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.
* This review was first published in my previous book blog, The Book Lovers Codex, back in January 2014
Ebook & Paperback
The focus of the book is Revenge Porn and the fall out from that. If you think you'd struggle with the topic, don't read, but it's handled spectacularly well and really opens eyes to an all too relevant issue affecting people all over the world.
However, the story of Caroline and West continues in Harder and if you're reading for the HEA you need to read book 2 for you won't get it here.
It's an awesome book but if you want to see the HEA for this couple you need to read book 2, Harder.
The book kicks off with a prologue that explains exactly what happened to Caroline, it explains how it happened and why it happened and even though you have just been introduced to the character your stomach is in knots and you are chanting "no, no, no" along with her. Part of you stands back and thinks "how can you have been so stupid!" Another part of you wants to just hug her because it's not at all her fault, then you want to find her ex and punch him in the nuts so hard he will never be able to use his favourite appendage again!
Basically, it draws you in right from the first word, you were immediately on side with Caroline and wanted to see how it would all work out for her.
In the beginning of the next chapter, you meet West and its like BAM!! Instant curiosity and need to know more while the "ooh yummy" radar goes absolutely haywire and the funny part? You don't even know what he looks like yet! It's the way Caroline reacts to him that draws you to him and the way that he reacts to her that makes you sit up and say hello.
You just know from that point on that the book is going to be AWESOME. By the end of chapter one I loved Caroline and West and after half an hour of reading you could've driven a truck through my house and I would have been annoyed at the disruption to my reading time - not the carnage.
Caroline is so prissy, such a good girl and it just made the revenge porn all the more horrific (not that it would be a party for anyone).
West is a "bad boy" with a true heart of gold.
On paper the are complete opposites but they are made for each other. Their relationship is beautiful. It's not perfect but all the imperfections just made it more beautiful for me. They make each other better people and together they grow into something more than either could have been on their own.
It's gorgeous to read. I had a big stupid smile on my face for a good part of it and it gives lots of nice feels.
The author has a lovely way of writing. It's really easy to read, laced with humor and random banter as well as tension in all the right places. This book really highlights the issue of revenge porn - a subject not really on my radar before - in a way that anyone could relate to. The majority of people's reactions to what happened to Caroline were disgusting but sadly, probably, 100% accurate...
The ending is so bittersweet that I could barely stand it and I'll be climbing the walls screaming until I get my paws on book two, Harder.
Love Love Love Love!!!
It's simple and elegant but also a little disheveled which captures Caroline very well.
“You arm yourself with love, friends, knowledge. You figure out who you are. What you want. You figure it out, and you go after it with everything you've got. And that means sometimes you have to let yourself be scared.”
“I want you, and I don’t know how to stop wanting you. I want to get deep inside you, and then deeper, until I’m so deep I don’t even know what’s me anymore and what’s you.”
“What if you go after the love of your life and it ruins you?”
“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 too.”