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 .
I have to be honest, I wasn't quite sure what to expect with this book. First, this was a "new to me" author and while I love finding new ones to add to my list, it is always a bit nerve wracking at the same time. I always hate to read someone's work and not like it, no matter who they are. Secondly, the synopsis sounded like every other NA that has been hitting the stands lately. Boy meets broken girl, he plays white knight to save her and they live HEA.
So, imagine my surprise when not only did the story not go down the typical path I expected. That is largely in part due to this author's amazing ability to put words on paper. She has created a story that allows you to connect so easily with the characters. While you may not have ever found yourself in the places or situations that they are, there is one thing you can relate to and that is....
It is about the only thing Winter has and she clings to it, fiercely. If anyone can understand that, it's Cade. They have both been dealt a crappy hand in life and it is has left its mark on each of them. The difference is that Winter has been totally alone, no one to truly reach out to. The loneliness has caused Winter to build a wall around her heart to keep from letting people in so that she can never be disappointed. But Cade is determined to break through and is relentless in his pursuit of her.
I loved the emotions that I could feel with these two. Yes, there was sexual chemistry but their connection was so much deeper than that. You could almost see another brick slipping away from Winter's wall the more that Cade fought to knock it down. He was SO perfect for her, in more ways than one!
But just when Winter is finally letting Cade in, as much as she is able to anyway, life deals her another shitty blow. Can they survive the effects of it? And if they do, will the end of college decisions that could separate them, be the thing that could finally tear them apart?
I am SO happy I gave this book a chance. Not only did I get an AMAZING story to get lost in for a few hours, but I found a new author that I love! Another bonus is that this book can be read as a standalone. There will be another one for Cade's sister, which you get a sneak peek at in the back of Caged in Winter. It is one I definitely will be picking up!