Review: Tessa Ever After by Brighton Walsh

Publisher: Berkley
Release date: Out now
Where did you get the book: e-ARC from publisher

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.

tessaeverafterTessa 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.

*blurb taken from Goodreads*

I’m a sucker for awesome titles and Tessa Ever After gives me all the happy feels. Tessa Ever After is a NA romance featuring two friends-to-lovers (hullo, my favourite trope) with the hero who struggled to find his place in life thanks to his awful and very rich parents. It’s only now I realised that instead of the heroine finding her identity, it was the hero who struggled. A nice turnaround. I’ve not read the first book in the Caged in Winter series, which features Tessa’s older brother as the hero, so I missed some details of Tessa’s past history.

I really liked Tessa. Even though she had worries and doubts about being the perfect mum, she loved her little girl and provided the best life she could give her. Tessa missed the big presence of her brother, Cade, who moved to Chicago (again I’m missing a few details) and she felt the full brunt and realised how much Cade did for them.

In steps Jason, bestfriend to Cade and friend of Tessa. Jason was the knight in shining armour when Tessa couldn’t fix things herself. I must admit I struggled to feel a lot of sympathy with Jason in the beginning. He had this ultimatum to join the family business or else. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t say to his parents, feck off, but I then understood his reticence because they were the only family he had.

Jason and Tessa are friends and I loved the transition to lovers. It took its time and the tension kept building, despite Tessa being very unsure of Jason because of his history with girls. Tessa wanted someone safe, which left her dating a man she had no chemistry with and it obviously ends before her and Jason get together. The chemistry and sex scenes between Jason and Tessa were steamy and sexy (see excerpt I posted for the blog-tour) and they were some of the best scenes of the book. Despite her misgivings, Tessa looked at the Jason she knew at that moment and she took a chance on him. There were sweet scenes with Jason looking after Tessa’s daughter, whom he clearly loved. There was also tension between Jason and Cade because big brother wanted Jason very far away from his baby sister and I thought Jason handled that very maturely.

While I enjoyed most of this book there were a few things that didn’t work for me. Tessa’s best friend Paige got on my nerves with her dramatics. I don’t think the two of them ever discussed anything other than Tessa’s relationship with Jason. The ending also didn’t work very well for me because of the big misunderstanding with Jason and his mother. The big black moment came across as contrived and I think the book lost a lot of its momentum. I found myself not that engaged to see how Tessa and Jason would make-up again.

Despite my issues with the ending of this book, Tessa Ever After was a sweet and sexy romance.

I give it a B

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