Amazon • Narrator: Johanna Parker
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.
This audiobook fell short of the high expectation that book 1 set up. The writing was good, the narrator Johanna Parker was excellent. I just never warmed to the hero Stephen McKinney and I never bought the chemistry with heroine Hannah Walker.
26 yr old Hannah had gone through trauma that left her scared to trust people. She spends her time healing and helping young kids rehab from physical trauma through horseback riding. A chance meeting at the grocery store led to an evening of drinks with the millionaire playboy Stephen. In Hannah, Stephen saw a warm body to lose himself and keep his nightmares at bay. In Stephen, Hannah saw an opportunity for a fresh start because this man who knew nothing about her past. Still, there was fear for both characters to let the other in. This is where the lack of communication led to miscommunications and drama. I tend to find them irritating. I understood them here as Stephen faced his own tragedy but it was no longer a viable excuse midway into the novel.
I loved Hannah and her will to overcome her tragedy. She was strong and so considerate of others. I loved both Hannah’s brothers and Stephen’s family. This book included cameos from Book 1 characters which was so nice to see the love was still passionate.
A little more character development on Stephen may have redeemed him for me. For most of the book, Stephen viewed Hannah as a challenge. She said no when others were so willing. Stephen wasn’t looking for a relationship. I was just lukewarm on him at the end. I didn’t feel intensity in feelings that I felt with Matt and Abby. I missed that love connection here until the very end. I really wanted to feel that angst but Stephen’s focus on the surface matters left me underwhelmed.
I enjoy stories revolving around big families and do like the author Claudia Connor’s story telling so I look forward to book 3 in this series.
Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook received in exchange for an honest review.