Review: Worth the Risk by Claudia Connor (McKinney Brothers #2)

Her body draped over his. His heartbeat strong against her ear while his hand made lazy run up and down her back. It was perfect and she drifted, knowing she'd been sheltered her entire lief but never felt entirely safe.

Until now.

Worth the Risk is the second novel in author Claudia Connor's much loved McKinney Brothers series and focuses the spotlight on thirty-two-year-old Stephen McKinney and twenty-six-year-old Hannah Walker, two people who are dealing with ghosts of their pasts and find each other and become each other's impetus for change. Two separate, life-altering and equally devastating events made them vastly different from the Stephen and Hannah that their respective families knew, and while Stephen's family and Hannah's brothers may wish for nothing more than for their old versions to return, Stephen and Hannah have been trapped by nightmarish memories that still hold them  hostage. When they meet and their lives inevitably become intertwined, they'll have to decide if they're prepared to let go of the past and move on.

Stephen and Hannah know what it's like to be victims and survivors. They're familiar with having family and loved ones look upon them as if they're ready to break. What happened to his fiancée five years ago has made Stephen into a hardened, angry man who wants to seek revenge on those who took her away from him in a senseless act of violence. His one saving grace has been his successful real estate and property development company, but all the money in the world can't erase the fact that he's distanced himself from his family or that he chooses to engage in temporary flings with women he has no qualms of leaving behind. Meeting Hannah along a supermarket aisle changes things for him. She may have started as a challenge he wanted to overcome but she turns out to be not just a game changer but his life changer.

Hannah's life changed when she was just fourteen and she has countless physical and emotional scars as proof that one lapse in judgment can lead to dire consequences that you end up having to live with for years. Her four older brothers have always protected her and that protective nature increase ten-fold because of what happened. They're willing to step in and do whatever's necessary for me, even without her asking, but all Hannah wants is to feel normal and take risks that she's never been allowed to take. Agreeing to meet a stranger for dinner and drinks has her wondering if a man as insanely attractive and worldly as Stephen could truly be interest in someone like her. Allowing him to be a part of her life challenges her to trust a man who isn't her brother and pushes her to trust her own instincts and desires.

My heart broke for both Stephen and Hannah. They had already been through so much and even their fledgling romance is bombarded with challenges and obstacles from start to finish. But I love how these two turn out to not just be survivors but fighters as well, making the conscious choice to go after what they want and the person they want to share it with. Everyone else may have wanted the old them, but maybe because all they know is the version that they meet at the supermarket and get to know over time, it's that newer version that they accept and it's the evolved version they fall in love with. I cheered this two on because they both deserved to be with that one person who made it easier for them to breathe and made them feel things that they've never felt with anyone else. They push each other's boundaries in a good way.

I thought the McKinney clan was an entertaining lot, but the Walker siblings were certainly no slouches. If the first book gave readers precocious and precious children to fall in love with while the main characters did their own falling in love, this second book has given readers four single brothers who love their sister unconditionally but now look to be needing their own happily-ever-afters. The eldest brother, Nick, is mentioned most predominantly here, followed by Luke and Zach, but I'm quite curious about the missing brother, Dallas, because well, I'd like to know why he's missing, considering their all close-knit. I know Nick is getting his story with Mia James is currently in the works, so fingers crossed that same goes for the other three. Gah! I can't get enough of these characters. I loved Worth the Risk and give it five-plus stars. ♥

Date Read: 19 April 2016

Learn more about Claudia Connor.

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