Title: Worth The Fall (McKinney Brothers, #1)
Author: Claudia Connor
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 9 2014
Prepare to be swept away by a talented debut author with a passionate, powerful story to tell.
They meet on a beach. . . . Abby Davis isn’t wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she’s busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn’t looking for fun—he’s a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions . . . and fallen brothers.
They only have a week. . . . Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories they deserve. Matt’s been sidelined by a combat injury, and haunted by the best friend he lost and the promise he made: to remain a SEAL—focused and dedicated. This leaves no time for what he’s always wanted: a family.
But a week is all it takes. . . . Matt opens her heart while Abby soothes his soul. And though they plan to say good-bye when the week is over, something magical happens on that beach, something neither can forget. Something utterly, completely worth falling for.
“How did you put into words the moment you found your heart?”
Worth the Fall is book one in Claudia Connor’s new series entitled The McKinney Brothers. This author is new to me so I knew that this would could go one of two ways – fantastically amazing or abysmally awful. What a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be. What I was expecting was a steamy man meets woman hear me roar type of romance. Seriously, have you seen that cover??? Delicious! What I got was a sweet and poignant tale of love that shot straight to my heart as the story unfolded.
“A scared rabbit, terrified of letting anyone too close.”
“A strong man with soft eyes. Eyes that could talk a girl into anything.”
Matt McKinney and Abby Davis meet while they are both vacationing on a beach. Matt is there with his cousin while Abby is vacationing with her four young children. Matt is on a medical leave after receiving an injury while on active duty as a Navy SEAL. His cousin, Rob, talked him into going with him for a few days of relaxation on the beach. Matt only intended to stay for a few short days but, after meeting Abby and her children, he can’t resist lengthening his time on the beach in hopes of spending time with the family. Abby is a young widow who is pregnant with her fifth child. She is hoping to give her children one great vacation before school commences. After all, they definitely deserve some happiness seeing as they lost their father six months prior. A friendship develops between Matt and Abby as he spends time with her and her adorable children who are drawing him in just as much as their mother. When the time comes for them to go their separate ways, Matt and Abby realize that they have developed a deeper bond and connection that either of them could have ever expected. But, they live in two different states and Matt is due to return to active duty which will have him leaving the country once again. How would a relationship ever work between the pair?
Matt is torn between a sense of duty to his deceased brother-at-arms and his need to be there for Abby and her children the way they deserve. Abby has known nothing but abandonment her entire life. She has learned the hard way that to love is to lose. Abby is not one to let her carefully constructed walls down too easily and she tries to convince herself that she is happy being independent and alone. She may feel like she is unlovable and have abandonment issues; however, she has to be there for her children and so she fends for herself and for them. Matt has his work cut out for him when it comes to proving to the young mother that he is not going to leave her to live her life alone without a partner who can support her. I loved the gradual development of Matt and Abby’s relationship. Abby’s trust had to be earned and there was so much at stake with all four children falling hopelessly in love with Matt as well.
I do enjoy it when authors add children to their romance stories, but it has to be done well as the children can often take over the story leaving the romance part falling short. Annie, Jack, Gracie and Charlie won me over right from the start. I could not help but fall in love with these four amazing children who had lost so much in their young lives. Matt fell into the role of surrogate father so easily and had so much love to offer. There were so many moments between him and the children, individually and collectively, that simply clutched at my heart strings. I loved it!
The road to a happy forever was not an easy one for Matt and Abby. There were some immense obstacles that they had to overcome but, with this being stated, their journey was nothing short of beautiful. All in all, Worth the Fall was a wonderful debut novel by Claudia Connor. It was a book that truly touched my heart and had me fighting off tears as well as sighing happily. I am absolutely excited for the next book in the series about another McKinney brother due out in January 2015.
He liked watching her when she didn’t know. There were no games. No trying to impress him. Just beautiful and real. The kind of woman a man would do everything in his power to keep. He at least wanted to keep her for now.
Abby settled in the chair beside him, and a calm washed over him like the waves of the Atlantic. For the first time in a long time outside of work, he felt like he knew what he was doing. Knew where he was supposed to be.
She shifted and he imagined her cute little bottom wiggling in front of him. Abby. He liked to say her name, liked to think it. He felt the air move, inhaled her scent as she leaned closer. Looking her fill, was she? Well, he’d make damn sure he got his turn. He forced himself to breathe slowly and evenly until he couldn’t take it anymore. “You’re staring,” he said, opening his eyes and angling his head, catching her in the act.
She jerked back all discombobulated. “No, I’m not.”
“You were.” But she wasn’t nearly as close now, making him regret interrupting the moment. “I felt you.”
She gave him a snarky look, if one could call it that on such a gorgeous face. “You couldn’t have felt me. I didn’t touch you.”
“Well, I did.”
“Superhuman powers?” she asked.
He smiled. Snarky voice too. “Close your eyes.”
She made a point of watching the kids.
“I’ve got the kids. Trust me,” he added.
With his last words, her eyes snapped back to his. She searched his face, but finally her eyes closed.
Her chest rose and fell as she breathed, the top of her bathing suit cupping soft, sweet breasts. He leaned close enough to see each fine hair of her feathered brow.
Unable to fight it, he cupped her face, gently smoothed the furrow between her brows with his thumb. Her eyes popped open, and he dropped his hand but didn’t move back. An involuntary smile stretched his face as a warm feeling spread through him. Happiness maybe?
“Could you feel me?”
“Of course I could.” She averted her gaze and tucked flying strands of her hair behind her cute little ear. “You were touching me.”
Yep. He had an effect on her. And she couldn’t hide it worth a damn. His smile grew.
He’d let her think she could. For now.
“What?” she asked, catching more silky strands in her fingers.
She has no idea how beautiful she is. Then, realizing how close he was to putting his lips
to hers, he forced himself to sit back. “Don’t fight it.” “Huh?”
“Your hair.” He could smell it from here, the wind blowing her scent over him. “It wants to be down.”
Keeping her eyes on his, she slowly pulled the elastic band from her hair and all that dark silk tumbled down past her shoulders. Damn. He needed a diversion.
About The Author
Claudia Connor attended Auburn University, where she received her undergraduate and masters degrees in early childhood education, and completed her studies in Sawbridgeworth, England. Always a lover of happy endings, she enjoys movies, reading, and spending her days putting on paper the stories in her head. She lives near Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and three daughters.
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