4 star

Tessa Ever After

Caged in Winter #2 

By Brighton Walsh

ISBN# 9780425276495

Author’s Website: http://www.brightonwalsh.com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra

Some Spoilers


In this grippingly emotional New Adult novel from the author of Caged in Winter, what you want isn’t always what you need…

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.


I got to know Tessa and Jason a wee bit in the book Caged in Winter – book #1 of this series.  Tessa is the younger sister of Cade, the main male protagonist in the first book.  From book 1, one surmises that Tessa has had feeling for Cade’s best friend, Jason for forever.  However, Jason is (or maybe it is now `was`) a player.  And therefore, when Cade left the familial home to work in another city, he asked Jason to look after Tessa, but only in the capacity as a surrogate brother.  Tessa is struggling to cope with being a single mother without the assistance of her big brother – big time!

Tessa – berating herself when a pipe freezes and then bursts – in true female fashion and something I am all too familiar with as a single parent similar to Tessa (when Jason arrives):

“Clearing his throat, he darts his eyes up to mine before he averts his gaze.  ‘did you, um did you shut off the water?’  I star at him for a minute, and then a hysterical laugh bursts out as a fresh wave of tears spring up.  Because, no. No, I did not shut the water off.  I hadn’t even thought of that and what kind of idiot does that make me?”        

I loved Jason’s response to Tessa coming down hard on her-self for not thinking about calling the plumber right away.  He is always thinking of Tessa…and how to support her and make her feel good about situations:

                “It was stressful. And sometimes in situations like that, we have our heads up our asses. It          could’ve happened to anyone.”

Knowing that Jason is hot….and so is Tessa…you can imagine some of the intimate scene’s…Whew.  I must say the make out session between Jason and Tessa after Tessa comes home from a date with Greg and Jason is babysitting Haley…..HOT…did I mention….hot?  You get the picture.  Needless to say, loads of chemistry between Tessa and Jason.

I LOVE the way that Jason plays with Haley. He has a natural love and affinity for this little girl.  You can tell that there are genuine feelings irrespective of how he feels about Tessa.  And as Tessa said….that is super sexy to any mother!

I truly got a chuckle when Jason admits to Adam that he and Tessa are together, and that for some reason…he has invited Tessa and Haley home to his parents for Thanksgiving.  Jason has NEVER done that before.  The conversation went as follows:

                “I asked her to come for Thanksgiving. Because I’ve clearly lost my fucking mind.”

                “Well, holy shit.”


“I mean…I honestly thought this day would never come.  My baby’s all grown up,” he says in a falsetto.”

The key gesture was SO romantic and telling….Jason has committed 🙂 .  My only concern is his weird sense of “family obligation” to his parents.  Time will tell how that will affect the budding relationship.

Jason’s parents showed their true colors at the Thanksgiving meal and I can tell you, I did NOT like them.  However, their overpowering and controlling manner was to be expected.  I loved that Tessa held her own!  I wish Jason would get more of a backbone.

As to be expected, it is not all smooth sailing with this relationship.  The manner in which the problems arose did catch me a bit off guard.  I won’t say more as the next reader (you) need to discover this for yourself 🙂 .

The ending is……did you really think I would spill the beans?

As I said with respect to the first book in this series and at the risk of repeating myself …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*