Worth the Risk by Claudia Connor

February 6, 2015 Book Review, The More The Merrier Review (TMTM) 0 ★★★★

Worth the Risk by Claudia Connorfour-stars
Worth the Risk by Claudia Connor
Series: The McKinney Brothers #2
Also in this series: Worth It All
Published by Loveswept on February 3, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
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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.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

By SparklesWorth the Fall, Ms. Connor’s previous work, was such an epic book to me that I was expecting nothing less from this second installment but at the same time was worried that it could not possibly reach my high expectations. 
I was very pleasantly surprised, and even though Worth the Risk is not the exact same type of book, it was equally well written and just as engaging as I expected.

Hannah and Stephen were two very damaged individuals, both with very different limitations concerning relationships. It’s so nice when you read a book and you can instantly get into the character’s head, and feel for them and with them. They took me on the ride that was their relationship and their learning to open and trust each other. I found this a very lovely (if a bit darker) story. The anguish and guilt they experienced was such a real thing and to be able to give it a positive conclusion in such a believable way makes Ms. Connor one heck of a writer.

The pace was great, I couldn’t put the book down and although some twists in the plotline were kind of predictable the book itself was wonderful. I greatly enjoyed reading it and I’m thinking Claudia Connor is going to my one-click/auto-buy authors list.

Sparkle’s Rating: 5 Stars

…he was a man who got what he wanted, and the longer he’d stood there beside her car, the more he’d wanted Hannah. Plus, she’d said no. That alone had sealed her fate.

It wouldn’t be fair to go into Worth the Risk thinking it was going to be fabulous just because Worth the Fall was one of my favorite reads of 2014. The type of book I sent to friends as gifts, turned into a fan girl with the author on twitter, and basically pimped all over Goodreads. Totally not fair. But I couldn’t help but go in with certain expectations. I’m only human, right? I did try to temper my expectations before starting Worth the Risk. I really, really did…

So, what’d I think? Overall, Worth the Risk did not disappoint!

“I want to see you again. Tomorrow.”

Her stomach flipped with a new kind of fear. “I didn’t think I was the kind of girl—”

“I’m sorry.” He closed his eyes for a second then opened them and pinned her with serious brown eyes. “I was wrong.”
“No.” She shook her head. “I don’t think you were.”

“Why don’t you let me be the judge of that?”

“Because I can’t.” But she wanted to touch him. Wanted to take his face in her hands and feel the rough shadow over his strong jaw. Wanted to stare into eyes so hot they melted her.

“Hannah . . .” His hand came down to lightly circle her throat.

“Don’t. Please.” She dropped her gaze from a man too used to getting what he wanted, too used to being wanted. “Don’t play with me.”

“I’m not.”

The writing in Worth the Risk is fabulous. Claudia Conner is an author whose writing style works for me. I love a vulnerable heroine and appreciate a strong, alpha hero. Hannah and Stephen filled both roles perfectly. While both characters suffer greatly from past events that were both violent and life-altering, I thought the heroine worked hard to be strong and independent even with her many vulnerabilities. (Of course, I love a great damsel in distress story). I’m especially excited that so many potential future characters were introduced in this book. Hannah’s brothers seem like a dream team of possible heroes! (Can readers expect a spin-off series from this author focusing on these guys? I can only keep my fingers crossed!)

Readers expecting Worth the Risk to be a feel good romance like Worth the Fall was may be shocked. Worth the Risk is much darker. Both Hannah and Stephen’s characters are damaged. Both have serious issues with terrible pasts, both violent and heartbreaking. Because of their pasts, there was some back and forth between the two characters, some mistakes made along the way but no matter what…I was totally hooked.

One small complaint I have is, I wish the read would have been sexier. On one hand, I understand the storyline and factors that contributed to this having a lower steam level. On the other hand, Stephen seemed like such a dominating hero, such a sexual character, I felt there was more potential between these two characters for things to get much hotter than they did.

Overall, this was a great contemporary romance. Darker than I was expecting but very well done. Claudia Connor cemented her status as a must-read author for me. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

**One note: I received an uncorrected copy of this book to review. The author did make changes to the story after I read the initial copy. I do plan to go back and read the revised version of Worth the Risk but did not read it when this review was written.

Miss V’s Rating: 4.25 Stars

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