Reviews for Whatever It Takes
Booklist, The American Library Association's magazine
Griggs' heartwarming, small-town story is filled with an eccentric collection of characters and lightly sprinkled with gentle humor. Fans of Linda Lael Miller's Springwater series and Jill Marie Landis' westerns will enjoy this hard-to-put-down novel about a man and a woman who are infinitely better than they think they are.
Romantic Times (Rating: 4 Stars - Compelling)
A la Nicholas Sparks, this novel takes on a topic unusual to the romance genre, the effects of suicide on survivors. But, unlike Sparks, Winnie Griggs doesn't cloud the love story or destroy the happy ending.
The Romance Reader Connection (Rating: 4 Plugs - An excellent book!)
This wonderfully written page-turner had me laughing out loud and crying for the characters. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a story about finding true love and learning to forgive yourself. Love wins in a novel of pleasurable and traditional reading.
Author Winnie Griggs pens an engaging historical romance in Whatever It Takes. ... rich characterizations complete with endearing vulnerabilities and emotional depth, will inevitably capture reader's hearts. Light hearted and entertaining, Whatever It Takes comes highly recommended.
Escape To Romance (Rating: 4 roses - An excellent book, one we highly recommend)
Whatever It Takes is a tale of love and acceptance. The storyline is fresh and engaging with characters you will fall in love with. I enjoyed this heartwarming book immensely. Winnie Griggs has written a true gem.
Romance and Friends
Whatever It Takes is a great story filled with realistic, likeable characters, humorous moments and sweet, poignant romance. If you are looking for an enjoyable, well-written romantic story, look no further than Winnie Griggs' latest offering. Ms. Griggs knows how to create an entertaining story that readers will love and Whatever It Takes is the perfect story to curl up with, any day of the week.
Romance Reviews Today
Winnie Griggs has again given readers a heart-warming tale that brought more than one lump to my throat. Likable, realistic characters and a sweet, uniquely presented story line are trademarks of Ms. Griggs's writing. Maddy and Clay will tug at your heart and give you a few chuckles with their banter. With a charming, smile-provoking cast of secondary players, sparkling dialogue, and a vignette of nineteenth-century living, Whatever It Takes has something for every romance reader. I highly recommend Whatever It Takes. Don't miss it.
Scribes World (Rating: 4 stars - Very Good: A must read)
One of the rare, sweet historical romances on the market, Griggs has created a unique brand of characters.
Tami Sutton, Reviewer
I finished Whatever It Takes today.....another one sitting read! The book was terrific.... You never disappoint your readers! :)
Excerpt from Whatever It Takes
(from Chapter Four)
Clay took Maddy's hand and gave it a squeeze, feeling her pulse jump in response. "Now, you'd best wipe that stern look off your face. Remember, we're putting on a show. And I do believe the parlor curtains just moved."
Her eyes shifted, but to her credit she didn't turn around. Instead she returned his smile with an almost-genuine one of her own. "Then we'd best appear to be friends, had we not?"
"My thoughts exactly." He lifted her hand to his lips for what he intended to be a courtly farewell salute. As soon as his lips touched her flesh, however, a spark of awareness ignited, sharpening his senses.
The chirping of crickets played counterpoint to the deep-throated croak of a frog in the otherwise still night. He caught a faint whiff of the scent she wore, a combination of rose and lavender. The sweet smell of honeysuckle wafted by on the breeze, almost overpowering her more subtle perfume. Despite what he'd said earlier, the night shadows gave the illusion of privacy.
Clay gave himself a mental shake, irritated by the direction his thoughts had taken. What was wrong with him? He barely knew this woman, had some questions about her motives, and she'd made him party to a scheme he had strong reservations about. And she'd made it abundantly clear, more than once, that she didn't altogether approve of him either.
No, he couldn't be attracted to her - it was just reaction to the setting and the long day he'd endured.
He had himself back under control now, though. She wanted to put on a performance for her friends and neighbors, did she? Perhaps it was time to let her see that he intended to add some of his own lines to her script.
Clay allowed his lips to linger on her hand while his finger stroked the underside of her delicate wrist. Her pulse jumped again. He straightened slowly, retaining his hold on her hand as he offered her his most seductive smile.
He felt a smug satisfaction when a light shiver fluttered her shoulders and her eyes widened with a startled, doe-like intensity. Apparently she wasn't as immune to the Kincaid charm as she'd like to have him believe.
Her lips parted slightly, drawing his gaze with the sultry promise of a siren's song. If he kissed those full, lush lips, would they live up to their promise of rose petal softness and warmed honey sweetness?
His head had already lowered toward hers when he suddenly came to his senses. For the second time.
Blast! What was wrong with him?
He leaned back, forcing himself to give her a lazy grin. "That's probably enough of a show for the first night, don't you think?"
As if he'd dashed cold water in her face, her head snapped up and her expression lost its soft, unfocused quality. She looked as if she wanted to slap his face.
Was it because he'd gone too far?
Or because he hadn't gone far enough?
"Yes, quite enough," she agreed with a short nod. "Good night, Cousin Clayton. I'll see you in the morning."
He gave her a farewell salute and set off down the front walk, whistling a jaunty tune.
But jaunty was the last thing he was feeling.
Seems it would be more difficult to remain distant while he played Romeo to her Juliet than he'd first imagined.
* * *
Maddy leaned against the closed front door for a moment, Mr. Kincaid's-- no, Cousin Clayton's carefree whistle taunting her even as it faded.
She gripped her hands to quiet the shaking. Thank goodness that particular reaction had waited until he walked away.
Of course it had all been an act, and a very good one too. It was her own fault she'd let herself believe, just for a moment, that he felt some genuine attraction. He'd only been doing what she'd instructed him to do. How could she have forgotten--
A noise from the parlor brought her head up, reminding her she wasn't alone. Time to pull herself back together. She pushed away from the door and moved to the stairway, determinedly ignoring the roiling of her stomach. It was time to tuck Katie in for the night. Consistency and order were important to a child.
They were important to her too. Not that she couldn't deal with the occasional break in routine or spontaneous display, she assured herself. After all, look at the household she maintained. She was rather proud of the fact that the ladies of Barrows House were considered eccentrics by the community at large. It was just that today had been rather more full of surprises than a body could rightly be expected to absorb in so short a space of time.
She used the handrail for support as she trudged up the stairs. Why had he come a day early? Why couldn't he have been the kind of man she'd described in her letter? And why had he made her remember that she could never, ever let herself love another man?
Well, she had Clayton Kincaid's measure now. He obviously wasn't accustomed to taking orders, and seemed to be in the habit of using his charm to get his way. It wasn't realistic to think she could change him in the short time available, so she'd just have to figure out how to use his arrogant manner to suit her purpose.
Not an easy charge, but not impossible. After all, she only had to make it through four weeks of what he'd called their 'courting ritual' and then she could settle back into the comfortable, familiar life with the family she'd built for herself.
With a nod, she resolutely dismissed her fear that Clayton I'll-do-it-my-way-thank-you-very-much Kincaid would somehow change her world forever.
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