Worth the Wait, an all-new second chance small town romance from Karla Sorensen, is available now in Kindle Unlimited!
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Worth the Wait by Karla Sorensen
Series: Love at First Sight #4
Published by Smartypants Romance on September 29, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance
Source: the publisher
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You know what I don’t have time for? The brooding, dark-eyed former love of my life showing up when my life is finally settling down.
I don’t have time for Hunter Buchanan and that intense look in his eyes. The way he loved me so perfectly all those years ago.
I’m the one who asked him to leave back then, my attempt at saving him from the chaos of my screwed up family.
I didn’t expect him back in Green Valley, looking better than before and with an empty ring finger. And I definitely didn’t expect him to still be in love with me.
I don’t have time for the things I feel around him, or how amazing it is when he touches me.
Most of all, for the broken heart I’ll have if I have to say goodbye again. I survived him leaving once before, but I don’t think I can do it again.
So there’s only one thing I can make time for… staying away from Hunter Buchanan.
‘Worth the Wait’ is a full-length contemporary romance, can be read as a standalone, and is book #4 in the Love At First Sight series, Green Valley World, Penny Reid Book Universe.
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Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3cLQtM6
“I’m not your teacher,” I said. “Right now, I’m just the guy who’s supposed to make sure you don’t have to go back to fourth grade. And that means honesty from both of us. And trust.” I stood from the bench and held out my hand again. “You can trust me, Theo. But only make a deal with me right now if I can trust you the same way.”
It never occurred to me, as a teacher and then later as an administrator, to talk to kids like they didn’t have the same struggles as adults. They understood stress and fear and anxiety, albeit on a different scale, with different language behind it.
That scale changed as you grew up. Your responsibilities took on a different face, and you knew how to label those struggles. But to them—at their age—the responsibilities still felt like the whole world was pressing down on their shoulders. It didn’t help if the adults in their life pretended otherwise.
So I knew I’d won something big when Theo Rossman stuck his skinny arm out toward me.
He gave me a firm handshake, his cheeks turning pink when I returned it.
“You sound like Iris,” he said quietly.
My heart skipped unsteadily in my chest at his use of that name.
“Who’s Iris?” I asked calmly. So very, very calmly. I’d only met one person in Green Valley with that name. And as far as I knew, she’d never come back. Not that anyone had told me, at least.
“My sister. I live with her.” He tucked his hand back in his pocket, his face softening as he answered. His love for her, even if it wasn’t my Iris, was immediately clear.
Behind my ribs, I felt a hot squeeze of pressure while my mind absolutely fucking raced.
“I knew an Iris once.” I watched his face as I said it. “She’d probably be about thirty-two now.”
His eyes narrowed, mental calculations evident in his face. “I think that’s how old my sister is.”
My breathing was choppy, my lungs struggling to pull in enough oxygen. “The Iris I knew … her last name wasn’t Rossman.”
He kicked at a stick, so blissfully unaware that all my insides were jolting with unchecked pulses of electricity at the mere thought of it being her.
“Yeah, she’s my half-sister. She had a different dad, so she has a different last name.”
“What’s your sister’s last name?” I asked, fighting the urge to grab him by the shoulders and shake the truth from his mouth.
At the sound of a car, Theo’s attention was pulled to the parking lot. In an instant, he transformed. Wide smile and happy, bright eyes as he waved at the driver of a beat-up-looking SUV. “That’s her. Iris Black.”
I swiped a hand over my face and tried to check my breathing.
Check my pulse.
My ability to stay fucking conscious.
This was it. All the sleepless nights I’d wondered if I’d ever see her again. Wondered how I’d ever walked away from her, why I believed her when she said she didn’t have room for us in her life. If respecting her choice would damn me to a life that would always feel a little empty. Where every day held a slight edge of grief, something that might have worn down over the years but could still damage me if I caught it in the right way.
The last time I saw Iris Black, she wept as she told me to leave. That she couldn’t—wouldn’t—make room in her life for some great big destined romance. That she couldn’t—wouldn’t—believe that it was true.
The last time I saw her, I told her I’d love her for the rest of my life, whether she was in it or not. And I walked away all the same.
And there it was.
A gentle snap, a whisper-soft snick of something sliding back into place underneath my ribs. The shift of something that had been out of place since the last time I saw her. The realization came as quick as a thunderbolt and just as powerful. As I slowly turned toward the parking lot and she stepped out of the car, I knew this was the reason I’d come back to Green Valley.
It was her.
The one I’d loved since the moment I saw her.
Who I hadn’t seen in twelve years.
The one staring at me like she’d just seen a ghost.
I really enjoyed this one for sure. It had a lot of angst and a lot of just real issues. When there was a discussion about education and how things were for Hunter, or even for Iris and her younger brother, I really connected with that. Although it doesn’t necessarily matter if you have a fancy building to make things good for kids or for them to be successful as he pointed out in one bit. The last school I worked at was in an old building that had all kinds of issues and problems and while everyone might have complained and lamented about those things, our kids were successful and it was due to the wonderful staff we had. The way they worked for and cared for yet still had high expectations for our students. Whereas I might be in a nicer building that pays better and none of the kids have to go to a trailer for a classroom, I don’t feel we have quite what my last school did. Not saying my teachers at my current school don’t care and work hard, it’s just not the same.
Enough about that, I have to say that I did love these characters. We got so deep into their family issues. It was hard to see how much Hunter cared for Iris. And true to his family curse/blessing, he knew she was the one, but also knew he had to give her space and let her figure out what she wanted. The way they were brought together through her younger brother was perfect though.
In the end we did get our HEA, of course, and I loved how her younger brother was asking if he now was part of the family if he’d have to worry about finding the one like they all did and knowing that she was the one. Love this series, and don’t know if this is the end now, but it was perfect!
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About the Author
Karla Sorensen has been an avid reader her entire life, preferring stories with a happily-ever-after over just about any other kind. And considering she has an entire line item in her budget for books, she realized it might just be cheaper to write her own stories. It doesn’t take much to keep her happy…a book, a really big glass of wine, and at least thirty minutes of complete silence every day. She still keeps her toes in the world of health care marketing, where she made her living pre-babies. Now she stays home, writing and mommy-ing full time (this translates to almost every day being a ‘pajama day’ at the Sorensen household…don’t judge). She lives in West Michigan with her husband, two exceptionally adorable sons and big, shaggy rescue dog.
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