July 3, 2014

BLOG TOUR EXCERPT: Harder (Caroline & West #2)

I'm thrilled to participate in the blog tour for Robin York's HARDER, organized by Inkslinger PR! Read on for an excerpt from Harder, then enter the giveaway. And, don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!

Harder (Caroline & West #2), by Robin York
Published July 1, 2014
Publisher: Bantam
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

(From Goodreads) 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.


When he takes his plate to the couch, I follow. I sit beside him and ask, “How was your day?”

“Got a lot of texts.”

“Anything interesting?”

He stares at the TV with his plate balanced on his lap and bites into a pull-apart roll slathered in butter. 

But he slants me a look, and the smart-ass tilt to his mouth makes me flush with heat.

I’ve seen that smile in bed, over dinner, in his car, in the bakery, in every corner of our lives together.

I miss that smile.

“You can’t ignore me into disappearing,” I say.

He just chews and swallows, staring, straight ahead.

I lean close and whisper so only he can hear me. “I’m not leaving until I know you’re okay.”

Everything about him gets still. He doesn’t even breathe, and I’m holding my own breath in sympathy, so caught up in him that I don’t even realize it until he draws air deep into his lungs and turns toward me. His face bare inches away.

His thigh hot alongside mine.

His eyes, his nose, his mouth, his face.


There can’t be another woman. Not between me and West—there can’t be, because if there were, I wouldn’t feel like this. I couldn’t feel like this. This alive. This real.

Not if he didn’t feel it, too.

“So if I tell you I’m okay, you’ll go?” he asks.

“I have to believe it.”

My white shirt is reflected in his eyes, a glare against the darkness of his pupils.

His nostrils flare. I know he feels something. I know he’s got things he wants to say to me. So why won’t he open his mouth and say them?

After he left Putnam, West shut down any conversation that included the words move or transfer, any talk of seeing each other again. Everything is black or white for West. His mom went back to his dad, so he had to go back to Frankie.

All he got of her was one afternoon a week at the McDonald’s near her school. An hour for West to look his sister and his mom over for bruises, interpret their answers to his questions, wait for the day he found out something was wrong.

The rest of the time, he worked. He slept. He went to the bars with Bo, and every now and then got drunk enough to call me and tell me the truth as he saw it.

We were over. I shouldn’t keep trying to be his friend. I shouldn’t text him.

We were over, so we shouldn’t be talking on the phone at two in the morning, except we were. Because he’d called me. And once we were talking, we found ourselves joking, meandering around until he said something or I did and we slid down into the dark together, hands where they shouldn’t be, saying everything we’d been holding back.

Miss you.

Want you.

Need you.

Still love you.

Baby, I can’t. I can’t.

About the Author 

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.

Learn more about Robin --> Website / Twitter / Facebook


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1 comment:

Val said...

Reading this now and it's broken my heart and stomped on it. Have you read it?