Whatever it Takes by Barbara Elsborg

Is Whatever it Takes on your TBR? If so, dig it out of your library, go to KU, or buy it and read it. What a gem of a book that Barbara Elsborg published in 2019, full of danger, intrigue and two men that fall hard and love hard.

From the blurb:

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 na├»ve 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?

SNik's Review:

Whatever it Takes is a standalone. Age gap. POC representation. Dual POV. 

Zain is a refugee from war-torn Syria trying to become a doctor in England and barely scraping by between studying and earning enough to live on. When Zain crosses paths with Roman, an honest deed puts him in the crosshairs of killers, and Roman feels compelled to help him as it is Roman’s presence that causes Zain to be in danger. 

They share an instant connection, one where Zain has dreams of something deeper and Roman can’t explain his feelings of need and obsession when it comes to Zain. Both Roman and Zain have had traumatic pasts, but when they are together, there is a lightness and hopefulness to their building relationship. But they are surrounded by danger and intrigue and violence, and hold tight to each other as they try to fight for a way through as long as they are together. 

Every single on-page moment with Roman and Zain was wonderful, full of banter, caring, two men falling in love and loving each other as hard as they can (and plenty of steamy times). 

Such a gorgeous read, I loved the characters and the story and their HEA, and I’m so glad I got a chance to read this book (a few years after its initial publication) as it is now one of my all-time favorites.

Rating: 5 Stars

Whatever it Takes is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.