Review: Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor (McKinney Brothers #1)

"Just tell me you feel it too."

Tears threatened and she bit her lip against them. "I feel it."

But she'd convinced herself a long time ago that she didn't need more. That she didn't want more, not enough to face the risk of losing it. Things were ending exactly when she'd known they would, but she'd been wrong about it not hurting.

Worth the Fall is not just the McKinney Brothers series starter but also happened to be my very first Claudia Connor read. By the time I write this review, I'll have finished all three books in the series and can I just say that I'm a tad ashamed that it took me this long to start reading this first book, a book that I bought when it went on sale in November of 2014. But now, I get it. Oh, do I get it. I don't think I've teared up or cried as much I did with any other book in the past few years than I did with this one. You know when people use the term "the feels"? I totally understand what they mean because I would have never thought that a Navy SEAL tucking children in on his last night with them would make me shed as many tears as I did, and that's just one scene. There were quite a few more. I would call this love story "refreshingly above the norm", but I'm not sure I can considering it's nearly two years old. But hey, this is my review, so I can say what I want, right? So yes, this was refreshingly above and beyond the norm and I don't hesitate in naming this as one of my all-time best reads. This is just the first paragraph, so prepare for more gushing.

Matthew McKinney is thirty-four, a Navy SEAL, and second in a brood of seven. He's at the beach, waiting out the prescribed allotted time for someone who's told to take some time off after an injury, no matter how minor he may consider it to be. When he gets hit on his back with a ball thrown by a five-year-old boy, he has no clue how his life is about to be changed, not just by the boy, but by his three siblings and their mother. There's no denying that Abigail Davis is stunningly beautiful, but there's more to the widowed mother of four who happens to be expecting her fifth child. Matt is taken by her simplicity and determination to be independent and to be the best possible parent for her children. And this is certainly not a one-sided thing. Abby has gotten used to doing things on her own, even when she still had her husband alive but not always by her side. Matt is an enigma, inserting himself into their lives, making her and the children get used to his protective and caring presence. She doesn't want to need him, but in less than a week's time, Annie, Jack, Gracie, and Charlie have fallen for Matt, and if Abby is totally honest with herself, she's fallen for him as well. Matt fell for each one of them too, so all should be well. Shouldn't it?

Can a six-day coming-together, one that didn't involve anything sexual, be as life changing as the one Matt, Abby, and the children had? Falling in love--and I'm not merely talking about the romantic kind of love--doesn't have a set time limit or period attached to it. It can happen in a number of hours or it can happen after a year or two or even longer. Who's to say when it should or shouldn't happen and whether it's the real thing or not? In the case of Matt and Abby, the connection was made from the start and it became a bond that refused to be broken by distance, what with Matt being in Virginia and Abby and the kids in Raleigh. So much of this love story was unexpected, and I for one, applaud that. From the way they met to what happened after their beachside vacation, and everything else after, I was hooked, wanting--no, needing--to know how it was all going to play out and where we would find Matt and Abby the adorable four-and-a-half-some by the end of it all. This was a story about true love, family, and promises that sometimes need to be broken. Claudia Connor more than impressed me with this novel and I can't wait to see what else she has in store after this emotional series. Worth the Fall is worth the read. Five-plus stars. ♥

Date Read: 19 April 2016

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