Deeper (Caroline and West #1)
by Robin York
Publication Date: January 14, 2014 (Available for pre-order on Amazon, $7.99)
In this New Adult debut by Robin York, a college student is attacked online and must restore her name—and stay clear of a guy who’s wrong for her, but feels so right.
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.
Wow, just…wow! This is a debut novel? What? This book was amazing. I loved it! When I realized it wasn’t being published until January I wanted to scream. That means I have to wait even longer for the follow-up! So Robin York, take pity on me. Give me a bone. I need to know what happens next!
I’m done ranting now, on to my review…
Caroline grew up in a life of privilege. Her father is a judge who makes a good living. Her mother died when she was young but she was loved and cared for. Caroline was Dad’s little girl. She is the youngest of three. She is the responsible one and the one most likely to follow in her father’s footsteps. She is attending a prestigious college and majoring in pre-law. Life is good.
West is a young man who has had to work hard to get where he is. His father was not an honorable man. He came in and out of West’s life throughout his childhood. When he left he always took whatever money they had and left his mother a crying mess. West has a baby sister, Frankie. She is his reason to be a better man. He attends the same college as Caroline and is a pre-med student. He hopes to make a better life for him and Frankie.
Everything should be wonderful. But it’s not. When Caroline breaks up with her boyfriend of three years, he doesn’t take it well. He had taken photographs of her and him having sex. They ended up plastered all over the internet. Caroline gets a text from her best friend and finds out that everyone has seen the photographs.
West has his own issues. His tuition is generously being paid for by a doctor who took him under his wing. But West must come up with money for room and board. He also has to make enough money to help his mother and sister out back home. So, he does what he knows how to do, he sells weed. Everyone on campus knows who West is and what he does. Caroline has been strictly forbidden by her father to speak to West under any circumstances.
When the pictures go viral, all of campus is abuzz. Caroline is mortified. She begins receiving hate messages and she shuts herself off from the world. So when West steps up and defends her honor, she doesn’t know what to do.
In the middle of the night the voices in her head get too loud to allow her sleep. She finds herself driving around town at all hours of the night running from them.
Caroline is drawn to West but he won’t let her in. He pushes her away time and time again. He doesn’t have time for a relationship, or even a friend. But the chemistry is undeniable and when they are alone together, sparks ignite.
Despite the “No friends” rule, Caroline starts hanging out with West. They find solace in each other. He chases away her demons and she makes him feel needed.
“…my heart beat like a bass drum in a halftime show, and I couldn’t quite catch my breath to answer…”
Despite the fact that West knows all about her problems, Caroline knows nothing about West. He hides his drug deals from her and he tells her nothing about what has him so worried all of the time. She gets close enough to him to see it in his eyes, but he can’t or just won’t share.
Back home his life is falling apart. His sister is growing up too fast, his mother’s boyfriend is drinking too much and his deadbeat no good father is back in town and living in the families old beat up trailer that West paid for. West knows it’s just a matter of time before it all falls apart.
“I wish I could believe her, but I can’t make assumptions like that anymore. I’ve learned that when evil crawls out of a snake pit, you have to track it down and squash it. Then you have to assume it had babies and go looking for them.”
Over Christmas break West realizes that he can never have anything with Caroline. He can’t risk it. His sister needs him too much. He vows to end it. But how can you end something when you are tangled up so deep that you can’t see your way out.
Caroline is a victim of non-consensual pornography. She was victimized, but she will not be a victim. She is going to be a survivor, and to do that she has to fight back. When everything starts to fall apart, she has to show the world what she’s made of.
It may be enough to save her, but she can’t save West too. He has to save himself. And he’s got to figure out how to do that, on his own.
“Every time I kissed Caroline, I pulled her deeper in. Deep and then deeper, until I couldn’t come home again without bringing her along.”
I can’t tell you too much more without giving this one away. All I can say is I loved this book. It has a bit of a cliffhanger at the end. Don’t judge this book by its ending though. I hate cliffhangers and I would definitely read this one again, its worth it!
West is perfect with his dangerous, bad boy past and his dark secrets. He is hot in an understated way. I love that he has a crooked nose and ears that are a little too small for his head. I love that Caroline has a gap in her front teeth. They are everyday normal people. I was pulled into this story and held captive until the very end.
The story starts from Caroline’s point of view but then we get a glimpse of what is going on inside the enigmatic West. He is a complex and tortured soul. He is extremely smart and has a promising future ahead of him, but he comes with a TON of baggage. Caroline can’t help but fall for him despite her best efforts. *swoon* I would HIGHLY recommend this book to all of my romance junkie friends. This book was amazing. I have a new favorite author!
I adored this one, definitely a favorite of mine. I’d give it more than 5 stars if I could!
***A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.***