Whatever it Takes by Nicole Dennis ~ Book Review by Brandilyn

Whatever-it-TakesTitle: Whatever it Takes

Author: Nicole Dennis

Publisher: MLR Press

Cover Artist: unknown

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 04/01/2016

Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)

Genre: Contemporary, Gay Romance


At a crossroads in life, one man will do whatever he must to rekindle the spark.

It takes an eye-opening talk for Riley Gordan to realize there’s something wrong in his twelve-year relationship with Conor Flemming. He creates extravagant events for same-sex proposals and weddings to over-the-top holiday parties, but he never considered one for Conor and him. Busier than ever, he realized his time with Conor had shrunk. He decides to use his event planning skills and put them to work to rekindle the spark.

Conor Flemming creates extraordinary cakes for anything from a cancer survivor’s celebration of life to a same-sex wedding, but never one for himself. When it comes to his life with Riley, he knows it’s failing, but not sure where it all went wrong. The silence hurts and worries him. Until a flurry of text messages changes the situation.

My View:

Nicole Dennis’ Whatever It Takes is a sweet and thoughtful look at what happens when a relationship isn’t nurtured and cared for. It is a look at what happens when one person has given up and the other isn’t ready to let go – but not in a stalkery way.

It is inspired by a beautiful and heartbreaking song from the band Lifehouse.

Before reading the story, I had not heard the song… or at least it wasn’t one to which I knew the lyric. However, I have since listened to Whatever It Takes by Lifehouse and can say that Dennis captured the song perfectly with Connor and Riley’s story.

Connor and Riley have been in love for over a decade. They have been partners in life and work for all that time. They, especially Riley, have gotten complacent and don’t see what is happening until it is almost too late. With a little kick in the pants from a mutual friend, however, Riley looks around at there life and realizes he is about to lose everything precious to him.

You see from the beginning how much Riley cares for Connor. You see that he wants nothing but good things for him, so you can’t help but root for them as a couple as they find their way back to each other. Back together.

Connor for his part has given up. He thinks Riley is done with him and is preparing to move on. He almost doesn’t recognize the change in Riley. He almost doesn’t see the love Riley still has for him.

This is a story about love and the work it takes to keep it going strong. It is a good heads-up for anyone in a long-term relationship. The villain in the story was almost comical, but given the short nature of a novella, he kind of had to be to cause the mayhem he did. There were also a few short scenes for which I never figured out a purpose and would have been better served left out.

I consider this story a good way to spend an hour or so. In short, Whatever it Takes is a beautiful story for a beautiful song.


Whatever it Takes on Goodreads
MLR Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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