Author: Brighton Walsh
Series: Caged In Winter #1
Publisher by: Penguin
Published on: November 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance, Romance
Page Count: 304
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...
::insert fan girl squeal:: I LOVED Caged In Winter!! Better yet I loved Cade. He is the epitome of the perfect book boyfriend. From the first few chapters, I just knew there was something special about this book. These were exactly the kind of characters and story that I love. It was heartfelt, sweet, and engaging. Brighton Walsh wrote this story flawlessly. Her writing not only drew me into the book but it made me fall in love with her characters.
Cade and Winter, meet when he steps in to help her with a rowdy bar patron. He assumed she would be thankful for the help but she has the complete opposite reaction. Winter is fiercely independent and with her upbringing, she isn’t used to anyone helping her and she doesn’t appreciate it. Even though their first interaction didn’t go well, there is something about Winter that Cade is immediately drawn to. He makes in his mission to get to know her better.
“He is intensity and want and desire. He’s happiness and frustration and comfort and hope and fear. He is my rollercoaster.”
I’m seriously in love with Cade’s character. He was a contradiction of looks and personality. On the outside he seemed intimidating with his size and his tattoos and piercing, but he was a truly sweet. He lived to protect those that he loved and cared for. Since his parents passed away he’s helped take care of his sister and niece. It was a responsibility that he took seriously. Cade was studying to be a chef and he always hoped he could live out his dream of traveling and opening his own restaurant. Yet, he allowed his sense of responsibility to hold him back.
“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.”
Winter was the opposite of her name. She was fiery and fierce and she only trusted herself. She was counting down the days until her college graduation. She hoped after she graduated that she could start a new life, one where she didn’t have to struggle and could do all the things she dreamed of. Winter was used to keeping people away, but Cade was persistent. He saw something in Winter and he felt he had to try. Little by little, bit by bit, he slowly begins to break down the walls she built around herself and for the first time in a long time, Winter starts to let someone in.
There was an emotional push and pull to build and gain Winter’s trust. She had to decide if allowing herself to be vulnerable with someone was truly worth the risk. Cade also had his own issues to grapple and decisions he had to make. As the story unfolds, you gradually see how their relationship develops and you can see them grow as characters. I was absolutely cheering this couple on and I truly hoped they could work through the obstacles life dealt to them. This story was emotional, sexy, and sensual. It was also surprisingly different in many ways. This is one of my favorite stories of this year. Brighton writing was amazing and I cannot wait to read more from her. I highly recommend giving this story a try.
Caged In Winter – Book Excerpt
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.
Exclusive Q & A
Q. What inspires you to write and who are some of your favorite writers?
A. Everything inspires me to write. I’ve been inspired by a song, a movie, a picture. And eavesdropping…that’s always good inspiration too. LOL My all-time favorite romance writer is Jill Shalvis. She is my go-to author when I need a palette cleanser or a pick me up.
Q. Cade and Winter are complete opposites in many ways but the their chemistry was undeniable. How did you come up with their relationship dynamic?
A. Whenever I’m thinking of characters in a book, one always comes to me first. In this case, it was Winter. When I created her character, I thought of the absolute worst, most difficult match for her, and Cade was born. While reading a love story, you have to have that opposition to make it interesting. And as one half in an opposites-attract-marriage, I’d say it’s pretty good in real life, too. 🙂
Q. We fell madly in love Cade. The thing we love most was the fact he was the sexy tattooed chef. Why did you choose that career, instead of tattoo artist, mechanic, or something seen as more “masculine”?
A. You know, I don’t even remember why I picked that career, and when I texted my Plot Whisperer if she remembered why I chose it, her response was, “I think it was just because we said it’d be hot.” LOL Truer words. So, yes, because it’d be hot. Plus, I don’t really go for the overly masculine careers. If that works, great. (In fact, I have several traditionally masculine careered heroes on the horizon.) But I’m a fan of a Gamma hero and that means a nice mix of Alpha and Beta, and Cade is that mix.
Q. Winter sometimes comes across a little harsh (but that doesn’t mean we don’t’ love her!), what made you want to write her that way?
A. She does come across harsh, and I knew some readers would have a hard time loving her because of it. But writing her that way wasn’t a conscious choice I made. Living the life she has, going through the things she’s gone through, it made sense that she’d react the way she did to certain situations. Lessening some of that wouldn’t have been true to her character, and above all, I wanted the growth in the story to be authentic, even if that meant Winter sabotaging her and Cade’s relationship (several times).
Q. What are you working on next?
A. Currently, I’m finishing up the sequel to next year’s Captive (March), which is titled Exposed. Both are in an entirely different world from Caged in Winter, but I also have the edits to CiW’s follow-up, Tessa Ever After (May), to dive into as soon as my deadline passes. The next year will be a busy one.