Series: Caged In Winter #2
Author: Brighton Walsh
Published: may 5, 2015 - Berkley
Pages: 304 per Goodreads
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.
This is my second book from Brighton Walsh, and I liked Tessa Ever After even more than Caged In Winter. Tessa Ever After is a bit New Adult and a bit Contemporary. The story just flew by for me.
Tessa is Cade's younger sister, from Caged In Winter. She's a single mom to a four year old, so I felt like I really connected with her on that fact. She is also very cautious about who she dates, knowing any potential man she goes out with will have an impact on her daughter. I really loved how Brighton Walsh stressed on this because it's a real fear that many single mothers have. And then Tessa turns to online dating, another little fact I connected with. I just loved Tessa over and over. She is busting her butt to make life better for her and her daughter, Haley, and I have nothing but love and respect for her.
The hero is Jason, who is Cade's best friend. When Cade and Winter moved to Chicago, Cade asked Jason to look after Tessa. But now Jason is seeing that Tessa isn't the pesky little sister, she's all grown up. Jason is a really attractive character to me, in more than just looks. He's lived a life of convenience since his parents are pretty wealthy. But he's a normal guy. Well, normal as far as a rich playboy could be lol. No, but seriously, he seems really down to Earth, and when it comes to Tessa he proves he is a rock. Life for Tessa isn't always easy, and when tough situations come up he is there for her time and again.
Brighton Walsh's writing has a really smooth and easy flow. I had absolutely no trouble connecting to these characters and placing myself in their world. As a big fan of New Adult, I love the attraction and tension she puts Jason and Tessa through. And when everything blows up in their face, and they are apart, I love how they bleed for each other.
I think this book will appeal to many different readers. It's a bit of a departure from New Adult. The characters are NA age, and Jason is in college, but it doesn't read as angst-y as some NA can. And besides, watching these two realize that love each other is well worth the ride. Oh, and let's not forget some heat and kisses that will absolutely freeze you in your tracks and melt you on the spot. The addition of Haley is really great, too. That little 4 year old has some spunk, and she adds a great dose of comic relief at times, and giving a touch of reality at others. Definitely a great read, in my opinion.
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