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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…

NICUnurse’s Review of Perfect Distraction by Allison Ashley

Allison Ashley is a new-to-me author but I usually love Entangled Publishing’s authors, and I’m a nurse who loves romance stories, so I was happy to jump into this one with both feet. And I’m oh so glad I did!

Lauren isn’t looking for love, and she’s especially not looking for love with a patient from the clinic she’s finishing her pharmacy residency in. And Andrew isn’t looking for love while fighting cancer and trying to finish law school. So when they quite literally bump into each other and sparks fly, will they be able to stick to their resolve or will they give in and see where a relationship will go?

Fans of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green will love this story. Especially if teen/YA romance isn’t your thing. Teen romance isn’t always my thing but I loved Hazel and Gus’s story so much. But I digress…

So what did I love about this story? First of all, it’s an adult/NA romance rather than YA so that was the first thing that I loved. Secondly, I really enjoyed these main characters. Both Lauren and Andrew are focused on their careers and they have big career and life goals. They aren’t searching for love, but isn’t that when it usually finds us? And the author did a great job with unfolding this plot in a way that was sweet, then steamy, then a bit conflicting, and finally, rounding it out with a wonderful HEA. 

NICUnurse’s Rating: Loving someone with acute or chronic disease isn’t easy. I live with a chronic illness and can speak to that from personal experience. I’m also a nurse so I tend to really pick apart stories that have to do with medical issues and challenges. And Ms. Ashley did a great job keeping it real with the struggles that life will illness brings not only to the patient but to all those that love the patient, as well as the medical aspects of the book. Her writing was easy to read, easy to follow, and I was hooked by the first sentence in chapter one! With that sentence, who wouldn’t want to keep reading?! So for an emotional romance that thankfully ends with a HEA, pick up your copy of this book today!

I give Perfect Distraction by Allison Ashley 5 out of 5 propellers!  

Purchase Perfect Distraction by Allison Ashley

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NICUnurse’s Q&A with Allison Ashley

Allison Ashley, thank you for taking the time to chat with me today. I’m a nurse, so I tend to keep away from medical dramas/romances because there are usually too many cringe-worthy moments in them when getting the medical details correct. But I read your bio after reading the blurb to Perfect Distraction and wanted to dive right in, and I loved it!

Let’s start off with some icebreakers.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee. Always.

Dramas or comedies?

Comedies. These days I’m looking for things that make me smile.

Romances: contemporary, historical, or paranormal?

I read all actually, paranormal a little less than the others. If I had to pick one I’d go with contemporary, but I’m very open-minded when it comes to romance.

Mountains or beach?

Mountains. Always.

Favorite music genre?

I feel like it’s hard to define the genre – I like that broody, acoustic guitar- or piano-based singer/songwriter type stuff. In fact, to tie in four of the above questions, I can think of no better place to be than at a cabin in the mountains, with a cup of coffee, acoustic music playing, and a romance novel in my hands. 

Have you ever met a famous person?

Not that I recall, which probably means definitely no. 

Now, we’d love to learn more about your desire to write Perfect Distraction.

How much of you is in your heroine, Lauren Taylor?

There’s quite a bit of me in Lauren. The job, obviously – I based that pretty closely on what I do. My residency was almost ten years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. And because I get asked this a lot, I’m happily married and have never fallen for a patient. But her dedication and closeness with her patients and interactions and friendships with her fellow health care providers is very similar to my daily life at work. Her regular drink at The Grind House (quad tall Americano) is my regular drink at Starbucks. And I do love a good pun. Otherwise, things like her childhood and college experiences are unique to Lauren and aren’t from my personal experiences. Oh, and her documentary obsession? Totally her. I never watch TV (because any spare moment I have is for reading or writing)!

Was there anyone else in your life that inspired other characters?

Her friends in clinic, Emma and Kiara, are directly inspired by the PA and MA I work closely with. I actually used a few direct quotes from them (picture me in clinic between patients with my phone out: “Wait, what did you just say? That’s going in the book.”) Andrew’s mom, sisters, niece, and one of the infusion clinic MAs are named after patients that have meant a lot to me. Mandi, Andrew’s nurse, is inspired by the best oncology nurse I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve never forgiven her for moving to a different state a few years ago. One more fun tidbit – Lauren’s friends from Oklahoma that are briefly mentioned when she travels home for Christmas each have their own full-length novel. Those are the first two books I ever wrote.

As an oncology pharmacist, you meet patients at what is sometimes their lowest point in life.

What were some experiences that you’ve had that shaped the plot of Perfect Distraction? 

A few of the patient events that occur in the book are true stories that have been slightly altered (i.e., Zeke showing up to clinic inebriated, Lauren’s reaction when she unexpectedly learns of a patient’s passing). I thought a lot about my experience with family members that accompany patients to appointments and chemo infusions. When Lauren is giving the initial chemo education, she thinks about how patients and their families respond very differently in these situations, and that’s absolutely true. Some are tearful and subdued while others want to laugh and joke about it. I’ve always tried to do my best to stay as positive as possible but also meet a patient where they are, and above all make sure they know I’m there to support them through this, whether the end goal is cure or improving quality of life. Lauren experienced these same feelings and decisions.  

As a nurse, I have one particular patient that completely turned the way I approached my career around. He and his family inspired me to always be better and do better.

Was there one particular patient that spurred your desire to write Perfect Distraction? If not, who DID inspire your story and characters? 

I don’t think a patient inspired me to write the book, per se, but I definitely have two patients that I think about all the time and who impacted my career. Both of these characters are in the book, but out of a (possibly irrationally severe) fear of HIPAA, I won’t mention which two they are. One was a woman I cared for for more than 5 years, which was significantly longer than anyone expected her to live based on her initial diagnosis. I’m still very close with her mom to this day. I was gifted with the ability to impact her care positively in several ways, and this patient (and her mom) made sure I always knew how my recommendations helped contribute to the extended time she had on this earth. I was just doing my job, but they helped me realize how big of an impact someone with my job can have, and I’ve never stopped trying to expand the reach of clinical pharmacists at my institution.

How long did it take to write this book?

I wrote this book faster than any other. It usually takes me about 3 months to write a full-length novel, but I wrote this one in about a month. I’d been thinking about it for a long time before I finally sat down to write it (I saved it for NaNoWriMo) and once I let the floodgates open, the words poured out of me.

How have you balanced the demands of writing with your other responsibilities?

I won’t lie and say I don’t think about the characters in my head while I’m at work, but I don’t write until I’m home. It’s sort of my release after a hard day to escape into a world of love and flirting and happily ever afters. I’m a mom of two young kids as well, so I usually don’t get to sit down with my characters until they’re in bed. But from 8pm on, I’m in that world until I can’t keep my eyes open any longer.

Allison, I appreciate you taking the time to let our readers and followers learn a little more about you and your book, Perfect Distraction.

Any last thing(s) you’d like readers to know about you and/or your book?

This book was released at a difficult time in our history, but a time when the impact of health care providers has been celebrated. I love that, and I hope this book might highlight the importance of pharmacists in particular. We’re often an overlooked member of the health care field for several reasons (in a hospital, we’re unseen by patients, and in the community setting, the industry has unfortunately created a fast-food mentality rather than a patient care experience). Pharmacists are incredibly important members of the health care community and contribute greatly to patient safety. I’d love for any reader to pop by their local pharmacy and give someone a high-five (or maybe just a wave, because you know…COVID).

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’ve got several more books completed and even more in process. I’d love to get them all out there for people to read, and hopefully, the editors and publishers of the world will want to help me do that!

And lastly, where can readers find and follow you and your writing journey?

I do have a website, authorallisonashley.com, but I spend most of my time either on Twitter (@AllisonAuthor) or Instagram (@authorallisonashley). Any exciting news about upcoming releases will definitely be posted on all three!

Allison Ashley, thank you so much! And, yes! Pharmacists are such an important part of our healthcare system and absolutely overlooked all too often. So an extra-special thank you to you and your peers in pharmacy!

Purchase Perfect Distraction

If you plan to purchase this book, we’d be grateful if you used our links. This helps us maintain the blog and costs you nothing! Thank you for your support!

The Wickedcoolflight Crew

Apple Books

Amazon Kindle



About the Author


Allison Ashley is a music-loving, coffee-drinking mom of two who loves love stories. She’s an oncology pharmacist and spends her days focused on helping patients through one of the hardest things life can throw at them. Her escape has always been books-specifically books about happiness, love, and laughter-and it was inevitable that she’d eventually write her own. She promises to always write stories with deep romance, intense connection, and humor…but most of all, that coveted happy ever after.