Thursday, August 10, 2017

*ARC* What It Takes - Review

What It Takes: A Dirt Road Love Story

By: Sonya Loveday

Published: May 27, 2017

242 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Source: ebook, ARC from Netgalley

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Gracen Lowell is on the hunt for a man—but not just any man. He has to be ‘the one’. Her only problem is that no one she’s dated has ever measured up to the charming qualities of her best friend. 

Slade Owens knows no matter how much he loves Gracen, he’ll never be what she’s looking for. And he dang sure isn’t going to stick around to watch her fall in love with someone else. Slade leaving the Owens’ family farm for an out-of-state job should put enough distance between the two to allow him to move on with his life and Gracen to search for her happily-ever-after. 

Gracen knows asking him to stay isn’t fair. Slade thinks leaving her behind is the only thing to do. Inexplicably drawn together, the best friends must decide if they have what it takes to own up to their feelings… before it’s too late.
I really enjoyed this story! Cowboys, Texas, childhood best friends! There's nothing sweeter to me than stories about childhood best friends that find love. It gets me right in the soft spot of my heart every single time! I also had a bit of nostalgic feelings as the story had me reminiscing of my own childhood growing up in southeast Texas.

In this story Gracen and her father moved to the Owens Ranch in Texas when she was 5 years old. She grew up riding horses and swimming in creeks and doing all the things the Owen's brothers did. She was closest to Slade and they grew up thicker than blood. A bond between them that was unbreakable. They moved in each other's space like breathing air. But friendship was all they ever had. Gracen was convinced that she was on a journey to find the "right one" and though she deeply loved Slade, had fallen in love with him, she didn't believe he reciprocated the same deep feelings for her. On the flip side, Slade has been in love with Gracen for a long time but he doesn't think she feels that way for him - as much as she goes on and on about finding Mr. Right, he figures he must not be that for her. He'd rather have her friendship than nothing at all. Best friends for 16 years is not something he's willing to give up. So he decides it's time to move on and give her the space she needs to find whoever that right guy is, without him always being around. So he takes a job in Montana. That should be far enough away.

With Slade away Gracen allows herself to open up to the possibility of someone other than him. Though she's depressed and destraught and can't fully function without Slade there. He's been her rock for so long she's lost without him. Not to mention the conditions in which he left. She can't continue to pine after someone that in her mind, doesn't want her in the same way. The new ranch hand, Clint, is handsome and charming and he continues to gently pursue her until she finally gives in.

Yes, it was frustrating that Slade and Gracen didn't communicate better about their feelings, but after finishing the story I can understand their hesitation to "lay all their cards on the table". Having been friends for so long they stood to lose a great deal if they let romantic feelings in and things didn't work out. On the flip side, you stand to gain so much by just being upfront and honest. That's life though isn't it? Always learning lessons the hard way.

This story deals with physical abuse. It is scary and heavy. But it also deals with friendship and love and family and loyalty. I was definitely getting hit with a lot of feels! It was a fast read and every page had me wanting to come back for more. For my first book by Sonya Loveday I was quite pleased and I definitely see myself picking up some more books by her.

Top 5 Favorite Quotes:
"Your muscly muscles are hurting me."

"Princess, I already bow at your feet as it is."

My daddy had always told me a man's word was his honor. If a man couldn't uphold his word, what kind of man was he?

"A man ain't much of a man if he can try to darken someone like that...try to take their light."

"Family of our choosing is sometimes even better than the ones we're stuck with by blood."

Language: 2 (medium)
Mature Content: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4 stars


  1. I think this sounds like my kinda read. I can see why Slade and Gracen not communicating with each other on how they feel would be frustrating, but at lreasy your were still able to enjoy them both. Great review.

    Jenea's Book Obsession


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