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SPOILER ALERT!

Worth it All

Worth It All - Claudia Connor

I read this as an ARC from Netgalley.

 

I liked this. I enjoyed the first story in the series quite a bit. I liked this one just as much. The second one, I enjoyed a bit less.

 

Jake is the hero. He lost his foot and part of his lower leg in a car accident when he was 19. I'm not quite clear how old he is now. There was a comment about him being on the under side of 30 and another indicating it had been 6 years since the accident, so I think he's about 25 or 26. He's been through therapy and all of the emotional upheaval involved with losing a limb already, so the story is not about that. He's a bio medical engineer and part owner of a company the develops prosthetics.

 

Paige is the heroine. She's about the same age. She is a waitress at a diner that Jake frequents. She also works at a bar, attends school and is the single parent of a five year old. Casey, her daughter, is missing her leg below the knee. I totally cannot remember the medical term, but it did not develop properly and was removed when she was an infant.

 

Jake and Paige are interested in each other, but neither lets the other know. Jake takes the opportunity to know Paige by helping Casey when he realizes that Casey is her daughter. I said that poorly - he's not using Casey. He honestly likes her and wants to help her, but spending more time with Paige is a big benefit.

 

Jake and Paige are scarred. Jake is greatly affected by the circumstances that surrounded the loss of his leg and thinks he's not relationship material. Paige does not date or get involved with men. She does not believe in fairy tales or happily ever afters. It is partly due to her mother's behavior when she was growing up, but also related to the way she became pregnant with Casey.

 

It's really a beautiful story. A beautiful relationship. They have reservations and insecurities, but there is no manufactured conflict and they don't decide to bang each other just to "get it out of their system".

 

The one complaint I have is the HEA. It isn't this book in particular. It just seems to be the way the author likes to give HEAs. They are very happily forever and ever and ever and ever after. They're almost sickenly sweet and when you visit other members of the family from previous books, there is never any friction. Everyone gets on FAMOUSLY. It's VERY nice to think about, but not realistic in a long term marriage or between in-laws.