Release Reviews: Paige In Progress: Brighton Walsh

PAIGE IN PROGRESS (Reluctant Hearts #3)
Brighton Walsh
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Expected January 19, 2016 

She wanted a one-night stand...and then he moved in next door. 

Paige Bennett is more than content with her life and what she does—and does not—have in it. She’s got a supportive family, a great apartment, and the best friend a girl could ask for; so what if her relationships expire faster than a carton of milk? After a disastrous detour courtesy of poor judgment in the boyfriend department, her plan is back on track and her dream job is finally within her grasp. Nothing can make her lose focus now. Well, nothing except the one-night stand she had with her best friend’s surrogate brother. The one-night stand she can’t stop thinking about. 

Adam Reid has always been reliable...the responsible son, the loyal friend, the steady boyfriend. Two years ago, he graduated Magna Cum Laude and is well on his way to making a name for himself at an accounting firm in Denver—a far cry from working as a helper in the Mom and Pop store his parents own in Michigan. But when said store starts failing, he’s the only one who can step in and help. So reliable Adam does what he always does, and he comes to the rescue.

Paige thought Adam was a safe bet because he lives halfway across the country. But then suddenly he’s moving back to their town, and then into her apartment building, and soon he’s worming his way right into her life. If she’s not careful, he might sneak his way into her heart, too... 

This installment is about Adam and Paige who met in the last book since they are best friends with Tessa, Jase, Cade and now Winter. They have seemingly opposite goals. Adam is the stable, serious, relationship type. Paige is a bit wild, sarcastic, fiery, and does not do relationships. They had a one night stand but now that Adam is back in town for the summer, their sexual tension is heating up again. Adam is pretty persistent, to the point of becoming her new neighbor. But Paige has up big walls. He tries to chip away at them little by little while not causing her to freak out and reinforce them.

I loved Adam. He was smart, capable, caring, adventurous, and surprisingly a dirty-talking sexy beast in the bedroom. He was the perfect sweet hero with just enough of an alpha edge. Paige was fun, intelligent, and sassy, but fearful and resistant. She had attitude and defenses and was good at avoiding. She was often underestimated because of her good looks. They had fun banter and witty rapport. Together their chemistry was combustible. I liked that they could also just enjoy each other's company with various sports and adventure activities as well. They challenged and pushed each other, they laughed, and they played in between bouts of hot sex.

This was a slow build. The story did not rely on a lot of angst and drama. The biggest issues were their opposite views on relationships, fears, and  time constraints. And they both had lives that would take big compromises in order to mesh, and they are both just stubborn enough to be difficult about it.

This was about examining priorities, opening up to possibilities, and taking chances. Paige really was a work in progress as she had to deal with her fears, insecurities, and beliefs she had ingrained in herself. While Adam also had his own life and career decisions to examine. They both had preconceived notions of their life plans and were not what either expected or thought they wanted, but were drawn to each other just the same.

I enjoyed more with the other mushy gushy couples Cade and Winter and Jase and Tessa from the first two books, but it could easily be read as a stand-alone.  I liked getting the dual points of view and the characters were well developed and likable despite their issues.  It was a humorous, sweet, and steamy story of personal growth and opposites attracting. And even though this might be the end of this series, Paige's two brothers Tanner and Dillon have some leading men potential...

ARC provided by author and publisher in exchange for an honest review. 
Paige Bennett and Adam Reid have a one night stand that never should have happened. That neither forgot, even after five months have passed. That has left both wanting a repeat of, or more.
Five months later, Adam returns to Michigan to help pull his parent’s sporting goods store back from bankruptcy and quickly falls back into step with his best friends Jase and Cade and their new girlfriends. Paige has spent the last five months pretending she hates Adam, in order to forget their night together. But she quickly finds she can’t keep up the act with Adam back in town, especially since they are having to spend so much time near each other.

Adam likes easy and smooth. His previous girlfriends have all been docile, quiet girls interested in long term relationships. Paige is wildly independent and hasn't had a relationship in years -- not since the one that burned her bad.

I loved watching these two stretch themselves. While it was out of character for Adam to have a one nightstand in the first place, Paige is equally out of practice at nurturing a relationship. As they revisit the physical side of their relationship, they both do their darnedest to keep emotions out of it.

Their non-date dates made for humorous, lighthearted moments that began to show the depth feeling growing between them, even as they were too afraid to admit it. It was nice to see the friendship develop in such a low pressure environment.
I didn’t know I needed this story until I was well into reading it. Though it is the third in a series, it stands alone nicely. There was not a lot of unnecessary drama or angst, and no secondary plots to distract from the easy, fun romance developing between friends of friends. Cade & Winter and Tessa, Jason, & Haley are back and play great friends and matchmakers for this reluctant couple.

ARC provided by author and publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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…

TESSA EVER AFTER (Reluctant Hearts #2)
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Our 4.5 star reviews

In this grippingly emotional New Adult novel from the author of Caged in Winter, what you want isn’t always what you need…

Jason’s been living (and loving) the rich playboy lifestyle for five years, but now his parents are pressuring him to get involved in the family business. The last thing he wants is another obligation, but when his best friend moves out of state and asks Jason to look after his sister, he can’t just say no.

Tessa had to grow up way too soon. After dealing with the aftermath of her parents’ deaths, then becoming a teenage mom, she knows the meaning of responsibility. Which is why, at twenty-two, she’s looking for so much more than a party boy. She’s looking for someone who can stand by her and her daughter…forever.

A relationship between them is doomed from the start, but who says they can’t have a little fun? But as Jason gets closer to Tessa—and her daughter—fun starts to turn into something else… Something Jason’s not sure he’s ready for. 

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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