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Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Would You Rather by Allison Ashley

Would You Rather by Allison Ashley
Published by MIRA ISBN 9780778366490
Trade paperback, $15.99, 320 pages

Mia and Noah have been best friends since childhood in Allison Ashley's friends-to-lovers romance Would You Rather. Noah is an architect at the firm founded by his now-retired father and Mia is his administrative assistant. They spend the day playing pranks on each other (Mia taped a banana under Noah's desk that smelled after a few days, Noah signed Mia up to receive by email a daily fun animal fact) and playing the game "Would you rather?" (Would you rather be a pirate or a ninja? Would you rather be able to read minds or fly?)

They both have issues to deal with. Noah's older brother died a few years previous in a car accident. Mia has a chronic kidney illness that requires her get weekly infusions at a hospital while she waits for a kidney transplant that may or may not come. She is also estranged from her parents. Both of them feel guilt for reasons that aren't necessarily their fault.

Mia's dream is to become a pediatric nutritionist, but she needs the health insurance from her job to pay for her medical bills. When Noah comes up with a plan to marry Mia so she can keep her insurance while going back to school, Mia is dead set against it. She doesn't want to burden Noah with that, she thinks it is unfair to him, but Noah talks her into it. They are best friends after all.

They have to convince everyone at work, their friends, and Noah's family that this marriage is real in order for their plan to work. Mia sleeps in Noah's guest room, while they both pine away for each other with just a hallway between them.

When one of Noah's coworkers overhears their plan, he uses that information to his advantage. After all, insurance fraud is illegal. 

Would You Rather is a sweet slow-burn love story (if you liked season two of Bridgerton as much as I did, you'll enjoy this book) with the requisite misunderstandings and miscommunications. The storyline dealing with chronic illness and the health insurance problems in this country add an interesting element. Noah's devotion to Mia is so touching, and I found the way the characters dealt (or didn't deal) with their feelings and emotions realistic. I recommend Would You Rather.

Thanks to Harlequin for me on their Summer 2022 Rom-Coms Blog Tour.

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