Paige in Progress, Brighton Walsh’s latest contemporary romance novel, will have you laughing and swooning from the first page. Pick up your copy today!
[Some Spoilers; For Mature Audiences]
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Over the last year, Brighton Walsh’s Reluctant Hearts and Captive series have really enthralled me and provided so many swoons. As I’ve mentioned before, she has a way of creating a cast of characters, beyond the hero/heroine that enrich her stories.
For example, from pretty early on in Tessa Ever After, I fell in love with Tessa Maxwell’s best friend, Paige Bennett. Needless to say, I was curious if we might ever get her story—come to find that, not only would be get a Paige novel, but also it would represent Brighton’s first foray into self-publishing. Paige in Progress represents, in my mind, what I’ve come to recognize as Brighton’s signature feel—hilarious banter, HOT chemistry, and beautiful friendship.
Paige Bennett is a badass and she knows it. She readily admits that most of her life, people have dismissed her as another pretty, blonde airhead. However, it’s under this misapprehension that Paige thrives. With help from her older brother, she gets an internship at the local police department. Even though no one thinks Paige has what it takes to parlay the internship into a long-term position, she’s determined to make her dreams for a career in criminal justice happen. Interestingly, this same determination characterizes Paige’s personal life—meaning, she’s determined to avoid long-term romance at all costs. After a past relationship ends in heartbreak, Paige knows that, in all things, she must put herself first. She’ll never become so entangled with a man that she’s willing to compromise herself and her goals.
This works pretty well for Paige…that is until an intense one-night stand with Adam Reid rocks her world. Ordinarily, she wouldn’t be worried; Adam was only visiting for the holidays and has since gone back to life in Colorado. However, when Adam comes back to Michigan for the summer to help his family’s failing business, things get complicated. And then he moves right next door. Neither Paige nor Adam can deny the chemistry between them, so why not just have a hot summer affair, and then move on with the rest of their lives? But you know what they say about best laid plans… feelings start to get involved, especially when Adam readily admits that he wants to pursue a relationship with Paige. But is she ready to risk her heart?
Paige is just as neurotic as I thought she’d be and I love it. She has a crazy potty mouth, curses like a sailor, but Paige is unapologetically herself. I love her confidence and how she isn’t afraid to put herself first, which is true of her personal and professional life.
With that said, Adam definitely doesn’t make things easy for Paige. He is too sexy…all athletic and smart and dependable. But what I love most is that Adam is a relationship guy and a family man. He adores his parents, is a great friend, and prefers monogamy. What’s not to love, right Paige?
Well, according to the lady herself:
This pull I feel toward Adam is unacceptable and so atypical I barely recognize myself. If I want a guy, I have him. Sometimes more than once, but never for more than a week. And once I’ve had my fill, I’m done. I move on. They get on my nerves, all their flaws building up until it’s all I can see, and I’m over it. Over them. Why can’t it be that way with Adam? I’ve already had him—more than once—so why do I want him again? Why do I want him still?
It’s so interesting how Paige and Adam complement each other. He’s reliable and predictable, but she makes him throw caution to the wind and live in the passionate now. She’s impetuous and doesn’t want to be tied down, but he makes her crave stability. It’s perfect.
And have I mentioned the hella hilarious banter? Because the tet-a-tet between Paige and Adam is pure entertainment. There are quite a few pet names and “non-date events” that definitely make me cackle out loud.
This is probably why Paige and Adam fit together so well: over time, they develop a genuine friendship and share quite a lot in common. Of course, all that chemistry manifests in the most explosive sexy times:
I gasp and moan when he dips his head, his teeth scraping against the juncture where my neck meets my shoulder, and I clench around his fingers….
“I don’t care what you believe. I’m telling you that I don’t like you.”
He places an open-mouthed kiss below my ear, sucking the flesh there. and I arch into him. How does he remember all my weaknesses? Against my skin he says,
“Your pussy seems to like me just fine.”
“She’s a very bad judge of character…I think she’s just attracted to men she knows can get her off like she’s never gotten off before.”
“Don’t tell me how to get you ready for my cock. I remember exactly what you need to have you dripping. So lie back and enjoy it.”
Glaring, I snap,
“I’m not enjoying anything right now, because you’re being a dirty, rotten, teas—”
I cut off in a gasp as his mouth closes over my nipple and he sucks hard at the same time his hand travels over my stomach, fluttering from hip to hip until lowering it and swiping a single finger through my slit.
“Oh, god, I lied. I’m sorry. Don’t listen to me. I’m enjoying this. I’m enjoying this so fucking hard.”
See what I mean? They push and pull, but when Paige and Adam give in… *FANS FACE*
Yes, Paige and Adam have fun over the summer, but eventually they reach an impasse. What happens when the summer ends? Is this relationship something that can become long-term? What exactly will they have to compromise and are they willing to do so? This is the dilemma, one that is resolved in a sweet HEA.
In terms of secondary characters, I enjoy that Cade, Winter, Tessa, and Jason are still so prominent in the books. The each romantic relationship is still going strong. And when the ladies get together on their own, or the guys hang out, things get even more fun.
BTW, I’m super impressed with Brighton’s ability to write like a dude!
If I’m to offer any critique, in the beginning, the writing can be redundant at times. And towards the end, I get a little upset with Adam. Given Paige’s relationship history and her dating habits for the last 5 years, it seems unreasonable for Adam to make certain demands of her after just two months.
With that said, the ending makes it all worth it, especially the epilogue. THAT EPILOGUE. When you read it, come talk to me because I have some theories and I’d love you hear yours!
I recommend Paige in Progress to those who enjoy contemporary romance/New Adult themes, a fiercely independent leading lady, and the charming guy who complements her.
Paige in Progress is out today, so add it to your Goodreads TBR list and get your hands on a copy ASAP. In the mean time, check out a couple teasers below, courtesy of Brighton!
Many thanks to the author for providing an advanced review copy.