As soon as a book by Carly Phillips hits my kindle, I know I'll stop reading any other books until I've devoured her new book. Going Down Hard was no different. I literally stopped reading everything else to read Cassie and Derek's story and I'm so glad I did.
Derek and Cassie knew each other as teens, as Derek's parents worked for Cassie's parents. I'll be honest and say after an interaction between Cassie and her friends when she was in high school; I was a little worried about liking her. I didn't like how she acted when talking with her rich friends about Derek. However, my fears were quickly dispelled when Cassie was absolutely up front with Derek and apologized the very first time they saw each other again for how she acted. Her actions showed me Cassie was truly sorry for her actions all those years ago and gave me hope Derek and Cassie could have a real relationship. I did worry some about Derek letting go of some of the past regarding Cassie's parents and his parents. Honestly I completely understood his anger at Cassie's dad, but worried in the long run it would be too big of an obstacle for them to have in their relationship.
I loved that there was amazing chemistry between Derek and Cassie from the moment they saw one another again. Seriously their lovemaking steamed up the screen on my kindle it was so hot. I found myself loving how protective Derek was of Cassie and actually felt like she was pretty protective of him as well as she continued to learn more and more about his past. I love that Derek stepped up to help Cassie out each time her dad and brother were totally tools. I seriously hated both Cassie's dad and her brother so much as I saw how they both treated Cassie much of the time. I will say I felt like her father finally stepped up for his daughter by the end of the book.
Derek and Cassie both had to work to get past everything that had happened in the past. I loved that Cassie wasn't willing to accept the story she had always been told about Derek's parents leaving once she heard his side of the story. Honestly, I figured out what had really happened long before it was discovered, but have to say I loved how Cassie's parent responded to the truth. I think their response was part of why I knew that Derek and Cassie could make it despite their past. I found myself loving them more and more as a couple as they dealt with all that had happened in the past and move forward with their future.
While I feel like Going Down Hard can completely be read as a stand alone book, as it focuses on Cassie and Derek's story, I did love we got to spend time with all the characters from the first two books. I believe you understand the dynamics of all the characters better by reading all the books in order. I love we will finally get Kendall and Julian's story with Going In Deep. I've loved the first 3 books in the series and have a feeling that Kendall and Julian's story will destroy me in the best way possible.
Rating: 5 Stars (A)
Review copy provided by publisher