Review: What It Takes by Kathryn Ascher


After graduating college, Kelsey Morgan left her small-town Virginia roots to make it in L.A. After years slogging in commercials and music videos, her movie career is finally taking off. But she’s still miles behind her current costar, and Hollywood playboy, Patrick Lyons. Kelsey does everything she can to avoid Patrick off-set, hoping to not become fodder for the supermarket tabloids that scour the streets for Patrick, trying to get an exclusive look at him and his alleged woman of the week. Kelsy has successfully kept Patrick at a distance, and her reputation intact, until her drunkard brother-in-law Richard threatens to ruin everything by selling her darkest secret to the highest bidder. Now the victim of blackmail, Kelsey has nowhere else to turn but to Patrick’s arms. But, can he be trusted? Or will the past destroy them all before she can find out if he’s the hero she needs?


Publisher: Boutique of Quality Books

Pages: 314


The publisher gave me a copy of this book to read and review (from NetGalley). This has, in no way, altered my opinion of the book and what is written below is a 100% honest review.

Hmmm, this review is tough for me. I don’t read that many new adult novels (quite often because they tend to turn raunchy). This was, as the cover indicates, a new adult romance and I thought I knew what I was getting into when I requested it from the publishers. I’d say that it turned out to be better than I expected, but it still tended to lean to the more “cheesy” side of things than I like.

The story is cliche, but realistic: a woman (Kelsey) is hurt in her early college years, ends up pregnant, and six years later she is still sorting out the emotional troubles her last serious boyfriend left her with. She’s a budding actress and is signed to a movie with a rich playboy actor (Patrick Lyons). She feels an immediate attraction to him, but she hates his playboy image (and all of the stuff that is written about him in the tabloids), so she stays clear of him for the purpose of protecting her frail heart. But, oh goody-goody, they are playing high school sweethearts on set. Are they acting? Or is it real? Hmm. Lots of tension and swooning there.

Patrick Lyons was an interesting character to me. I enjoyed Ascher’s use of an omniscient narrator at times – I felt like, as a reader, I got the best of both worlds by getting an inside look at the characters’ feelings and thoughts about each other. At other times, I felt like it just revealed the formulaic nature of the novel. Patrick Lyons is one heck of a hunk, but he’s also a super sweet man with a compassionate and caring heart. He’s strong and protective. Although he’s slept with a bunch of women, he insists that Kelsey is different and he tries to move past the walls that she keeps building. Kelsey is attracted to him from the beginning, but she stays away from him because he is “bad” and Patrick finds this delightfully refreshing.


R: Two sexually explicit scenes toward the end of the book. Few mentions of sh*t, and f*ck. Ages 18+.


It kept my interest even though it was a long book. The pages kept turning and I felt like the characters were enjoyable. The kids, Zach and Zoe, were adorable. Emotions were realistic and I didn’t feel like they were exaggerated at all.


I don’t know. Call me a prude or whatever (honestly, I’ve heard it all), but I felt ripped off at the end. First of all, I felt like the ending was super abrupt. Sure, Patrick and Kelsey have great chemistry, but he’s a total womanizer. Is it really possible that she could have completely changed him? Plus, they have sex and I’m supposed to feel like he’s completely changed and just loves her. I don’t know, it’s a romance novel. I do know that it’s not supposed to be realistic. I guess I’m just being critical because I hate investing myself into a novel and the characters just to find a raunchy sex scene 83% of the way through. And then, he asks her to move in with him (when he’s never asked a woman to stay overnight at his apartment) and that’s supposed to be a gigantic commitment and a huge show of Patrick’s character development. When, really, he’s just asking her to live in his house. Sure, he’s changed and he loves her, but I don’t really see the commitment there. I’m just sort of frustrated.

Overall, it was an okay read. I’m not super happy with it, but it wasn’t bad. If you’re looking for a romantic read that’s a bit bumpy (not in writing, but in the plot line), check this one out! But, otherwise, I’d stay away.

I give it 2/5.2-5-Stars

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