Caged in Winter

Caged in Winter

by Brighton Walsh

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Winter Jacobson has fought hard to escape the life she was born in to. She's only seventy-six days away from college graduation--and the future she's dreamed of for so long. She just has to stick to her rules: Don't lose focus. Trust no one. Hookups only--she doesn't want or need a man ruining her plans.

But then Cade Maxwell, aspiring chef and Prince Charming in-training, comes swooping in to her life. All brash exterior and marshmallow center, Cade strips away her walls as easily as he strips away her clothes. One of the best in his class, he's on the fast-track to his dream job--as long as he keeps his eye on the prize.

This close to graduation, neither of them can afford a distraction. Despite their explosive chemistry, nothing serious can develop between them. Thankfully, Winter's rules are keeping them safe.

Except Cade's not playing by her rules anymore.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940159161918
Publisher: Bright Publishing LLC
Publication date: 04/28/2018
Series: Reluctant Hearts , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 2,609
File size: 505 KB

About the Author

Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with her first love: writing. When she’s not pounding away at the keyboard, she’s probably either reading or shopping—maybe even both at once. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children, and, yes, she considers forty degrees to be hoodie weather. Her home is the setting for frequent dance parties, Lego battles, and more laughter than she thought possible. Visit her online at

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Caged in Winter 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Justpeachy1 More than 1 year ago
"Anything worth having, is worth fighting for." That should be the underlying theme of Brighton Walsh's new book, Caged in Winter. Both the heroine and the hero of this story are fighting for something. They are fighting for a better life for themselves and for those they care about. This is a character driven story that will have readers re-thinking how they relate to the people in their lives. Cade is also fighting for his place in Winter's life and she doesn't make it easy. But it's worth it! A great story from a very talented author. What I liked: Caged in Winter is a new adult novel, meaning that it is about characters who are moving into adulthood, being on their own and starting their adult lives. Often that means that new adult novels are about people who are in college or just out of school. This is not always the crowd I tend to relate to, but Brighton Walsh did a fantastic job of making Winter and Cade more than just a college couple. These two characters have gone through a lot in their young lives and have experiences that many of us don't have until we are much older. I felt like I could relate to Winter despite the fact that she was young and Cade was a responsible young man who had a heart of gold. Winter is very fierce heroine. She has something to prove to herself. She wants to make it on her own and she doesn't need help from anyone else to get her there. I appreciated her work ethic and her strong desire to be independent. She worked a dead end job as a waitress in a bar while she went to school. She still kept her grades up and her head down. That kind of attitude gave the book a strong female lead, but she was also lonely and in need of understanding how to let other people into her life. She was desperate not to turn out like her mother and it was basically killing her inside. Cade was pretty much her salvation. Cade is a chef. He has worked hard to get where he is and to provide for his family. He doesn't have the time or the luxury to get involved with someone, but when he meets Winter everything changes for both of them. It it rare for the male lead in a novel to fall so completely head over heels in love, but Cade does. The cool part about that is that it is totally believable. His character is intense and passionate but he's also a great guy with a lot of love to give. I loved the way Walsh portrays him banging away and Winter's walls, taking them down a brick at a time. He was determination embodied. There were some very hot scenes between these two characters but they seemed very natural and real to the story, they weren't just thrown in to bring in the romance audience. They had a very organic feel to them. I thought Walsh had a good sense of when to add the heat and when to turn it down and let the rest of the story speak for itself. A rare quality in a romance writer. New adult books tend to be a little heavy on the romantic encounters and light on substance, but not Caged in Winter, it has the perfect balance. Bottom Line: This is a very creative and intense story. The characters are so well drawn and believable that it is easy to sink into this book and savor every moment. Caged in Winter is story about two people who are survivors, strong and independent, yet needing something from each other. I wanted them to have a happy ending so much that it hurt. Just an all around amazing novel!
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
Every time I pick up a new adult novel it's with a sense of anticipation, I've yet to read a book in this genre that I haven't liked, knowing that this book has had nothing but good reviews and praise heaped upon it, made me quite eager to pick this book up and immerse myself in the world that Brighton has created writing this book. And I'm delighted to say that I didn't just like this book I adore it, I fell completely in love with the story and the characters, I shed a few tears and ended up putting this book down with a smile on my face. Winter's secret is heartbreaking, I can understand why she is so closed off and determined that she won't ever have to depend on anybody but herself, life has been hard on her, when we start the book she is seventy-six days away from graduating college with the hope of finding herself a job in her chosen field of graphic design, meanwhile to make ends meet to afford rent and food she works nights at a bar, hating the job but knowing it's the only one she can find that fits around her college classes she gets used to the customers who think that because she has to wear a skimpy uniform that that gives them the right to touch her inappropriately, one night when a guy gets a bit grabby she's saved by Cade who is drawn to Winter immediately, unable to stop thinking about her he shows up every night desperate to know her name and take her out on a date, she eventually relents and they tentively start a relationship, and it's not long before Winter's insecurities, issues of trust and belief that anyone would want her rear there ugly head, can she finally open up to Cade and let go of her past before she loses the best thing that she's ever had in her life. There's so many things to love about this book, the writing will keep you immersed so that you won't know what's going on around you, forget about putting the book down once you pick it up no matter how many times you tell yourself just one more chapter, before you know it the book is finished and you're left wondering where the time went. The characters are a highlight here: Winter who is a strong, independent woman struggling to make ends meet but determined that she will do it on her own without anyone's help, but also broken inside and never able to rid herself of the baggage she's been carrying around for so long, never letting anyone see her softer side, too afraid of getting hurt again, and then we have Cade: sexy, strong, caring and more worried about making sure he's there for everybody else than worrying about what he wants, even willing to give up his dream job as a chef so he's there for his sister and niece. Through being together they'll overcome obstacles and might just make their dreams come true if both of them are willing to let go and give life a chance. I eagerly await the next book which will be Tessa and Jason's, just from the sneak peek I've read I can tell I'm going to love it already, if you love new adult contemporary romance's then be sure to check this book out, it's amazing.
Sophia-Rose1 More than 1 year ago
A very enthusiastic booklover made it clear that this was a must-read and so I took a look at it. I'm usually a blurb reader and for once, that wasn't the big decision maker here. It was the title that grabbed me. Oh, the recommendation, the debut new to me author and the blurb were factors, but it was the title. I just knew I was going to get a moving story. And I did. That title? It totally has some profound significance too. The story opens with a poor college partial-scholarship student juggling a full-load and full-time work to finish out her senior year so she can finally break free and reach for those seemingly unattainable dreams and goals she has. If working in a sleazy get-up at a bar frequented by college students keeps a roof over her head and food in her belly, so be it. She puts on that fake smile, deeps with the guys ogling and grabbing at her and deals to get the tips until one night a big behemoth misguided knight in shining armor steps in when a jerk gets grabby and the end result is the lost tip that would have bought groceries. She explodes on him with all her pent-up frustration and anger. She thinks that is the end of it, but it’s only the beginning. Cade takes a rare night out with his friends for a beer and some pool to decompress. He's coming down to the wire to finish up school, he's working hard and caring for his sister and his niece. It's a heavy burden, but he gladly accepts it instead of taking off to pursue his culinary dreams. He sees a pretty waitress being harassed and steps in. He noticed her before because of the way she didn't engage and just went through the motions like she was dead inside. What would make a girl be like that? Man does he get the shock of his life when his rescue action is rewarded by fire in her eyes and near hate for his interference. Her explosive response makes him take a hard look and he recognizes what drives her. He recognizes it because that stubborn pride and need to do it all on her own is just like his. Winter learns that Cade isn't going to give up no matter how hard she pushes him away. And after a while, she doesn't want to push him away and that scares her. No letting herself want- even when she sees his little family. No hoping- no matter how consistent he behaves. No attachments! But Cade doesn't get the memo. He's patient and chips at her walls a bit at a time. He's going to leave her or toss her aside, they always do, and then where will that leave her? The heroine, Winter, started off a bit iffy for me- okay a lot iffy if I'm being honest. Her tough, flinty 'I am an island-stay out of my space-you don't know jack and I own all the rights to pathos' attitude just smacked me in the face from page one. That sort of stuff never appeals to me in general and there are few stories that pull it off for me. I can deal with that if- big if, here- the attitude ends up justified or is at least explainable for me. So the more attitude that swirled off her and the harder she made everything for herself, I truly doubted I'd find the reason worth all that. Getting her first person narration just brought me in that much closer to all this so I didn't get a break from it. It was looking pretty bleak for a time and the only thing that kept me reading was the magnificent guy that was her hero- such a hero in every way. Cade also got to narrate and it was like a chance to take a deep breath and relax away from Winter's edgy emotions. Cade had come through his own losses and was forced to become a responsible man earlier than expected. He's such a contrast between his outer bad boy image, his chosen career as a chef and his strong, caring nature that just loves on his girls- his sister and his little niece. He has such a big heart and is the only guy in the world that would have seen through Winter's dead, cold eyes to the potential beneath all the layers of ice. When she couldn't rescue herself- even if she would have considered herself as needing rescue- Cade was there. He was spring to her winter. I kept reading because I really wanted her to break down her own walls and grab for that big slice of home-cooked happiness that hadn't given up on her while she was at her scared, distrustful worst- which yes, I decided would make anyone of us behave in such a manner. She was a survivor and this was a survivor's triumphal story in a way. "Tell me then! I'm standing here right now waiting for you to tell me. I've been here for two months waiting for you to catch up. I've been patient; I've never once pushed you. Well you want me to push? Fine, I'll ********push. You're the one who's keeping a lid on it, Winter. You're the one with the key to your own cage. You're the one keeping yourself locked up tight." p. 220 Cade from Caged in Winter I didn't think it would feel like this. In all the times I'd let myself go down this path, indulge in this daydream, I thought there'd be waves of panic, a crushing weight on my chest, shackles chained to my ankles from being connected to someone. From being the receiving end of someone's love. There's too much responsibility, too much faith lying in your actions, too much possibility of heartache. I didn't want any of it. And then Cade came, sweeping his way into my life, imposing and relentless and persistent, and I'm not the same. p.142 Winter from Caged in Winter With a deep sigh, she says, "I'm not right for you, Cade." "How about you worry if I'm right for you. Let me decide about the other." And then before she can stop me, before she can utter another word of opposition, I slide my hand up her arm, over her shoulders until it's wrapped around her neck. With my other hand, I swipe a piece of hair back with my fingers, and then lean in, brushing my lips against hers. p.81 Cade from Caged in Winter This was definitely a feelsy story and the heroine isn't easy, but she was worth it. The hero? Gah, I was sold the moment he stood in that kitchen and cooked for her. I'm eager to see what happens in the next story for the two intriguing side characters who were doing a bit of dancing around each other in the background. This one is for those who love a New Adult level story that is emotional, scorchy and a offers a tough fought romance. My thanks to Penguin Group for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn’t stand Winter! As someone who has had a difficult childhood and who has had to scrimp and save to stave off homelessness, she just seemed too cliche and unbelievable. I enjoyed Cade, and I felt he was a bit more flushed out, but Winter was pretty two-dimensional and disappointing. The grammar was a little wonky at times, with repetitive lines and run on sentences, but all in all a decent book. I think I would like to read this author again, but maybe if the characters were a little older and more mature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Not beleivable that a college student boy would calculate a relationship so throughly. Nice he was a family guy. One look at Winter and he fell hard and determined. At some point I would think because of his personality, he was so very responsible, Winter would not have been his world at a glance. Gave it 4 stars good story line. Maybe for charatcers a little older would have made the situation more believable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good story but it dragged in the middle. Almost gave up. Glad I made it to the end, though. A lot of long, long, long reviews on this one. I think they need an edit just as much as the book does.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author let the heroine just stew too long. Her heroine got whiny without any real development and then the ending was rushed. The story line is great. Wish the author would go back and provide the depth for this story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it. Sweet snd sexy read
bucmjt More than 1 year ago
Caged in Winter by Brighton Walsh I don't often give 5 stars, but Caged in Winter earned every one of them. I love these characters and cried along with them. Well plotted, well written and completely engaging, this book sucked me right in. I could easily identify with the characters and the very descriptive surroundings.
BiblioJunkies More than 1 year ago
Big, bad Cade Maxwell with his mountainous size and tats, is a forever boy.  Who woulda thought?  What I love most about Cade is that he is completely open - openly thoughtful, openly caring, and openly protective of those he loves.  There's no posturing with Cade.   Winter has an obsession with doing everything for herself, accepting no assistance, born from a childhood in rotten foster homes.  Trust is difficult when everyone you've ever known has broken any measure of trust placed in them.  For someone so hell-bent on relying solely on herself, Cade's giving and protective nature is problematic.  Conflict abounds, and Winter has to face her past if she wants a future with Cade.   This was my first Brighton Walsh book and it was fantastic!  I can't thank Jessica (Walsh's publicist) enough for recommending Caged and Tessa Ever After!  This is new adult romance at it's finest!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
There's so much to love about Brighton Walsh's Caged in Winter, I'm just not even sure where to start. This book was pretty much sheer new adult perfection. Books like this are why I love new adult as much as I do.  Winter was a fantastic heroine. She was strong and driven. She hasn't had an easy time in life and has learned to fend for herself, without relying on anyone else. They only let her down. Her walls are up and locked tight. She's ready to move onto the next phase of her life and leave all of this behind. Cade is like a big monkey wrench in her plans and she tries to avoid getting involved with him. She's so close to escaping. She can't have any distractions right now. But, Cade is tough to resist.  Cade is officially my new favorite book boyfriend. For this week, at any rate. He was just adorably sweet. And, you know, he cooks and bakes, which is just plain hot. Cage is a nurturer, a provider. He's been taking care of his sister and her daughter for a long time. He cares deeply and is incredibly loyal to those who loves. He might look like a tough guy, but underneath he's all heart. This is why he can't help but step in when he perceived Winter as being in trouble at work one night. Of course, she's fiercely independent and doesn't need his help. Or so she thinks.  Winter and Cade were just perfect together. I loved the speed at which their relationship developed. It was real and believable. Not only did they have great chemistry, but they were good for each other. They challenged each other when needed. They helped each other grow. I was completely enraptured with them and every thing about their story, even in those moments where I wanted to shake sense into them. Caged in Winter was a beautifully-written, gorgeous and emotional read. Brighton's writing style and her characters speak to me on a level that most books don't. The love story was wonderful and the character development was incredible. This book was sweet and sexy and filled with so many fantastic moments. It shouldn't be missed. I can't wait for the next book in this series, Tessa Ever After. It can't get here soon enough.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
ValerieStuckInBooks More than 1 year ago
Wow! Just wow. It's rare to find a book, an author that has me from the beginning to the end; a story that I never want to put down and where the time passes without my notice. This is one of those books. And I'm down for anything this author writes. It was deliciously satisfying. I never felt that silly roller coaster of "oh here we go again" from these characters. They were real and the issues weren't contrived. Both come with a history of loss. But each has dealt with very differently. One protects what's his. One refuses the help of others for fear of it being taken away from her. Both are determined and driven. Both love fiercely. Both fight on. Both are strong. I love them both. I never looked up at the clock and I was grumpy with anyone who dared to interrupt me. I needed to know they would be okay. I needed them to be okay. There's a tease of book two at the end and I just can't wait for Tessa Ever After. We meet both characters in Caged In Winter. I'm excited to see how Jason is tamed. If you love the New Adult genre but are tired of the same old story, then this one should be your next read. It's everything that makes New Adult incredible. Don't miss it.
LovinLosLibros More than 1 year ago
"He is intensity and want and desire. He's happiness and frustration and comfort and hope and fear. He is my rollercoaster." I am beyond grateful to Berkley for sending me an early copy of this magical, wonderful, beautifully written book. I was told ahead of time I would fall in love with Cade and they were absolutely right! However, Cade isn't the only one that captured my heart. Walsh has created such a strong set of characters that all play such a critical role in the development of this book and they all hold a special place in my heart. This is a very character driven novel- focusing instead on Cade and Winter's developing relationship. Winter is fiercely independent, having had no other choice in life with the kind of childhood she grew up in. She is determined to make her own way, no matter how difficult it proves to be. She is very prideful and does not want anyone's help. She is a firm believer that she can handle things herself, vowing never to be anything like the woman that birthed her. Having earned a partial scholarship, Winter works hard to do well in school, as well as keep her less than desirable job waitressing at a bar to make ends meet. She is counting down the days until she can be free of the chains that bind her to her current life and hopes that after graduation she can get out and do better for herself. I really admire Winter's character. I can't even imagine the hardships she's faced both as a child and now. She is a shell of a woman, never letting anyone get close to her, wanting to be alone, but is overcome with loneliness at the same time. Cade is the game changer for Winter. It doesn't happen overnight, that's for sure. Cade really has to work to become a part of Winter's life and even after he manages that, she doesn't still just open right up to him. It takes work and a great amount of patience on his part, but she needs to see that she's worth it and she won't be abandoned just because things get tough. Cade is seriously one of the greatest guys ever. He is also incredibly busy- taking classes, studying, and helping out his sister Tessa and his niece. He works hard and that hard work is paying off, as his mentor knows that he shows promise and can go places with his cooking. Cade is a protector. After his mother died, he stepped into that role for his sister and his niece, so it's no surprise he would assume that role with Winter. The only problem? Winter doesn't want it nor does she need it. Cade can't help it- it's in his nature to protect those he loves and holds dear, and that is what makes him so special. He knows Winter is a special case, but he is drawn to the girl with the lifeless eyes, wanting to be the one to hold her close and make her come alive. It's certainly a process though. That is what makes their relationship that much more powerful. Watching Winter slowly open herself up to Cade and accept the love and goodness he has to offer is so beautiful and I feel Walsh did such a great job of capturing this. It's not all sunshine and rainbows though- the two have a lot against them- their own future hopes and dreams, as well as getting Winter to open up her heart completely to Cade and not live in fear of losing herself along the way. I loved Tessa, Jason, Haley, and Annette too. Tessa and Haley are a huge part of Cade's life. They love and cherish him, but they refuse to let him give up his dreams to stay and take care of them. Haley is so adorable and it was heartwarming to see Cade interact with her- it just adds more sexy points to his already incredible repertoire! Jason, Cade's best friend, is a bit of a goofball and quite the player. There's an underlying 'something' going on with him and Tessa, so I'm quite excited to read their book next! Annette, one of Winter's coworkers, really proved to be a good friend to her, especially when she needed someone to lean on, so I'm glad Walsh included her character in this story. Overall, I just loved this one. I love character driven novels, and I felt Walsh did such a beautiful job developing Winter and Cade's characters and their relationship. Their sexy scenes together are quite hot, but so meaningful at the same time. They have this undeniable chemistry and a connection that just can't be ignored. Trust me when I say- you need this book in your life.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
Passionate and Provocative: 4 stars--CAGED IN WINTER is the first installment in Brighton Walsh’s new adult, contemporary series. This is aspiring chef Cade Maxwell and web design student/waitress Winter Jacobson’s story. Told from alternating first person points of view (Winter and Cade) the storyline follows the building relationship between two people who know what it is to have suffered loss. Cade is a man whose life inexplicably changed five years earlier upon the death of his mother. With his father long ago deceased, Cade was now the head of a household that included himself, his younger sister and with that the impending birth of his sister’s child. Fast forward five years and Cade is on the precipice of making it big in the culinary world but something or someone is holding him back. Ever the protector, Cade is reluctant to move forward fearing his sister and niece’s safety and protection.  Enter Winter Jacobson-a feisty, independent and broken young woman who will turn Cade’s world upside and inside out. Winter is a young woman whose life has been difficult. Growing up in the foster care system from an early age, Winter has come to depend on only one person-herself-and in this she is struggling to make ends meet. A full time web design student, working nights at a local bar, Winter will meet Cade Maxwell-a man who believes it is his right to protect Winter from the men who frequent the bar in which she works. But Winter wants nothing to do with Cade’s overbearing protective streak and a good portion of the storyline finds Winter at odds with Cade’s attention The relationship is one of immediate attraction but one that could have easily gone sour with Winter’s attitude and inability to open up. She is a heroine who is closed off from others; someone who protects her privacy; and a woman who has seen too much heartbreak and betrayal in her life. The sex scenes are emotional, imaginative and intense. The secondary characters include Cade’s friends and family including his sister Tessa whose story will be told in book two. The world building focuses on Cade’s culinary life, Winter’s need to succeed, and a back history of two people from different walks of life. Brighton Walsh writes a passionate and provocative storyline that will see two people find their happily ever after. There will be bumps in the road when Winter refuses to accept the help that is offered, and in this, we see that love does not always conquer all.