Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: November 4th 2014
Genres: New Adult
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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…
Let me preface this by saying I am approaching New Adult/Contemporary burnout. Take that into consideration while reading my review.
I really struggled with this book. The premise is good, but both main characters did a lot of internalizing, which made for slow reading. Winter, especially, spent a lot of time focused on her past and denying her feelings. There are two major problems with Winter. 1) we weren’t told her full backstory until close to the end of the book and 2) her pulling back became a repetitive refrain, even inside her own head. The situation wasn’t helped by the fact that Winter has nothing else going on in her life, outside of Cade. Sure, she has a crappy job she hates and she’s in her last semester of school, but nothing happened with either of those things. Pretty much every chapter from her was her doing something with Cade or her obsession about Cade while he wasn’t around.
Cade was a better fleshed-out character. He had responsibilities and something to focus on outside his relationship with Winter, which made the chapters from his point-of-view more interesting. His focus on becoming a chef was well-written. I also enjoyed his interactions with his sister and niece.
When Winter forgot to protect herself they worked well together. Unfortunately that didn’t happen often enough to save the story for me. I am looking forward to the next book, which features Cade’s sister and his best friend.
2.5 out of 5