Whatever It Takes

Cat Kelly
Whatever It Takes
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Evernight Publishing
Release Date
May 2013
Book 3 of NYC Confidential
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

Scandal-wracked playboy, Charlie Marchetti, arrives in New York two days before his brother's wedding, determined to prove he's a reformed man, reliable, responsible and—yeah, all those good 'R' adjectives. No trouble, no drama and no mistakes. Ah, the best laid plans...

First, the airline lost his luggage. Second, all five of his ex-wives are coming to the wedding, probably just to remind Charlie he's an ass who takes nothing seriously and will die alone and unloved. Oh, and third, he has no date for the wedding.

Then he meets Persey Chancellor at lost luggage. Within minutes she's summed him up as a "bastard" and a "pervert". Damn it, but he's intrigued. With gum in her hair and tattoos up her arm, this uninhibited, potty-mouthed stranger could be his shocking trump card—an ultimate prank on the ex-wives.

Can the man dubbed "Charming Charlie" by the paparazzi, convince Persey to spend two days posing as his unlikely girlfriend? Hey, he'll do whatever it takes. But the last laugh might just be on him.

Be Warned: anal sex, spanking

Book Review by Angie Just Read... (reviewer)
Jul 08, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
135 people found the following review helpful
Relationships are hell. Making the same mistakes over and over is simply toxic. Running away is key to avoiding another disastrous disappointment. But watch out, love is decidedly quick and sneaky, even if it's said to be blind.

Caesar "Charlie" Marchetti has lived an uber-rich, womanizing, playboy lifestyle since coming into a multi-billion dollar inheritance at the age of fifteen. In his thirty-six years, he's got five ex-wives, one daughter, and numerous paparazzi stories to prove it. But after listening to years of admonishments from his responsible older brother Jack, his well-meaning old aunties, and all those exes, he managed to spend six quietly productive months in Dubai opening a new branch of the family's retail empire, and he didn't even look at a woman while he was there. He was set upon staying his course of turning over a new leaf until he found out that his brother's well-aged and spiteful assistant had purposely invited all of his five exes to Jack's upcoming wedding.

Having five former wives gloating over the fact that he was bound to die old, alone, and unloved was more than Charlie could stomach. So, besides dealing with his lost luggage, he now, on very short notice, had to find a woman who would agree to be his date at the wedding. Said woman would have to be just as adverse to romantic entanglements as he now was, and she'd have to be as different from the type of women he normally dated as chalk was to cheese. It was definitely not an easy task to accomplish in New York City on short notice, but it was better than appearing pathetic in front of a passel of women with their claws unsheathed and set upon ripping him apart.

Persey "Lou" Chancellor, stage name Lou Chance, landed in New York with very little cash, no credit card, and her luggage was lost. Having passed out on stage during her latest concert, and likely bound for a stint in rehab, she escaped a London hospital and her controlling father and an entourage of handlers. Devastated that the drug-pushing fiancé, whom she'd tried so hard to be supportive of, was just another cheater and lying loser, user, and abuser, she spiraled down into another vodka induced haze of self-loathing that abruptly ended with her bleeding and sinking into blackness during her latest performance.

Sadly, Persey could no longer hear her muse without the aid of vodka, and getting away from that life for a few days and sorting herself out would be impossible if anyone recognized her under her dowdy hooded coat and pale face. As long as no one knew where she'd escaped to, they couldn't immediately pull her back into the life that had quickly grown into a prison that stifled her as a person and killed all chance of her finding any sort of happiness.

When the elegantly dressed older man standing behind her in lost luggage asked Persey if he could give her a ride after overhearing her tell the clerk she had no place to stay, she thought he was either a pervert who liked younger women, or that he just might recognize her as her alter ego Lou Chance. He certainly looked familiar, but she couldn't put a name to his face.

Desperation to leave the crowded airport where she might be recognized at any time had Persey reluctantly agreeing to go with Charlie Marchetti to the upscale hotel of which he claimed to be a major shareholder. On the ride there, having him chastise her and treat her like an overprotective father was irritating, but upon arrival, she quickly agreed to go up to his suite when she saw recognition of who she was dawn in the eyes of a teenaged fan in the hotel's lobby.

Being in hiding, and with so many reasons to stay hidden, Persey is confounded by the sudden and inexplicable onset of sexual attraction she feels for Charlie. As a mature, older man who is fifteen years her senior, he's nothing like the young, pale, skinny guys she's normally attracted to. Though they have nothing in common, Charlie's kindness and mischievous nature make the pull of attraction stronger, but Persey can't risk telling Charlie that she's the infamous Lou Chance.

As for Charlie, he's completely open and honest with Persey about his own past, but he's uneasy about the abruptness of his unfathomable fascination with the young woman. At first, she appears to be a rebellious teen in need of saving from herself, and she's outspoken and has an explicitly foul mouth to boot, but once she cleans up, her curves, confidence, and passport reveal she's twenty-one. A snarky girl with tattoos and piercings like Persey is just what Charlie needs for a wedding date. His exes will receive the shock of their lives, and surely his better judgment will prevent him from acting on the wild sexual urges this totally inappropriate young woman is having on his libido. She never even has to know he wants her to be his date just for the shock value. It's simply a favor in exchange for helping her out, right?

With easy camaraderie leading to a sudden burning passion, Charlie allows himself to be seduced by Persey, who is his total opposite in every way. But letting go isn't possible when Charlie's shocked family reveals Persey's on-stage identity, and Persey, in turn feels the sting of betrayal when she overhears that Charlie only chose to take an odd and homely thing like her to his brother's wedding to smite his ex-wives. Can the burning hot, totally unexpected relationship between such a strangely mismatched couple be saved?

In WHATEVER IT TAKES, Cat Kelly makes use of real life drama from the lives of music artists such as Amy Winehouse, Adele, and numerous young pop starlets who provide the meal tickets for their pushy parents and hangers-on lovers, friends, and handlers, to create a convincing and passionate romance that develops between the unlikeliest of couples.

Persey's characterization as a gritty, twenty-one year-old, pierced, tattooed, and angst-ridden singer that's losing her soul is spot on. She's a perfect foil for Charlie, the silver spoon, dapper-dressed, former devil-may-care who is suddenly trying to live up to his family's expectations but doubts he'll ever find a woman that will complete him. Ms. Kelley's bedroom scenes are sensual and far from vanilla, but they don't upstage her highly readable plot that mirrors the music industry's newspaper and tabloid headlines. Readers that follow the popular music scene are sure to enjoy this edgy tale.
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