Harder (Caroline & West, #2) by Robin York: ARC Review

Series: Caroline & West, #2
Author:  Robin York
Release Date:  July 1, 2014

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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.

Dear West,

I love you, but I’m still reeeeeeeally mad at you!!  You are one lucky jerk!  You should be thanking your lucky stars that Caroline believes in love and follows her HEART and not her head.  You can be so M-E-A-N.  And, I don’t mean just a little name calling.  You suck.  I want to punch you in the face for her.  I don’t care what your reasons, YOU DON’T DO CRAP LIKE THAT TO PEOPLE!  That girl did nothing but love and be there for you no matter what.  I hope you learned a thing or two from her. 

Dear Caroline,
Some people may call you stupid, naïve, or even a doormat for what West did to you (and that you let him, too).  I think that is the furthest thing from the truth.  You’re a strong young woman who knows what she wants and goes after it.  She doesn’t let pride (or someone else’s) stand in her way of getting what she’s after.  You’re smart, clever, and patient and you followed your heart.  You see what’s important in life.  You stood up for what (and who) you believe in and didn’t let other people talk you into taking the logical path. 


I simply loved Caroline and West’s story.  It certainly wasn’t without angst and heartache.  In Deeper, West teaches Caroline how to live and move on.  In Harder, it’s Caroline’s turn to teach West that it’s ok to go after what you want and you may have to leave your past behind to do it – moving on doesn’t mean abandoning your past, but it matters you deal with it and manage it. 

The first half of the book literally had me on the edge of my seat.  What happens in Oregon when Caroline goes to support West is nothing like what I expected.  She realizes just how far out of her element she is.  It was one thing after another, and I certainly felt for her. Caroline is in a strange place with no one to lean on – she’s literally on her own.  She gets a dose of what life is like when your mom is more worried about herself and you basically raise yourself and your little sister.  It’s eye-opening for Caroline, and she learns more about West than she realizes merely by keeping her mouth shut and just watching.  She tucks it away and uses it all to her advantage.

It’s no secret Caroline is not over West……. not by a long shot.  I definitely give Caroline a hi-5 when it comes to winning West back.  She doesn’t chase him, beg, cry, or whine.  She’s smart about it and plays her cards wisely and at the right time. 

Over all, this is a great NA romance that I truly enjoyed.  It’s filled with sweet, angst, drama, and lots of love.  It’s definitely a series that keep me furiously tapping the Kindle to get to the next page.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT!

4.5 STARS!!

Robin York

Robin York grew up at a college, went to college, signed on for some more college, and then married a university professor. She still isn’t sure why it didn’t occur to her to write New Adult sooner. Writing as Ruthie Knox, she is a USA TODAY bestselling author of contemporary romance, including RITA-finalists About Last Night and Room at the Inn. She moonlights as a mother, makes killer salted caramels, and sorts out thorny plot problems while running, hiking, or riding her bike.

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