When being in love is not enough…
This book slayed me. There are tough-fought romances and then there is this one. I didn’t really go in with expectations other than love for the earlier McKinney series and eagerness for this crossover spin-off series, the McKinney-Walkers.
Worth the Wait, timeline-wise, is actually running parallel to the events of Worth the Risk (McKinney book two). The characters are all in both books, but the author wrote them in such a way that this one has a standalone plot and a reader could start with this spin-off series if they wanted. Personally, I was glad to read the other series first so appearances by the McKinneys and the many references to Hannah and Stephen’s romance in this one, make more sense.
So this story begins with Nick’s baby sister making it clear to him that she has found a special someone and is ready to date. Nick is terrified of this because Hannah has gone through so much and he has discovered that Stephen has a rather checkered past. Hannah begs him to back off and treat her like an adult and to give Stephen a chance.
Hannah’s new situation send Nick spiraling into thoughts of the past when he was a college-age guy. Nick’s parents died leaving him the guardianship of his seventeen year old brooding brother, his fourteen year old twin brothers, and his three year old sister, Hannah. He moves heaven and earth to keep them all together even while trying to finish his degree so he can get into the FBI. The whole family is broken and hanging on by a thread, but then he encounters fellow student, Mia. He falls in love with a beautiful girl who is not put off by his ready-made family and crazy life.
Mia has a plan that will involve eight years of school and then her career as a surgeon. It did not include time for love particularly with a guy who has a lot on his plate raising a baby sister and looking out for his teenage brothers while grieving the loss of their parents. But with promises from Nick that her education would come before marriage, they are doing alright until the unthinkable happens.
Now in the present, Mia is back in the area and is now a grief therapist. Hannah Walker is her client and it is only a matter of time before Hannah’s oldest brother Nick learns that Mia is her therapist. After all this time, Mia knows she is as vulnerable as ever, but she will not let Nick break her heart a second time since she is still in pain from the first. Only, Nick claims he’s in a new place and ready to try again.
Alright, this one was told in present time and flashbacks. Its a strongly emotional story, but it is also difficult to track because of the breaks back and forth. I’m not one for drama, but in this instance, it’s not drama so much as how much a human being can handle of what life can throw at a person.
Nick was pushed past his limits when the pressure of caring for four younger siblings and losing his folks is compounded by having to wait eight years to get married and then have his baby sister kidnapped and tortured. It broke something in him.
Mia was there all along with Nick while he raised the others and held strong to finish out her classes and internships only to have that happy moment of marriage and family never come. She ended up walking away when all hope was gone and then later her own life is tested when her adopted baby is taken back by the birth mom.
I’m not going to lie. It all got to be too much. It wasn’t too angsty, but it was just one heartbreaking line of sorrows for this pair. I really needed to see some happy times to balance it.
Am I sorry I read this story? Not a chance! I wouldn’t have passed it up. But that said, this is no fluffy feel good story and the reader has to be prepared for that.
This romance pair really needed to catch a break. Their chance came ten long years after they thought it would. As I said in the opening, love was there all along, but it wasn’t enough when things got to be too much. They were both too young to handle what hit them with the strength of an F-5 tornado. It decimated and scattered the pieces.
The writing was amazing and the author told this particular story well. I could have wished that once it dipped into the past that it stayed there until it caught up to the present, but then again, this way wasn’t a fail either. There was set up for the other three Walker brothers to get their stories. They were equally affected by their family’s past so I have a feeling that I will be getting some more deeply emotional stories out of this new series.
So, in summary, just wow. Amazing and heartwrenching feels, but a fantastic second chance romance nonetheless. I would recommend this series and the older series it spun from to those who love to see big family element, strong connections, and slow developing romance in unique and tough situations.
Romance Roundabout #7 CR
Literary Picker #8 Break up and Reunion Romance
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