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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Caged In Winter by Brighton Walsh (Review)

Title: Caged In Winter
Series: Caged In Winter #1
Author: Brighton Walsh
Published: November 2014, Berkley Books
Format: Ebook received for review, NetGalley

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….

Ok, I have a weird thing to admit... I almost never read books that involve chefs.  Something about cooking and food and romance... unh.  But I was looking at Caged In Winter, and something about Cade and Winter called to me even before I read it.  Brighton Walsh wrote a fantastic book here, and I am SO excited I had the opportunity to read it.

It's no secret that I love New Adult.  I love the tension, the angst, the passion... all of it.  Caged In Winter didn't let me down.  Winter is our heroine, and I like her.  She grew up in foster homes and her childhood was... well, it was downright horrible. But Winter now, I could see being friends with her.  She is the strong type, her past is always in the back of her mind.  Winter is a proud person.  She doesn't say so or think so, but she's waiting for love.  That thing that makes you feel special.  Wanted.  No, desired.  Cared for.  With Winter, it totally made me think about sometimes it's the things we don't think we need that we actually need the most.

I whirl around to a brick wall of gray cotton, and look up, up, up until I get to the clenched jaw of some guy I've never met.  His dark hair is buzzed short, the bulk of his body nearly obscene, the forearms peeking out of his sleeves covered in ink, but that's all I notice before I'm focusing on the fact that he's hot Handy Asshole's arm bent and twisted up and against his back, and he's whispering something in his ear.  Something too low for me to hear.

 Cade is our hero, and he's.... damn.  He's just great all around.  Like if you could describe a great guy that you'd want to be your hero, you'd be describing him.  Tattooed and pierced.  Sincere and funny.  A good guy that looks like the bad boy.  Case is open and honest, and he takes care of those he loves.  He is going to school to be a chef, and he helps take care of his sister and niece... Busy doesn't even begin to describe him.  But he makes room to get to know Winter.  And I love how he does it.  He doesn't take no for an answer, yet he knows to take it slow, and kind of treat her like a skittish deer.

These two come together, and it's a slow build.  I love it.  Before they even realize it, they are both head over heels.  And you know what comes next - the blow up.  Something indeed happens to tear them apart.  When it happens I just want to cry for both of them.  Seriously.  I grew to care for this couple rather quickly.

This book has a lot going for it.  A sort of friends-to-lovers type story.  Some sensual and sexy heat that will curl your toes.  Two main characters who are struggling to make it, but find what they are looking for in each other.... Sigh.  I loved it.  Book two looks like it is going to be awesome too.  It's about Tessa, who is Cade's sister, and a single mom.  I love her already.

So yeah.  Read it!!  If you love New Adult, this book will be a hit with you!

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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