cover image Would You Rather

Would You Rather

Allison Ashley. Mira, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7783-8649-0

Ashley (Home Sweet Mess) makes favorite rom-com tropes feel new again with a pitch-perfect friends-to-lovers story. Architect Noah Agnew and administrative assistant Mia Adrian have been close friends from childhood through college and into the workforce, where they’re constantly playfully pranking one another. Mia never finished her degree, letting go of her dream of being a dietician when she left school to manage her rare kidney disease. Now she’s offered a scholarship to go back to school—but taking it would mean losing the employer-provided health insurance she requires. Noah offers a radical solution: marriage. As his wife, she can stay on his insurance plan—and what’s some light fraud between two friends anyway? It also doesn’t hurt that Noah has been secretly in love with Mia forever. The all too real motivation for the pair’s fake marriage makes the trope sing, and Ashley surrounds her characters with supportive friends, family, and colleagues, grounding the story in community and heart. Mia’s struggles with chronic illness are similarly well handled, capturing both the physical and emotional toll it takes on her day-to-day life. Readers won’t want to put this one down. Agent: Kimberly Lionetti, BookEnds. (Aug.)