For readers of Bella Andre, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Connor follows up her heartfelt debut, Worth the Fall, with a novel about Matt’s brother, Stephen. When a McKinney brother falls in love, powerful emotion and overwhelming desire are never far behind.
Two hearts locked away . . . Hannah Walker spends her days coaching children through injury and trauma, one therapeutic horseback ride at a time. She knows all too well how violence can change a child and leave scars that never heal. It’s easy for her to relate to the kids; what isn’t easy is the thought of facing her own harrowing past.
Millionaire playboy Stephen McKinney could use a little coaching himself. Five years ago he encountered his most horrible nightmare—and the nightmare won. No matter what he achieves, nothing can make up for that awful night . . . or so he believes.
Both desperate for a second chance . . . Stephen is used to getting what he wants. And he wants Hannah. So when she turns him down, he’s intrigued. What he doesn’t know is that her secrets will lead him to a place he never wanted to go again . . . to a side of himself he’s tried to forget . . . a side that would scare Hannah away from ever loving him. Now his only chance to win her trust is to bare his soul, risking everything he tried so hard to protect.
Praise for Worth the Risk and Claudia Connor
“Love, love, love! Read Claudia Connor for a consistently raw and emotional love story.”—New York Times bestselling author Carly Phillips
“Achingly real characters, combined with Connor’s deft and tender handling of complex issues, make for a compelling, layered read.”—USA Today bestselling author Maggie McGinnis
“Worth the Risk is a story of healing, of overcoming heartbreaking memories and panic-inducing fears, and taking the risk to trust and love again. You do not want to miss this wonderfully emotional story by one of my new favorite authors!”—Wendy S. Marcus, author of Loving You Is Easy
“Connor’s writing is strong enough to maintain the emotional intensity of the main couple’s relationship through it all, providing a reading experience that will no doubt satisfy fans and leave many eager for more tales of the passionate McKinney Brothers.”—RT Book Reviews
“A brand-new author I think you’re really gonna like.”—New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins
“I can’t get enough of Claudia Connor’s heartwarming stories. Sexy, emotional, complex, dreamy—her characters satisfy on every level.”—New York Times bestselling author Virna DePaul
“Loved this book, love this series and I cannot wait for more of this series and Claudia Connor.”—Live, Read and Breathe
“Claudia Connor is a natural storyteller. I was engrossed in Worth the Risk, down to the familiar interactions between the siblings.”—Book Crack
“This was just a really great book to read, and I definitely recommend it! I really want to go back and read Worth the Fall now! I can’t wait to see what else this author has in store for us!”—Pages of Comfort
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Worth the risk
This story was so sad I struggled to finish the book. It's horrible to hear stories of people who suffer painfully like Hannah. When I sit down to a good book, I never imagine these characters gave to endure what she did and hearing her story made this book so hard. No one not even fictional should encounter that. Otherwise I commend Stephen for fighting through and ending up on the better side of love. If you can overcome the horror these two have been through you may enjoy the book.
Emotional and full of hope
Stephen McKinney is a pro at maintaining his emotional distance. After losing his fiance in a brutal crime, and then finally crawling out of the self-destructive rut that followed, he' thrown himself into work and one night stands. He's disconnected from his family and doesn't bother with anyone else, so when he asks out a sad and shy but beautiful woman he sees in the grocery store, even he isn't sure what he's up to.
Hannah has lived through hell and come out on the other side — but just barely. An introverted physical therapist who doesn't dare dream of romance, she fills her life with rewarding work and horses. So when a handsome man at the grocery store tries to talk her into a date, she's completely unprepared and unwilling to trust him. But she wants a life of her own, something more than she has now, and she'll never get there if she doesn't take a chance.
The Verdict: I loved Worth the Fall so much that I grabbed this second book in the series without even glancing at the synopsis. And that meant I was in for quite a surprise when I was introduced to these characters' dark pasts.
Hannah was kidnapped and tortured when she was just fourteen, an event that's left her covered in angry scars on the outside and filled with fear of just about everyone but her brothers. Her trauma was so severe that she remained quiet and closed off for long after her rescue, and she first began to find solid ground again with horses. Since then, she's become a physical therapist, using her horses to help disabled children, and while she's found meaning, in many ways she's not really living.
Stephen is intrigued by the overly cautious woman who is far too sweet for him, and before he even realizes what he's doing, he can't stay away from her. Consumed by a dark rage since his fiance's murder, Hannah forces him to be patient, to care about someone other than himself, something other than revenge.
While I was certainly shocked by how dark their back stories were, I have to say it was written well. Just enough was explained to make their issues understood without going into excessive graphic detail. Hannah was incredibly naive, having never had the courage to find friendship, much less a relationship, but underneath that was a strong and determined survivor who, despite her damage was willing to stand up for herself. She lived with caution instead of crippling fear, and while she certainly had things to work through, seeing her come out of her shell and begin to believe in herself was wonderful.
The drama at the end was heavily foreshadowed, and I figured out who was behind the whole mess long before it was spelled out in the story, but the way it was resolved was just brilliant. Too often the hero's grand gesture is miraculously without real sacrifice, but with Stephen, he was truly willing to give up everything to prove himself to Hannah and ensure her happiness.
While an emotional read, certainly, Worth the Risk didn't go overboard on the angst and focused more on the possibilities. I still prefer Worth the Fall, but this one is definitely a very close second.
***FicCentral received this book from Random House LLC (via NetGalley) for free in exchange for an honest review.
Taking a risk at love
Hannah Walker has a horrific past, a childhood trauma ruined any chance she thought she could have at a normal life. Raised by her very overprotective brothers, she wanted nothing more than to be her own independent person. But her trusting naïve nature cost her in the end. So now she lives a pretty quiet, reclusive life using horseback riding to help children with disabilities. No real social life to speak of except time spent with her brothers. She longs to be able to live a normal life of a twenty-something young woman but wouldn’t know where to start. Until one day a fateful meeting in a grocery store changes everything making her wonder if she can learn to take a risk.
"He hadn’t planned this, her. Hadn’t prepared. It was a risk. He was a risk. But she gripped his heart as sure as she gripped his body."
Stephen Mckinney is the ultimate millionaire playboy, after a horrible tragedy derailed his life he hit rock bottom. Jumping from woman to woman, never staying long enough to let them get attached. He was drinking to excess as he tried to drown his demons in sex and alcohol. He finally gets his life a bit on track, pouring himself into his business making million dollar real estate deals to mask his pain from the past. One day he runs into Hannah in a grocery store and he wants her. To his shock, she turns him down, this only intrigues him more. He becomes obsessed with earning her trust, but to what end he wonders? He’s not into relationships has no intention of falling in love again. Then why does he feel like if he loses her he won’t be able to go on? Can he risk his heart again or is it too much of a risk to take?
"All the strength and power of a savage fighter wrapped in a sophisticated package. That was Stephen."
This is book two in the McKinney Brothers’ series, but you don’t have to read book one to follow this story. This one was so good though that I had to read book one so I went and purchased it before I finished this book. I have to read Matt and Abby’s story. Stephen and Hannah were just wonderful. What a great couple, the romance was so sweet. The chemistry between these two characters just jumps off the page. He chases her and its magical once he catches her. They both come from big families so the family influence in their lives comes through right away. Hannah’s older brother Nick was especially interesting, jumping in to discourage Hannah of seeing Stephen. But our hot alpha male hero Stephen will have none of that, he wants to get to know Hannah and no one gets in the way of something he wants. Though frustrating for the characters at times I loved the closeness Hannah and Stephen share with their siblings.
Both of these people have had a terrible tragedy that threatened to break them each trying to survive in their own way. Little do they know they are destined to heal each others wounds. Hannah and Stephen are given a second chance. Both are afraid to let anyone close to trust anyone, risk their hearts to another. I really enjoyed this book I can’t say enough about it. My first book of Claudia Connor and certainly not my last. The whole story flowed nicely, following this couple as they bring light into each others darkness the more time they spend together. I was also fascinated by Hannah’s brothers and look forward to the author giving us their stories as well. Nick was so intense, his story will be a good one I am sure.
The whole book gave me a warm and fuzzy feel, really had me rooting for the characters to come together. The ending was perfect. I laughed, I cried, I would totally recommend this book for anyone who loves a great romance.
Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.