I don’t really write reviews because I suck at them. I’m not an analytical reader and can rarely articulate what I did or didn’t like about a book. I’m kind of just left with an emotional reaction at the end, like meh or that sucked or omg, I loved it. Those don’t make for great reviews. But this book? Let me try to tell you about it.But first, a little backstory info-dump! At the RWA Literacy Signing, an author introduced herself to me. (Spoiler alert: It was Claudia Connor.) We were chatting and I asked about her book and then magic words were coming at me: SEAL, pregnant widow, four kids. On the outside, I asked her if she had a card or bookmark or something I could have, but on the inside I was all gimme gimme gimme *grabby hands* gimme so I don’t forget to buy this book!
I tweeted a picture of the card and my intent to preorder (which I did), because I knew those magic words would grab some of my friends, too. Then later, once RWA was behind us, I got an email from Claudia asking if I’d like an advanced peek. On the outside, I was all “Sure, sounds great”, but on the inside? Gimme gimme gimme *grabby hands* gimme!
But there’s work and stuff and back to school and, as I’ve talked to several people about, the attention span struggle with digital reading. I read on my phone, where Angry Birds and Bejeweled and Twitter live. Read a couple of paragraphs, check Twitter, kill some stupid pigs. I tried reading a paperback ARC I got from BEA. You need decent lighting to read paper books. Who knew? Then I tried firing up the Paperwhite again, but I have a tendency to lose track of it. My phone is always with me. Anyway, to make a long story just marginally shorter, I haven’t done a lot of reading lately, but yesterday I turned in edits that made my brain hurt and I picked up the iPad Mini to read. (I
can’t don’t read PDFs on my phone.)
Honesty time, since I know some of you like to sample a book and can be very…demanding when it comes to openings. Since getting the early copy, I’d picked it up, started it and went to kill some pigs or break some jewels several times. The opening is…done. Guy playing wingman so his buddy can have the hot chick. He’s got the hot chick’s smoking hot best friend, but he’s so over the casual sex with the shallow bimbo and is restless. While it’s a pretty authentic place for a guy like Matt to find himself in, I was kind of oh, that guy. But a couple of pages in, there’s a little kid and a football and the magic begins. From that point until I finished, I only put the iPad down to cook supper and eat and I did that reluctantly. I can’t remember the last time I devoured an entire book in essentially one sitting.
Okay, if you didn’t like Suzanne Brockmann’s Tall, Dark & Dangerous series from Silhouette, scroll down to the bold asterisks. If you did…I think you’ll love Worth the Fall. The other day I was grabbing something from my bookshelf and my signed copy of Prince Joe caught my eye, reminding me of how much I LOVED that series and wondering if a re-read would cure my reading slump/phone ADD. Worth the Fall reminded me a lot of that series. Some Navy SEAL-ing, but more about the man and the emotion, with the honor and quiet strength and conviction. Specifically, though the story line is very different, I thought it evoked the emotional tone of Frisco’s Kid.
*** Welcome back! (But, really, how could you not love that series?) So, while I do wish the resolution had played out slightly differently, from page 3 or so straight through to the end, I loved this book. I thought the four young kids were done really well, and I absolutely loved Matt’s interactions with them. I fell in love with both the hero and the heroine and I actually got a little teary-eyed before the black moment because I knew it was coming and I hurt for them because they didn’t.
If there’s one issue of craft I could pinpoint in an attempt at actual analysis, it would be Matt’s POV. An authentic male POV can make or break a book for me, and being inside Matt’s head felt real to me (as did his dialogue). He said a lot with very words. A favorite example:
A group of teens with pierced noses and dripping jean shorts ran by, nearly clipping Abby in the shoulder. When he instinctively moved to protect her with his body, she took his hand and suddenly everything in his world righted. Damn it. She could bunch him up like a ball of paper, then easily smooth him out with a look, a touch. Over and over again. Bunch, smooth. Bunch, smooth.
And here we are at the part where I’m supposed to break down all the elements for you, and I’m frustrated by my inability to do that. I loved this book. A lot. That’s all I’ve got, really. I think many of you would love it, too. I’ll remind everybody of how much I loved this book on Tuesday, when it releases, but I’m also dropping some preorder links if you want to give it a try. I hope you do!
Prepare to be swept away by a talented debut author with a passionate, powerful story to tell.
They meet on a beach. . . . Abby Davis isn’t wearing a skimpy bikini or sipping umbrella drinks, not when she’s busy chasing around four little ones. And Matt McKinney isn’t looking for fun—he’s a Navy SEAL, a grown man with a long list of missions . . . and fallen brothers.
They only have a week. . . . Abby has brought her children to this beach to start over, to give them the enjoyable memories they deserve. Matt’s been sidelined by a combat injury, and haunted by the best friend he lost and the promise he made: to remain a SEAL—focused and dedicated. This leaves no time for what he’s always wanted: a family.
But a week is all it takes. . . . Matt opens her heart while Abby soothes his soul. And though they plan to say good-bye when the week is over, something magical happens on that beach, something neither can forget. Something utterly, completely worth falling for.