Release Day Review: Love At Last by Claudia Connor
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All new romance from New York Times Bestselling Author Claudia Connor…
How many times can you be unlucky in love before you decide it’s not luck, it’s you?
With her ex-groom's words, I’m in love with someone else, still ringing in her ears, Clare Franklin flies off alone to her would-be honeymoon. Forced to accept not everyone gets that happily ever after she’s always dreamed of, she’s done with men. Until she gets tangled up, quite literally, with one sexy veterinarian.
The only thing Dr Deacon Montgomery wants is to share his surgical expertise and get back to his two year old twin daughters. But, the connection he feels with Clare highlights just how alone he really is and makes him wonder if he can be more than doctor and daddy.
Long talks and moonlit walks under the rustle of palms has Clare thinking maybe she gave up on love too soon. Until one phone call from home changes everything.
Love at Last was the first full-length book I have read by this author. I had read a novella by her prior to this and even though it was super sweet romantic, something I normally don't read, I still enjoyed it. When I saw she had a new book coming out I thought why not give it a try? I am not usually one for super romantic super sweet like candy stories, but why not give it a go? Well, I will say I did enjoy this story, but it was right on the line of being too romantic for me. I know that might sound odd since most of my reviews are for romance books, but they are not normally super romantic romances. This is one of those stories where everything is so super sweet and magical and cute and fun.
Clare was supposed to get married but found out her fiance was in love with someone else. So she heads off on their honeymoon by herself to lick her wounds and move on. Now Clare was an odd one for me. She wasn't super upset about being left by her fiance, he wasn't the love of her life or anything. He was a safe choice, a comfortable choice, someone she cared for well enough and she wanted the house and family and all of that so he was a good, stable pick. I'll be honest, I didn't really understand why Clare was okay with settling and not being super in love with her partner. She is kind of afraid of opening up to people and really taking a chance and after her safe choice left her she decides she is going to give up on men.
Deacon has not had the best luck with women, but he does have some pretty amazing daughters to show for his failed love life. And he loves every minute of being a father. He was so sweet and kind and caring and wonderful. Plus he is a vet and helps pups and cats. Who wouldn't love him? Well he is at the same resort as Clare on a business trip and he expects to get his talks over with and then go home as soon as possible. He doesn't count on meeting Clare and falling for her. To meet someone like her and see that maybe he could find love with someone. To not want to leave her and spend a few extra days there getting to know her.
These two were both super into the other and neither expected it. Clare's single honeymoon turned into something that could be so much more. But of course we have a bit of drama, things happen that were not expected and someone had to rush off in a hurry. Now the second half of the book I really didn't care for Clare that much. She is a super coward and Deacon deserves to know what happens. I will say when Deacon finds out everything he handles the whole situation a billion times better than I would have. He is still so sweet and kind and wonderful and Clare is still such a scaredy pants. She bugged me. Maybe if I would have seen more why she was so afraid to open up it would have been better, but oh well. I don't know what else Deacon could have done to show Clare how he felt. That he was there for her. That he was all in. I really loved him and how great he was with his daughters, his family, and Clare. If not for him I may not have enjoyed the book as much as I did.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ 1/2
His wide, warm palm grazed her lower back as they wove their way through the tables to the exit. They crossed over the water garden in silence, slowing as they reached a fork in the path.
“Which way?” Deacon asked. “I’ll walk you back.”
“That’s sweet, but you really don’t have to. It’s a five-star resort, not downtown Los Angeles.”
Deacon kept walking. “True. But you know, I took you to dinner and all.”
She arched a brow at him. “It’s also an all-inclusive resort. Maybe I took you.”
“Maybe you did.”
He flashed her that slightly lopsided grin that hit her right in the chest. She conceded to the walk, and together, they followed the brick path. The resort was dark, but lights along the sidewalk lit the path and shined up the skinny gray trunks of the swaying palms. It was quiet, and when they didn’t pass even one other person, she was glad he was walking her back.
She slowed as they came to the breezeway leading to her building and pointed up the steps to the second floor. “I’m up there, so…”
Deacon started up the steps. “I’ll walk you to the door. I’m funny like that.”
She probably should have said no, insisted that she could make it to her door on her own. Because of course she could. But she didn’t insist, just followed enormously glad she’d removed the HONEYMOON banner from her door.
They reached her room, and she turned to face him. Just the two of them now, up here, alone at her door. She felt a slight buzzing in her head that had nothing to do with alcohol.
“Well, Clare of the here and now.”
She rolled her eyes at the reminder of her earlier word-vomit ramble. “It was nice to meet you.” She stuck out her hand, hoping it wasn’t sweaty.
“It was nice to meet you, too.”
It didn’t feel like a simple handshake as he wrapped his fingers around hers. “I had fun tonight. You turned what might have been a horrible night into something surprisingly nice.”
“Thank you for catching me and saving my top and for dinner and talking and…” And maybe she could stoptalking.
A frog gave a low croak, and another answered, but she figured the pounding of her heart was louder.
The buzzing in her head grew louder, and she felt dizzy from looking into his eyes and staring at his lips because she wanted him to kiss her. She wanted to feel those smooth, firm lips on hers, to taste him and feel his arms around her.I'm losing my mind.
“You’re beautiful,” he said. “I’ve been wanting to say that all night.” He lifted his hand and lightly brushed his thumb over her cheek.
Then he leaned in, and she moved. Just…moved. In and up, her fingers twisting in the front of his shirt. She was just falling into the taste of him, just getting that warm, tingling flood of a first kiss when her brain fully registered that he’d been leaning in to kiss her cheek.
“I’m sorry.” She swallowed hard, felt a stinging heat flooding into her cheeks, and wished desperately to disappear. Deacon was staring at her in complete confusion. That made two of them. “I’m… really sorry.”
She spun to her door. A stiff wind sang through the open-air hallway, slapping her hair across her eyes. How she got her key in the lock, she had no idea. Mumbling one more apology over her shoulder, she opened the door and closed it behind her. She stood, heart pounding in mortification, her lips buzzing.
The champagne glasses and fruit and cheese tray had been cleared. The bed had been turned back, and the damn swans were back, nestled in the center of the bed and kissing right on their terrycloth lips.
About the Author:
Claudia Connor is the author of the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling series, The McKinney Brothers. Her debut novel, WORTH THE FALL, hit the New York Times Bestsellers list in 2014 and received numerous Best Contemporary Romance of 2014 accolades.
Claudia attended Auburn University, where she received her undergraduate and master’s degrees in early childhood education. After teaching kindergarten and first grade for ten years, she retired to be a full-time mom to her three daughters. Always a lover of books, and always one to have stories playing in her mind, she decided to try her hand at writing. It took seven years to finish her first novel and a new love was born.
Claudia lives near Memphis, Tennessee with her husband, three daughters, two cats, and a singer-songwriter Siberian Husky. She continues to write warm, heartfelt, and emotional romances with a bit of steam, a lot of family and always a happily ever after.