Wren Aker is so famous even being dug out of a car accident causes people to smile and wave and whip out their phone. She’s so used to fame she smiles and waves back for the cameras. It’s only later in the hospital that the pain hits, made worse when she recognizes her ER doctor. It’s been a long time since they last met, but the feelings are still there.
It’s a typical day in the ER until Dr. Madison Taylor winds up with a patient she would rather not see. Somehow containing her disdain for the first girl she almost kissed, Madison treats Wren’s injuries and escapes back to blessed overworking. But then Wren accidentally gets Madison hired to work on the set of her tv show. How will they manage to get along? How will Madison not throttle Wren?
The studio decides this would be the best time to throw them into a fake romance to draw in more queer viewers.
Pros And My Favourite Parts
Mildred: There is little I enjoy more than a great fauxmance, and this book does not disappoint. Wow, but don’t these women have heavy feelings for each other, and not in a good way. Wren and Madison have many hurdles to overcome, and the pacing is spot on. The story contains real, emotional repercussions from past hurts and large misunderstandings that the author deals with in an organic and believable way.
Rach: I agree, the feelings Wren and Maddison present for each other range from disdain to downright giddy love. These ladies are complex and deep, and I have huge crushes on both of them.
I’d like to say more about the wonderful leading ladies:
Wren Aker is one of the most grounded, humble, and down-to-earth characters I’ve read about. Her kindness and ability to read and empathize with people shine through. The courage she has, to choose the battles she knows will make a dent in the stagnant pool of ‘old Hollywood’ make her both brave and super smart. Wren battles with the fact that she wants to do more to combat homophobia behind the scenes in Hollywood, but in order to do so she must tread carefully to ensure she doesn’t damage her reputation and have herself seen as ‘difficult to work with’. Wren takes the fact that she is one of the biggest stars in the world seriously. The fact that she is also ‘out’ to the world brings a whole lot of expectations and added pressure, not just from her place of work but also from Wren herself. She wants to be a role model within the queer community. She wants to be the person she wishes she had to represent her when she was growing up and coming to terms with her sexuality. The thing is, is that Wren is all these things. However, her need to be more for all the baby queers who look up to her, and have them feel loved and accepted, is what leads her to ‘accidentally’ put her foot in it by outing Madison and herself as a couple when they are barely even friends. Oops! I love her, I can’t help it, she’s so awkwardly endearing.
Madison Taylor is one of the hardest working doctors in the E.R, she works night and day desperate to save the lives of people who enter her department. She spends more time in the hospital than at home because she is hiding from the grief that she is drowning in. Madison is so lost and for her, it is easier to bury herself in work than to deal with the death of her wife. She pushes away all her friends because she cannot cope with the pity she sees when they interact with her. Madison is stubborn and holds a grudge, she believes she is right and it’s hard to get through the walls she has built to help her deal with everyday life. Madison also has ADHD and with her wife gone she struggles to find a new routine that allows her to do anything but work, work, work. She stole my heart because without knowing it she is one of the strongest women out there. Madison is in a constant battle with herself to fulfill her wife’s dying wishes, that she lives a happy, love-filled life, and the fact that she is too stubborn to let anyone in to help. It was a joy to watch Maddison slowly give in to the feeling that she can find a new ‘normal’ and that she is allowed to be happy without guilt. She is dry and witty and when she finally lets those walls down, she is loving, loyal, and feels deeply. She has such a beautiful soul and it filled me with all the warm and fuzzies seeing her become content and happy once again.
Mildred: Big themes dominate the story, like learning to live with overwhelming grief and living with hardcore ADHD. The how-does-that-work geek in me loved the section on descriptions of how a film set works, with the added bonus of comparing it to an Emergency Room. But then the author goes into an even deeper dive into queer politics and, or should I say versus, Hollywood. Queerbaiting is a real problem and one that Wren and Madison wrestle with professionally and personally.
Rach: I agree Mildred. This book is jam-packed with a lot of big themes that all weave flawlessly together. Homophobia, sexism, queerbaiting, and grief are the biggest. The author managed to take us on the characters’ journeys as they navigate these aspects of their lives with sensitivity, respect, realism, and humor, it was so well done. I also really loved how Benson managed to transport us from the floor of the E.R to behind the scenes of a TV show. The author described both settings in detail and show the inner workings perfectly, I felt like I was part of it and loved finding out how it all works.
Mildred: There’s a lot coming at the reader all the time, like awkward moments, misplaced ire, comedy of errors, queerbaiting, gay panic, and it all fits nicely into the story. The other players are beautifully depicted. Hathor the unstoppable cat and Wren’s mom and agent support and annoy Wren in equal parts. Rising young actress Trinity is a laugh riot. I’ve never had a work partner as cool as her. (except for Rach of course) Both Wren and Madison have a great, supportive, and funny best friend.
Rach: Agreed, this book is filled with a whole cast of extras that are fun and supportive, and some that are downright vile. Mildred is being far too kind there is no way I’m as cool and funny as Trinity! She’s far too fabulous!
Mildred: This book is very entertaining and gave me a lot of feels and of course many laughs.
Rach: Yes, yes and yes.
This is a book Rachel and I both loved. It’s funny and sweet with a dash of drama, so the narration needed a strong dramatic reading to get all the different aspects right. I was very pleased with the narrator’s whimsy and sexiness and timing on the humor. Her reading turns an already very nice first kiss scene into something dreamy and the hilarious Twitter notification scene had me laughing even more this time around I think. Sometimes I had a very small amount of trouble telling characters apart if they were male, but that was a very small concern and didn’t make a difference in my enjoyment of the narration.
Cons And Heads Up
Mildred: There is wrestling with the grief from the death of a spouse.
Rach: There are details of homophobia and sexism within the workplace
Mildred: This book has everything from classic fauxmance to heavy themes and many laugh out loud moments. It’s one of those books I found myself constantly checking the percentage left because I really didn’t want it to end. Wren and Madison are great characters in a great setting and a load of great friends. This book was a lot of fun to read.
Rach: Purposely Accidental has shot to one of my all-time favourite celeb romances. It’s one of those books that has everything you want. There’s drama and misunderstandings that are always solved by the characters talking. There’s a boatload of humor that will leave you chuckling and a heavy dose of romance to make you swoon.
I LOVE this book. Wren and Madison have one of the sweetest slow-burn romances. From enemies to friends to lovers, their journey is so beautiful. It’s far from easy sailing and that’s what makes it all the sweeter. They overcome misplaced opinions of each other, grief, a ton of misunderstandings, and a lot of medaling to be together. When they do finally give in though! My goodness is it HOT. Benson wrote one of the hottest, most swoon-worthy, first kisses I’ve read, it will make your toes curl. There’s a car bonnet involved and that’s all I’m saying.
Purposely Accidental tackles the outrageous issue of homophobia and sexism in the workplace and specifically behind the scenes in Hollywood. The author brought to light that just because certain people of power in the industry talk the right talk on camera it does not mean that behind closed doors they are not still using the same power plays and derogative language. These people have just become more subtle about it and because they are who they are, they get away with it! This is dealt with in a very realistic way, and I love that even though there was no big ‘defeat of the villain’ moment, the characters fought for what was right when and where they could. There is a great sense of community among Wren, Maddison, and their friends that will leave you satisfied that they do what they can to make small changes, that will hopefully one day lead to equality (we can dream).
There is a brilliant cast of friends in this book, all of them fun to get to know, supportive, and full of love. There is also the most brilliant ice queen cat called Hathor to love, and a mum turn agent to be mad at and endeared to in equal proportions.
Do not miss out on the book. I highly recommend it; Benson has brought us another smash hit that surrounds you with love and feels like a big hug.
Excerpt from Purposefully Accidental by G Benson
Before Madison could say she didn’t really want to do that, Trinity had sat up straighter, grinning, tapping at her phone.
“What are you doing?” Madison asked.
Trinity waved a hand at her, and a split-second later, Madison’s phone beeped.
“Oh, God. What have you done?” Madison asked. Her phone beeped again. And again.
“You might want to adjust your notification settings,” Trinity said sweetly.
Madison reopened her Twitter on her phone. Then opened the tweet she’d been tagged in by Trinity. She’d never been tagged in a tweet. She read it aloud. “Hanging with @md_mads, who is workng side by side with @wrenackertress and @TheDownfallSeries team to make sure we get all the medical stuff right! Give her a follow #thedownfallseason2.” She looked at Trinity.
More notification sounds. One after the other.
“Yeah, you’re going to want to mute those soon.”
Madison blinked at her. More beeping. “You think?”
Trinity grinned. “They love behind the scenes stuff.”
Trinity grabbed her phone with a laugh. She tapped along. “There you go. That should keep it under control. You should edit your profile to say you’re currently working here. And link the show. They’d love that shit. And update your photo.”
“Because right now it’s just the anonymous Twitter head.”
“Can’t you do it?” That made Trinity bounce, pulling her legs up to sit cross-legged on the couch. “Are you giving me free rein?”
There was no point fighting this. “Go nuts.”
“Can I scroll through your photos to find a good one?”
“There’s a folder that has a doctor one of me.”
“I’m going to regret this, aren’t I?”
“Do you like attention?”
“Do you like being on social media?”
“Do you like having people message you inane things at two a.m.?”
“You’re going to love it!”
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9798843353698
Publisher: Indie Author
Audiobook Publisher: Tantor Audio
Narrator: Quinn Riley
Audiobook Length: 18 hours and 27 minutes
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