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.
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
#2 - First Touch - Caroline’s POV
He’s got earbuds in, and I don’t think he’s seen me, so I take a second to think about what I want to say to him. I feel kind of sweaty and unkempt, even though I took time after lunch to change my shirt and slick on lip gloss.
I’ve never done this before.
I’ve never initiated a conversation with West.
It feels more intimidating than it should, not only because of who he is—the forbiddenness of him—but also because this is the fourth floor. It’s an unwritten rule of Putnam that the fourth floor of the library is a space of sacred silence.
West grabs another book. He has to reach above his head to shelve it, which means his shirt lifts and I see he’s got a thick brown leather belt holding his jeans up. It doesn’t match. His boots are black, and so is his T-shirt. It’s got this big jagged orange seam sewn across the back, as though a shark came along and bit a giant rip in it and then he handed it over to a seven-year-old to fix.
I can’t imagine how such a T-shirt even happens. Or why anyone would wear it.
West’s clothes are sometimes like that. Just . . . random.
I kind of like it.
When he lowers down to his heels and bends over the cart, his shirt rides up again, exposing some of his lower back.
I clear my throat, but his music must be too loud, because he doesn’t turn toward me. I step closer. He’s got his head down, his hand reaching for a book on the lower shelf.
Crap. Now I’m so close that I’m bound to startle him when he finally figures out I’m here.
There’s nothing I can do to prevent it. I reach out, meaning to touch him just long enough to get his attention, but I end up pressing my palm flat against his lower spine instead.
It’s an accident. I’m almost sure it’s an accident.
Eighty percent sure.
He doesn’t jump. He just goes completely, utterly still. So still that I can hear the music playing over his earbuds. It’s loud, with angry vocals and an insistent, pounding beat that matches the sudden pulse between my legs.
Oh, I think.
Maybe it’s not an accident, after all.
West’s back is indecently hot beneath my palm. I stare at my fingers, ordering them to move, for several long seconds before they actually obey. When I pull my hand away, it feels magnetized. Like there’s this drag, this force, tugging it back toward West.
I’m pretty sure the force is called lust.
West straightens and turns around, and I know even before he does it that I’ve miscalculated, and now I’m totally at his mercy, which means I’m doomed. I’m not sure he has mercy. He sure didn’t seem like he did when he was hitting Nate hard enough to make me physically ill.
He pulls out his earbuds, and I try to think something other than the word doomed.Doomed, doomed, doomed.
I try to remember what I was going to say to him—I had a whole speech planned—but I can’t. I can’t.
I stare at his belt instead. I think about grabbing it and yanking him closer. As if this is a thing I could do. A thing I have ever done, with anyone, much less West Leavitt.
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.