Blog Tour - Caged in Winter (Caged in Winter #1) by Brighton Walsh ~ Ava and Stacy's Reviews, Excerpt + Giveaway!
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.*
Caged In Winter tells the story of a young girl determined to break free from her past and write a new future for herself. Winter is used to relying on no one but herself, she has singlehandedly supported herself through college and almost makes it to the end until Cade comes crashing into her life and makes her realise what she has been missing out on all this time: love.
Cade hasn’t had an easy time of it himself. He has put his family first and even considers sacrificing his dreams to support those closest to him but when he meets Winter, although she is closed off at first, her determination and independence inspires Cade to take some risks. He just has to convince Winter he’s worth taking a risk with in return.
Winter was her own worst enemy at times, I could understand her goals and I got why she wanted to do everything on her own. Her past shaped her into the fearful person she was. Towards the end of the book I did find her stubbornness bordered on annoying, I mean she had gorgeous Cade falling at her feet! But I did feel for her and everything she experienced so it wasn’t long before all was forgiven.
I loved Cade! He stole the show (sorry Winter) he was charming, cheeky and very swoony. I loved the fact he was a chef and I felt the passion he had for food as well as the love and protectiveness he had for the people he loved. That was what Cade was all about. Every once in a while a book boyfriend comes along that sticks out and stays with you for a long while and Cade is that book boyfriend for me. He’s a good ‘un.
I have so many quotes highlighted in this book. I really took to Brighton’s writing and I loved the way in which she phrased her words. The writing was romantic, sweet, vulnerable and real. Within the first few chapters, I knew I was going to gel with this story, and the writing played a huge part in that.
Caged In Winter reminded me of all the reasons why I fell in love with the New Adult category, it was a simple story made so much more complex with layered characters. The angst wasn’t drawn out or overly dramatic, I think that would have made it unbelievable. Brighton stayed true to the characters and it played out the only way it could. Even the ending was done in true Winter style, usually I like everything clean cut but this way, it was more realistic and I got my epilogue so I was happy. ;-)
I’m excited to learn Tessa is getting her own story, I loved her presence as well as Hayley’s in the book and I can’t wait to learn more about Tessa. There is a sneak peek at the end of Caged In Winter and I already love Jason for Tessa. Their story will definitely be interesting.
Caged In Winter is a great New Adult romance by Brighton Walsh. I fell in love with Cade immediately and I liked that Winter had a bit more fire in her than the norm. I highly recommend you buy this today!
“He’s so open, so transparent, and I feel like I’m hiding every ounce of myself behind walls too thick to be infiltrated.”
“If I think I’m getting to know her better, I’m just fooling myself. Because the more I uncover about her, the more I want to discover. But I don’t want to dig out the answers, chisel away until she crumbles. I want her to trust me enough to tell me on her own.”
“This isn’t the first time I’ve been naked in front of a guy, not even close, but it feels like it. While I’ve been naked before, I’ve never been bare. Not like I am with him. I feel like he can see every bit of me, every ugly, unlovable part of me I’ve tried for years to hide away. He sees me. And he wants me anyway.”
“I want to give so much of myself to him. I want to give everything to him. And, finally, I’m ready.”
“What I was so scared about, what I feared the most, comes so easily now. I say the three little words that have never left my lips, knowing with absolute certainty I was just waiting for him to come along.”
“Belonging to Cade doesn’t feel like I’m locked in a cage, trying to break out. Belonging to him, I’ve never felt freer.”
Caged in Winter is one of those books that just makes you happy. From beginning to end I found myself so contently wrapped up in this awesome NA story. Sure, it’s a storyline that you might have read before, but aren’t they all? What makes the difference is great writing and loveable characters. And Brighton Walsh totally pulled that off beautifully.
Winter is a 22 year old college student who is troubled by her past, and just scraping by with a crappy job at a crappy pub, living in a crappy apartment. She has a great future ahead of her if she can actually make it far enough to graduate college and land a job as a website designer/graphic artist. She has had a major rough go at life living in various foster homes and being abandoned by her mother at young age. This makes for a very stubborn and hasty Winter, and trust me she WILL frustrate you at times. But, she will also bring your judgment down a few notches when you hear her heart wrenching POV. She wasn’t my favorite character, but she definitely grows on you.
Cade Maxwell is just…. Ahhhhhhh. There are no words for this great man. He has also gone through some tough loses in his life, but he is optimistically making it the best he can. He doesn’t turn his tragedies into pity and he appreciates everything around him. He has so much love inside his heart regardless of what happened to him, and that is what makes him so great. He doesn’t live his life in anger, he just wants the best for everyone. Some might say he has a hero complex, Winter included. But his sister Tessa and niece Haley would definitely disagree. He is overbearing and protective and SIX FOUR and HOT with TATTOO’S. So shut up Winter and take the poor dude! Plus he is in culinary school, he COOKS for crying out loud. Cade is the ultimate guy, and Winter will just frustrate you a tinsey-winsey bit at how she puts him off.
I have to give the Author some credit with the buildup in this book, it was GREAT. I really enjoyed the sweet way that Cade courted Winter. It was almost like 1950’s chivalry. He was so patient and so persistent with his pursuit of her. It was like he knew he was dealing with an abandoned tiger cub and he had to approach her so delicately. It was really, really endearing. Seriously, Cade will melt your heart.
There were a few moments towards the end when I was getting a little aggravated with Winter, AGAIN. But honestly it was so quick that I didn’t even mind. And when Winter finally took her stubborn silly mask off I was truly touched by her words and sentiment. I mean come on! Tigers are super mean when they roar, but when they finally become vulnerable and play and rest, how cute are they??? That’s Winter to a tee!
So yes, I was really touched by this sweet book. It was thoughtful, frustrating, sexy and very well written. And you get a little bit of Tessa who will be in book two, which I’m really excited about. Great book, great words. And of course, Cade.
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.
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.
Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website