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4.25 stars--TESSA EVER AFTER is the second installment in Brighton Walsh’s contemporary, new adult Caged in Winter romance series. This is graduate student Jason Montgomery, and Tessa Maxwell’s storyline. Jason is Cade Maxwell’s best friend; Tessa is Cade’s sister; Cade we met in book one Caged in Winter. Although TESSA EVER AFTER is the second installment in the series, it can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.
The premise follows the friends to lovers relationship between single mother (to Haley) Tessa Maxwell, and Jason Montgomery. Following Cade’s move to Chicago, Jason became Tessa’s protector and guardian which soon escalated into something more. Jason doesn’t do relationships –he is more of the one night stand variety- and Tessa rarely dates as she is responsible for her five year old daughter. When Jason spies Tessa on one of her rare date nights out, he knows it is time to claim Tessa as his own.
The relationship between Tessa and Jason is one of immediate attraction; there is plenty of sexual chemistry between our leading couple, and the push and pull of ‘do we or don’t we’. Tessa has loved Jason for as long as she can remember but Jason is her big brother’s best friend and Jason considers Tessa off limits. The more Jason insists on friendship, the more their attraction to one another grows but Tessa has watched Jason’s parade of women for years, and in this, she doesn’t want to be another statistic. Our hero Jason has fallen in love with Tessa, and with it comes the love of a five year old girl who likes playing princess and tea parties. Cade’s over protective big brother complex takes over when he threatens Jason if any harm comes to his little sister, but Tessa reassures her brother, that she is no longer the naïve little girl who needs protection. The $ex scenes are intimate and erotic-Jason likes to talk dirty in the bedroom.
The colorful cast of secondary and supporting characters include Tessa’s best friend Paige; Cade and Winter from book one; as well as their mutual friend Adam, whose own life is about to implode. We are introduced to Jason’s parents- a couple whose control over their son’s life matches Jason’s need to escape his ascribed future-there is no fun when your entire life has been mapped out by those in charge.
TESSA EVER AFTER is a delightful and intoxicating storyline. There are moments of heartbreak and misunderstanding; passion and love. Brighton Walsh has the ability to seduce the reader into a compelling and addicting storyline with a happily ever after. The premise is engaging; the characters charismatic and real. If you are a fan of the new adult genre, you will not be disappointed.
I loved Tessa in Cade's novel (book 1), the younger sister single mother, so I wanted to read her story... and I'm glad I did.
I could tell something was going on with Jason and his feelings for Tessa back in book 1, and loved that little glimpse into the future. However, I didn't expect this story to go the way it did. How can parents be so awful? 😥 My heart hurt for Jason more than it sympathised for Tessa's plight after Cade moved away, and I sympathised greatly with her.
I loved this book with its great mix of characters. I saw some of the 'bad stuff' happening before it unfolded, but was still left guessing how each of the characters dealt with each situation.
Tessa is a single mom & Jason helps her out a lot. He’s a bit flaky... I understand his problem with his parents (who want to control everything he does), but he’s not easy to like as a character. He could have easily sorted out his life & could have graduated by the time the book begins, as well as gotten a job of his choosing. Although I could understand the characters, both main characters (esp. Jason) just seemed immature.
Wow, what a great romance! I had multiple friends tell me how much I would love this book and they weren't wrong. I freakin' LOVED this book! Tessa is such a great heroine and Jason is so sweet as the hero. There's a lot going on with a fair bit of drama but it wasn't overdone. If you love romance, you'll love Tessa Ever After. Highly recommend!
This was so so so good. Tessa and Jason make an adorable couple. The book had the best friend’s sister trope and Jason does his best to be there for his best friend’s sister while keeping his distance but he can’t resist. He is a good guy underneath the bad boy exterior. Tessa is struggling to juggling being a single mom along with the trial and tribulations of life. When her brother leaves for his dream job, she feels adrift because her one support left and she feels like a struggling mom. Her daughter is a charmer who has Jason wrapped around her little finger. It’s sweet to see how Tessa and Jason try to resist this relationship but eventually see how great they are together. The love scenes are extra steamy. This was a fantastic read.
I absolutely loved this story! I love reading best friend sister forbidden romance. Tessa is a great mother to Haley and a hair stylist. Jason is going to art school. I'm not going to spoil the book for everyone because this story is complex and so much is going on. The writing was great! Adore the characters! Great work Brighton Walsh!