Also by this author: Captive, Tessa Ever After, Exposed, Paige in Progress (Reluctant Hearts, #3)
Series: Caged in Winter #1
Also in this series: Tessa Ever After
Published by Berkley on November 4, 2014
Genres: New Adult
FTC disclaimer applies, please visit 'About' page
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’ve said this before I’m sure but just in case, let it be known that the New Adult genre is my absolute favorite, therefore, it sets my standards pretty high. When a new book comes to the surface in this genre I normally spend time researching the author and looking up early reviews to see if there is any buzz. Well, with Caged In Winter, I did something I rarely do, I went in blind. I had no expectations, no preconceived notions, and no knowledge of previous works by this author. I read the blurb and thought, hot chef? Sure why not. It also helped that a certain publicist raved and gushed over this particular book. LOL! I took a leap of faith so to speak and OH. MY. GOD. I was blown away. This book and these characters captured my heart and soul. Brighton Walsh’s writing is breathtaking and her words consumed every minute of my life that spent reading this book.
“Winter’s a closed book. A journal with a thousand entries, shut tight and padlocked. And I can’t wait to crack open her pages.”
Sometimes the most difficult reviews to write are the ones for books that you absolutely love. I know that whatever I say will not do this book justice so my best bet it to tell you how this book made me feel and give you my overall thoughts. Let’s begin with these complex characters… Winter, oh dear Lord, sweet, strong, stubborn Winter. She has been on her own most of her life, she has never relied on anyone and she is counting down the days until her graduation from college. She goes through the motions of living but is ultimately completely alone. Cade, HOLY HELL, sexy, tattooed, muscled, and big hearted Cade, he is a protector, a man who is not only kind and sincere, but one that has so much to offer as well. He too is working hard to graduate. He is in culinary school with big aspirations to become a top notch chef. Yet, he is willing to set aside his own dreams for the sake of helping others, in this case, his sister and niece. When Winter and Cade meet it is explosive, and NOT in the sparks flying I want to tear your clothes of way. It was actually a very refreshing and surprising way to start this book off. Right then and there I knew I was going to love what was to come.
“I don’t want your goddamn sorries. Go hop on your horse, Prince Charming, and save some other girl. I don’t need your help.”
As much as I loved Winter, sometimes I just wanted to smack some sense into her. Here she has this unbelievably perfect guy in front of her and she continually lets her fears and her pride stand in the way of letting go and letting him in. However, that was also something that made me truly appreciate Ms. Walsh’s writing. Yes Cade was perfect, yes he was perfect for Winter, and YES, oh my god yes, he deserved to be loved and appreciated, but the slow build up and slow burn of their relationship was what kept me on my toes. The angst along with the anticipation made me want to read and let the world around me disappear. I knew in my heart that once Winter let go, the fireworks would go off. I went through a roller coaster of emotions while reading this book and I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
“Moaning, she presses closer, the hands at my chest gripping fistfuls of my shirt. I can’t get enough of her, this complicated girl who fell into my life. I want to know everything about her. her quirks and her fears and her hopes and dreams, the tiny things that make her her…”
And slowly but surely all of this and so much more happens for both of them. I must say that this book held me captive from beginning to end. I found myself immersed in the story and I found myself truly invested in the outcome. Caged In Winter is one of those books that will stay in my heart and one that I will remember years down the line. It is sexy, angsty, gritty, raw, emotional, and simply brilliant. Brighton Walsh does a phenomenal job with her New Adult debut and I cannot wait for more. Pick up this book today and let yourself fall in love with Cade and Winter’s story.
“He will give you everything he has Winter. Every ounce. Until there’s nothing left for himself. Give something back to him.”
*** Side note: Cade Maxwell is the ULTIMATE Book Boyfriend!!! He skyrocketed to the top of my list in 2014! You MUST meet him! <3 <3 <3
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.