Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Book review: Worth The Wait - Claudia Connor

This book has been definitely worth the wait (pun intended!). Ever since reading about the Hot and Grumpy FBI brother in Worth The Risk (yes, both with capital letters!), I couldn’t wait for Ms. Connor to tell us Nick’s story. I actually remember I went and outright asked her to write the Walker brothers stories. I probably begged her, too. And when she told me that yes, the Walkers would have their own books and Nick’s would be the first, well, I started the countdown.

In Worth The Risk, Nick is a bad-ass, ultra-protective, alpha brother/papa bear who would do anything to keep Stephen McKinney’s hands off Hannah, his younger sister. I’m not a fan of alpha heroes, but Nick’s protective attitude and the way he showed Hannah how important she was for him and what length he would go to protect her was enough to melt my heart. He only had a few cameo appearances in Worth The Risk, but it was enough to make me want to know his story.

Ms. Connor didn’t disappoint my expectations. Worth The Wait isn’t just a beautiful romance. It’s heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, and so full of strong emotions it will make you laugh, cry, swoon and leave you a sobbing mess with a contented smile. You will want to lock the door, switch off the phone, disconnect the Internet connection, and possibly rent a cabin in the woods away from all distraction (or a penthouse suite in a big city hotel if you prefer), just to make sure nothing and no one can interfere with your reading time. Seriously, you will not want to put it down until you’ve reached the end. And even then, when I finally got the happy ending I was waiting for from chapter one, I wanted to go back and read it again because, honestly, I couldn’t just leave Nick and Mia.

If you’ve read any of my reviews of the previous books, you’ll know I have a huge crush on Matt (hero in Worth The Fall)—seriously, how can you NOT fall for a burly and handsome Navy SEAL who plays with little kids? Total swoon party! Well, in Worth The Wait, the most heart-melting scenes in the books feature Nick looking after little Hannah. When their parents died, Nick was only nineteen and he suddenly became responsible of a two-year-old, as well as of his two teenage brothers. His inner struggle, caused by the need to keep it together even when he was breaking up inside, and the importance of doing the right thing, of being the responsible one who’d take care of his family, is what stole my heart from the very first scene. At times, I wanted to get inside the book and give him a bear hug. My heart broke with his, at times I had a lump in my throat that made it hard for me to swallow and I wanted to cry. 

That was the bitch of regret. It kept the past in the present, right on top of you, so you couldn’t forget, so it could keep eating at you until there was nothing left. Until the woman that was holding all your pieces together walked right out the door.

When Mia entered his and Hannah’s lives, I cheered for him. I knew at some point there would be a dark moment, when things between them would go downhill and everything would seem lost, and I was holding my breath, hoping it wouldn’t happen. I wanted him to be happy. For some reason I couldn’t quite explain, I just felt his pain in my heart and I wanted things to work for him and Mia so badly, I nearly shouted at my Kindle at times. 

He couldn’t settle, not like his sister had in mind, probably not ever. Because he’d found that special one. The only woman who’d ever owned him. Found her. Lost her.

Mia is a heroine you can’t help loving. She’s a normal girl, a bit nerdy and probably more mature than other college girls. I loved how she quietly entered Nick’s life, and immediately became part of his everyday routine, caring for Hannah as if she were her little sister. She’s a beautiful person, and she has a tough core underneath a quiet, seemingly fragile exterior. Her pain was my pain. Her heartbreak crushed my own heart, too. I wanted to hate Nick for the way he hurt her, but at the same time I could understand his own pain. My respect for Mia grew even more after that. It took a lot of strength and a huge heart to be able to endure it all, through the toughest moments.

There are some beautiful, romantic moments between Nick and Mia, scenes that will make you swoon and, at least as far as I’m concerned, envy Mia and make you want to be her. But the sweetest, most heart-warming moments are those involving Nick and Hannah, or Nick, Hannah and Mia. Every single one of these scenes, including the toughest moments of Hannah’s life, stole my heart. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.

The wind whispered through the trees. The sun fell behind the lake above, throwing them into sultry dusk. The water pounded over the falls like the pounding in his heart and he couldn’t imagine anything more perfect. This is where he would make love to his Mia for the first time. Perfectly unplanned like Mia had been unplanned, like his entire life was unplanned, but Mia was the good part. The best part. 

I could go on and on talking about this book, of all the little things that made me want to turn page after page, but at the same time made me wish the story would never end. I won’t, though. All I’m going to say is: if you’re looking for a sexy, heart-warming, tear-jerking second chance romance that will cause a flurry mix of emotions and will hold your heart hostage for a day—or ten—after you’ve finished reading it, then you will definitely want to pick up Worth The Wait and immerse yourself in this beautiful story of family bonds, of loss and heartbreak, of life struggles, and ultimately of redemption. And most of all, of love—the deep, strong kind of love that can withstand the worst trials and overcome the biggest obstacles. The kind every woman dreams of experiencing at least once in her life.

Being with Mia had always been a religious experience. Never more than now. Now it was coming home.

Thank you, Claudia Connor, for writing another amazing story I will treasure in my heart—and on my Kindle—forever.