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?
This is the second book in the Harrison Campus series by this duo. I’ve already read the third book in this series (which I loved!) but have yet to read the first. The story is a slow-burn opposites attract/enemies to lovers tale that follows two college boys, Darren and Isaiah, who find themselves competing for the same scholarship program.
These two men couldn’t be more different. Darren comes from a wealthy family – a VERY WEALTHY family — and has never had to worry about money. He has also recently come out to his parent, and since then, his father has barely spoken two words to him. Darren is hurt by his father’s reaction and is desperately trying to win his approval. He’s hoping that landing this scholarship will put him back in his father’s good graces.
On the other hand, Isiah is out and proud and has a fantastic relationship with his mother. He grew up with very little money, and his mother works extra hard to support the family. He also works as a yoga instructor to earn extra money to help ease his mother’s burden.
Now it’s worth mentioning that the scholarship program for which they’re competing was initially set up by Darren’s great-grandfather specifically for the Gage men (though that’s not explicitly stated in the rules). Thus, Darren is expected to automatically receive it without having to compete for it. When Isaiah learns of this, he files a complaint with the university. The university decides that the only solution is for the two men to compete for the scholarship, which involves them working on special projects together. The scholarship is extremely important to both of them for different reasons, and each is determined to win.
Initially, it’s pretty rough going for our cut-throat competitors, and most of their early interactions are unfriendly and uncomfortable. What our guys didn’t count on was the intense attraction they felt for their “enemy” and soon begin to form, in spite of themselves, a deep personal relationship. Though it first appears that these two couldn’t be more different, they soon discover they have a lot more in common than they initially thought.
I thought the character development was outstanding, and I really loved both of these guys. They’re both quite complex once we get to know them. Darren is not at all the typical spoiled rich kid that Isaiah had him pegged for and rather is kind, compassionate, principled, and selfless. Isaiah, though he initially came across as super judgmental and a tad hot-tempered, ended up being quite an honorable character: empathetic, also kind and determined. I loved watching them bond over their mutual love of music and, subsequently, fall in love with each other before they even knew it was happening. I loved watching them fight their attraction and, ultimately, losing.
As typical in Ms. Sunday’s book, this was a super slow-burn, so you’ll have to be patient before we get to the steamy parts. What we do have is a lovely, heartfelt college romance between two endearing and admirable characters who both utterly enthralled me and stole my heart. This adorable book brought tears of joy to my eyes a couple of times and also had plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.
I look forward to reading more in this series.