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A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Blog Tour: Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh {Review, Excerpt,+Giveaway}

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Welcome to my stop on the Caged in Winter blog tour hosted by Berkley Romance!
I am excited to share my review, as well as a giveaway with you all!



Caged in Winter (Caged in Winter #1)
   by: Brighton Walsh

Publication Date: Nov. 4, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: Physical ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 304 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo
My Rating: 5/5 stars


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….


 
 
"He is intensity and want and desire. He's happiness and frustration and comfort and hope and fear. He is my rollercoaster."
 
I am beyond grateful to Berkley for sending me an early copy of this magical, wonderful, beautifully written book. I was told ahead of time I would fall in love with Cade and they were absolutely right! However, Cade isn't the only one that captured my heart. Walsh has created such a strong set of characters that all play such a critical role in the development of this book and they all hold a special place in my heart.
 
This is a very character driven novel- focusing instead on Cade and Winter's developing relationship. Winter is fiercely independent, having had no other choice in life with the kind of childhood she grew up in. She is determined to make her own way, no matter how difficult it proves to be. She is very prideful and does not want anyone's help. She is a firm believer that she can handle things herself, vowing never to be anything like the woman that birthed her. Having earned a partial scholarship, Winter works hard to do well in school, as well as keep her less than desirable job waitressing at a bar to make ends meet. She is counting down the days until she can be free of the chains that bind her to her current life and hopes that after graduation she can get out and do better for herself. I really admire Winter's character. I can't even imagine the hardships she's faced both as a child and now. She is a shell of a woman, never letting anyone get close to her, wanting to be alone, but is overcome with loneliness at the same time.
 
Cade is the game changer for Winter. It doesn't happen overnight, that's for sure. Cade really has to work to become a part of Winter's life and even after he manages that, she doesn't still just open right up to him. It takes work and a great amount of patience on his part, but she needs to see that she's worth it and she won't be abandoned just because things get tough. Cade is seriously one of the greatest guys ever. He is also incredibly busy- taking classes, studying, and helping out his sister Tessa and his niece. He works hard and that hard work is paying off, as his mentor knows that he shows promise and can go places with his cooking.
 
Cade is a protector. After his mother died, he stepped into that role for his sister and his niece, so it's no surprise he would assume that role with Winter. The only problem? Winter doesn't want it nor does she need it. Cade can't help it- it's in his nature to protect those he loves and holds dear, and that is what makes him so special. He knows Winter is a special case, but he is drawn to the girl with the lifeless eyes, wanting to be the one to hold her close and make her come alive. 
 
It's certainly a process though. That is what makes their relationship that much more powerful. Watching Winter slowly open herself up to Cade and accept the love and goodness he has to offer is so beautiful and I feel Walsh did such a great job of capturing this. It's not all sunshine and rainbows though- the two have a lot against them- their own future hopes and dreams, as well as getting Winter to open up her heart completely to Cade and not live in fear of losing herself along the way.
 
I loved Tessa, Jason, Haley, and Annette too. Tessa and Haley are a huge part of Cade's life. They love and cherish him, but they refuse to let him give up his dreams to stay and take care of them. Haley is so adorable and it was heartwarming to see Cade interact with her- it just adds more sexy points to his already incredible repertoire! Jason, Cade's best friend, is a bit of a goofball and quite the player. There's an underlying 'something' going on with him and Tessa, so I'm quite excited to read their book next! Annette, one of Winter's coworkers, really proved to be a good friend to her, especially when she needed someone to lean on, so I'm glad Walsh included her character in this story.
 
Overall, I just loved this one. I love character driven novels, and I felt Walsh did such a beautiful job developing Winter and Cade's characters and their relationship. Their sexy scenes together are quite hot, but so meaningful at the same time. They have this undeniable chemistry and a connection that just can't be ignored. Trust me when I say- you need this book in your life.
 
 
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.”
 

 
 
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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4 comments

  1. I LOVED CADE! He was just so damn wonderful. This book was soooo good and really helped me out of a slump. I have so many words for this book but none of them seem like enough. I cannot wait for Jason and Tessa's story. Great review!

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  2. This is one I've been curious about and excited for, so I'm glad you loved it, Jessica. I love a character-driven novel as well, so the fact that Cade and Winter, and the supporting cast, are so well developed makes me even more excited. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

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  3. I want to read this but I'm not sure. I heard the girl was kind of annoying and I struggle with most female characters in NA as it is. It does sound goo though.

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  4. Duuuude, I loved this book so much. I loved Cade so much. Definitely one of my favorite NAs ever. Also - I need Jase's story now!

    ReplyDelete

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