Synopsis: Caroline Piasecki’s life is over. Well, that’s how it feels after her ex-boyfriend posts sexually explicit pictures of her on the internet, along with her name and college. She spends her time vigorously trying to wipe out the pictures, and hiding from guys. As a freshman at Putnam, she stays close to her roommate and bestie, Bridget.
She met West on move-in day, but after her father warned her to “stay away from that boy,” she tried not to think about him. It takes a year for her to finally give in to wanting to know more about the mysterious West Leavitt. It turns out West is exactly what Caroline needs to remember who she is, and that she’s not a coward who hides whenever a guy shows interest in her. West brings out the best in Caroline and helps her remember who she is — a leader. A fighter.
But Caroline turns out to be exactly what West needs, too. West comes from a bad home life. In fact, he drove 1000 miles away from Oregon to start a new life. To push himself to be something better. And he tries to keep Caroline as far away as possible. But when he finally lets her in, he knows he’s better for it.
However, when he has to go back home, he leaves Caroline behind in Iowa.
…but never fear, the sequel, HARDER, comes out in a few months!
Thoughts: I love how relatable Caroline is. There were a lot of times I saw myself in her, mostly when she reacts to West (sexually). She feels that she has to reciprocate and West tells her that Nate (her ex) “really did a number on [her].” Caroline is relatable and the reader finds it hard not to love her (or at least, I did!) York does a great job throughout the novel of showing Caroline’s progression from being terrified of what is going to happen because of the pictures to embracing the woman she is (a leader!) and strong. I loved seeing the strength come out of Caroline.
West is just…dreamy. He’s six feet of tall dark and dangerous. And the way he keeps to himself makes him a mystery. However, York tells the story in alternating narratives, so the reader gets to see why West does what he does. It also makes West more lovable because really, I just wanted to hug him and tell him it would be fine.
The Ending: (Highlight to read — contains spoilers) I was a little worried about the end after
spoiling myself reading the synopsis for Harder. However, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t really a traumatic ending. It wasn’t West abruptly leaving Caroline, but rather a known move and Caroline was able to come to terms with it, even if she hated it. So, I’m excited to see what happens in Book 2.
Explicit Thoughts: The sex was totally hot. *Fans self.* I mean, really really hot. Well written, Robin York.
I’d definitely recommend this to my New Adult readers, as well as lovers of romance. It’s definitely New Adult, but it has enough to hold the romance fans, too. I’m looking forward to reading HARDER and seeing what happens.
Rating: 7.5/10 stars.