Oh I LOVED this. Not a surprise, I love Cat Sebastian, I love queer historicals, I love baseball and historical romance set in less conventional time periods. Note to all publishers: more like this please!
Thanks to Avon and NetGalley for this ARC.
Nick Russo meets Andy Fleming and can’t figure out why he keeps helping him- he’s the bosses kid for heaven’s sake, and can’t even figure out where he left his keys. This 1950s newsroom journalist rom com will keep asking you, whether or not these men will ever get out of their own way. It shows how we can find happiness, even if it seems that the world might not approve. Fans of Newsies will love “We Could Be So Good.”
After seeing so many of my Goodreads friends absolutely RAVING about this book, I was so excited to get my hands on it, albeit a little nervous. I'm happy to say, it certainly DID live up to the hype. This book had me smiling like an idiot at points and tearing up at others and that's what truly did it for me. Nick and Andy are impossible not to fall in love with and I really hope all readers give themselves a chance to be lost in their story. You won't regret it.
Set in the late 1950s New York, Nick Russo lands a coveted reporting job at a major newspaper and must safeguard his true self and queer identity. That is until he meets Andy, a seemingly wayward soul and the heir to the newspaper empire for which Nick is now employed. Due to Andy's newsroom naivety, Nick finds himself guiding Andy through the complexities of the news industry and business operations. Ultimately, a tender bond blossoms between them and they must begin to navigate evolving emotions and what it means to be queer in the 50's.
This story celebrates the revolutionary act of queer joy, while managing complex familial relationships and personal struggles. I really enjoyed these characters - their tenderness toward each other, their growth, and bravery. Also strong found-family vibes, which is always a win!
Sincere thanks to NetGalley & Avon/Harper Voyager for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this ARC. I'm a big fan of Cat Sebastian's work so I knew I needed to get my hands on this one, and I'm so glad I was able to! This book is just incredible. It's hard for me to talk coherently about this book because it was just so good that I want to gush/ramble about it for days! Just like read it?? Please?? It's a queer historical romance between two journalists set in New York City in the 1950s and it's incredible. That's all.
Look, I love a grumpy sunshine romance. This was a cute romance that used the historical setting to really drive the storyline. Cat Sebastian is quite good at historical romance and I have yet to be let down by her. Nick was a grump while Andy was the sunshine in their relationship and I thought that it worked really well. This book also is a good read given the current political climate surrounding queer issues here in the United States. For anyone who is a fan of Cat Sebastian's previous work, Casey McQuiston, and other queer romance authors, give this book a try.
I cannot say too many good things about this book! Nick and Andy are so freaking adorable, and I immediately couldn't get enough of their relationship. I ended up reading about 65% of it in one day!
Cat Sebastian's writing is so lovely and the perfect mixture of emotional and funny. Andy was particularly hilarious, but I thought all of the other characters were so well done, and it was great to see them all interact. I love found family, and Cat does an excellent job of it~
Also? NYC in the late '50s? Beautiful. I also feel like I learned a lot, which was very fun, and I can't wait to check out some of the references that were mentioned.
Beautiful writing, beautiful characters, beautiful book! I only wish I had more!
We Could Be So Good is a heartwarming romance that grows between two unlikely friends. Nick and Andy's friendship starts with a random encounter and develops through a series of beautiful moments that solidifies the importance of each other in their lives.
As Nick navigates his fear of being exposed as queer in a 1959 NY, where loving who he loves can send him to jail, it's Andy who, despite just having his queer awakening, surprisingly helps him get more comfortable with his identity,
It's impossible to read this book and not root for them. Both Nick and Andy are lovable characters, and their relationship is so pure and genuine, that it leaves you wanting to live a love story of your own.
I'm giving it a 4,5⭐ only because I'm still not sure how I feel about Emily and her relationship with Andy in the beginning. Other than that, I have nothing bad to say about this book.
It's gorgeous and everyone should read it!
Another treat from Cat Sebastian. This is incredibly romantic - all tenderness and yearning - and hit me right in the feels. Can't recommend enough for readers who want a romance that focuses on the romance. If you're looking for little plot, lots of yearning, this will hit the spot.
At turns funny and tear jerking, but always beautifully hopeful, We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian is the perfect balm for queer malaise. It made me cry sappy tears more than once. I’m honestly mad at myself for waiting so long to read it.
The story follows Nick Russo, an Italian reporter from Brooklyn who has had to fight his way up to reporter status at the New York Chronicle, and Andy Flemming scatterbrained newbie reporter and heir to the paper’s publisher, as they come together in 1958 and 1959 against the background of the early years of the queer liberation movement in New York. Nick, who knows himself to be queer, develops a crush on Andy during his first week on the job, when Andy gets his tie caught in a filing cabinet. Andy takes longer to realize his feelings, but when he does, he is less backed up with years of fear of censure that he is able to act on them.
The first thing I wanted to praise this book for is how well researched it is. Sebastian, who I know from her Regency romances, takes on the much more daunting task of writing about recent history in this book. I have always thought that the late 20th century is probably one of the hardest time periods to write about. That’s partially because there is so much recorded history to pull from and partially because there are still so many people alive who remember it. Despite that hurdle, Sebastian does a fantastic job bringing the New York of the Late ’50s alive. She uses a Village Voice article from spring of 1959 and The Charioteer novel as touchstones for the state of queer society at the time. As mentioned in her author’s note, the book imagines “what kind of impact these texts and their depictions of queerness might have had on a deeply closeted and justifiably worried young man.” And I think she succeeded enormously.
The second thing I want to praise is the tone. Despite the threat being caught by vice cops. Despite there being no legal marriage the couple can have to prove their commitment to each other. Despite a dozen terrifying and real threats to the character’s happiness and relationship. Despite all of that, We Could Be So Good maintains a notable tone of hope. It avoids falling into a trap of sorrow or anxiety that occasionally turns me off from queer romances.
Sebastian has always been good at keeping hope alive, it’s one of the reasons I like her writing so much, but it was especially clear in this book. The theme of being tired of hiding, tired of being made to feel ashamed or pitiful or tragic is the overtone of the book. Nick refused to read The Charioteer when he first received it, because he was so sick of tragedies that were so sad they made him want to “jump off a building”. The Village Voice article that is quoted talks about how queer liberation was happening because people were tired of being told that what they were was deviant or wrong. The whole book is about two queer men trying, and eventually succeeding, to make a home and life for themselves despite all that fear and exhaustion.
And I needed to read that.
We Could Be So Good is available at public libraries, local bookstores, online retailers, and wherever books are sold. I highly recommend it.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Nick is a reporter at a newspaper in New York in the late 1950s, when he meets the naïve young son of the newspaper’s owner, Andy. Nick takes Andy under his wing, but they soon become true friends. Nick values their friendship, but is keeping a part of himself hidden for both of their safety.
I loved this book so much! I fell in love with Nick and Andy and their sweet friends to lovers romance. I enjoyed the dual POV narration, and the writing was so funny and poignant. Nick’s narration especially had me laughing out loud. Their relationship and character growth were beautiful to read.
The 1950s setting was atmospheric and I loved it, but it was a heart-breaking reminder of how many queer people were living in fear, and still do in many places.
It was my first Cat Sebastian, but it won't be my last. I found it to be the perfect balance of sweet and emotional, and I could not put it down.
If there is ever a Cat Sebastian book that's released that I don't instantly love, it'll be because I'm dead in the ground. I've been obsessed with her writing for years now and she never fails.
We Could Be So Good is set more modern day than her other books that I remember and I loved reading about Nick and Andy's enemies to friends to best friends to lovers. God. I loved every minute of this book. Their anxieties and joys were brilliantly written.
In a perfect world, I hope they lived a long and happy life together. I hope they kept going to Yankees games despite neither of them liking the team. I hope they were able to be more open after Stonewall.
Cat Sebastian is one of the greats! Anything from her is an instant favorite for me and she knocked it out of the park with this sweet, heartfelt story about newspapers and friendship and safety and belonging. I loved it.
SO GOOD. This was my first Cat Sebastian set in the "modern" era and it won't be my last. I adored both main characters as well as the secondary cast. I also really loved how effectively Sebastian gives such a strong sense of place and time, I felt wholly pulled into 50s New York and the newspaper scene. There are some aspects of the plot that are stressful as Nick and Andy navigate their relationship at a time when being out was pretty much not an option. But overall I found this story to be relatively low angst despite that. There's also a good exploration of the characters figuring out they are allowed to be loved and cared for and count on each other. This was everything I've come to expect from a Cat Sebastian romance and yet completely blindsided me in how tender it was and how perfectly the setting and the story weave together to transport the reader to that time period. Looking forward to delving into her backlist to read more of her books set in the 20th century. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC I received!
“He feels as if he’s been turned inside out, as if he just learned that a part of his heart is on the outside of his body, in the possession of somebody else entirely.”
I love queer historical romance so much.
Even though I pick up these books knowing that there is going to be a happily ever after for these characters, I can’t help but feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s like a part of my brain expects things to go south somehow the same way that so many bigoted people want them to in real life. But with these books, in particularly with Cat Sebastian’s, I am able to put that worry down. I’m able to bask in queer joy. And We Could Be So Could captures that joy beautifully.
This story about two queer men finding love while working at a newspaper in late 1950s New York has so many layers, and I loved every single one of them. I saw myself in both of them, especially in Andy in both his indecisiveness and in his “let’s repress the bi feelings until they explode out” self. In Nick’s fear and how much it had controlled so many of his choices, so much of his life. Stories like theirs are why I adore the friends to lovers trope, and these two are very much the best of friends. I absolutely loved the found family in this book, and how people found a way to find a safe place with each other. I was captivated by how tender this story felt to read, but also by how inspiring their resolve was. This book takes place over 60 years ago and yet here I was nodding along to how Nick and Andy were approaching life, as if they were right here next to me, telling me that I could do it too.
Thank you to NetGalley and Avon for this arc and to Cat Sebastian for such a wonderful story. I wholeheartedly recommend it!
A very sweet story, low in angst and drama, but that still faces some issues that come with being queer when it was a crime and you had to hide who you really were and who you loved. The two MCs face problems linked to their job and to their sexualities. They are fearful, curious but in the end, the love they feel for each other will make them see what's truly important. I liked that the story didn't go the way I thought. One of the MCs, the one who thought he was straight in the beginning, has a whole long love story with a girl, and we have little time jumps that showed us how the relationship proceeded and mirrored with it, we see how it affected the gay MC, the one pining for the other but who still was happy to see him happy. That until forced proximity and a forced roommate situation will open the eyes of both and they saw that there was a future together and that they could be so so good. I really liked it.
Cat Sebastian's books never disappoint . I wasn't sure about the setting or storyline at first, but the characters won me over and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
I grabbed this one on a whim. I had heard about others by this author. It was so good. Well Written, engaging.
In true Cat Sebastian fashion, this book will make you smile, cry, swoon, and everything in between. Set in the late 1950's, Nick and Andy have to navigate their relationship in a time when gay marriage is not yet legal. It is heartbreaking and romantic and wonderful. Would highly recommend!
As expected, I loved this book. Cat Sebastian can do no wrong in my eyes. I’ll admit that I was skeptical about the book being set in the 1950s because I’ve preferred her more historical romances, but I found myself so charmed by Nick and Andy. Such a great romance book!! I’ve been recommending it to everyone.