Worth the Risk
The McKinney Brothers # 2
By: Claudia Connor
Releasing Feb 3rd, 2015
When a McKinney brother falls in love, powerful emotion and overwhelming desire are never far behind.
Two hearts locked away . . . Hannah Walker spends her days coaching children through injury and trauma, one therapeutic horseback ride at a time. She knows all too well how violence can change a child and leave scars that never heal. It’s easy for her to relate to the kids; what isn’t easy is the thought of facing her own harrowing past.
Millionaire playboy Stephen McKinney could use a little coaching himself. Five years ago he encountered his most horrible nightmare—and the nightmare won. No matter what he achieves, nothing can make up for that awful night . . . or so he believes.
Both desperate for a second chance . . . Stephen is used to getting what he wants. And he wants Hannah. So when she turns him down, he’s intrigued. What he doesn’t know is that her secrets will lead him to a place he never wanted to go again . . . to a side of himself he’s tried to forget . . . a side that would scare Hannah away from ever loving him. Now his only chance to win her trust is to bare his soul, risking everything he tried so hard to protect.
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Her oldest brother, Nick, stood leaning against the hood of his SUV, looking like the formidable FBI agent he was. Nick was tall and handsome; his hair was dark brown to her light and he wore the perpetual unshaven look well. It gave him a tough look just short of scary.
He lifted his hand and she waved back. Afraid she couldn’t tell him about Max without crying, she’d texted him. And now he was here, checking on her like he always did. Her brothers had raised her, sacrificed for her. Nick more than any of them.
Lexie met them and took Hazel and Allie into the barn. Hannah turned to find Nick’s cop eyes full of concern. That was the look she couldn’t spend an entire night with.
Nick said nothing for several seconds, just gave her his I-can-read-your-mind stare. “I talked to Luke and Zach. They’re fine with changing plans tonight.”
“I knew you’d say that.” She headed into the barn to get ready for her next student, leaving Nick to follow. “You don’t need to change your plans.”
“A friend.” He said it full of suspicion and disdain for someone he didn’t know. Big-brother syndrome plus FBI equaled over-the-top.
“Okay. Sorry.” He held up his hands. “But why don’t you and your friend come over to watch the game?”
“On top of not knowing who this friend is, I don’t like the idea of you coming home at night to an empty house.” Immediately he looked remorseful and scrubbed a hand over his face. “Sorry.”
She blew out a shaky breath before speaking. “It’s fine. Dogs don’t live forever, you knew that when I moved out here.” Something he’d been adamantly against, but having the dog had helped.
She loved her four brothers, and she wouldn’t say they suffocated her, though the hum of their hovering could be deafening at times. FBI, Special Forces, firefighter, cop. It was like her very own big-brother protection force. And every one of them liked to be in charge and in control. Especially Nick. If they knew she was going out with a man, let alone a man she didn’t know, they’d freak. Even if it was for their own good.
She met her brother’s worried eyes, and not for the first time thought what it must have been like for him at nineteen, suddenly responsible for four siblings. Then she thought of how much more she’d put him through. Put them all through.
If they were ever going to believe she was really okay, if she was going to believe it, she had to prove it. Time to push herself out of her comfort zone. For herself. For all of them.
I liked Hannah instantly. I loved what she did for a living, and the care and love she had for the people that she helped. How she took what she was handed in life and made something good out of it. It also helped that she has some hot, protective brothers looking out for her!
Stephen was hard to like at first, but I have to say he did grow on me. He isn't one of those perfect Alpha males - and to be honest, I still like his brother Matt better. This doesn't mean he was a bad person, he just let what happened with his finance harden him, and his walls were harder to break down.
Stephen and Hannah's relationship is not easy, and it really takes some hard work on both parts to get through it all. I seriously wondered if they would make it at times. But, have no fear, you will get your HEA - and included in that you get more of Matt, Abby and all the kids and other family members. Once again, looking forward to the next McKinney's story.
Claudia Connor is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of heartfelt contemporary romance. Claudia attended Auburn University, where she received her undergraduate and masters degrees in early childhood education, and completed her studies in Sawbridgeworth, England. Always a lover of happy endings, she enjoys movies, reading, and travel, but spends most of her time typing out the love stories of the almost real people that live in her head. Claudia lives near Memphis, Tennessee, with her husband and three daughters.