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Release Launch/Blog Tour: Caged in Winter: Brighton Walsh


CAGED IN WINTER 
by Brighton Walsh
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Releases November 4, 2014

In this emotional and sexy New Adult debut from Brighton Walsh, the only thing more frightening than commitment is hope…

Aspiring chef Cade Maxwell is immediately, viscerally attracted to Winter Jacobson. But it’s not her mouthwatering curves he’s drawn to—it’s the strange emptiness in her eyes. When Cade saves her from a drunken customer with grabby hands, he’s shocked at her response…

Winter doesn’t need Cade’s help. After a lifetime of getting by on her own, she’s happy to rely on herself. She’s exactly seventy-six days away from graduating college, and if she can hold it together that long, she’ll finally be able to rise above the crappy hand she was dealt.

But now, every time she turns around, Cade is there, ready to push her, smile at her, distract her from her plans. Winter knows she can’t afford to open up—especially to a man she’s terrified to actually want…
I bend my knees so we’re eye level and tug on her hand until she meets my gaze. “I don’t know what we could have. It might be nothing. But I’ll be honest . . . I haven’t felt like this in a long time, and that’s enough for me to know I want to see where it goes. Can’t we just see where it goes?”

With a deep sigh, she says, “I’m not right for you, Cade.”

“How about you worry about if I’m right for you. Let me decide the other.”

And then before she can stop me, before she can utter another word of opposition, I slide my hand up her arm, over her shoulder, until it’s wrapped around her neck. With my other hand, I swipe a piece of hair back with my fingers, and then lean in, brushing my lips against hers. After only a moment, I pull back just enough for her to be able to tell me to stop. When nothing comes, I close the distance between us once again, taking her bottom lip in between mine. I brush my tongue against it, coaxing her mouth open, and she breathes this sexy little gasp as I slip inside. She tastes like cookies and wine, and I want to fucking devour her.

She grips my shirt with both hands, clutching me to her, and I stop holding back and press every inch of my body against hers, groaning as my cock presses fully against her. The moment a whimper comes from her, I know she feels it. And I can’t muster up any embarrassment, because I want her to feel it. Even with all her brass balls and fuck-everything attitude, something tells me she needs reassurance, so I give it to her. In every stroke of my tongue against hers, every brush of my thumb along her jaw, I show her how much I want her.

When her chest is heaving, her lips parted and swollen and so fucking hot, I trail kisses down her neck, seeking out every inch of skin that’s uncovered. Her head thumps back against the wall, one of her hands gone from gripping fistfuls of my shirt. Instead, she’s holding my head to her, and I don’t want to stop. I want to kiss and lick every inch of her, slip my hands under the material of her sweater, unbutton her jeans, and not stop until I feel her soft wetness against my fingertips.

But the knowledge that she’ll regret it if I don’t stop forces me to slow down.

I pull back, loosening my grip on her and putting an inch of space between us. I kiss the corner of her mouth, her cheek, and then her ear. Against it, I whisper, “Don’t say no.”

There’s a beat of silence. Two. Three. And then she says the sweetest word I’ve ever heard.

“Okay.”

Winter Jacobson is a feisty, independent, hard-working college student in a job she despises. Cade Maxwell is an equally hard-working student and aspiring chef who rarely goes out for fun due to his busy schedule. But on a rare night out when he tries to intervene on Winter's behalf, instead of gratitude she gives hive grief and anger. This makes a big impression on Cade. And she is so full of pride and indignation that it really bothers her. And they both settle right under each other's skin.

She is an untrusting loner. he is persistent but also has a full plate and little free time. But he can't seem to stay away from her, and as he chisels away at her walls, cracks begin to form. They both begin to count on the time they have together even though they don't really have time to spare in their busy lives. 

Cade is sexy, charismatic, honest, sweet, funny, protective, and selfless. I adored this big tatted guy who could cook amazing dishes and play tea party with his young niece without batting an eye. He is totally swoon worthy. He is there for those he loves, sacrifices himself, and he fears letting those people down. But sometimes he can barely keep up the pace he sets for himself.

Winter is closed off, jaded, scared, and not used to being wanted or cared for. She keeps herself locked down, afraid to let herself to be free from her demons. Her trust issues and fears constantly impede their progress.

I enjoyed seeing the push and pull between the characters and progression of their burgeoning relationship. Winter is definitely a challenge, but Cade is equally persistent and invested. Each little bit of sharing and connecting is a victory.  But one wrong move could send Winter running.

They are quite a dichotomy: The girl who is afraid to depend on anyone and does not want a savior, and the boy that just wants to be there for her. It is messy, complicated, and scary especially when they get in deeper. Circumstances become even more difficult with college graduation and their futures looming ahead. They both need to learn to live for themselves, take chances, and follow their dreams. 

But can they trust in their own decisions and each other's? And is following their dreams worth the sacrifice?

This was a heartfelt and engaging new adult debut from Brighton Walsh. I was invested from the beginning. I really enjoyed the characters and story line. It flowed well in both points of view. The characters were likable , had personality, depth and damage. There was humor, pain, heartbreak, fear, emotion, and hope. I liked the side characters especially his sister Tessa and his playboy friend Jason who will be the subject of the next book Tessa Ever After, and adored his precocious niece Haley. I am already interested in their story.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Winter Jacobson has a plan. The countdown to graduation is on, and after that? Freedom. But she isn’t counting on Cade Maxwell to insert himself into her life. 

Winter is independent, and that’s putting it lightly. Afraid to rely on anyone, she has learned to do what it takes to take care of herself, including putting up with handsy customers and leering stares. At times her independent streak made her hard to like and made her hard to get to know. But I loved the lessons she learned through her own stubbornness and that same trait of Cade’s. 

Cade has a knight in shining armor complex. He’s been looking out for his sister and niece for five years and tried to swoop in and save Winter. But his controlling, protective instinct comes from a good place and showed just how much he cared for the people (especially women) in his life. 

Though Cade and Winter had opposite childhood experiences, they had a similar outcome. I loved them together. Winter’s walls came down slowly, as opposed to Cade’s quick attraction. He had to give her time to process her feelings and space to feel the independence she held so important. 

Tessa, Haley, Annette and Jason made for great supporting characters. They gave support in perfect amounts with some tough love moments thrown in when softer measures weren’t making any progress. 

This was a great story, with fun moment among some heavy, emotional ones. I took off half a star because there were times early in the book where I wished the pace was a little faster, but overall I loved the story. These characters had some great lessons to learn, and I loved the process that brought them to that knowledge. This is the first book of Ms. Walsh’s that I’ve picked up and after I finished I knew I had a new author to add to my watch list. I will definitely pick up more from her and watch for the next book in the series.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with writing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children.
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