Refreshingly Honest: Business or Pleasure Review

by Theja Pk
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paperback of business or pleasure by Rachel lynn Solomon laying on top of pile of open books

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Last updated on April 12th, 2024

In today’s review, we’ll take a look at Rachel Lynn Solomon’s latest release, Business or Pleasure – a refreshing story about a ghostwriter who falls in love with the celebrity whose book she is writing, after having a bad one-night stand with him.

This book is excellent for those who love stories with good mental health representation, pro-therapy, and sex-positive vibes.

What drew me to this book was the premise of the failed one-night stand where the guy wasn’t mind-blowing in bed, as most romance heroes are. It was nice to read a more realistic take on intimacy.

Business or Pleasure – Rachel Lynn Solomon

4 out of 5
illustrated book cover of business or pleasure by Rachel lynn Solomon depicting a couple's legs protruding from under bed sheets.

GENRE: Contemporary romance
PUB DATE: July 4, 2023
TROPE: friends with benefits, celebrity romance, forced proximity
TWs: anxiety, OCD, abortion (off-page)

A refreshing story about a ghostwriter who falls in love with the celebrity whose book she is writing, after having a bad one-night stand with him.

Characters
4 out of 5
Plot
3 out of 5
Writing
5 out of 5
Overall Enjoyment
4 out of 5

Pros

realistic take on intimacy

mental health in males rep

sex positivity, open communication

engaging writing style

relatable MCs

Cons

slow burn was so slow in some parts that the chemistry fizzled out

Chandler was hard to like in the beginning

Table of contents

Synopsis

Chandler Cohen has never felt more like the ghost in “ghostwriter” until she attends a signing for a book she wrote—and the author doesn’t even recognize her. The evening turns more promising when she meets a charming man at the bar and immediately connects with him.

But when all their sexual tension culminates in a spectacularly awkward hookup, she decides this is one night better off forgotten.

Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Her next project is ghostwriting a memoir for Finn Walsh, a C-list actor best known for playing a lovable nerd on a cult classic werewolf show who now makes a living appearing at fan conventions across the country. Chandler knows him better from their one-night stand of hilarious mishaps.

Chandler’s determined to keep their partnership as professional as possible, but when she admits to Finn their night together wasn’t as mind-blowing as he thought it was, he’s distraught.

He intrigues her enough that they strike a deal: when they’re not working on his book, Chandler will school Finn in the art of satisfaction.

As they grow closer both in and out of the bedroom, they must figure out which is more important, business or pleasure—or if there’s a way for them to have both.

Characters

Although the chemistry between the characters could have been better, I loved how openly they communicated with each other. The honesty that formed the undercurrent of their friendship made it easy to root for their happily ever after.

Finn

Finn was sweet, supportive, and not like the stereotypical Hollywood actor. I appreciated the representation of mental health with OCD and how he aimed to destigmatize it by using his platform and voice.

“We could have spent this entire trip in bed, and it wouldn’t have been enough. We could have spent it just talking, twenty-four hours a day, and I’d still want to hear your voice.”

It was also refreshing to read about a male MC who was open about trying to learn and didn’t let his ego get in the way.

Chandler

It took me a while to warm up to our female MC as she gave off a bit of a “mean girls” vibe at the beginning of the book. However, Chandler eventually won me over with her relatability.

Solomon did a good job of capturing the millennial crisis, including the pressure to figure everything out early in life and the fear of stepping outside one’s comfort zone.

It was always, ‘You’re going to do something great’ and ‘You can do whatever you want’ and never ‘It’s okay if you don’t figure it out right away.’

I liked that the MC was confident in the bedroom yet insecure in her career, which made her feel more authentic to me.

Side Characters

Chandler’s best friend, NEOMIE, is the kind of friend everyone needs – the type to tell it like it is, even if it’s not what you want to hear.

All the family characters were a nice, cozy addition to the story, even if they didn’t add a lot of substance.

Plot

There are multiple themes discussed throughout this book which I believe the author handled very well – mental health and its stigmatization in Hollywood, sex positivity and open communication with your partner, the importance of therapy, and the passion for art and creation.

I felt the third act conflict was handed well and I absolutely adored the ending dialogue, which brought the whole book full circle and provided a cheeky moment that made me smile.

The story’s middle section was super slow and almost made me DNF it. The chapters detailing each TV show convention became repetitive and fizzled out the chemistry between the main characters.

The slow burn didn’t build up the tension as much as I would have liked. However, it did pick up towards the end, and I stayed up late to finish reading it.

Writing

Seeing the author break up each chapter with different media formats (such as articles and TV scripts) to showcase Finn’s past was fun. This writing style reminded me of TJR’s in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

The book has great, witty dialogue that doesn’t try too hard. Although the dirty talk was a bit cringy at the beginning, which I assume was intentional, it does get better as the book progresses.

Conclusion

Business or Pleasure is a refreshing and engaging romance novel that offers a more realistic take on intimacy and relationships.

With relatable characters, the story explores mental health representation and sex-positivity, making it a great choice for readers looking for an authentic narrative.

Enjoyed this review? Then, add ‘Business or Pleasure’ to your TBR. And if you have already read this book and have some thoughts to share, drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear them!

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