Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Release Blitz with Giveaway and Review: Worth the Wait by Claudia Connor

Title: Worth the Wait
Series: McKinney/Walker #1
Author: Claudia Connor
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 10, 2017


The first in a spin off series of the New York Times Bestselling McKinney Brothers, WORTH THE WAIT takes readers on a journey through young love into adulthood in a heartwrenching, second chance love story.

Nick Walker thought nothing could destroy what he had with Mia. He certainly never thought he would be the one to destroy it.

Now ten years later, Mia James is in Special Agent Nick Walker’s path once again and this time he’s determined to shed the weight of regret and finally claim the future that was always meant to be theirs.

It won’t be easy. Mia’s heart was shattered by Nick and now, just when she’d pieced it back together, it’s been broken again, bringing their past to the surface, including her own secret about that day everything went wrong.

***Every title by Claudia Connor is a Contemporary Romance and a full stand alone novel. No cheating, no love triangle, no cliff hanger.

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~twenty-four years ago

Nick pressed two fingers into the sleep deprived headache pounding in his temple and tried to concentrate on professor Jenkins’s explanation of ideal gas law. He circled a line of notes, ignored the knock on the auditorium door until he heard the familiar cry. Hannah, who he’d left in the university daycare two hours ago.

The high pitched wail wasn’t his two year old sister’s hurt cry. It was her scared cry with a touch of pissed off. In the six months since their parents’ death, he’d learned to tell the difference. He’d learned a lot of things. Like if he didn’t take her to the bathroom, she’d likely wait too long and have an accident. Like green beans made her throw up, but she’d eat them if he told her to. And she would never, ever go to sleep without Mr. Bunny.

He was up, out of his seat, and halfway down the auditorium stairs before his professor laid his pen down.

Nick’s eyes narrowed on the young blonde in an oversized sweatshirt with silk greek letters sewn on the front. She held a sobbing Hannah dressed in the sunny yellow sundress he’d picked out that morning. She hadn’t been crying when he left her. Now her eyes were red and snot mixed with tears dripped into her mouth. Hannah lunged for him. His arms engulfed her small body and his heart squeezed like it always did when she held onto him.

“I stay you,” Hannah said. Each word tumbled out of her with a jerk of her tiny shoulders.

“What happened to her?”

“Nothing happened to her. She hasn’t stopped screaming for the past hour and she bit three people. We can’t keep her like that.”

Several responses came to mind.

She’s just a baby.

She missed her nap.

And the loudest of all, it was my fault for leaving her.

Hannah raised her head to look at him, giant tears hanging from golden lashes. “I bite.”

“Well. At least she’s honest.” Professor Jenkins turned his questioning eyes to Nick. “She yours?”

He hesitated, but only a second. “My sister. But yes, she’s mine.” And at that moment she became even more his, which seemed to be the case every day. Every day, a little more his.

Author Bio

Claudia Connor is the author of the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling series, The McKinney Brothers. Her debut novel, WORTH THE FALL, hit the New York Times Bestsellers list in 2014 and received numerous Best Contemporary Romance of 2014 accolades.

Claudia attended Auburn University, where she received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in early childhood education. After teaching kindergarten and first grade for ten years, she retired to be a full-time mom to her three daughters. Always a lover of books, and always one to have stories playing in her mind, she decided to try her hand at writing. It took seven years to finish her first novel and a new love was born.

Claudia lives near Memphis, Tennessee with her husband, three daughters, two cats, and a singer-songwriter Siberian Husky. She continues to write warm, heartfelt, and emotional romances with a bit of steam, a lot of family and always a happily ever after.

Author Links

“I loved you yesterday. I’ll love you tomorrow. Every day.”

This was my first book by Claudia Connor and I'm so glad I decided to try it out. Worth the Wait is a spinoff of the McKinney Brothers series. But if like me, you hadn't read any of them, you'll be able to jump right in here just fine. This book is about Nick Walker, he was introduced in Worth the Risk, as the heroine Hannah's brother. In fact, I loved Hannah so much in this story, that I immediately bought her book and read it right afterwards. I really loved this author's skill in bringing a wide range of emotion and angst. Even though this wasn't an enthusiastic five stars, I can tell you with all certainty that I will be reading the others in the series.

This was a second chance story about two people who met at the most inconvenient time for love. Nick had just lost his parents at the age of nineteen. He was stressed, grieving, and now the parental figure for his three siblings. The youngest Hannah only two at the time and not able to make sense of the tragic loss of her mother and father. He was in way over his head trying to deal with this on top of his studies at college. Mia was just starting her ambitious studies in her goal to be a doctor and she didn't intend for anything to get in her way of succeeding. They were two people who seemed to be on separate paths from the start, but that didn't stop them from growing to care about one another and yearning for more.

As time goes by, the two of them realize they've found something rare and special in one another. And no matter what the odds, they're willing to take their shot at love. They hold strong through school and forced distance for years afterwards. But the fork in the road occurred with Hannah's abduction and torture as a teen. From this point on, nothing will ever be the same. Naturally, there is an incredible amount of emotional trauma from her horror-filled time in captivity and Nick in unequipped for handling it. He's the protector of the family, the one who is supposed to shield them from harm, and he feels as if he failed in the worst way imaginable. As much as I loved Nick up until this point, this is where my frustrations started to grow.

As the catalyst for their separation, it's understandable and it drew my empathy for both. I was hurting with them and hoping for a reconciliation that would ease their suffering. However, ten long years pass, and neither is any happier in their personal life. Mia especially has known loss and heartache that consumes her, and she has no one that she can lean on. When she takes on Hannah's case as her therapist, eventually it brings her face to face with the one man who got away that she can't forget.

Between Nick's stubborn pride, and his massive guilt that he wouldn't face and conquer, I felt as if these two were running around in circles in regards to working out their issues. After a point, things started to lean more towards depressing rather than any other emotion as we see them flounder time and again trying to reconnect. I would have liked to have seen them spend more time together working towards forgiving one another rather than such an excessive amount of time in flashbacks of how they came to be separated. But...even though I didn't fully love this one, I enjoyed the close family dynamic and the lovely way with words this author has. I'm really looking forward to catching up on her backlist in the near future.


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