Who’d Have Thought by G Benson is a romance that has a whole bunch of my favourite themes. It has an age gap, a thawing ice queen, a rich girl/poor girl relationship, a marriage of convenience, and it’s a medical workplace romance. And on top of all of that, it delivers a great story!
Hayden Pérez is an ER nurse with a cash flow problem. A middle-of-the-night online surfing session brings Hayden to an intriguing Craiglist ad seeking a wife for a year in exchange for “generous compensation.” With sky-high student loans and a huge chunk of her paycheck going to her family in another state, Hayden responds to the ad, even though she thinks nothing will ever come of it.
Except Hayden does hear back from the owner of the ad and when she shows up at a coffee shop, Hayden is shocked to learn that it’s none other than Samantha Thomson. Doctor Samantha Thomson, talented neurosurgeon and bane of Hayden’s existence. Hayden can’t stand the cold and rude doctor, but when she finds out that she’ll get more than $200,000 at the end of their year of marriage, she agrees anyway. Now to convince everyone she knows that she’s head over heels and ready to elope after a month…
Hayden is a really good, solid person. She works her butt off to support her family and doesn’t have much of a life outside of work apart from her best friend Luce, who also happens to be a nurse at the same hospital. She’s funny and smart and is determined to make the most of any bad situation that comes her way, even if it means marrying someone she can’t stand to be around.
Sam is a total ice queen at the start of the book. She’s 100% focused on her patients, to the point of being a dismissive jerk to other people at the hospital (like, say the nurses in the ER when she comes down for a consult). The whole story is told from Hayden’s perspective, so we only learn about Sam and her character growth through her interactions with Hayden. Even so, it’s satisfying to learn why she wanted the marriage of convenience in the first place and also watch her attraction to Hayden grow even when Hayden isn’t aware of it.
The side characters in Who’d Have Thought are also interesting and add great texture to the story. Luce is non-binary and prefers gender-neutral pronouns and I appreciated seeing how Benson handled that. Hayden’s interactions with Luce and her discussion with Sam about Luce are a great primer on how to not be a jerk about pronouns with someone who prefers to use “they.” We also get to know Hayden’s family and see just how lovely they are, even as they struggle with the reason why Hayden needs to send money home.
The Writing Style
Who’d Have Thought has the slowest of slow burns to it, carefully building Sam and Hayden’s relationship from colleagues who don’t talk to acquaintances to friends and then lovers. It’s beautiful to watch as they get to know each other better and grow (or thaw) in ways that are necessary for them to each realize that the other is really good for her.
Benson is really great at writing dialogue and scenarios that are very funny, which balances some of the serious subject matter well. Just like with All the Little Moments and Flinging It, I found her writing style in Who’d Have Thought so addictive that I was showing up at work bleary eyed because I was up so late reading.
All my favourite themes. All of them. Okay, fine, most of them. But still. So many great themes, and they’re so well balanced that the book is just a joy to read.
This book is kind of difficult to talk about without spoiling too much.
Excerpt from Who’d Have Thought by G Benson
“Speaking of cats, I’m assuming yours would move in with you.”
Moving in. Hayden did her best to shrug off the weird feeling that induced. She’d only lived with a partner once, and that hadn’t ended well. “Well, he goes where I go. So, yes.”
“Okay. Does he leave the apartment? As my apartment doesn’t really have access to the street.”
“No. He’s a very lazy, happy housecat.”
“Okay, he’s a very lazy, hates-everything housecat.”
“I can’t wait to meet him.” Sam’s voice was as dry as the gin in her glass, and Hayden bit the inside of her cheek in delight.
“Was that sarcasm?” Completely against her will, Hayden felt a corner of her lips trying to tug up into a smirk.
“I didn’t know you had it in you.”
Sam sipped her drink. “There’s a lot you don’t know.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9783955338749
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
G Benson Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Who’d Have Thought by G Benson. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.
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