Author: Brighton Walsh

Guest Review: Plus One by Brighton Walsh

Posted November 2, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Plus One by Brighton WalshReviewer: Tracy
Plus One by Brighton Walsh
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: May 6, 2013
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 68
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Olivia hates the singles scene, so when her best guy friend, Ian, offers to be her plus one to a series of weddings she has to attend, she agrees. Although she doesn't want to complicate their lifelong friendship, she can't pass up the chance to have a steady date without the dating drama. What she doesn't expect is to now find Ian so incredibly sexy.

When Ian sees his old friend Olivia dolled up for wedding #1, the boyhood crush he once nurtured transforms into smoldering attraction. It doesn't take long for their no-strings arrangement to turn physical. But as Olivia's desire to stay "just friends" becomes clear, Ian's feelings are deepening. In the time they have together, how will Ian convince Olivia that one plus one can make for a lifelong pair?

Olivia, Emma and Ian have been best buddies for 20 years. They tell each other just about anything and get each other out of bad situations, like when one is on a blind date and having the worst time ever because their date is talking about cat pee.  This was the case when Ian called Olivia and got her out of her blind date.  Olivia was expecting a call from Emma, but apparently she was busy with her boyfriend so Ian called.  They talk while Olivia is on her way home and one of the topics that comes up is weddings.  Olivia has to either be in or go to nine weddings in the next six months.  She was hoping one of her blind dates would be awesome and she could take him as her plus one, but no luck.  Ian offers to be her plus one and while Olivia is hesitant at first she soon takes him up on his offer.

Ian has been in love with Olivia the entire time he’s known her.  As he got older his puppy love turned into true love, but he was afraid to mess up their friendship.  There was also the fact that Olivia didn’t see him as anything other than a friend.  He even went so far as to move a couple of hours away from her to try and get her out of his system.  While that worked in a way, he never stopped loving her.  Now he’s torturing himself by seeing her on a regular basis for all of these weddings and he can’t help but dream of what it would be like with her.

During one of the wedding receptions Olivia drinks a bit and they come close to kissing but she pulls away.  Ian thinks that he can never make Olivia see him as more than a friend, but she’s already undressing him in her mind.  How can these two take the chance on love without ruining their friendship forever.

This was a short novella but it was good!  I really liked both Ian and Olivia and thought they were adorable together. Their banter was cute and funny.  Like I said, this was a short novella so there wasn’t a lot of plot development. Despite that, I thought the author did a good job of showing us each of the characters in a good light and making us understand their wants and hesitations over the relationship.

One part I thought was needlessly added was Olivia’s friend, and Ian’s sister, Emma.  I’m not sure why she was written in.  She really only served to make Olivia’s uncertainty about the relationship worse because Olivia didn’t want to betray her friend. I got Olivia’s thinking, but it really was just extra and the story definitely could have survived quite well without her involvement.

Overall I enjoyed this story and recommend it if you need a quick read or palate cleanser.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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Guest Review: Tessa Ever After by Brighton Walsh

Posted May 22, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Tessa Ever After by Brighton WalshReviewer: Tracy
Tessa Ever After by Brighton Walsh
Series: Caged in Winter #2
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: May 5th 2015
Genres: New Adult
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Series Rating: four-stars

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.

Tracy’s review of Tessa Ever After (Caged in Winter #2) by Brighton Walsh

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

This title is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Review: Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh

Posted December 18, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Caged in Winter by Brighton WalshReviewer: Holly
Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: November 4th 2014
Genres: Fiction, New Adult
Pages: 304
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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


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