Friday, February 13, 2015

VBT: WORTH THE RISK by Claudia Connor Review & Giveaway

Worth the Risk (The McKinney Brothers, #2)
by: Claudia Connor
Series: McKinney Brothers
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Source: Publisher ~ Random House: Loveswept

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.

After cake, the entire party moved down to the yard. Stephen stood with his brothers and watched the madness that was a child’s birthday party.

“So, where’d you find her?” Tony gestured toward Hannah where she knelt a few yards away, tying his nephew’s shoe.

He’d hung back, let her do the girl thing, let her keep the spotlight away from him as he’d wanted. But she’d never been out of his sight. “Grocery store.”

“Really?” Andrew grinned. “Didn’t know you shopped. Being sexiest, most eligible man, and all.”

His brothers laughed, added more colorful comments. Shit. “I’m never going to get past that one, am I?”

“Never,” Tony said. “Maybe we should rough you up a bit.”

“You can try.” He smiled at the familiar sibling harassment, how some things never changed.

Though he’d been hugged by his mother at least eight times, received multiple pats on the back by his father, tonight hadn’t been as uncomfortable as he’d feared. Because of Hannah. His family’s curious spotlight shined on her, as he’d known it would.

God, she was sweet. The way her hair sparkled in the last ribbons of sunlight poking through the pines. The way she blushed every time their eyes met. But the delicate fabric blowing against her chest, outlining perfect breasts he dreamed of cupping in his hands . . . that didn’t bring to mind the word sweet. Unless he was thinking about them in his mouth.

Shit. He tipped his bottle and took a long drink. How could someone with such a hot, luscious body look so damn innocent? Definitely a puzzle.

His nieces and nephews were certainly drawn to her, as she now had a line of untied shoes. Luke stood across the yard, nodding at something Matt said, and their eyes met. It was a game they’d played all evening. Each letting the other know he was watching. And knowing that, he took three purposeful strides to stand beside Hannah.

She glanced up and smiled, quick and nervous. He held out his hand and felt the slight tremble when her fingers touched his. He pulled her to her feet.

“Cute,” she said, almost wistfully as she watched the last kid run away.

“Yeah.” But his eyes were on Hannah. The evening breeze lifted a few satiny strands and brushed them over his arm. Barely a touch, but the heat that rushed through his body burned hot and strong.

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Having adored Claudia Connor's debut to her McKinney Brothers series, I was eager to delve into the next book and see if she could emulate everything she created in Worth the Fall.  She has and Worth the Risk is another wonderful read.  Two years have passed since Matt and Abby’s story, and whilst it has the same romantic feel, it is accompanied by a deeper, darker storyline.
"He hadn't planned this, her.  Hadn't prepared.  It was a risk.  He was a risk."
Worth the Risk held moments and revelations I couldn’t have anticipated and they made reading this book captivating and emotional.  Stephen McKinney and Hannah Walker have heart breaking unimaginable pasts; his has led to him distancing himself from his family and focussing on work and hers has meant she’s been shielded from much in life by her four older protective brothers.  But fate plays its hand, these two damaged souls meet and little do they realise that together, they can heal one another.
"I want you."
"You have me."
I adored them together.  With a natural chemistry, their journey was by no means easy and I felt their pain, but also their joy; romantic, sexy, sweet and with humour, I found myself completely absorbed from the opening chapter.
These boys fall hard; both Matt and Stephen have generated a serious case of the swoons here and with the McKinney family continuing to feature heavily and the foundations being set for J.T’s story, I absolutely can’t wait to see what Claudia Connor has in store for us.  I’m also hoping that the introduction of Hannah’s four brothers may also be heading towards something.
**Received a copy from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest unbiased review.**

Rating: 4.5

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The McKinney Brothers Series:

Claudia Connor is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of heartfelt contemporary romance. Claudia 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 travel, but spends most of her time typing out the love stories of the almost real people that live in her head. Claudia lives near Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and three daughters.

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