Friday, July 11, 2014

Blog Tour: Harder by Robin York

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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.

Advance praise for HARDER:

“Bursting with chemistry, emotion, and heart, Caroline and West’s story will take your breath away!”—Katy Evans, New York Times bestselling author of the REAL series

“Robin York writes exceptionally real characters in achingly real situations. Harder had a hold on my heart and didn’t let go until the very end.”New York Times bestselling author Cora Carmack

Advance praise for DEEPER:
“The perfect new adult story . . . West will make you swoon!”New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy
“Beautifully written and full of swoony tender moments, toe-curling chemistry, and delicious, twisty angst . . . Stop whatever you’re doing and read this book.”—Christina Lauren, author of the Beautiful Bastard series

... you have to get really comfortable with the notion that the only person who's allowed to define how you feel about anything is you.

Harder is the second book in the West & Caroline series by the talented Robin York. Like book one, Hardercenters around Caroline and West and is told by both POVs. If you haven't read Deeper, please stop reading this review because it contains spoilers of that book. In Deeper, Caroline was broken, scared, tortured, and lost when her ex boyfriend posted sexually explicit pictures of her after she broke up with him. Basically, Caroline was a victim of revenge porn. Through West's friendship, she slowly begins to heal. West heals her damaged soul and self worth. The ending of Deeper about ripped my heart out when West left!
In Harder, it is Caroline's turn to save West when he gets sucked back into a life that he tried so hard to leave behind. But he couldn't leave Frankie to fend for herself. When Caroline shows up in the one place he never wanted her to see, he does everything that he can to push her away.
"West, they're never going to stop taking things from you. Not ever. There's never going to be a day when you look around at your mom and sister and your grandma and say, Okay, they're fine. I can go live my life the way I want now. It's not going to happen, anymore than I'm ever going to get my sex pictures off the internet. You can't wait for it to happen. What you have to do is find a way to get out from under it, knowing it's never going away. You have to make your own life, because if you don't, you just won't get to have one at all, and that's the worst fucking thing I can imagine."
I was worried about how this book would play out because I loved book one so much and I was worried that it wouldn't be as good. But, it turns out that it was just as good, if not better than the first because Caroline has grown into this strong kick ass women! She is no longer the Caroline from book one as she overcomes every obstacle in front of her.
I couldn't stand that she saw right through what I did to her - the shame I felt when she didn't cry or shout and I figured out I'd been trying to trick her into changing her mind about me because I couldn't just tell her the truth. I loved her. Every day, every hour, every single fucking awful minute, I loved her. And loving her, I hurt her, because I thought I had to. What else would have made her leave?
All I can say at this point is I. Want. More! I love Robin's writing style and the way the story unfolds and the emotion that she is able to implant into her words. My heart broke for both of them as they went through their struggles. And it was absolutely wonderful to watch Caroline become the force that she becomes. Never giving up, making a difference in people's lives and making a place for herself in the world. At this point she can do anything she wants. There are no limits for her and I hope that all of her dreams come true. 5 huge gleaming stars!

"I think there are some thing that are so hard, you shouldn't have to do them, only no one can take them from you"

Robin York left the reader with a tearful goodbye at the airport between Caroline and West, a goodbye that I can't imagine one reader anticipated happen, nor wanted to happen.  Not after all that it took for Caroline and West to finally be together, as a couple who loved each other.  There were tears in my eyes as I read the ending and I waited patiently for the sequel to be released because I was curious to see what life would throw their way in Harder.  Robin York did not disappoint in this 5 star read!

 I loved how in Deeper,  the reader was introduced to West, but the story was mostly based around Caroline and what she had gone through at the hands of Nate.  Harder  focuses more on West and his background, which gives a fantastic insight and understand as to why he reacts the way that he does in certain situations, but also shows you why he is so closed off to the world around him, why it was so difficult for him to let Caroline into his life and eventually his heart.

 The reader has empathy for West in a way that I havent felt for another character, how he steps up to take responsibility for things that a college-age man should never have to.  Worrying about the upbringing of his 10-year old sister, helping to support his mother and keeping up with the coursework to become a doctor (before he returned to Silt that is)

"I dont know how to be a father to a kid who's safe.  I don't know how to be a student just to be a student-how to explore, how to waste paper, how to play.  I dont know how to tell Caroline I'm sorry and make her hear how much I mean it, and I don't know how to put what I did behind me and look foward to the future"

West takes on the problems of the world for his family, never really thinking about himself or what he needs or wants.  He often ignores things that he doesn't want to deal with, because he is afraid to talk and express how he really feels.  He is afraid to really lean on someone when he needs help and it is through Caroline and her never ending love that he is finally able to overcome all of the battles he wages within himself and become the man that he was meant to be, that he wanted to be, the reason that he went to Putnam in the first place, a better life.

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.