Saturday, December 6, 2014

Book review: Worth The Fall by Claudia Connor




Wow. 
My review could end right here. This book totally swept me off my feet! I'd hosted the book (and the author) during the blog tour although at the time I hadn't signed up to review it. I'd been really intrigued by the blurb though, so I put it on my long TBR list. 
Then one day I decided to download a sample, get a taste of it before deciding whether I should move it to the top of my reading list. I had no idea what to expect, other than a badass Navy SEAL who was probably going to end up being an alpha hero who couldn't stay out of the whiney heroine's panties. Not my cup of tea. 
Only a few pages into the book, actually a couple of scenes, though and I was hooked. The moment that football hit Matt's back, I was completely in love with him already. Weird, right? Absolutely. But that's just how good this book is. Everything about Matt pulls you in, and when a cute 5-year-old enters the picture, followed by his mother and his siblings, you just can't help loving them all.

Just like Claudia said in the interview, "this is a love story plain and simple, though love is never simple". The mutual attraction between Matt and Abby isn't enough to keep them together and make them hope for a future together. He's a Navy SEAL who's away more than he's at home, while Abby has spent all her life being abandoned by people she thought loved her and never wants to get attached to anyone again. Their lives are in different towns, and once the vacation is over and they leave the beach, they'll be worlds apart. He can't promise her a future together, she doesn't want any promises that will surely be broken. Still, they just can't be apart. A week is enough for Matt to realize that in spite of four children and one on the way, Abby is the real deal for him, the woman he's been looking for all his life. 
His attachment to the children is heartwarming. I loved reading about this bulky soldier who played with Barbies and let a 3-year-old do his hair. The way he immediately bonded with all of Abby's children truly made my heart melt.

Abby is a fantastic heroine. Going from foster home to foster home and being abandoned by everyone she ever got close to, even her husband who was never there for her or their children, forced her to build a thick wall around her heart. She never expected Matt would be the one who'd manage to tear it down. In fact, at first she didn't want to let him. She fought with all her strength to keep him out of her life and her heart, but she didn't realize her efforts were useless until she was in too deep, and Matt had become a part of her. She's truly a wonderful person, with so much love to give but nobody ever wanted to be the recipient - well, until Matt. He sees the little girl afraid of rejection and the woman needing to be loved. This is one of Matt's best traits: his ability to truly understand her and make her trust in him, in what they could have together and what they could be.

The children. I cannot say how much I loved them, all of them. I couldn't pick a favorite because they were all adorable, in all their different ways. Even though this story is a beautiful, poignant romance that will touch the readers' hearts, I think it wouldn't have had the same impact without the children. They're not at all side characters, they're just as important as Matt and Abby are.

The chemistry between Matt and Abby is strong from the first days at the beach and only gets stronger as the story progresses. So does the pull and the heat. But even at the peak of their attraction, when the heat is tangible, there are never too graphic sex scenes that take away the beauty of their feelings for each other. 
Sometimes I feel that when there is too much sex to compensate for other things lacking in the story, it just makes me lose interest. In this book there is just enough chemistry and heat to make you feel the magnetic pull between the two of them without the need of vulgarities or things that would make me scrunch up my nose in annoyance. This is how a romance novel should be: the right amount of feelings, heat and tension to keep the reader glued to the pages without annoying her with repetitions and clichés.

I really liked Matt's big family, the way his brothers and sisters-in-law welcomed Abby into the family even though she came with a big baggage. I loved how they all stuck together and supported Abby during a very tough part of the story—I obviously won't say what part, or it'll spoil it all. I'm really looking forward to reading the other brothers' stories, and I hope the author will include Abby and Matt (and all the kids, of course) in the next books because, even though I loved the happy ending, I just wasn't ready to let them go. I was so involved in their story and in their happiness that when I reached the last page my jaw all but hit my lap. I knew at some point the book would have to end, but honestly, this is one of those books I wished were a sort of never ending story, with new chapters magically being added to the book every time you think you've reached the last page. Wouldn't that be fantastic, if a book like this really existed? :) 
Okay, I'm digressing, sorry.

Anyway, if you haven't read this book yet, you don't know what you're missing. I wish I could rate it more than 5 stars, but I guess a million still wouldn't be enough. 
Matt has definitely earned the top spot in my "book boyfriends I wish were real" chart (sorry, Dr. Scott Carter from Prima Donna by Laura Drewry former number one in my chart, the badass SEAL with a heart of marshmallows win hands down). 









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