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Worth the Risk

Worth the Risk - Claudia Connor

I received this as an ARC from NetGalley.

The first in this series, Worth the Fall, was highly recommended.  I looked at it a few times and kept having reservations because I don't usually care for romance stories with children.  I feel like the kids are never portrayed correctly.  They're usually described as Stepford children and their only purpose is to be cute at appropriate times.  The rest of the time, they're conveniently absent.  Anyone who has kids knows this is not how it works.  But, I eventually picked up the book on sale and I really enjoyed it.  So, I was looking forward to this one, too.

I liked Worth the Risk, but not as much.  It's much darker.  The heroine, Hannah, is very likable.  Really bad things happened to her when she was 14 and so she's very sheltered when it comes to men/romance.  And surprisingly naive given her familiarity with the evil of which people are capable.  The hero, Stephen, is a bad ass businessman.  He's gorgeous, knows it and is a huge player (because bad things happened to him, too).  He keeps it to superficial women who want nothing but sex and what his money can buy for them.  However, he deviates from the norm when he runs in to Hannah at the grocery store.  He catches her shedding a tear over having to euthanize her dog (he doesn't find out why she was actually crying until much later) and he focuses on getting her in to his bed.  He quickly discovers that isn't going to happen, but that presents more of a challenge and he's hooked.

I think my problem with the story is that I never really liked or trusted Stephen.  Not until the very very end.  Hannah was fragile and he was unsure in his own mind about what he was doing with her, but he pursued her relentlessly, anyway.  He was supposed to be a really great businessman who considered everything from every angle and didn't miss anything, but he couldn't see what was going on right in front of him (business and personal).  And, by the end, I kind of wanted Hannah to stop apologizing to Stephen and assuming she was the cause of everything - he was a dick a lot.

The grand gesture at the end was fitting.  I don't usually go for the big sacrifice thing, but it was a facade - wasn't supposed to be him in the first place (still not sure I'm convinced of that) and probably needed to happen to make their HEA believable.