Release Date: 09/09/2014
Series: The McKinney Brothers, Book 1
I am so, so, SO HAPPY that I came across Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor when I was doing research on Goodreads. Seriously, you guys. I think this may be my all time favorite book to date. My favorite book EVER. I realize that by saying that, I’m saying something huge. But hear me out…
Our hero, Matt, is a Navy SEAL (can you say hell yes?!) who was forced to take temporary leave due to a combat injury. He’s perfectly fine spending his free time wallowing in the dark and being haunted by memories of his killed in action best friend. But somehow, he gets roped into being he’s cousin’s wingman, which means they go on a double date with the most horrid women. Matt seriously can’t stand this leach of a girl, and if you read it, you won’t be able to either. The four of them are relaxing (or at least trying to) on the beach when Matt can’t stand the company anymore. To get away, he takes a walk by himself down the shore and ends up having a nerf football thrown at his back.
Let the cuteness begin! The football was thrown by Jack, a little boy looking for a male figure to look up to. He instantly latches on to Matt, and so do his other siblings Gracie and Charlie. The only hesitant one to latch onto Matt is their older sister (still under 10, but I can’t remember exactly how old) Annie. Well, I shouldn’t say Annie was the only one hesitant to trust in Matt. Their pregnant mother, Abby, had her own reservations.
And who can blame her? She has five children–including one on the way–that she has to take care of. They’ve all been hurt more than they deserved to be. They lost their dad, she lost her husband, and even though he was a super sucky (a**hat) dad/husband, it was still a loss for them. The reason they are all at the beach is that Abby is giving them a new start. She’s trying to give them the enjoyable memories that they so deserve.
I love that Matt is instantly taken with not only the children, but with pregnant Abby herself. Yes, he’s not really looking for fun–he’s determined to make himself miserable by agonizing over the promise he made to his deceased best friend–but he has always wanted a family. The fact that it’s ready made? Who cares?? Certainly not Matt! The way he goes about convincing Abby that her and her children are everything he could ever want is just beautiful. The bond, the love–it goes deep. Abby helps Matt confront his demons, and Matt helps Abby open her heart to love again.
Abby is sweet and kind–a great mother. The children stole my heart. Jack puts on a tough front as the “man of the house,” but he’s really just a boy with a big heart. Gracie is a doll–full of exuberant curiosity. Charlie is a mischievous and happy toddler. Annie is shy, smart, and really sweet. I have never read a book where the children were so well-written before. I have never read a book where the children were so central to the story either. Each child had their own little personality, and they each developed a special and different relationship with Matt. When Matt finally gained Annie’s trust–I about died with the cuteness overload.
They all initially only have one week together. One week to get to know each other. One week to enjoy each other, which sounds crazy fast, right? But one week is all it takes, and even if their amazing relationship did not end up lasting well beyond one week, it wouldn’t have mattered. The writing and the pace was so on point.
Of course, their relationship is not without hiccups (it’s not all sunshine and rainbows–there is heartbreak), but I’ll let you experience all the feels that come along with that for yourself. Seriously, SO MANY FEELS come with reading this book. I cannot say it enough: This book is everything!! The second book is just as good, and it’s great that you can see more of Matt, Abby, and the kids in the second book. I recommend reading both as soon as you can if you haven’t already (since I’m behind, and it’s been out for a while now…)! And I can’t wait for book number three coming out in April!!
If you’re a romance reader and a sucker for big bad Navy SEALS who have a soft spot for adorable little kiddies and their mom, then you’ll definitely love this book.