Cris Reads | Whatever It Takes by Dixie Lee Brown

Assassin Alex Morgan will do anything to save an innocent life—especially if it means rescuing a child from a hell like the one she endured.

But going undercover as husband and wife, with none other than the disarmingly sexy Detective Nate Sanders, may be a little more togetherness than she can handle. She's used to working alone, and no man is going to change that—not even a man who makes her heart pound and her defenses crumble with just a touch

Nate has dodged more than a few bullets over the years, but fighting his attraction for Alex may be the bullet that does him in. Still, Nate's determined to help her find the missing kid. There's no doubt in his mind that they're walking straight into danger, but Nate's willing to face anything if it means protecting Alex. She might have been on her own once, but Nate has one more mission: to stay by her side—forever.

Even though WHATEVER IT TAKES is the 4th book in the Trust No One series, and I have not read any of the previous books, this novel had me hooked from the very beginning. It did a great job of quickly rehashing Alex and Nate's first run in, which occurred in the previous novel, and introducing us to the the rest of the team in a way that provided just the right amount of information without slowing down the action. 

Alex is an incredibly brave and resilient woman. Having been taken from her home as a child and subjected to drugging, brainwashing and other barbarities, Alex somehow comes out the other side vowing to help and protect others. Her PTSD and violent outbursts make her, and sometimes those around her, feel as if she doesn't always have full control of her mind or actions. But Nate Sanders is somehow able to calm her and quiet the awful voice of her tormentor. In his arms her awful nightmares are kept at bay and she finally experiences desires which she never thought could possibly interest her.

Nate is able to look beyond the damage that Alex sees at irreparable, to the core of strength inside of her. He sticks with her, even when her defenses are up or when her mind goes to that quiet place, fueled by instinct and violence. And for the first time, she wants more than the life filled with savagery and self-recrimination that she's always known. She's never relied on anyone before and it's definitely not something that comes easy to her. But as the lines between their faux-marriage and their real romance start to blur, Alex finds herself trusting Nate to have her back. 

The road to love is definitely not smooth for Alex and Nate. Between her feelings of unworthiness, fears which cause her to push Nate away and the bevy of criminals that want them both dead, these two hardly get a moment to relax. But they definitely find time to have some sweet and sexy moments together, as much as they try to resist each other.

This was such an emotionally turbulent story. WHATEVER IT TAKES does not have flat, cookie-cutter characters or a simple, straightforward romance. Nate and Alex have experienced horrible, life-changing trauma, the kind that leaves an indelible imprint on the soul. Thanks to the Dixie Lee Brown, we get to watch Alex and Nate work their way through their own emotional labyrinths to get to a place where they value themselves and can no longer deny their rightness for each other. This was my first experience with the series and the author but I would definitely be interested in reading some more books in the series!

Disclaimer: As an Avon Addict, I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.


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Dixie Lee Brown has been writing stories for years, storing ideas and first drafts of manuscripts in every spare closet and drawer. Then one day she decided she wanted to be an author more than anything, pulled out one of those story ideas and got serious! Her romantic suspense novels are great for curling up and losing yourself in the story. Dixie moved from Montana to a small town in Central Oregon in 1972, married and raised two daughters. Today her two small dogs hold down the back of the couch and watch for intruders as she works on another novel.

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