Four hearts – just sooo good

Design Rating:

Four stars – i wish i designed it


April 18, 2018

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Caged in Winter

by Brighton Walsh

Reviewed March 11, 2022

“You think that’s all I’m here for? That I have some knight in shining armor complex? Jesus Christ, Winter, I can’t stand the thought of anyone putting their hands on you, and it drives me fucking crazy every night I’m not here knowing they might – that they probably are. But to see it? To see it and do nothing? I’m not the kind of guy who can just sit back and watch it happening – to anyone, let alone the woman I’m in love with!”

Design rating: 4.5 / 5

This book gets a solid 4.5 design rating. The cover is perfect for this book: the models, their pose, the font choices, the emotion that the cover evokes – it is so perfect for this book! The woman depicting Winter is as gorgeous as you imagine Winter to be. But let me air a grievance: the male model… not quite how I imagined Cade to be… where’s the eyebrow piercing? I don’t know, I just envisioned him to be a little bigger, slightly more fierce-looking… although, the model is looking at “Winter” so perhaps the loving and gentle look that the cover model is evoking is fitting? Regardless, I’m nit-picking. And this is the only thing you can pick at (from my perspective) about this book’s design. It is flawless and beautiful.

Review: 4.6 / 5

I’m slightly (putting it mildly) obsessed with Brighton Walsh’s stories… and have been since my first introduction. Brighton is royalty when it comes to the written word in so many ways. Her characters are always deep and individualistic, strong and sincere so much so that it’s impossible not to fall in love with each and every one of them, Godamnit! The point is, you can NEVER go wrong with a Brighton Walsh book, and Caged in Winter is such a fucking fantastic story!

This book is the first in this three-part series, can be a stand-alone, but why the hell would you only want to read one? Seriously, just get all three and clear three days to binge-read them. At the forefront of this story are the main characters, Cade and Winter – but you are introduced to three out of four of the main characters in the next two books as well. This was (I believe) my fourth time reading this particular book, and it gets me every single time! I can’t tell you how in love I fall with Cade every time I even think about this book: he’s tall – oh so tall – so in shape and strong, covered in meaningful tattoos, and has a facial piercing (rod through the eyebrow), which might not always be a turn-on for me but DAMN does it work for me in this book! But beyond the physical, he’s thoughtful, smart, funny, sweet, hardworking, open, honest and a protector. What woman doesn’t want all of those things wrapped up in the physical package that is Cade, amiright? Well, Brighton couldn’t have created a better match for Cade even if she whipped her up out of thin air… oh wait, she did.

Winter is Cade’s opposite in so many ways, she’s closed off and defensive with walls built up high around her compared with Cade’s open and honestness. She’s smart, sweet yet fierce, and hardworking, just like Cade, and she is honest as well but she’s so strong because her life’s journey has made her have to be so fierce and closed off to protect herself – BUT that very point is so riveting in how their relationship develops – how his openness and protective nature wear down her highly-built walls. Ugh, it’s just so much. The build-up of their relationship is so juicy and riveting: “will she let him in? Will she say yes – to anything he offers? Will he give up on her?” Too many questions, so many possibilities of where this story could go, so stressful (in a way)… and I love every minute of it. Furthermore, you will undoubtedly find yourself falling in love with Cade in this book, and Winter too – but you’ll desperately want her to become your gal-pal… “come on Winter, let me be your friend, you’re not alone girlfriend – just let me in so I can be your friend!”

Now, let’s take a minute to talk about the hot and steamy sex scenes. As stated above, the pairing of these two characters just about can’t get any better – so do I even need to tell you how amazing their chemistry is? No, I don’t. As you can imagine, everything from the very first kiss to the very first sex scene… goosebumps. And you know what makes it so incredible… well, of course it’s incredible, it’s a Brighton Walsh story after all, but what brings it to that next level? It’s the fact that it’s a Brighton Walsh story (wait, did I say that already?). She just has such a way of bringing together the sweet and fierce, the fiery and sincere… and that extends to some of the hottest effing sex scenes you’ll find in this genre of books – just about anywhere. And in this particular book – I mean, there’s nothing super crazy or kinky, but it’s just so right! The romantic and sex scenes are right for the story, they’re right for the characters, they’re right for the time and place. And sometimes it feels so hot and good to be right and feel right, amiright?

The ebbs and flows of this story are fantastic – Brington has you strapped into her literary roller coaster starting with the cover and all of the way to the end credits. You journey with her on the slow incline in the beginning that has your stomach in knots and anticipation for the first third or so of the book – only to hit that first big dip and what an incredible trip it becomes with the ups and downs never stopping until the end of the book. What helps me get through those big ups and downs is knowing that Brighton always delivers the best HEAs! It makes that roller coaster ride more bearable, because let me tell you, some of her ups and downs are intense and have you questioning whether or not there will even be a HEA in the end. So, Brighton, hats off to you on that – way to take us on an emotional journey… now give me a moment to calm my beating heart. Pheww.

As for the basic “housekeeping” part of the review: The writing is so fucking on point, as is the story and characters – I don’t even have to run through my usual check list like when I normally review a book because Brighton is one of my favorite authors who sets the bar that I compare all others to. There’s never a question of how good a story or a character will be, or how steamy the sex scenes will be. You just dive head first in and know that Brighton Walsh is going to bring you every single emotion, lift your spirits, heighten your senses, arouse you, and leave you wanting so much more! With that said, prepare yourself to binge-read all of her books.

Amazon excerpt:

The last thing I need in my life is a Prince Charming in-training. I fought hard to escape the life I was born into, and I’ve gotten where I am without anyone’s help. I’m only seventy-six days away from college graduation, not to mention the future I’ve dreamed of for so long. I don’t need a hulking man covered in metal and ink to derail those plans, no matter how enticing he is.

But Cade Maxwell isn’t deterred by the walls I’ve erected around my heart.

He swoops into my life, all brash exterior with a heart of gold, strips away those walls as easily as he strips away my clothes, and plants himself in my life as if he’s always been there. The only reason I give into this explosive chemistry between us is the fact that we don’t have a future. He’s white picket fences and Sunday mornings in bed. I’m nothing more than broken dreams and secrets.

He swears he’s not giving up. But I’m not giving in.

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