Tessa Ever After by Brighton Walsh
Series: Caged in Winter #2
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: May 5th 2015
Genres: New Adult
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Jason’s been living (and loving) the rich playboy lifestyle for five years, but now his parents are pressuring him to get involved in the family business. The last thing he wants is another obligation, but when his best friend moves out of state and asks Jason to look after his sister, he can’t just say no.
Tessa had to grow up way too soon. After dealing with the aftermath of her parents’ deaths, then becoming a teenage mom, she knows the meaning of responsibility. Which is why, at twenty-two, she’s looking for so much more than a party boy. She’s looking for someone who can stand by her and her daughter…forever.
A relationship between them is doomed from the start, but who says they can’t have a little fun? But as Jason gets closer to Tessa—and her daughter—fun starts to turn into something else… Something Jason’s not sure he’s ready for.
Tessa is a 22 year old woman with a 4 year old daughter, Haley. She’s a responsible woman but since her brother moved away she’s finding it hard to cope with everything. She hadn’t realized how much she depended on her brother for certain things and now she feels like she’s failing. She ends up relying on one of her brother’s best friends, Jason. They’ve been friends for years but suddenly Tessa is seeing him in a different light. She doesn’t want to feel that way because Jason is renowned for his love ‘em and leave ‘em attitude toward women.
Jason has been a womanizer for years. He’s never had a girlfriend and loved being with all different sorts of women. When his best friend, Cade, asked him to check in on his sister after he moved away Jason spent more time with Tessa and Haley. He’d always been smitten with Haley as she’d always had him wrapped around her finger, but the more time he spends with Tessa the more he actually sees her for the beautiful and wonderful woman she is. Unfortunately Jason’s been living under his parents thumb his whole life and they have a plan for him that Jason doesn’t like but will have to face. When that plan includes using Tessa as a pawn in their games all deals are off.
Tessa Ever After was an unexpectedly good read. I hadn’t read book one and was happy to find out that this stood all on its own.
Tessa was a strong, independent woman. Sure, she had her doubts about herself and sometimes she had to lean on others for assistance but overall she handled things in her life really well for being so young. She was a good mother to Haley, had a good job and lived a good life. When she started having feelings for Jason I could see how those feelings troubled her because she wasn’t the only one she had to think about. Letting someone get that close to both her and her daughter was scary and if it went wrong then she’s not the only one hurt, her daughter is too. She definitely wasn’t selfish as she was always thinking about her daughter and I loved that. She was an intelligent woman and a great character.
Jason, though we heard about his past exploits, we never actually saw them on page. That was ok with me as I just didn’t need to. He had lived his life and now he was at a point where he needed something more…with Tessa. He didn’t realize exactly what that meant to him at first but I was happy to hear he caught on quickly and didn’t fight it. They were really great together!
I did have a problem with the fact that Jason was willing to let his parents dictate to him for so long. He was 24 and while I understand he liked a certain lifestyle it was more about keeping his family to him than money. He knew by that time that his parents were incapable of feeling true love toward him yet he still let them push him around. I hated it! I understood he was doing what he thought his grandfather would have liked but it was frustrating to read about. I was really happy when he woke up one day and realized that he needed to pull his head out of his ass. 🙂
Overall the story was very sweet and a lovely romance. It was well written and included all the things I love about a romance; great characters, a sweet love, humor and family.
Rating: 4 out of 5