2021 Vivian Award Finalist, Book Review, Contemporary, Entangled Publishing, Romance

Perfect Distraction by Allison Ashley


Lauren Taylor isn’t thinking about love, especially not with the impossibly attractive man she accidentally spilled coffee all over. He’s out of her league and she’s focused on finishing her oncology pharmacy residency. She’s sworn off men who are too handsome for their own good, anyway.

Andrew Bishop can’t stop thinking about the gorgeous redhead who crashed into him and then disappeared, even though he should have way more on his mind – like dealing with his Hodgkin Lymphoma diagnosis and finishing out his last year in law school. When Andrew and Lauren run into each other at the cancer center where she’s working and he’s being treated, they try to keep it professional. They can be friends, and nothing more.

But sometimes life has other plans…


What can I say about this incredible debut novel?  Well done! It’s about finishing college, love in an unlikely place, and cancer.  When a clinical pharmacy resident falls for a cancer patient, it’s the love story of the century.

She swiveled on her heel, but instead of dashing to the exit as planned, crashed face first into a hard, broad chest. The loose-fitting lid popped right off, and coffee splashed out of the cup, all over her hand and onto the shirt of the person she’d run in to. Instinctively she jumped back, as did the stranger, and she set the dripping cup onto the counter. “William Shatner,” she hissed in the same way a normal person might say dammit, and swiped several napkins to clean her hand.

Lauren Taylor is finishing up her clinical pharmacy residency and hopes to get her dream job in Kansas City, but she didn’t expect to meet Andrew Bishop, a sexy and oh, so brave cancer patient. Their relationship is tenuous because she doesn’t want to look get in trouble for dating a patient, but it is very hard not to fall for an incredibly strong, intelligent, and compassionate man who volunteers in a children’s hospital while he’s battling cancer himself.

He’d been in a terrible mood the day he met Lauren. Part of it had stemmed from his desire to avoid going to the appointment with the entire female side of his family. He wished he could have just told them no, that he wanted to go by himself. Or allowed only Jeni to come with him… The other reason he’d started the day pissed off wasn’t something he’d ever say out loud. It was hard to even admit to himself. He was scared. Scared of what the doctor would say, scared of getting chemo, of losing his internship with the best attorney in town.

Andrew Bishop fell for Lauren the very minute she bumped into him with a full cup of hot coffee.  Not to mention her unusual cuss words in the form of famous names and hilarious pun wars. He has cancer and no woman would want to get involved in that, so why is he determined to pursue her when she draws the line at not dating patients at her hospital.  Maybe it’s the way she looks at him with those beautiful eyes and sultry smile.

I can’t count how many times I cried, laughed and cheered for these two remarkable people. Andrew is my hero and his unforgettable fortitude and determination to not give up are so noteworthy. Also, his support system is strong with his big family and close friends.  And, of course, the extraordinary Lauren who is unfailing in being there for Andrew and his family to answer questions and to recommend volunteer work to Andrew at a children’s hospital.  However, what made this a wonderful feel-good story despite the cancer theme, is the undying love between Andrew and Lauren. I cried so many times at their good days and bad days.  If anyone deserves a happily ever after, it is these two people. Recommend highly!

Thank you to Allison Ashley for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


Perfect Distraction

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Allison AshleyI hate chocolate with an ever-loving passion. I have an irrational fear of fish. I love to travel. I’m terrible at math. I love to cook and I drink at least six cups of coffee every day.

Now that we’ve covered the big stuff, also know this: Any bizarre quirk my characters possess probably comes from me.

When not writing, you’ll find me working in oncology – an emotionally draining, yet unfathomably rewarding profession. I’ve spent 10 years encouraging patients to push through and sometimes giving them permission to let go, and through it all my escape has been books.

I prefer love stories with deep romance. I want that connection, that soul-wrenching yearning between two people and the satisfaction of witnessing that moment when they collide. I covet the happy-ever-after and promise to always give you one.

Follow Allison on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.