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Monday, June 30, 2014

HARDER was so EASY for me to LOVE! (Robin York)

Title: Harder
Series: Caroline & West #2
Author: RobinYork
Published: July 1, 2014 Random/ Bantam
Format: Galley - NetGalley - Thank you Random!

In Robin York’s provocative new novel, two young ex-lovers find themselves together again in the shadow of tragedy—and an intense, undeniable attraction.

Caroline still dreams about West. His warm skin, his taut muscles, his hand sliding down her stomach. Then she wakes up and she’s back to reality: West is gone. And before he left, he broke her heart.

Then, out of the blue, West calls in crisis. A tragedy has hit his family—a family that’s already a fractured mess. Caroline knows what she has to do. Without discussion, without stopping to think, she’s on a plane, flying to his side to support him in any way he needs.

They’re together again, but things are totally different. West looks edgy, angry at the world. Caroline doesn’t fit in. She should be back in Iowa, finalizing her civil suit against the ex-boyfriend who posted their explicit pictures on a revenge porn website. But here she is. Deeply into West, wrapped up in him, in love with him. Still. 

They fought the odds once. Losing each other was hard. But finding their way back to each other couldn’t be harder.

This series is amazing.  Seriously.  If you haven't picked it up - You.Need.To.  I thought Deeper was amazing and emotional, but Harder totally flipped me on my ass.  Caroline and West are one of those couples that I love to pieces.  I felt their connection is really soul deep, and even after I finish each book, I don't let them out of my head.

I don't want to spend my life staring backward at everything that's gone wrong.

When Harder begins, West is back in Silt, OR and Caroline is still in school at Putnam.  He's been cold and distant, and even mean at times.  Yet at other times, he's friendly and full of love for Caroline.  But things aren't the same.  He claims he is seeing someone.  And now his dad has been killed.  Caroline picks up and goes.  That's what you do when you love someone.  You don't wait for them to ask you to come, you just go.  And that's what I love about Caroline.  She has this wealth of unconditional love for West.   Even when she gets to OR and West isn't treating her the way he should - no where near the way he should - she still loves him with such devotion.  I love that steadfastness.  It really makes me feel her connection to him is just not some passing phase.

One thing leads to another, and they find themselves in the same area.  Physically near, but emotionally far.  It's devastating to me, because I want them together so badly.  But Caroline, I swear, it's like that girl can see the future.  She doesn't flip and freak out.  Nope.  She stays the course.  She has really grown up in this book.  Caroline is like a pillar of strength, and I could not be more proud of how far she has come.

And West... he feels stuck.  First physically, and then with his heart.  West feels like he can't have the things he wants, and he is being so damned stubborn!!  If he would just open up and see, everything he wants is right there for him.  It's heartbreaking, really.  But this book does have a HEA, so you have to stay the course and keep the wind in your sails, because Robin York will take you on one hell of a trip before she delivers  you that piece of peace.

You have to let yourself want what you want as hard as you can, as deep as that goes, even if it scares the fuck out of you.

Even if you want and your need are bottomless, timeless, and your fear is so big that it's hard to breathe around it.  

Because in the end, fear doesn't matter.  Pain doesn't matter. 

  I'm not afraid. 

I've got this.

In Harder, everyone shows growth.  Friends, relatives, Caroline and West.  There is definitely a lot that happens in this book.  Never once did I feel a lag, or feel like something was unneeded and just taking up space.  Every word on every page was perfect for me, and I was held in perfect attention, refusing the entire outside world until I could finish this book.  West was a perfect eclectic mix of everything that makes him, well, perfect.  Clear as mud, right?  And Caroline, this young girl grew into this amazing woman and when she speaks I want to give this MIGHTY FUCKING ROAR!!!!  I know I keep coming back to her.  But you know how it is when you get your hands on a character you just love.  Usually it is the book boyfriends, but this time it's the woman who stole my heart.  She has a few scenes where she just lays it out.  She tells it how it was, how it is, and how it is going to be.  I just love that girl.

"I'm hoping what we did tonight means something to you, the way it does to me, "  he says.  "Even if you think it was a mistake, which, you know, it probably was a mistake, but if it was, I made it because I want you back in my life so bad." 

For me, this book is a favorite.  Hell, this series is.  It was emotional and heartbreaking.  And heart-healing too.  This couple goes through hell and back, several times over.  And they both have their moments of weakness.  The whole nude pictures on the internet scandal isn't over.  But it's taught Caroline a thing or two about herself, and a thing or two about the world at large.  And West, he's had to face his past and decide if that's his future.  He has such a consuming love for his younger sister, Frankie, that you can't help but feel that leap off the page when they are together.

If you want to be ripped up and torn apart, and feel love from your head to toes, then you should definitely check out Caroline & West.  Robin York is a terrific author, and I just want to hug her for breathing life into these characters so perfectly.  It's truly a special thing when you find a book you just LOVE.

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