If I Don't Ask

by E. J. Noyes

Rebecca Keane has it all figured out. With a successful career as an Army surgeon and a fresh promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, she loves her life leading a surgical team. Even if that life means she’s spent years hiding her sexuality and ignoring her desires under the Army’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Then Captain Sabine Fleischer’s arrival sets off an attraction that cracks Rebecca’s carefully cultivated armor and brings about fresh complications.

As Sabine’s direct commanding officer, Rebecca knows she cannot act on her attraction, but that knowledge does nothing to squash her desires. Unable to keep her thoughts about the alluring other woman under control, Rebecca resigns herself to years of censoring her thoughts and feelings until Sabine’s time in the Army is done. She’s spent decades suppressing parts of herself for her job, so what’s a few more years?

But as Rebecca and Sabine work closely together on Army bases in Afghanistan and the States, the undeniable sparks between them begin to ignite. And despite Rebecca’s constant self-censure, her denials and her knowledge of every obstacle standing between them, her resolve crumbles with each passing day. But when the consequences of your love run deeper than just breaking one of the unbreakable rules of the military, you risk losing more than just your heart.

If I Don’t Ask is the must-read story telling Rebecca’s side of E. J. Noyes’ best-selling Ask, Tell.



In stock



Genre Romance
Length 286 pages
Publication Date May 12, 2022
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642473919
Editor Cath Walker
Cover Designer Kayla Mancuso


Lambda Literary Awards
If I Don’t Ask — Finalist, Lesbian Romance.

GCLS Goldie Awards
If I Don’t AskWinner, Ann Bannon Popular Choice and Finalist, Contemporary Romance: Long Novels.


"In the author’s note for If I Don’t Ask I mention that this fourth book in the Ask, Tell series is basically all the things I wish I could have put into Ask, Tell—if I’d had a few hundred thousand words to play with, and a better understanding of how to craft a book back when I was writing my first novel.

When I first began writing, it was really just to fill a need I didn’t even realise I had. What began as a way to ward off boredom quickly morphed into such a part of my life that now I can’t imagine going through a day without having at least one book thought, even if I don’t write. And because writing is such a dominant part of my life, I often find myself being all introspective-y about it and how it’s such a part of me. Fairly recently, I decided that surely I must have gotten better at this author gig and reading my debut, Ask, Tell, and its sequel, Ask Me Again, in preparation for If I Don’t Ask made me realise just how much I’ve grown and learned as a word-maker since my first novel was published in 2017." To read more about E. J.'s thoughts please visit Bella Media.

—E. J. Noyes


Jill H. - I loved the first book in the series Ask, Tell which tells the story from Sabine’s point of view. If I don’t Ask is their story from Rebecca Keane’s point of view and not only does it offer a fresh perspective to their story, but it is everything it should be—outstanding story, wonderful, layered characterisations, great pacing, fabulous spoken and unspoken dialogue of both Rebecca and Sabine, and more insight into other secondary characters.

Ashlee G. - If I Don’t Ask was just the right mix of old familiarity and exciting newness. It was a lot of fun reading about Rebecca’s feelings during the early years of their relationship. This book is one of the many reasons that I will read anything that E. J. Noyes writes in the future, it is a guaranteed hit. Her work is consistently good, characters always entertaining and full of heart. I’m definitely a reader for life.

Della B. - As the story unfolds it proves once again that Noyes is at the top of her game and intends to stay there. The idea for this book, genius! The quality of writing is superb. And for all those who fell in love with Sabine in the first book, we are given a second chance to have her in our consciousness once again. If you have read the first book or reading this as a standalone, you will not be disappointed.

Cheryl W. - Once again Noyes has given us devoted fans another fantastic book to treasure. As others have said retelling this story from Rebecca’s POV is genius. In Ask, Tell we read the story from Sabine’s POV. Noyes gives us Sabine’s enthusiastic and gung-ho side the first time around and in this new version we get Rebecca’s reserved and full of angst side of the story. We also get more details on how their romance starts from when they first meet. Noyes fills in the gaps from the first book for us.

I would really like to thank E. J. For giving us this splendid read. It has all the feels and angst we all love about her books and this very special couple. Here’s to you for your great storytelling and masterful use of words to tell it.

Les B. - The Ask, Tell series is one of my favorites, so when I saw E. J. announce that we were getting a full book from Rebecca’s point of view, I was ecstatic. This series was so incredibly detailed and If I Don’t Ask is no different, from the locations, to the surgeries, to the feelings. You get absorbed into the story as if you’re there (I feel like I say this about every E. J. Noyes book, but it’s the truth). Getting more of the background from the time before Ask, Tell begins was incredible and makes their love story that much more special. I didn’t think there could be more chemistry, but knowing how Rebecca had felt, and feeling Sabine’s feelings through Rebecca, was breathtaking. Highly recommend.

Alicia E. - This is a wonderful series and an amazing standalone book, if that’s all you have time for. Do yourself a favor and read this book, you will not be disappointed.

Diane W. - This story/series will stay with you long after you're finish. A highly recommended book and series!

Lex Kent’s Reviews - If you are an Ask, Tell fan, when this comes out run, don’t walk to get this. This book actually made one of my favorite stories better and I’m a happy fangirl.

Jamie H. - The emotions in this book are wonderful. All of the angst you could want is still just as present as it was in the first book. All of the love too. This book is an absolute read if you loved the Ask Tell series, or if you love lesbian fiction. I had a blast with it. 5/5

Deb M. - This is a character driven series and because it is, Noyes takes real care to meticulously construct her characters. She pays close attention to the details of their development. Because she does, her character work is phenomenal. She gives enough backstory to create a picture of what these women believe and trust. She does this with carefully crafted scenes and splendidly structured dialogue. In addition to that, she gives each of these women a distinct and identifiable voice, one that’s fitting with their personality. Because her character development is exemplary, these women jump off the page. Readers love Rebecca and Sabine; they care deeply about them. And because they do, their story—their journey—matters.

Anne M. - The story is well told—Ms Noyes is an excellent writer—and I like the way Rebecca is fleshed out as an independent person separate from Sabine’s love. The ending is beautifully written and the whole book won’t disappoint.

Kaylee K. - If I Don't Ask adds a profound depth to Sabine and Rebecca's story, and slots in perfectly with what we already knew about the characters and their motivations.

Michele R. - E. J. Noyes just keeps getting better and better with each book that she writes. Based on the skilled pen of Noyes, I felt like I was deeply entrenched in the Forward Operating Base (FOB) locations along with Rebecca and Sabine. I felt like I was experiencing their day-to-day emotions, their suppressed desires for each other, and the push and pull of their flirty demeanor. Every emotion described in this book was purely palpable. I’d highly recommend this book and any of Noyes’ other books to readers. 5 stars

Lez Review Books
Overall, another winner by E. J. Noyes. An absolute pleasure to read. 5 stars.

Betty H. - 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.

Customer Reviews

5 reviews for If I Don’t Ask – Paperback

  1. michelle.dc

    Loved the books in this series and I was sooo excited to know that there would be a story from Rebecca’s perspective. I preordered and just finished reading the book and WOW. This book did not disappoint. I love Sabine and Rebecca and have to agree with the previous reviews. This book brings so much clarity while beautifully reeling us in to Rebecca’s obstacles to be with the woman she loves. I would recommend anyone who has read the 3 books to also read this one. To Ms. Noyes, Ask, Tell was the first book of yours, and everyone after, has been truly a joy. Thank you for bringing this and hopefully, if you can, this won’t be the last we see of Sabine and Rebecca. Maybe a where are they now years later 🤔 😉

  2. michelle.dc

    E. J. Noyes is an insta-buy author for me. This book gives us Ask, Tell from Rebecca’s perspective, and it doesn’t disappoint. We get the story from the start when they first meet, and it carries on up until the events in Ask, Tell. The Ask, Tell parts are fresh and don’t suffer from repetition. At. All.
    Wonderful storytelling as ever, from my favourite wlw author.

  3. kendra h.

    We need more! I could read book after book of these characters! If only Ask, Tell and If I Don’t Ask could be combined and made into a movie. I will be rereading these stories forever. E. J. Noyes, well done.

  4. laurie s.

    I just finished reading “If I Don’t Ask”. I’m in a bit of a book hangover. The scenes play on random repeat through my head, fill my heart with emotions, and I know I will need to wait a bit before I can start another book. I’m not ready to say goodbye to this one just yet. I love this story. My only complaint is that E. J. Noyes picks names that could have a few different pronunciations and only shares the correct one in a future book, not when the character is introduced. I found this author by following a different author on Twitter. When Karin Kallmaker mentions and retweets an author, I take it as a warm introduction.

  5. trold

    I have just finished the fifth reread of Ask, Tell and If I Don’t Ask. It is simply a fantastic story and a brilliant idea to write the same story from the I-narrator of the 2 main characters. Noyes writes so vividly and authentically that I almost experience the story from inside the head of Sabine and Rebecca. It becomes so real that I relive the story days after I close the books. I can only heartily recommend reading these books.

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