Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Deeper by Robin York
Series: Caroline & West #1
Published by Bantam on January 28, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble
When Caroline Piasecki’s ex-boyfriend posts their sex pictures on the Internet, it destroys her reputation as a nice college girl. Suddenly her once-promising future doesn’t look so bright. Caroline tries to make the pictures disappear, hoping time will bury her shame. Then a guy she barely knows rises to her defense and punches her ex to the ground.
West Leavitt is the last person Caroline needs in her life. Everyone knows he’s shady. Still, Caroline is drawn to his confidence and swagger—even after promising her dad she’ll keep her distance. On late, sleepless nights, Caroline starts wandering into the bakery where West works.
They hang out, they talk, they listen. Though Caroline and West tell each other they’re “just friends,” their feelings intensify until it becomes impossible to pretend. The more complicated her relationship with West gets, the harder Caroline has to struggle to discover what she wants for herself—and the easier it becomes to find the courage she needs to fight back against the people who would judge her.
When all seems lost, sometimes the only place to go is deeper.
I’ve enjoyed the “adult” works of Robin York, writing as Ruthie Knox. They are some of my favorites as the characters feel very real, the stories feel real and they do a good job of drawing out my emotions. Deeper is a whole new level of real. This is not quite pretty. It’s the gritty aspects of life, those things no one wants to look at too closely but need to understand in order to grow and to progress. This book just sucked me right in, turned me inside out and left me raw and naked in the world.
These are new adults, imperfect people, in the world on their own. For Caroline, it is the first time she has grasped her own impact and the way her choices affect her life. She is smart and strong, but she hides initially. Who wouldn’t?
For West, it is a continuation of a path, in a too adult life he has been living for some time. They both have their own ideals and rules for their lives, which they find may not be realistic. West is well aware of his crappy history and the stupid life which will force him back at any time. He tries to stay away from Caroline to protect her but he just wants her, needs her and loves her. He may be the “bad boy,” but he is so wonderful, supportive, caring and protective of Caroline.
When the head is in charge, it is easy and rational. When the heart is in charge, all bets are off. West knows this; he has lived this with his mom. Caroline is just starting to feel her heart.
I related to all of this so much. I tend to live in my head, most all of the time. But that doesn’t mean I don’t know my heart. I let it go on these “safe” journeys in romance books. I read mostly fluffy HEA type romances. They let me escape and feel the happy. But I got tired of those and started reading stories which were more realistic. HERE, this is more. This was a very satisfying, but unusual, trip for me.
This is my heart taking over and running the show. And guess what? I can take it. I can work through it much as Caroline does in the story and learn some new things about myself. Isn’t that the best kind of book? One that lets you feel everything and it allows you learn and grow? It is not what I expected but it is excellent.
These young people are college sophomores. They aren’t really out in the world exactly, but they also don’t really fit in back at home anymore either. They are in a certain environment, with learning served up and lots of peers in the same age range. They are beginning, learning and they are … unfinished.
I read this book in roughly 24 hours. I put off most everything else and finished reading this today, eating breakfast at 1:45pm even though I got up at 5:30am. That’s how gripping this book is. While Deeper ended at a reasonable point, it is unfinished. It is not a HEA. It’s not truly an ending. I looked further at the subtitle which is Caroline and West, part 1. I went to the author website to see WHEN will part 2 be available, and it said July! JULY! I need part 2 NOW. July can’t come soon enough.
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