Busi­ness or Pleasure

  • Review
By – June 27, 2023

Chan­dler Cohen dreamt of being a writer from the time she was a lit­tle girl. She wrote for her mom and dad, her aunts, and her best friend-and-cousin Noemie. After decid­ing in col­lege that becom­ing a jour­nal­ist might set her on a more suc­cess­ful path, Chan­dler turned to ghost­writ­ing in order to pay the bills. She has suc­cess­ful­ly ghost­writ­ten books for a Bach­e­lorette con­tes­tant, a Tik­Tok celebri­ty, and one tru­ly ter­ri­ble Insta­gram influ­encer who doesn’t even rec­og­nize Chan­dler when she shows up to the book signing.

Nurs­ing her woes with a drink after the sign­ing, and won­der­ing what she is doing with her life, she runs into a hand­some stranger who intro­duces him­self as Drew — and hap­pens to be Jew­ish, just like her. She takes him out on the town in Seat­tle, where she pro­ceeds to have the best date, but most awk­ward hookup, of her life. Slip­ping out of his hotel the next morn­ing, she chalks the expe­ri­ence up to a one-night stand and runs to a lunch inter­view for her next ghost­writ­ing job. When she arrives, she dis­cov­ers that Drew” of the ter­ri­ble one-night stand is none oth­er than the actor Finnegan Walsh — the sub­ject of the next book she’s been asked to ghostwrite.

Finn Walsh trav­els the coun­try attend­ing fan con­ven­tions, sign­ing auto­graphs, and pos­ing for pic­tures with fans who remem­ber him best as the nerdy were­wolf on Noc­tur­nals, a wild­ly pop­u­lar TV show. He is shocked that Chan­dler was left unsat­is­fied after their brief encounter, and he won­ders if she can help him not only with his mem­oir, but per­haps in the bed­room as well. As the two become more entwined both per­son­al­ly and pro­fes­sion­al­ly, Chan­dler won­ders if their arrange­ment is tru­ly sus­tain­able. Can she have the career she wants as a writer, while also falling for a man she nev­er thought she’d see again? Can he move on from his pub­lic image as a col­lege were­wolf and find a way to share his struggles?

This pas­sion­ate slow-burn is full of heart and wit. Sexy and smart, Busi­ness or Plea­sure reflects on the ways in which we fall in love, fig­ure out who we are, and han­dle chal­lenges and oppor­tu­ni­ties along the way. Fea­tur­ing a host of won­der­ful char­ac­ters like Finn’s rab­bi moth­er, Rachel Lynn Solomon’s book mean­ing­ful­ly incor­po­rates Judaism and Jew­ish cus­toms, includ­ing Shab­bat ser­vices, Hanukkah, and matzah ball soup. With its beau­ti­ful and com­pelling writ­ing style, Busi­ness or Plea­sure is a must-read romance.

Jes­si­ca Sender is an aca­d­e­m­ic librar­i­an at Michi­gan State Uni­ver­si­ty. She has worked in pub­lic and aca­d­e­m­ic libraries, and in her free time enjoys run­ning, bik­ing, real­i­ty TV, and explor­ing Michigan. 

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