Release Date: January 28, 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Book 1 of 2 in the Caroline & West sereis
Rating: 4.5 – 5 stars
Have you ever watched a movie where the first few scenes have you scratching your head and asking yourself if this really is the movie for you? It’s not that the scenes are bad or the story is bad, you just find yourself not really connecting at first? I’ve watched quite a few movies that were like this, but then after watching more, I became hooked and I loved the story. This is exactly how I felt about DEEPER. By the end, I loved this story and the characters. This isn’t JUST a love story. There is so much more to this book then Caroline and West’s relationship and that is what made this book amazing.
“What if you go after the love of your life and it ruins you? What if you don’t, and you figure out you’re already ruined?”
It was a slow start for me and I had a hard time relating to Caroline at first. Caroline had something horrible happen to her – something no woman would ever want to happen. Her ex-boyfriend posted pictures on the internet that depicted her in compromising positions while they were being intimate (mind you, he was “conveniently” not in the photos). The only thing she was guilty of was trusting the wrong douchebag. Throughout the beginning of the book, she is strong and not let the situation bring her down; however, she is letting it CONSUME her life. She thinks about it all the time, she looks at a guy on campus and thinks that when they are looking at her they are imaging her with her legs spread. She doesn’t let herself have a social life. She spends all her free time working to get the images removed from the internet.
I sympathized with her. Hell I was her biggest cheerleader, BUT at the beginning of the book, I couldn’t really connect. I felt like she was too closed off, too rigid and too concerned with what everyone (even people she does not know) think about her. I completely understand why, but by doing so it obviously made her miserable. She had had a crush on a guy since the first day she moved into her dorm freshman year – a guy her father instantly hated, a guy the complete opposite of her then boyfriend (the douchebag), a guy that made her heart beat, a guy that scared her just a bit. She never associated with him, both pre-sex pictures and after-sex pictures, because she kept telling herself to “stay away” because her father told her to. This is who she was for the first half of the book: timid, scared, follower of rules.
But then West happened. West is the boy who drove up to the dorm on move in day and fascinated her. West is the boy who her father instantly hated and told her to stay away from him. West is the boy the douchebag ex-boyfriend felt threatened by. West is the boy she avoided for her entire freshman year because he made her heart beat fast. West is the boy that maybe, probably is the reason she broke up with the douchebag even though she never let herself spend any time with him. West is the boy who hit the douchebag after the pictures were released. West is the boy she goes and stalks every night when she can’t sleep – she parks her car outside the bakery he works nights at. West is the boy she wants, but doesn’t know it. And then West came outside of the bakery and invited her in.
“West taught me to make bread. He hoisted me up on a roof and kissed me until I saw stars. He taught me that deeper is worth going after.”
West is not a savior. He is not perfect or that book boyfriend that makes you swoon instantly. West has hard edges and is the king of mixed signals. West is really two different people and after spending time with Caroline, the girl who he’s pined after for a year, but kept his distance for her sake, he doesn’t remember which person he is anymore. There is college West – pot selling, baker who is focused on school and does all the right things to “fit in” as a typical college kid. Then there is Oregon West – the one from a trailer park that learned at an early age he had to use his talents to gain him an advantage and who wanted a better life for his mother and little sister. His loyalty lies in Oregon, but then Caroline happened.
“The problem with Caroline isn’t that I want her. The problem is that I want to help her, want to learn her, want to fix her, and I can’t do that. I can’t get caught up with her, or she’ll distract me and I’ll wreck everything.”
This story builds. As I mentioned before, it started slow and was a bit disconnected at first, but then all the pieces started falling together and by halfway through of the book, I could not put this book down. It may have taken me a while to warm up to both Caroline and West, but I was completely invested in their story. Caroline grew a spine and became the woman I knew she was and wanted her to be. She became a fighter and I loved this about her. West allowed himself to be a little selfish and allowed himself to feel happiness, even if it would be short-lived and even if he didn’t feel he deserved it. Gah I loved these two.
“I think it’s because I’m tired of doing what everyone expects me to. I’m tired of waiting around to be claimed, telling myself it’s what I want. I’m tired of being afraid of what might happen.”
I love angst – that feeling that I get in the pit of my stomach, that anxiousness I get as I turn a page in my Kindle, the OMG feeling when something is about to happen – and this book was rolling in it. There was one distinct scene, one turning point scene that had me holding my breath while I was reading. I’ll give you a peak:
“I look right into his eyes. I lick my lips, slow and seductive.
And that’s all it takes.
West reaches out, fists his hands in my coat, and yanks me into him. We meet at the mouth.
It’s the most obscene kiss of my life. Deep and hard, gasping hot, sticky sweet, messy.
It turns out that West doesn’t even need words to make the point he came her to make.
Mine, his mouth says, Mine, mine, mine.”
This book rocked. I will tell you that although this book does NOT end in a cliffhanger, there is a second book. You may not be 100% content with the ending of this book, but know that it is not a stupid ending and it makes complete sense. The author handled the ending with care and although it may not be the happy-happy joy-joy ending that I wanted, I was content with where she left things because I know there will be a second book.
I just absolutely loved this book. The first half was probably a 4 star read for me, but the last half was 5 stars for sure – so I’m giving it a 4.5 rating (but leaning towards 5).
This book is so much more than a romance – it’s about survival, strength, responsibility and trust. It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that had such depth and now I cannot wait for the next one to come out.