Cover Image: We Could Be So Good

We Could Be So Good

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Member Reviews

[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian is a new standalone historical MM romance. Nick Russo has pulled himself up from his Brooklyn beginnings and found himself a job as a reporter for the Chronicle. He never planned for boss’s son Andrew Flemming III and that he would take the newbie under his wing. The two begin an unlikely friendship that blossoms into so much more. But being queer in the late 1950’s is dangerous business. Both men are forced to look at their situation and decide if they’re willing to take the risk on each other.

Nick Russo has accepted that he will always be living half a life. He doesn’t deny his queer identity but wants to maintain a relationship with his family and his job so he keeps to himself. He never expected his harmless crush on his best friend to ever be reciprocated but Andy is full of surprises. The happiness that Andy brings into Nick’s life changes everything for the better even if he knows there is likely no future for the two.

Andy Flemming is a clumsy, slightly airheaded sweetheart who has been left a lot in his life. Once Nick becomes a constant, Andy struggles with his changing feelings because Nick is so important to him. But he refuses to deny himself the ever growing connection to Nick and the two venture into a new relationship together. Nick provides him with the comfort and security he has always wanted while encouraging him to explore his queer identity.

I have been really enjoying historical MM romances and this one ranks up at the top. I just loved seeing the slow burn heat up between Nick and Andy. Their friendship was so sweet and watching it evolve just made me so happy. There were so many quality secondary characters to support Andy and Nick as well. The writing was just the right amount of world building/time period setting and character development.

5 stars for Andy and Nick’s romance growing from the shadow of NYC.

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Cat Sebastian is one of my favorite authors and this book made me cry and laugh and squeal and all the things you could hope for in a romance. It's my staff pick for Pride Month and I will likely be shouting about it to every customer who comes into the store for the rest of the year!

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This book felt like a warm cuddly hug! I've not read many historical romances set in the 1950's, but I truly will follow anywhen Cat Sebastian chooses to lead me.

**Received an eARC via NetGalley**

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I loved this book. It's that simple. From the very beginning, I was falling for the characters. Do not ask me to choose between Nick and Andy because I will not.

Grumpy Nick is so incredibly sweet and caring towards Nick. He does absolutely anything and everything for him and wouldn't have it any other way. He's sexy and charming and just ugh 🥵😍

Sunshiny Andy is so forgetful and clumsy and sensitive and just such a little golden retriever kinda guy. You just want to hold him tight forever. He's so cute and so devoted to Nick. 🤗😍

These two start out as friends, and their relationship very, very slowly grows into much, much more. They have a lot of hurdles and secrecy to get through, but the wait and the journey are so worth it.

Throughout the whole book, we get sweet and subtle romance. It definitely helps get through the slow burn. There are some spicy scenes as one character learns about his sexuality and experimentation. They aren't very explicit, in my opinion. Take that as you will lol

If you're looking for a sweet m/m romance that will make you giggle and love both character the whole book, pick this one. You won't regret it, it's so sweet and just so perfect.

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We Could Be So Good tells the riveting story of Andy and Nick, who are rivals (for like 1 page) then best friends then obviously lovers. Set in 1957 New York, I loved the way this book dealt with queerness in a time where they could be arrested for it. It preaches the importance of found family as well as bonds that are already there we might not know about. The relationship was well balanced and felt very genuine. I don't know how I feel about the dual POV but in large chunks. Sometimes I wanted to know the other characters thoughts right away, but it does get bonus points for being dual POV. I think I prefer Sebastian's other books more, but this book was still great.

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First of all, thank you SO MUCH to NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for letting me borrow this title in exchange for my honest opinion because I really loved it!

We Could Be So Good is a story about reporters in the 1950s, the beginnings of queer visibility and revolution, gay awakening, found family, acceptance, and all sorts of things that had me going for my Kindle while I was out of town and could have run 8,000 hours of HGTV instead. I personally love 'stuffy/tough person being unraveled by their lover/love interest" so this was made... for me? I loved Andy's absent-mindedness and Nick's care, love gay longing, love that the author brought in a lot of real life events and people into the book that were mentioned even if a few dates were moved a bit for sake of the story. Nick's big Italian family was fun, and it was very fulfilling when something I suspected came true only pages later. Love that any issues they have get talked about as soon as they can, that they work together to try to make lives for themselves better. I just had a nice time with this book and I hope others read it soon so I can yell with them!

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This is my first Cat Sebastian, but obviously I need to pick up more of her work! We Could Be So Good is like my dream domestic romance--it reads like fanfic in the best of ways, and is nothing like I've seen in trad romance so far. It's really got it all: workplace romance, friends-to-lovers, and-they-were-roommates, mutual pining, grumpy/sunshine, queer found family, sick fic, curtain fic, I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting at the moment. The plot is pretty minimal (but what is there is delightfully ACAB), and it's one of the least atmospheric books I've ever read (it doesn't really feel like 1950's New York, despite the trappings), but I literally couldn't care less? The focus is on Nick, Andy, and their relationship as they work to carve out a space for themselves to have happy queer lives in 1959 NYC, finding their courage in each other and the life they want together. Also, I really love how much the word "queer" was used throughout the story, in only positive ways.

Side note: I despise this US cover, but the UK cover is lovely and I desperately want it in my collection!

TW: homophobia, slurs, police violence and corruption, mugging (off-page) and resulting injuries, past parent death, past domestic abuse, bullying, threats and blackmail, past arrest, mention of fires/arson, undefined health decline of a parent, strained family relationships, infidelity (not main couple)

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This was such an incredibly heartfelt and hopeful novel. It's so tender and quietly beautiful. The writing was truly fantastic and Cat Sebastian checked all of my boxes with We Could Be So Good.

Andy and Nick have my whole heart. I celebrated and hurt for them as they explored and embraced their feelings and tried to carve out a life for themselves. Their banter had me laughing out loud and put a silly smile on my face. The entire plot line with the "idiot" cat was hilarious and melted my heart. I adored the friend group in the novel and what an amazing found family Cat Sebastian created. I also appreciated that Nick and Andy shared their truths and made a sort of peace with their own families. This isn't an in your face kind of love story. It's an understated and quiet slow burn, made up of a million little moments of care and bravery. This is definitely a new favorite for me and I can't recommend it enough!

CW: homophobia, death of parent (past), parental illness, strained family relationships, cheating ex, previous arrest for "vagrancy" but never charged (past), blackmail attempt, bullying (secondary character, but also in MMC's past), grief, trauma

*I voluntarily read an advance review copy of this book*

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We Could Be So Good follows Nick Russo, who has worked his way up to a reporting job at one of the city’s biggest newspapers. But the late 1950s are a hostile place for gay men, so Nick knows not to let anyone close to him—short encounters in dark places is all he allows himself in order to stay safe, and he’s okay with that. That is, until he meets Andy, who might just be the most impossible person to say no to. Andy Fleming’s newspaper tycoon father wants him to take over the family business, but Andy has never had any intention of following in his father’s footsteps. He’s barely able to care for his own well-being—how is he supposed to take care of an entire company? He’s sure his father will see just how wrong his intentions are when Andy promises him he’ll work at the newspaper, destined to fail. Except, Nick keeps helping him out, showing him the ropes, taking care of him when he messes up or loses his keys for the twelfth time that day. Their unlikely friendship soon sharpens into feelings that neither of them can deny—even though they try. What started out as an impossible secret turns out to be the best thing that’s ever happened to them.

My initial review of this book was “I am but a mere puddle of emotions” and you know what? I’m sticking to that, even weeks later. Nick and Andy stole my heart.

Nick’s grumpiness matched with Andy’s chaotic sunshine was an absolute dream. Rarely have I seen such an authentic take on one of the most beloved tropes out there. Even when Nick was grumpy, you could always tell how much he cared about Andy and other people in his life that made him feel safe. Meanwhile, Andy’s chaotic sunshine energy made him so lovable, whether it meant shaking your head when he misplaces his keys or tearing up when he realises just how much Nick wants him in his life.

Also, the pining. It was everything and that is coming from someone who is very particular about their pining. But Nick and Andy’s POVs just added so much to their story and how they felt about each other. The anxiety that comes with watching your loved one struggle—whether that’s with their career, their responsibilities, their relatives, or the fact that they have to hide their feelings from the world—was so present in this story and yet it was also imbibed with so much hope and love and laughter that I couldn’t put this story down even if I tried.

Cat Sebastian knows how to convey the most complex emotions in such visceral ways that it both makes your heart ache and gives you hope as these two men reach out to the other with the most tender, loving, and caring gestures.

It was also so fascinating to get a glimpse into the newsrooms of the 1950s era. It quite literally was what I expected but so much fun to find out all the intricacies, strategical planning and issues that come with following news stories that might make you as a reporter a target in the eyes of the law (or well, greedy policemen in this case). Nick is so passionate about his job and finding out the truth that he sometimes puts a story above his own wellbeing which just showed how much he valued being part of changing the world for the better, searching for the truth.

On top of that, this story incorporates so much more—talking about the dangers of being queer in that era, cop brutality, fraught family relationships, acceptance and love from the corners you expect it the least, and the ways in which queer people have looked out for and will always do so for each other. It’s a welcome reminder that queer people and the fight for equality have always existed, even if people didn’t (want to) see it.

All in all, this book just proved to be the perfect balance of joyful moments between Nick and Andy while also conveying the emotional punches that come with not being able to live (and love) openly in the 1950s. Compelling, delightful, and a wonderful addition to the queer historical romance genre that’s not to be missed.

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I loved this book so much that I accidentally gobbled it up in a day. It’s a slow-burn midcentury queer romance that is compulsively readable.

I have ZERO nostalgia about the 1950s. It’s a hard time period to set a cozy queer romance, and I was impressed that We Could Be So Good pulled off this magic trick. I liked how this didn’t shy away from the stress of being closeted, while also filling the story with kind, supportive characters who felt real. There’s equal focus on the main characters individual path to finding a way to be queer and happy as there is on their romantic relationship.

Some of my favorite parts were the found and bio family, the bi rep, and hilarious banter between Nick and Andy. They are just fun to read, even when being totally clueless BFFs who don’t notice they’re falling for one another.

The few characters of colors are pretty minimal, partly because much of the book is set in a newsroom so homogenous that Nick’s Italian-American background is seen as exotic. A POC neighbor would probably be anachronistic, but would have made me happy.

I initially didn’t love how Nick’s kept mentally comparing scatterbrained Andy to his equally scatterbrained 14 year-old nephew. It felt infantilizing, and made me worried that their caretaking dynamic would continue to be one-way. But once we got a chapter from Andy’s point of view, their relationship felt more balanced. I’m glad I kept reading!

In terms of marketing, I don’t get the Colleen Hoover comparison at all, it makes no sense. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo has the time period, but little else in common.

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I've read and loved three books by Cat Sebastian before, and I've been kicking myself that I haven't read more of them, yet I still somehow didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. It's an instant new favourite.

I loved the pre-Stonewall historical setting, and seeing these characters find romance and comfort and domesticity in a world that didn't want to make that space for them. This book somehow struck a balance between being a really soft romance (without a third-act break-up!) with a realistic feel to it.

What I loved most is the writing, which is so introspective, and so infused with emotion, and also often very funny. I can really see the comp to Casey McQuiston in the writing especially.

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Cat Sebastian has a way of writing the most cozy and sweet queer romances. I loved the 1950s setting.

I didn’t find myself too interested in their jobs or the other drama at work. I really loved the times when it was just them together which we do get a lot of!

The steam level is less than usual which I was surprised by.

Overall, I loved the relationship between Nick and Andy. There was a good amount of history weaved in the story and I always appreciate that.

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I loved this book! It’s only my second MM romance and I don’t typically read historical romance but this one was so adorable and sweet. Andy is the cutest with his scatterbrained self. Nick is grumpy but deep down he’s a softie too which was fun to discover. I loved reading about Nick’s thoughts of Andy from the very beginning and was immediately drawn in to their story. It was enlightening to read about being queer in the 1950’s and what all they had to face and take into consideration with their daily lives. But I loved seeing how strong these characters were despite what they faced and the found family they made along the way. Thank you for allowing me to read and review!

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I just *love* the feeling when you start a book, thinking you’re going to enjoy it, then having it absolutely EXCEED your expectations in every single way. That exciting, overwhelming adoration that settles into your bones with each page. This was my experience with WE COULD BE SO GOOD, the latest release by Cat Sebastian.

Labeled as a mid-century romdram, this story follows Nick, a newspaper reporter who befriends—and subsequently falls for—the newspaper mogul’s son Andy. As they explore their relationship to each other, the world they live in, and bravely embrace their futures, Cat takes us on an incredibly beautiful and satisfying journey that you don’t want to end. To be honest, these are simple words that seem inadequate for a story that I truly, truly loved so much.

Cat’s writing is masterclass and a seamless marriage of humor, heart, and thought-provoking significance. This story feels authentic, relevant, and important. The pacing and the buildup are expertly crafted. I wanted to live inside this story and alongside these characters, and I could hardly put the book down to eat or sleep.

WE COULD BE SO GOOD is the most tender and lovely friends-to-lovers slow-burn, with *delicious* tension — a solid five-star read that you’ll want to pick up again and again.

A huge thank you to Avon and Netgalley for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest, unbiased review. WE COULD BE SO GOOD is out now! (Trust me, you need to get this book.)

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We Could Be So Good is SO GOOD. Cat Sebastian is 3/3 with 5 star reads for me. She has the most magical prose that makes you feel all the things.

I always struggle to write reviews when I really love a book and find myself struggling to write a deserving review for, We Could Be So Good. I could list all the tropes: workplace romance, friends to lovers and roommates. I could tell you how much I loved the setting of NYC in the 1950’s and the atmosphere created in Nick’s apartment building. But it wouldn’t come close to the way this book made me FEEL. Nick and Andy gave me all the butterflies and I endlessly adore them.

This book is cozy and soft, witty, and thoughtful, engaging, and tender. I am a puddle for a soft romance and this one is the softest.

•Mutual secret pining
•Lots of blushing
•A Bi-awakening from collarbones
•Andy’s competency kink
•Nick’s “Gooey devotion”
•Found family
•Dual POV
•The revolutionary act of Queer Joy

Thank you so much to Avon Books for the early copy!

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Excellent, beautiful read. This stands out for me due to setting and voice.

The setting is late 1950s New York, when being queer is still against the law and the Red Scare is still happening. This was educational, though not didactic. Also lightly woven in was the passive (was it?) discrimination and prejudice against Italian Americans. What resonated about the setting was the way fear permeates Nick's life, and I drew a lot of parallels to the wave of anti-queer legislation flooding our country right now.

Nick and Andy are endearing characters, a classic grumpy-sunshine pairing. The novel is written in alternating third-person POV but in present tense, and that does a lot to help everything feel immediate, even if there isn't a ton of action propelling the plot.

Definitely recommend. I've had another of Cat Sebastian's books on my TBR for a couple of years, and I think it's time to move it to the top.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this book.

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There is nothing in this book I could possibly criticize. Cat Sebastian proves once again that she's the master of queer romance, no matter the time period.
We meet Nick, a reporter for a failing newspaper, just as the owner's son, Andy, joins the ranks of the city beat reporters. Nick wants to dislike Andy, but there's something about him that he can't help but want to protect, so he takes him under his wing. They become fast friends and it quickly becomes obvious to Nick, a very rightly-so paranoid gay man, that he wants more from Andy. He's accepted that he'll only ever get to be in Andy's life as his best friend and has convinced himself he's happy with that. But when Andy's engagement falls apart and he moves in with Nick, both will have to face up to their feelings and what they want from life.
It's a beautiful exploration of emotions, expectations, injustices, and acceptance that puts the characters' inner lives at the forefront of the story. Their personalities are polar opposites, but they're both so perfect for each other that it's a delight to read about them finding strengths and abilities within themselves that they never thought they had.
There's also the low-key love letter to old New York that takes place every time the characters move around. From the fancy neighborhoods to the disappearing ones and the slowly gentrifying ones, it's the old charm of a New York slowly transforming and the small changes and things that are no longer around. You might have never visited New York, but you'll feel like you're walking the streets with Nick and Andy.

Delighted thanks to NetGalley and Avon for the wonderfully romantic and inspiring read!

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I don’t think any review I can write will do this book any sort of justice. It’s so fitting that ‘We Could Be So Good’ comes out at the beginning of pride month. I teared up multiple times reading this. As much as it was a romance, and a perfectly lovely one at that, it’s about queerness. Queerness in communities, families, friendships, work—all aspects of life. About hiding and pushing down who you are, about shame and fear. But also about acceptance, about discovery and love. How love is not only about the fights fought but about the peace deserved.

Cat Sebastian delivers every time, writing complex and layered characters for readers to love and frustrate over and cry for. My favorite parts of her writing are nearly always the side characters and community/family that is built up around our love interests. The happy endings always have a flair of realism to them, which makes them feel all the more deserved.

I wholeheartedly love this book. If you enjoyed Cat Sebastian’s The Cabot’s series, you’ll really enjoy this. If you haven’t checked out that series, read that next after this!

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon/Harper Voyager for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I genuinely don’t think I’d change a single thing about this book. I loved Nick and Andy both separate and together and their chemistry was apparent from the very first encounter. The side character were interesting and added to the plot nicely. The romance was perfect and the time period/historical context only heightened it. My favorite Cat Sebastian novel yet!

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Thanks to Avon and NetGalley for the free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I'd heard about Cat Sebastian's books, but this was my first time reading her work, and honestly, it will NOT be the last. This book pulled me out of a reading slump. It made my cry. It just might end up being my favorite book of the year. WOWEE, what a book.

We Could Be So Good by Cat Sebastian follows Andy, a newspaper mogul's son, and Nick, a reporter at the paper Andy's father runs. They are such sweet, real characters, and I loved them individually and together. I loved the journey each character went on, and how they came to grow together. Ooooh, I just loved this so much. I can't WAIT to read more of Sebastian's work.

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