Thursday, 11 September 2014

Review: Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor

Worth the Fall (The McKinney Brothers #1) 
by Claudia Connor
Publisher: Random House Loveswept
Publication date: September 9th 2014
My rating:  4.5 stars
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Prepare to be swept away by a talented debut author with a passionate, powerful story to tell.

They meet on a beach. . . . Abby Davis isn’t wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she’s busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn’t looking for fun—he’s a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions . . . and fallen brothers.

They only have a week. . . . Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories they deserve. Matt’s been sidelined by a combat injury, and haunted by the best friend he lost and the promise he made: to remain a SEAL—focused and dedicated. This leaves no time for what he’s always wanted: a family.

But a week is all it takes. . . . Matt opens her heart while Abby soothes his soul. And though they plan to say good-bye when the week is over, something magical happens on that beach, something neither can forget. Something utterly, completely worth falling for.
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from other Loveswept titles.

My Thoughts:
When I read that Worth the Fall was a romance between a Navy SEAL and a pregnant mother of four, I was like…What?!! How can that possibly work or be believable? Well it more than worked because this story MELTED my heart! Just sooo lovely!

Matt McKinney is spending some time at the beach while on leave when Abby, captures his attention. She’s beautiful, pregnant and alone with four small kids, and the way she cares for her children draws Matt in like a beacon.  He wonders what kind of idiot of a man would allow his wife go on vacation alone and miss out on all the love they obviously provide.  Soon he’s caught up with the kids, drawn into games of catch, making sandcastles, and coming to the rescue in the inevitable crisis a brood of young, energetic children encounter *queue swoony sigh here*.  As the week goes on it becomes more and more apparent that Matt won’t be able to just walk away and say goodbye.  Every minute he spends with Abby makes him fall a little more, and by the end of the week he’s a complete goner.  But Matt has his career and a promise to a fallen friend to consider, and he doesn’t want to hurt Abby and her kids. 

Abby is alone on vacation with her children, but she’s used to being alone, even before she lost her husband.  Having everyone who promised their love eventually leave her has left emotional scars making it hard to let anyone close. Matt is gorgeous with a heart of gold to match, so Abby can’t imagine why he would spend his time with her instead of finding someone with less baggage.  But she can’t stop herself from allowing him in bit by bit, especially when he seems to care so much for her kids. Plus, he sends her hormones into overdrive every time he gets near.  The chemistry they have is palpable! However, Abby doesn’t want to fool herself into thinking this will go on any further after their time is up at the beach.  Placing hope in others has led to nothing but grief and disappointment in the past, so she carefully guards her heart, and who could blame her?

Matt and Abby’s romance was a slow burn and a pure pleasure to experience.  Realizing quickly the abandonment issues Abby had, Matt was so careful with her heart.  My heart squeezed and clenched at all the sadness she had to endure growing up.  To let her guard down and let Matt in is a gradual process, but thankfully Matt is patient and determined.

As if that wasn’t enough, Matt’s interactions with the kids were so adorable, and I found it impossible not to fall hard for him! The kids were amazing, and so very cute, each and every one of them! From Jack, eager to learn how to catch football, to three year-old Gracie, Matt’s “ladybug” with all her curls and dimples, to two year-old Charlie glued to Matt like a tick.  I laughed and smiled as they progressed closer and closer to becoming a solid family unit. 

Matt had some struggles with what he saw as his duty, and how to make things work with Abby while staying true to those obligations.  There were some bumps in the road because of that.  My one issue that kept Worth the Fall from being a perfect read was the last minute drama. It didn’t go on for very long at all, BUT it was a punch to the gut. If it would’ve happened a little earlier I wouldn’t have minded so much, because it would’ve been over and taken care of instead of marring my pleasure over Matt and Abby’s happiness.  But like I said, it didn’t last very long and my heart was once again soaring in bliss for them by the end.

I was thoroughly impressed with Claudia Connor’s moving debut! It was heart-wrenching and beautiful!  I can’t wait to read the next McKinney brother’s story, Worth the Risk, and I hope I get glimpses of Matt, Abby and the kids in the next one, because I don’t want to say goodbye!

Connect with Claudia Connor:


  1. Andrea featured this one this week too and it had gotten me curious for sure. I'm glad you loved it so much, Rachel. The romance sounds absolutely wonderful.
    Lovely review! :)

  2. I haven't heard of this one at all but it sounds absolutely adorable! Thanks for putting it on my radar, Rachel--this is exactly the type of read I'm craving these days so onto my TBR it goes! :)

  3. This sounds terrific except for that last minute drama! Who needs drama during a happily ever after?

  4. Well, you know I love your review and that I'm looking very much forward to WtF!

    1. PS - he totally has his hands down his pants!

    2. I know!! But that cover is scrumptious, right?!!

  5. OMG. That cover!! *fans self* We definitely need more hands-down-the-pants covers!!! *fans self faster* And, boy, do I love a good slow burn romance.

    1. This is the cover I thought I should've featured on TOT, Mary! I need to join in on one of those! :)

  6. Gimme some Matt girl! :) He sounds so good and such a sweetheart! Aww I totally melted at the descriptions of him playing with children *le sigh* This story sounds really different and good. I'm so happy you loved it. Great review, Rachel :)

  7. lovely and heart melting sounds wonderful--adding to my goodreads

  8. LOL! It sounds a bit well.. incredulous. The premise I mean. But hells yeah that it made you melt! ;) So happy to hear that it's a slow burn! And Matt sounds wonderful :) I love guys who are good with kids and it's impossible not to fall for them hard indeed ;) Oh yeah, I definitely understand why it lost the half star. I hope your next Connor's novel will be amazing as well ;) (and now I'm thinking about Connor Cobalt. OH WELL.)

  9. Well, if any author can give a single mother of four her own swoon-worthy romance, then that alone is a seller for me. Lol. I'm downloading this book as we speak. :)

  10. I've had this one on my radar for months now. i didn't realize it finally came out. Off to go buy it!

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  11. Awww, that is indeed wonderful and endearing. I know that in this day and age, a lot of single mothers are looked down upon by some people. I used to know someone who said they were "used goods" and I am so disgusted by all of that. I'm glad to see a book that has them and portrays them and the love they develop and that blossoms beautifully and poignantly. Awesome review and awesome book!

    Yup, a lot of awesome books over there, my good friend ;) You've been buying a lot of good ones :D I'm looking forward to what you think of Rites of Passage. Reading that one right no w and it is indeed powerful!

    Faye at The Social Potato


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