so much happiness together in their little bubble, and found acceptance in unexpected places. They had great chemistry and adorable banter.

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Cat Sebastian delivers a strong mid-century romance. Her descriptions of NYC in the late 1950’s brings every scene to life. I felt like I was in the newsroom, bar, subway, rooftop party or at an Italian family gathering. Nick is 25 and works the city desk at the New York Chronicle. There he meets Andy who is the same age and takes him under his wing. Andy is endearing and bumbling as he is trying to learn about the Chronicle. He isn’t a writer but instead will be running the family paper soon and feels overwhelmed at the prospect. His mother was a Pulitzer prize winning correspondent and father runs the business leaving him growing up alone at boarding schools. Nick comes from a warm and traditional Italian family and his brother is a cop. When Andy's fiancee calls off their engagement Nick takes the broken hearted man home to his apartment and lets him stay to recover.

This m/m romance moves slowly and carefully. There are things you can’t say or ask in the time period. The growing affection from friendship to longing to more is subtle and sweet. Nick is careful in his queerness and has never contemplated being in a relationship or even thought what that could look like. His life to this point has been about guarding his secret for fear of being arrested or exposed. Andy’s new discover that he is bisexual and his more wealthy background means he hasn’t experienced the same fears as Nick. He also knows he could be happy with a woman (like his fiancee) so choosing Nick is a big choice.

I missed some of the humor the sarcastic humor that Sebastian includes in her more recent historical fiction books. But I found this story more powerful and striking just the write tones. The characters have depth the setting is perfect. Please sign me up for whatever the author writes next. Thank you to Avon and Harper Voyager for the ARC via NetGalley and I am leaving a voluntary review. (4.5 Stars)

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We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian was a lovely, fun, sparkly romance novel.
This was a unique historical fiction m\m romance. And I loved it.
A charming friends to lovers story with characters I was rooting for the entire time.
Nick and Andy were engaging, beautiful but hurt characters. And I couldn’t help but to instantly fall in love.
The characters were unforgettable and extremely lovable.
Her writing style is playful and witty. I literally don't think I could ask for more.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Thank You NetGalley and Avon for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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We Could Be So Good is a heartfelt and captivating novel that immerses readers in the challenges faced by queer people in the late 1950s. This beautifully written story explores themes of friendship, love, and the courage to fight for what you truly want,

The characters in this book are wonderfully portrayed and incredibly relatable. Nick Russo, a determined reporter from a tough Brooklyn neighborhood, captures our hearts with his resilience and unwavering dedication to his work. The author skillfully depicts the hostile environment of the era, where Nick feels compelled to hide his true self from the world.

One of the things that sets this story apart is the inclusion of Andy Fleming, a charming and somewhat hapless individual. Andy's endearing clumsiness and genuine nature make him an instant favorite, providing moments of humor and lightheartedness throughout the story.

The gradual development of Nick and Andy's relationship is a delight to witness. From their initial encounters where Nick comes to Andy's rescue, to the deepening connection they form, the author paints a vivid and authentic picture of two souls finding solace and understanding in each other. The chemistry between them is palpable, and their growing feelings are portrayed with tenderness and nuance.

Cat Sebastian does an excellent job of capturing the atmosphere and societal pressures of the time, highlighting the struggles faced by LGBTQIA+ individuals. The narrative explores the delicate balance between secrecy and authenticity, as Nick and Andy navigate their feelings for one another while fearing the consequences of their love being exposed.

One aspect that deserves special praise is the inclusion of a bisexual character and the exploration of his identity. The fact that Andy's journey isn't portrayed as a "straight" man discovering he's gay adds an important layer of representation and authenticity. Even after coming to terms with his queerness, Andy remains confident that he could make a life with a man or a woman. This portrayal of bisexuality adds richness to the story, offering a more comprehensive representation of the LGBTQ+ community.

My one drawback was that the characters' decisions occasionally push the boundaries of what is easily understandable given their respective backgrounds. This does provide opportunities for growth. However, this aspect might toe the line for some readers like me who prefer more grounded character choices.

In conclusion, Cat Sebastian has crafted a touching and powerful novel in We Could Be So Good. With its endearing characters, poignant romance, exploration of the challenges faced by queer people in the late 1950s, this book is a compelling read. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking a beautifully written LGBTQ+ historical romance that celebrates the diverse spectrum of love and the resilience of the human spirit.

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Thank you NetGalley and Avon for the digital ARC! In this latest historical romance from Cat Sebastian and set in the 1950s, reporter Nick Russo takes his newpaper publisher's son, Andy Fleming, under his wing and teaches him the ins and outs of the newspaper world. Andy can be a bit of a mess (losing is keys, getting his tie stuck in a cabinet), so Nick finds himself taking care of Andy. The two become best friends, but could they be more? Nick can't deny the fact that he loves Andy, but can he take the chance to admit how he feels especially in a time when same sex love is seen as a crime, and he could lose his best friend? This is a beautiful story with fully fleshed out characters that you will root for worry over.

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In the late 1950s, Nick and Andy were never meant to meet. At least they were never meant to be more than colleagues. When Nick takes Andy under his wing at the newspaper, they’re crossing boundaries that were never intended to be broken. But Nick somehow finds himself smiling more than ever when he’s around Andy. Clumsy Andy is certain that he’s never felt more grounded than when Nick’s around. As an engagement is broken and Andy’s mogul father contemplates retirement, Nick and Andy must decide what they are to each other. How much will the world allow them to have and how much will they simply decide to take?

I couldn’t put this book down! It felt like a fever dream of a book where I couldn’t stop reading once I started. The raw emotion and longing in the book permeates every page. Nick and Andy share a special connection every moment they are together; I enjoyed watching it deepen and become more. Cat Sebastian doesn’t shy away from the realities of being queer in the 1950s and how difficult and violent that was. I loved how Nick and Andy were able to find each other and create a safe space where they could be who they are. I especially enjoyed how Andy came to be curious about his identity later in life and was able to explore that on page.

We Could Be So Good is a queer, slow-burn historical romance. It has both a grump and a sunshine, only-soft-for-you trope, a determined cat, and the vibes from Newsies. What more could you want? I would highly recommend this to anyone and especially fans of Newsies, Alexis Hall, and KJ Charles.

Thank you to Cat Sebastian, Avon, and Netgalley for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

For publisher: My review will be posted on Instagram, Goodreads, Amazon, Storygraph, and Barnes & Noble etc

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4.5 stars

A character-driven story about two men navigating the transition from friends to lovers. Although technically historical fiction, it is only marketed as such because it takes place during the the late 1950s when being queer was a criminal offense. This historical context is a welcomed component to the complexity of this story. Nick, a gay reporter, has worked hard to keep his sexual orientation a secret at work. He is well aware of the consequences that could come from being outted. He befriends the boss’ son, Andy, who constantly needs Nick’s rescuing. As their friendship evolves, feelings begin to grow between the two.

Read if you like
-MM Romances
-Historical fiction
-Queer history
-Found family
-Friends to lovers
-Journeys toward acceptance

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Oh my. What a book. If you’ve read Cat Sebastian, this is not like her other books. (If you haven’t read Cat Sebastian, please do so immediately. I recommend Seducing the Sedgwicks) Sebastian’s other works have been about queer men in 1800s England. And while this is about queer men and is a historical, this time we’re in 1950s New York.

The story features Nick, a gruff beat reporter, and Andy, an absentminded sweetie who is the paper’s owner’s son. The writing style of this book is so different from Sebastian’s other works and I loved it and wanted to roll around in the pages, it was so nice. The book is broken into parts and the first part is vignettes a month apart, successfully and adeptly showing Nick and Andy’s friendship grow. This book is so earnest and while her other books have been quite spicy, this was incredibly tender. When I tell you I would die for Nick and Andy, omg.

There’s police corruption, there’s figuring out how to be queer in NYC with vice police as a constant threat. There is absolute sweetness as they figure it out. This book cracked my heart open and just made itself at home. Nick and Andy forever.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thank you @catswrites @avonbooks @netgalley @harpercollins for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

We Could Be So Good comes out June 6, 2023.

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Sebastian introduces us to 1950s New York, and what it was like to be gay. At that time, homosexuals lived a closeted existence, because if someone discovered the truth, it would mean not only losing their job, but jail time as well. Nick is a news reporter for a struggling newspaper who is somewhat estranged from his large Italian family because they keep expecting him to bring a nice girl home. Andy is a rather scattered young man about to inherit the newspaper from his ailing father. And when Nick and Andy meet, they realize that life together could be so good.

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I don’t know if I can put into words how much I loved this book, but I’ll start by saying the emotional journey Cat Sebastian took me on easily made it a five star read for me. There is so much in this book to love.

We Could Be So Good is a queer love story set in the world of journalism in 1950s New York. It includes some of my favorite tropes, including friends to lovers (which I know some people struggle with, but I promise it’s done SO well here) and (seemingly) unrequited love. You’ll find some found family elements, which play an important role in so many queer love stories.

But most importantly, this book has Nick and Andy, whom you’ll love from the first page until long after the very last. One of the many things I love about romance novels is how so many different types of love are celebrated on the page, and Nick and Andy’s soft love is particularly immersive and lovely. It’s light on plot but heavy on feels (in a good way) — it’s a perfect book to devour on a Sunday morning.

If I haven’t convinced you to read it yet, this declaration of love should be all you need to read to pick this book up: “I want this with you. I want everything with you. And I need you to know that. I don’t know how we’ll make it work, but I want it anyway.”

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Thanks to the publisher & Netgalley for the complimentary e-ARC and the publisher for the complimentary galley. All opinions provided are my own.

Cat Sebastian is a master at wrenching emotions out of some poor unsuspecting reader’s heart (joking) & it can be from romantic declarations but also little acts.

From the first pages of We Could Be So Good I thought *swoon.* That’s when we meet news reporter Nick Russo who—against his very best efforts—immediately has feelings for Andy Fleming, the son of the publisher & a new employee at the paper.

Nick wants to take care of Andy. He wants to keep him safe & smooth his way. He wants him to be happy.

Friends & then best friends & then roommates & then lovers, the journey between these two is wonderful & a bit angstier than I’m used to from Cat Sebastian. It’s actually marketed as a rom dram on the back of the galley.

There are external obstacles & a minute or two of miscommunication & this book very much deals with homophobia & police corruption & the dangers Queer people faced (/face) & how that fits with falling in love & choosing love in the face of it all.

There’s a beautiful message here & one that I think will resonate with many readers who have been scared/are scared to love in a tumultuous world, particularly one where certain demographics continue to be discriminated against & targeted.

Romantic & true & sad & soft & hopeful, this book is another Cat Sebastian hit for me.

5⭐️. Out 06/06.

CWs: Homophobia; Nick’s previous arrest for “vagrancy”; blackmail attempt; fear & lingering trauma.

[ID: Jess, a white woman wearing a navy dress covered in multi-colored polka dots, stands in a field hoping a copy of the book.]

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4.5 stars. I am always excited to read a new Cat Sebastian novel, and this one was impossible to put down once I started it. There's a perfect meet cute involving a floral tie and a temperamental file cabinet, the sweetest slow-burn friends-to-lovers romance, romantic soup making, and a reluctant pet cat. If you need something soft and sweet and rather minimal on plot, this is the ideal comfort book.

This did, however, remind me too much of my favorite Sebastian novella, Peter Cabot Gets Lost, which is set in the 1960s and has a similar dynamic between the two MCs. This obviously isn't a bad thing, it's just hard to compare anything to a book that I adore so much and have read more than a few times.

Many thanks to Avon and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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This was a cute book. A sweet romance. It honestly would have been five stars if I wasn’t comparing Cat Sebastian to her own body of work. Her latest novels, We Could Be So Good included, are a disappointment when compared to the books she wrote when they were being published as mass market paperbacks. I don’t know how else to differentiate it. This book, as well as Kitt Webb and Marian Hayes, feel like they were written by a different author than the person who wrote the Turner series, Seducing the Sedgewicks, even the Regency Imposters. Her new books are good books, even great books, in their own right, but I can’t help comparing them to the absolutely scorching mass market romances that live rent free in my head and on my bookshelves. A five star book, but a four star Cat Sebastian.

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4.5⭐️ We Could be So Good is a queer historical romance set in NYC during the 1950s. It follows Nick Russo a reporter whose career can easily be jeopardized if anyone found out his was gay… especially the newspapers owner’s son, Andy Fleming. However, overtime Nick and Andy become close and Andy starts to develop his own feelings towards Nick. Is it possible for these two to be in a serious relationship? How will it impact their lives, their families and their jobs?

I really like how this was an overall lower angst story with a good amount of lighthearted and funny moments. I learned a lot through the characters and appreciate how Cat Sebastian seamlessly incorporated queer history, that was well-researched, into the narrative. I loved the theme of community and the emphasis on finding a group of people like you that understand and accept you. The audiobook made for easy listening though I wish we had two narrators as I was not the biggest fan of the narrator’s voice for Andy during dialogue.

Read if you like:
-Historical fiction
-M/m romance
-Best friends to lovers
-Dual POVs
-Slow burns
-Found community
-NYC setting

Thank you Avon for the ARC! Pub date 6/6

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This was such a delight to read that I wanted to reread it immediately after finishing it. Cat Sebastian has done it again, with another immensely cozy, warm, and hopeful love story. Beyond the primary romance is also a love letter to queer friendships and joy, to family and acceptance, to discovering one's self and living one's truth, and carving out space. Everything about this book was sheer perfection. I cannot recommend this one enough. Thank you so much to the publisher for an ARC and to Cat Sebastian for another masterpiece.

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We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian is an absolutely delightful book. This queer, historical romance hooked me from the first page and I could not put it down.

This is a story from the 1950's, about a closeted gay reporter and the newspaper heir who is set to inherit the paper he works for. Nick and Andy are engaging from their first POVs. Their friendship felt so organic and heart-felt and the way it grew and developed into a romance was so tender and kind.

This is a book that focuses on character. Yes, there is plot. There are stories to be written, businesses being run, familial dysfunction, found family, social constructs being examined, and woven into the narrative.

But at its core this book is about Nick and Andy. About who they are. What they want, what they need, the way they find love and show love to each other. The character growth for both characters is phenomenal. There is gentle humor and the voices in the POVs are distinct and endearing. I grew so fond of Nick and Andy. They are both deeply wounded characters, both adrift in families that don't feel truly welcoming, and their progress and growth, together and individually, truly shines in this book.

The setting and time frame felt very real and immersive. The present tense style made it feel very immediate. I loved the inclusion of revelatory books and films from that time that spoke to queer narrative and experience--I truly appreciated The Charioteer and Some Like It Hot references.

It was also important to see the characters finding a home with each other, a sanctuary, a group of friends they could be safe with. A haven. Their realizations and expectations grew with the story and the background of queer history of that time only added to the layers of depth to this story.

But I can't forget to talk about the slow burn of the friends to lovers romance. It was a joy to watch Nick and Andy come to realization, to begin to hope, to settle into a domestic comfort and eventual bliss that radiated off the page. This is a book that delivers queer joy. A queer love story with a happy ending. Memorable characters. Joy and hope.

I would gladly read more of Nick and Andy any day.

Highly recommended. I had a book hangover after--kept thinking about it and reluctant to read something new that might not measure up to this gem of a book. Deserves a place on the bookshelf. Preordered.

My thanks to Netagalley and the publisher for this ARC.

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mm - historical (1950s) - low steam (non explicit scenes) - ARC - best friends to lovers - bisexual awakening - class gap - closeted - found family - opposites attract - roommates to lovers - sickbed - slow burn - workplace. This was my favorite read of the week. It’s a really lovely book and the characters were so beautiful. Andy is such a hot mess and Nick is a gruff but gooey. They both take care of each other in such a sweet way and I loved the friendship with the ex and her sister. Cat Sebastian has a lovely method of writing books with threads of difficult subject matter (crooked cops, domestic violence) while making the plot about two people who fall in love above their external circumstances. The third act could have easily been Andy and Nick exposed or beaten, but instead it was about them.

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Oh man, this was so good. Cat Sebastian is a genius at neither understating the burden of anti-queer violence (or the threat of it) and at finding hope in such threatened situations. I loved this! It was so soft and sweet and lovely and I want to read it a hundred more times.

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What a delightful queer historical romance set in the 1950s between a secretly gay reporter, Nick and the heir to the newspaper he works for, Andy. These two start as friends as they spend late nights in the newsroom and that eventually develops into a sweeping romance that was domesticated in its simplicity and swoon-worthy in its entirety.

So Nick is reporting on corruption of the police force, including his brother. Andy is drawn to the determined man and eventually develops a crush. These two navigate homophobia, family issues, societal expectations. But they also experience a beautiful love and a crazy little stray cat.

What a breath of fresh air in the queer genre!

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