Title: Would You Rather
Author: Allison Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 23, 2022
Noah and Mia have always been best friends, and their friendship is the most important thing to them. Life is going great for Noah and he’s up for a promotion in a job he loves. But Mia’s life is on hold as she awaits a kidney transplant. She’s stuck in a dead-end job and, never wanting to be a burden, has sworn off all romance. So when the chance of a lifetime comes to go back to school and pursue her dream, it’s especially painful to pass up. She can’t quit her job or she’ll lose the medical insurance she so desperately needs.
To support her, Noah suggests they get married—in name only—so she can study full-time and still keep the insurance. It’s a risk to both of them, with jobs, health and hearts on the line, and they’ll need to convince suspicious coworkers and nosy roommates that they’re the real deal. But if they can let go of all the baggage holding them back, they might realize that they would rather be together forever.
I have to admit that the title called to me with this book. Combining that with some great reviews, I couldn’t resist. And have I mentioned that I’m a huge fan of the childhood friends to lovers trope?!? And I adored how it was handled in this story.
Noah’s feelings began to shift while they were in college, and he’s been pining ever since. With a lot of childhood friends to lovers there are a ton of flashbacks. Not the case with this book, though. You’ll only get one brief flashback to their college days, and the rest of the focus is on their present. Now they’re co-workers constantly pulling pranks on each other. She’s pushing him to date and has no idea that all he sees is her. And Mia refuses to date because she wouldn’t put anyone in the position of having to deal with her kidney disease.
When Noah suggests marriage as an answer to Mia going back to college so she’ll have insurance, things get interesting. Noah really has to push her into it. He’s doing it, so she can pursue her dreams, but he has no doubt he can pull of the appearance of being real. Mia on the other hand doesn’t want anyone to be put out for her. She already feels like she owes her parents – especially after learning she was adopted. Feelings can’t help but to start getting in the way of plans, though.
Noah has his own demons he’s battling, too, after losing his brother, and the guilt he carries surrounding the accident. He’s an avid mountain climber that now refuses to travel far from home because something just might happen to Mia. He also starts having to deal with a bit of blackmail at the office.
The thing we fear most has the greatest reward.
I absolutely adored Mia and Noah together. I got frustrated with Mia as she tried to make decisions for Noah instead of allowing him to make his own choices. But, I was never too aggravated because I could so clearly see where she was coming from, and I longed for healing and growth to come for her.
This book gave me all the feels and Noah was a total swoonfest! There’s tension, love, sadness, and laugh out loud moments. And I was surprised to find about a quarter of the way in that it was written in third person, and I didn’t even realize it. And, I, of course, loved the nature scenes!
There was only one other little thing that bugged me. There were a couple scenes that ended that left me wanting more. It bugs when when I see a build up in a scene that isn’t carried out before we jump to the next scene. It only happened a couple times, though.
Overall, I adored Noah and Mia both, individually and especially together.
*I’m horrible about recognizing triggers, so always make sure to check them out if you have any.