I have been waiting quite impatiently for If I Don’t Ask by E.J. Noyes to land in my e-reader. I believe the “Ask, Tell Series” is one of the best series of WLW novels around and this book is the perfect addition to this group.
What is intriguing about this newest story is that with some exceptions and additions, it covers the same major events as the first book in the series. What makes this novel so different and exciting is that we see the events through the eyes of Lieutenant Colonel Rebecca Keane, a surgeon and the commanding officer of the surgical unit that includes Captain Sabine Fleischer, the main character in the first tale. If I Don’t Ask begins in 2007, two years before Ask, Tell, and of course, DADT has a major influence on both stories.
The romance between Rebecca and Sabine is even more multi-layered as we now get to see it through Rebecca’s perspective, which provides so much more meaning and feeling to their love story. In this book we get to see how they meet. We also get to watch them slowly become aware of the chemistry between them even as they must hide it because of DADT and their positions in the Army. Although I knew when some of the major events would happen, they all seemed new and fresh coming from Rebecca’s perspective. For instance, I knew when “the incident” was going to happen, but seeing it through Rebecca’s eyes had me in tears all over again.
It was great seeing all the characters again that I’d connected with in earlier novels. They are just as real and human as I remember them. The setting of the hospital unit in Afghanistan is so vividly described, I almost felt like I was there. I felt the extreme cold and dry heat. I marveled at the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets the two women shared. I felt like I was there in the surgical rooms during the traumatic events. The author made this story come alive through her descriptions.
This novel and this series has my highest praise and recommendation. If you have already read the other novels, make sure you read this one. If this is a new series for you, then you should read them all. I normally say you should read them in order, but I’m going to change that here. I know this book will be listed as the fourth book in the series, but you might enjoy reading it as the second one, and then finish the rest of the novels as normal. Whatever you do, read this book.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bella Books for an honest review.