War in Syria has devastated Zain’s country, destroyed his family and broken his heart. When there is nothing left to stay for, he journeys to England, determined to follow in his father’s footsteps and train as a doctor in London. He might be a refugee with no money, no friends and no qualifications but he still has his dreams and he’ll do whatever it takes to ensure his future turns out to be the one he wants.
Roman is a world away from the naïve Russian boy who lost everything, one devastating day. Now he’s a fixer for a wealthy Russian, keeping the guy’s business dealings away from the attention of the British authorities. Roman is balanced on a moral tightrope which grows more unsteady by the day. The last thing he needs is to become emotionally involved with a young Syrian, especially when he can’t afford to trust anyone.
A chance discovery in Roman’s car by Zain sets off a violent chain reaction and Zain is thrown into a world that threatens not just his dreams but his life. Roman has difficult decisions to make. He’s determined to do whatever it takes to keep Zain safe. But lingering shadows from their pasts as well as prominent figures from Roman’s present need to be eliminated if they’re to have a chance together.
As lies and danger escalate, are they doomed before they’ve even begun?
If there’s one thing I’ve come to expect with any…experience from Elsborg, it’s her ability to put me under her spell. And I do mean experience because she does more than pen stories. My pace slows and I spend days working my way through her words as if the pages are laced with quicksand. My heart often gallops as if I’m running a race and I clench my teeth between gasps of forgetting to breathe. I want to finish within the first day but find myself unhurried. Afterward, I mull over particular parts and return to the pages to relive striking scenes. Then it takes me weeks to digest everything. Whatever it Takes is a dramatic and angst-riddled tale that gripped my heart from the very beginning and has yet to let go.
We meet both Roman and Zain during their childhood and as much as it gutted me, I found this history critical. Zain and his family are simply trying to survive the war in Syria. Sadly, there is nothing simple about this. It’s real, in your face…and it broke my heart. I became his biggest cheerleader and longed for him to achieve his goal of practicing medicine. Dreams and hope kept him alive. I held onto this thread of faith, willing him to keep going. Roman did not fare much better during his younger years. When tragedy struck his life I cried with him. For him. He took another path to endure and did what he needed to do. I felt there was more to his story than he was sharing with us and was willing to be patient and wait. I was rewarded….although my fingernails may beg to differ! It’s emotional, exciting and exhausting!
So much. I loved Zain and I loved Roman just as much by the final pages. There is darkness but there is also blinding light. I loved how deeply fleshed both Zain and Roman were. I felt confident that I knew them, even when they questioned things themselves. Zain is a refugee in London desperately trying to stay true to his path. Roman takes care of things for his boss. Leaving Russia wasn’t part of his plan until his plans scattered one tragic birthday. Fate brings them together and knocks both off their equilibrium. They live polar lives but can’t deny the magnetism that buzzes between them. Whew! Talk about crazy chemistry. They are smoking hot but they are also surprisingly tender. I loved Zain’s witty humor. I loved Roman’s protected secrets and special rocks. I loved how they found pure joy in the simplest things. I loved how they loved one another. And I absolutely adored the epilogue.
War…it’s gritty and gruesome. Adrenaline rush…they flee and they fight. But the essence of their thrilling tale is that even damaged hearts have a perfect match!
Not the faint of heart. But! If you like action-packed thrillers with your romance, this riveting ride will take you as far as needed…for they will do whatever it takes.