4.5 "Worth It" Stars!
Worth the Risk is book two in Claudia Connor’s The McKinney Brothers series. I absolutely loved book one in this series, Worth the Fall, and was hoping that this second installment to the series would be just was wonderful. I am happy to report that this author has penned yet another gorgeous romance that had me swooning and happily sighing. These McKinney boys are something else. ;)
Thirty-two year old Stephen McKinney is sexy, confident, enigmatic and powerfully rich, someone who has thrown himself into his career whole-heartedly. He is a millionaire lothario who keeps everyone at a distance, including his various sexual exploits. Stephen has experienced great loss in his life and for five long years has been unable to push forward and get over the demons that continuously haunt him. His family is worried about him, missing the carefree and loving individual he used to be. But, how can one get over a trauma when you carry so much guilt?
Twenty-six year old Hannah Walker’s life was irrevocably changed when she was fourteen years of age. She experienced an event so horrific that it is a wonder that she has been able to slowly piece her life back together. It has been a dark and lonely road but with the help of her older brothers, Hannah has worked towards healing both her physical and emotional scars. She is a physical therapist who works with special needs children using the horses she has on her ranch. Riding is the one thing that managed to bring Hannah a step further in her recovery and she wants to give that same gift to children who need it. Her work is important to her and she thrives off of it; however, Hannah continues to live a life of overwhelming fear and uncertainty. How can she completely trust in herself enough to once again take chances in her life when the evidence of the poor decisions she has made in the past are visible for her to see every day?
When Stephen comes into Hannah’s life he seems like the last person who she would take a chance on. After all, his playboy ways are well known and Hannah is far too innocent and broken for the likes of him. However, for Stephen, there is something extremely alluring about the young woman who tugged at his heart strings when he encountered her all teary eyed in a grocery store. Pretty soon Stephen finds himself breaking his own rules and involving himself with Hannah far deeper that he has allowed himself in many years. Matters progressed slowly and awkwardly at first between the pair as Stephen picked up on Hannah’s innocence. But as they begin to get more serious, Stephen is in for a shock when Hannah’s past brings him back down a dark and cloudy road that he has attempted to forget. Now he has to face a side of himself that he has tried to let go of. Does he run the risk of losing Hannah if he bares his soul and shows her the darkness that resides within?
This book certainly had a darker edge to it compared to the first book about Stephen’s older brother, Matt. The tale was more heart-wrenching and gritty. What Hannah went through was beyond tragic and catastrophic. My heart ached for her. She was stronger than she gave herself credit for though, and far more resilient. I loved how she decided to step outside of her comfort zone, come out from under her shell and take a chance on Stephen, despite the warnings from her brothers. Hannah was determined to finally start moving forward and living a life she has always wanted even though her fears were right at the forefront. What Stephen had endured was also tragic and heart-breaking. Watching him lower his defense mechanisms and allow Hannah in made him all the more endearing. Stephen and Hannah step into unchartered and new territory for both of them, making them equally vulnerable. I loved watching them stumble their way through the initial stages of their relationship. I loved how Stephen treated Hannah with the care and reverence that she required. They both made my heart twinge with such loveliness.
The road to a happy forever was not an easy one for Stephen and Hannah. There were some immense obstacles that they had to overcome but, with this being stated, their journey was nothing short of painfully beautiful as they learned to open up and trust once again. All in all, Worth the Risk was yet another wonderful 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 can’t wait for more when it comes to this series!
*****An advance reading copy of Worth the Risk by Claudia Connor was generously provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.