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. 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.
Though they are together once more, 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.
Paperback, 339 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Piatkus
Aw, my heart can't take how raw and utterly real this read was. I was ever so excited to dive into West and Caroline's broken world again after reading the first book - I wasn't disappointed this was a truly memorable read...but for different reasons.
In this instalment we see Caroline thrust back into West's life again when he calls her after a tragedy strikes. Caroline jumps and travels to his hometown, where see experiences his shattered family first hand. West has changed, he's angry at the world that has dragged him back to this hell he once called home. He's also pissed that Caroline has flew all that way and can see where he came from.
Harder is a good name for this book because everything is so darn hard for these pair of star-crossed lovers. West seems to think his past circumstances shape his future and he feels stuck in a rut that he has no hopes of crawling out of - it's up to Caroline to pull him back and prove to him that anything is possible.
Robin York is a glorious writer who writes on the edge, making everything seem real and totally believable. This book wasn't as steamy as the first but I love all those positive messages that were crammed in. York forces the reader to realise that anything is possible, you can come from anywhere and not be bound by it. It's okay to dream big, it's okay to take what you want for yourself and try for something better - you deserve it! I LOVED West realising these things.
West is a fatherly figure to his little sister and is looking after her full time. Watching him with her was a thing of beauty because he wanted for her all the things he missed out on and never had. He tries so hard to make things different for her but he also needed Caroline to ground him.
I also really enjoyed seeing Caroline making her own decisions about the 'revenge porn' civil suit against her ex-boyfriend. She is a very strong character with a great head on her shoulders and seeing her stand up to make a change was very empowering.
Harder is a tough journey for West and Caroline, there are plenty of bumps and things in their way. Seeing them fight and help each other along their own path was beautiful. Robin York dishes out all the 'feels' for this second book and I know I'll be thinking about this book for a long time to come. If you haven't read Caroline and West's first journey yet then you MUST! What ya waitin' for ;)
4.5 / 5 Stars
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