Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.
Published November 4, 2014
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Format: e-arc, provided by NetGalley
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4 STARS
(From Goodreads) 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
New-to-me author Brighton Walsh blew me away with Caged In Winter. It was intense and sexy and sweet, albeit a bit frustrating at times. Frustrating is good in books, though. It's okay if you want to throw your Kindle across the room or if people in public places look at you funny as you yell at your paperback. It means the book is getting to you and you're invested in the characters and the story. I definitely got into Caged in Winter.
Cade is a hero. He has sacrificed his dreams for his sister and niece. He studies hard to become a sous chef. And, he doesn't like to see men treat women with disrespect. Which is why he steps in to save a pretty waitress from a handsy customer. As it turns out, that's exactly what she didn't want, and has no trouble telling him so. Her attitude and her looks confound him, and Cade finds he can't shake the girl from his mind.
I've got to be honest with you. Winter was REALLY hard to like. For a long time. She and Cade were just so dichotomous, I think it made her seem ever harsher than what she may have been if Cade had even one cranky bone in his body. As it was, Cade was completely wonderful, so when Winter threw him the cold shoulder again and again and again, it just made her seem like a bitch.
On one hand, I get it. Winter had no one. She had been left down again and again by people. And, she was so close to graduation, she didn't feel like she needed the complication of a man at this point in her life. Her mantra was, keep your head down, plow through the last semester of school, and figure everything else out on the other side.
For Cade, Winter was another person he could save. I'm not sure how Cade kept pressing on in the face of such blatant disinterest on Winter's part, but he did. She shot him down over and over again, and he kept coming back for more. Of course, he eventually wore her down with his delicious cooking and his sensitive, caring nature, but it was a very hard-won fight.
And, it was because Cade was so wonderful that I had such a hard time liking Winter. I wanted her to give in to him so much sooner than when she did. I didn't want her to get so angry with him for just being a nice guy. She was so nasty and horrible to him when he didn't do anything wrong. Winter made me absolutely crazy.
Once she gave in to the inevitable, however, I really settled in. It was fun to read about Cade breaking down Winter's walls. It was also nice and realistic to read about how, when the two of them finally became a couple, other areas in their lives suffered - like school. It was very realistic. When you're so wrapped up in another person, other things in your life don't command as much attention. Both Winter and Cade were in their final semester of school, and their studies suffered when they started spending their studying time getting busy with each other instead.
Inevitably, as it usually happens, circumstances pull Cade and Winter apart. I loved how, in the end, Winter was the one to chase Cade - finally. It seemed like things had come full circle for them, and it made the end that much sweeter.
Caged In Winter was told in dual POV. It was crazy hot and sexy and satisfied my never ending thirst for emotional, romantic and lady-bit tingly new adult reads. It was fantastic, and I can't wait for the next book by Brighton Walsh that will take place in this world.