Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
Aspiring chef Cade Maxwell is immediately, viscerally attracted to Winter Jacobson. But it’s not her mouth-watering 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.
Wow….that is all I can say. The author really knows how to tell a story. From the beginning I was drawn into the lives of Cade and Winter, my investment in the story almost immediate and to me, that is what I look for in a good read.
Cade is the epitome of a gentleman and from the beginning of his pursuit of Winter this personality trait shines through as can be seen when we read a scene from their first “official” date:
“Well,” he says as he opens the door to the restaurant for me, “you said you’d never been on a date before. So tonight, it’s cheesy first date activities. Dinner and a movie, followed by ice cream.” Stopping just inside the door, I stare at him, struck by the kindness he’s showing me. I realize now I’m not just a chase for him. He listened to every pointless and inconsequential word I spoke to him, cataloged it all away as he got to know me in ten and fifteen-minute increments.
The epilogue narrated by Winter just got to me…
”My home is not a place. My home is in whispered words and quiet phone calls. In Skype dates and postcards sent from the road. My home is in the heart of a boy who swept his way into my life uninvited, tore down my walls without regard for himself, for what it might cost him, for how much it might hurt when I inevitably put the breaks on.”
So what happened in between? Well Cade is a tough looking larger than life guy in a bar and overhears and sees a drunken customer attempt to man-handle Winter. He steps in! Much to the dismay of Winter. She lets her customers get away with a small amount of “stuff” all the in the name of a good tip. She is a hard working university student living on her own and her sole source of income is this bar waitressing job. She is doing what she has to …to survive. And in swooshes in Cade…driving the drunken customers away with nary a tip! How will she eat, pay her rent…essentially survive? So this petite woman lays into Cade and from then on…he is smitten. Winter….not so much. And thus begins the pursuit. I shall leave details of this journey for you to discover but let me tell you….even though it causes BIG problems for Cade…I am so happy he gave Winter’s boss what he deserved.
This friendly giant named Cade has so many different facets, his life is intriguing and the way the portrayal of the many ups and downs in his life is so realistic and engaging. He doesn’t even seem to realize his need to control life events and be a knight in shining armor is a defense mechanism as a result of his early in life loss of his father and then his mother. The way Cade interacts with his niece is priceless. And what a sport…having special tea times with Haley…and gushing over the princess pictures she colours for him. He is such a protector of his baby sister (mother of Haley) – Tessa. He looks rough and tumble, with his tattoos and his size but really, he is a sensitive man just trying to do the best by the remaining family he has left. He gives EVERYTHING he has in his relationships and that is no different in his relationship with Winter. And going to school to become a chef….very sexy in my opinion.
Winter – what can be said about this spitfire? She is a woman determined to succeed irrespective of her previous life. She has had a VERY hard go of it…abandoned as a child by her mother, in a convenience store no less. The system has been hard on Winter and she has erected very high walls around herself for protection. But pride and determination abound…she is only 76 days away from graduation. She lives in a flea bag apartment on virtually no money but is only depending on herself, determined to make it to graduation and then on to pursue her life. With the walls to high, it is a monumental task for Cade to start breaking them down….but slowly and surely he does. Winter begrudgingly accepts his chivalrous gestures and that begins the fissure in her armor.
There are many other supporting characters in the story, which I am positive will lead to more stories being told…and all of them well portrayed with just the right amount of life story to get this reader invested in their lives as well. I can’t wait to hear about Jason and Tessa in the next book Tessa Ever After.
As a reader, I found the journey extra-ordinarily well told. I was engaged throughout and HIGHLY recommend this read.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*