Friday, November 7, 2014

Blog Tour: Caged In Winter (Reluctant Hearts #1) by: Brighton Walsh (Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway)

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Caged In Winter by Brighton Walsh. This book is a wonderful New Adult and represents everything I love about this genre. I am super excited to share my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway with you all today.

Release Date: November 4, 2014
from Berkley
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
"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…."

My Thoughts:

Caged In Winter is the kind of book that reminds me of when the New Adult genre was very new. I loved the books I read then and I loved Caged In Winter as well. This book was beautiful. Both Cade and Winter have scars from their past and because of that they have a clear plan for the future, and neither one of them was looking for a relationship, but one found them.

Winter is a tough cookie. Her past is rough and life has dealt her a shitty hand, but she has a plan and she is working toward it. She is fiercely independent and prides herself on being able to take care of herself, so when this guy strolls in to help her with a handsy customer, she isn’t thankful she is pissed he just cost her her tips. And this is how Cade walks into her life.

Cade is great. He is this perfect blend of good guy, with a slight bad boy streak, and he is fiercely protective. What I love thought is that he isn’t protective in the overbearing controlling alpha male way. It is clear he is protective over those he cares about and wants to help. Winter may not see that, but the reader can. Cade is the kind of guy I love to read about. We all love our alpha males and bad boys, but I have always said that there is something incredibly special about a good man and Cade is exactly that. He helps his sister and niece and is willing to do anything for them and that just melts your heart. Plus he is a chef covered in tattoos, can we say yum!

Caged In Winter also delivers some great secondary characters. Hayley is absolutely adorable and you have to love her. Tessa is another one I loved and I loved how strong her relationship was with her brother, Cade. Then there is Jason, who is a bit of a jerk, but I kinda love him and I think there is more to him than meets the eye.

Aside from characters though, I think my favorite thing about the book is that both Cade and Winter had actual lives. They had classes and jobs and commitments outside each other. They didn’t and couldn’t spend 24/7 together and it was realistic. It was a struggle for them to make time for one another and somehow find a balance and I loved how realistic that was. I mean, how many books do we read where a couple gets together and all of a sudden just spend every waking hour together like they never had any commitments before that person came along. I loved that the relationship aspect didn’t just fall into place easily and that it required work. Winter’s insecurities were a big obstacle for their relationship but life may have been an even bigger one.

Caged In Winter was a great story about overcoming your past and not letting it define you. The romance is gorgeous and the characters will work their way into your heart. More importantly though, this story shows that you can forge your own way in life and live out your dreams, you just have to be brave enough to try.


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.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About The Author:

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


  1. this book sound like a good book, lovely review :D

    you can check my Blog here:

  2. Great review! You definitely sold me on this one. It sounds so good and the characters sound great too. I love what you said about this book reminding you of the earlier new adult books.

  3. I haven't heard of this one but it sounds really interesting. I used to love NA books when they started to appear so I might check it out. Great review, Teresa :)

  4. I thought the beginning was wonderful, but I really struggled in the middle, it probably could have ended sooner ;/

  5. I'm so excited to read this book and so happy you loved it, Teresa. I've been getting bored with NA lately but this line:

    "Caged In Winter was a great story about overcoming your past and not letting it define you. "

    makes me really, really excited. Plus, the way you've described the characters and that it's all so realistic...yeah, I'm sold. Great review, hon!!

  6. Brilliant review, Teresa! I really like your thoughts on these characters, especially Cade. He sounds SO wonderful! And yes, there's a difference between a guy being protective in an alpha way, and being protective because of concern for a loved one.

    That excerpt is so sexy, yet so tender....ahhh..... I definitely would like to win this book!!

    Thanks for your thoughts, and the giveaway!! : )

  7. I'm glad that the book presented a very realistic view on the characters' lives. I think I would also really enjoy that aspect! I haven't seen this one around, but I know I want to meet this Cage character!! Yum!!

    Loved your review!! *muggle huggles*

  8. I loved this one too. My review posted today. It really is more like what the NA books were like at first. Unique and appealing. Great review.

  9. Wow, great review T, I am so glad you enjoyed this one so much. Excellent excerpt as well. Thank you so much for sharing.

  10. I loved this one so much! You are absolutely right in what you said about this reminding you of the original NA's.... I think I related most to the realism this one had to offer. They both had to work hard to make ends meet and while they might not have had time for a relationship, they couldn't deny themselves that one pleasure in their lives... I can't wait for Tessa's book!

  11. I really like how realistic this sounds! Sometimes it drives me crazy when a couple falls in love and then the real world just disappears. Hello? That's not how it works. I'll have to put this on my TBR list. Lovely review xo

    1. Yes Wifey put it on the TBR! I really think you will enjoy this one =]

  12. I love it when a romance novel is about so much more than just the romance. Def makes it more realistic. This one has been getting quite the buzz lately. I might have to give it a try some time. Great review!

  13. Winter sounds like a character I would like and I still like NA if well done


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