RELEASE DAY REVIEW – Exposed by Brighton Walsh

Exposed Banner

Title – Exposed
Author – Brighton Walsh
Publication Date – July 21, 2015
Series – Captive, #2

Exposed

Synopsis

Love can be lost but never forgotten.  Beautiful, sophisticated, and engaged to the son of a Senator, Evie Masterson has the perfect life. Except for one thing: it’s all based on a lie. Five years ago, she created a new identity for herself and cut all ties to her criminal past. But she can’t run forever, because something she witnessed years ago comes back to haunt her. And the only person there to help is the man she thought she left behind forever—the one man she’s never been able to forget.

Devastatingly gorgeous and just as ruthless, Riley Everett is the criminal for hire who once stole Evie’s heart. Years have gone by, but he’s never been able to forget her either. Now her life is in jeopardy, and even after all this time, he’d still do anything to protect her, even if that means breaking into her mansion and stealing her away.

As they hide from the world, their long-lost passion reignites. But despite their undeniable chemistry, Evie can’t give up the perfect life she’s been working toward…and Riley has no part in it.

Review

Exposed by Brighton Walsh was definitely a novel that kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting for everything to just explode. I absolutely loved Riley in the first book of the series, so it was such a treat to get some of his background and see how his story would evolve in this book. Walsh has a very special talent when it comes to her writing; she always gives you enough to feed your curiosity, but never more than you need resulting in a feeling of never wanting to put the book down.

“It’d only been a day, one measly day, and this heat between us had already reached a crescendo.”

If there was something extraordinary and outstanding in Exposed, for me it would be in Evie. Her character spoke to me on some levels, made me sympathize for her on others, and made me overall just love her. She wasn’t afraid to sacrifice anything to keep those she cared about safe and I truly admired that. Evie did what she had to do which resulted in a courageous, independent, strong heroine who blazed her way through the novel. Though I love Riley, he honestly took a backseat for me simply because of how much I loved Evie’s character. He was protective and intuitive, everything that I love in a book boyfriend. Based on his personality in Captive, I never would have guessed at the depths that his character contained, but I was certainly happy to be proved wrong. These two shared something special and unbreakable which translated so beautifully in the pages.

“If you’re gonna gamble, at least gamble with me. You know I’m not going to hurt you. You know you’re safe with me.”

While I loved the storyline behind Captive, Exposed definitely took a different twist. I never felt like I was reading the same basic plot line but featuring different characters – which is what happens quite often in series that I’ve read. In some senses, it really did have the same feel as the first book but in a totally different circumstance. I appreciated being able to see the connection, yet not getting a retelling. I was kept on the edge of my seat, dying to dig further and deeper around every turn.

“It feels like I can finally suck in a lungful of air instead of surviving on only shallow breaths.”

Brighton Walsh is a gifted writer who I enjoy immensely. Every story is unique with characters that burrow into hearts for different reasons. Exposed is a fast-paced quick read that will have readers aching to know the full story between Riley and Evie. I found myself feeling so much in this novel, even though I really didn’t have any expectation to. I’m excited to see what it is that Walsh comes up with next because I will definitely be buying!

Rating

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Don’t Miss the First Book in the Series (each can be read as a standalone)!

Captive

Read our Review HERE

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Author Interview

  1. How did you come up with the idea for Riley’s story? Did you know it would happen the way it did while you were writing Captive, or was it something that developed afterwards?

My editor, agent and I all plotted together, tossed around different ideas until one resonated with all of us. And nope, I didn’t know any of Riley’s story during Captive. It was all a surprise!

  1. While still a similar theme, it felt so completely different from Ghost’s story in Captive. I loved that aspect! What made you take his and Evie’s romance in a different direction – rather than utilizing a similar scenario to the first book?

We actually tossed around an idea that was similar, but I wanted to veer as far from it as I could, because I didn’t want Exposed to feel like a rehashing of Captive.

  1. Watching the two different sides to Evie was absolutely fascinating, and so unlike your other characters. How fun was it to create a character with two dueling personalities?

It was incredibly challenging. LOL At one point while drafting, I had a notebook with:

TRUTH     |     LIES

written on it, and I had listed all the different aspects of her life. It was so hard to keep track of everything and make sure I got all the details right.

  1. Authors are always asking who their readers’ favorite characters are. If you just HAD to choose – muscle man with tattoos at stake here – did you enjoy writing Riley or Ghost more, and why?

Oh, man, this is tough. Riley is really more of the kind of hero I, personally, go for in books that I read. An alpha hero who doesn’t need to blast his prowess from the rooftops. Plus, he was easier to write. LOL

  1. Where did you get the inspiration for Evie’s story? I really respected that she came from a broken past but did whatever she could to rise above it, especially given my personal background. She felt like a unique, loveable character with qualities that every reader could love and relate to in some way.

Evie’s background was one I really struggled with. Due to the premise of the story, I needed a reason she’d be willing to leave everyone she knew behind and never look back. I went through half a dozen scenarios with my Plot Whisperer, and shot every one of them down. In the end, I went with the only story that was hers.

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Author Bio

Brighton Walsh is a storyteller at heart. Love is her first love, and writing about it is a dream come true. When she’s not overwhelmed by the incessant chatter in her mind, you can generally find her with her nose buried in a steamy book or partaking in some retail therapy in the Midwest where she lives with her own real life hero and her two energetic kids who (fortunately) know nothing about the naughty things she puts down on paper.

Author Links

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BLOG TOUR – Captive by Brighton Walsh

Captive

Title – Captive
Author – Brighton Walsh
Publication Date – March 24, 2015
Series – Captive, #1

Captive

Synopsis

He’s the most dangerous man she’s ever met…and she’s falling in love with him.

Madison Frost is desperate to escape her life. Daughter of a prominent businessman, she has everything a girl could ask for. Except for a family who’s present in her life, and anyone to talk to outside the four walls of the prison she calls home. Madison dreams of one day leaving her life behind. She never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen.

Now she’s being held captive by a man who’s as frightening as he is sinfully gorgeous. Enormous, muscular, and filled with secrets, the man they call Ghost is an enigmatic mercenary, and Madison is trapped with him. She doesn’t know who hired him or why, but the more time she spends at his mercy, the more she realizes he’s not what he seems. Beneath his rough exterior lies an unexpected gentleness and a heart as broken and battered as her own.

But as Madison lets down her walls, Ghost holds tight to his, hiding secrets that could destroy everything.

Review

Every once in a while, a reader stumbles across a book and there’s no real rhyme or reason as to why it burrows into your heart; it just simply does. Captive by Brighton Walsh is one of these novels. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the writing is phenomenal, the storyline is captivating, and the characters were ones that I could relate to on quite a deep level.

“I never took her for a fighter, and I’d be willing to bet no one else ever had, either.”

From the outside, Madison’s life looks perfect – she’s rich, a student at Northwestern, has two high-profile parents, etc. On the inside, she’s suffocating with the weight of the world on her shoulders. One night after class, she’s walking and she is kidnapped, and taken to a cabin in the woods by her captor who goes by the name Ghost. From the outside, he is tattooed and hard, not someone to be toyed with. Somehow the two of them come together to form this relationship that I still don’t fully comprehend, yet was rooting for from the beginning. They’re both misunderstood from the world but feel comfortable taking down their walls for the other to conquer. I think that I wanted to see them figure out a way to make their lives work because through pieces of both of them, it was like I was looking in a mirror. Each possessed pieces of my own personal story which brought them to life in my eyes. When they found comfort, I felt relief; when they were sad, I felt tears; when they were heartbroken, I felt pain. Through these very accurate portrayal of emotions, Ghost and Madison were no longer characters in a book, but very real life people whom I had to see have a deserving ending.

“And even though we’d come from two different paths, at the core, we still dealt with the same pain.”

I’ll be honest and say that I was a teeny bit hesitant to pick up Captive because of the whole kidnapping situation. I’m always nervous about the captive falling in love with the captor storyline because there are times when it can just fall completely flat. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I gave this one a chance. Walsh writes the situation impeccably well that it almost doesn’t even feel like a kidnapping. She made Ghost incredibly likeable and the storyline that flows seemed quite effortless and organic to me. I actually loved being taken on this fantastic ride of ups and downs.

“Because if we were both knocked on our asses, who was going to make sure we were standing at the end of this?”

I have read one other novel by Brighton Walsh and it was nothing like Captive. However, that only makes me appreciate her writing even more. She pushed my boundaries a little bit and sucked me into the world she created. Captive is brilliantly written with characters who will burrow underneath your skin and have no intention of leaving. I absolutely LOVED this book and I can’t wait to get Riley’s story, as well as jump on anything else Brighton Walsh puts out!

Rating

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Don’t miss the rest of the series:

Exposed (Captive #2)

Exposed

Read our review HERE

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Excerpt

His lips parted when his name left mine, his eyes dropping to my mouth, and it felt like he’d sucked the air right out of my lungs. Suddenly we were closer than we were a second ago, his shoulder flush against mine, and I let my eyes flutter closed the moment I saw him lean toward me.

In the back of my mind, my conscience was screaming at me, telling me this was a bad idea, I shouldn’t be doing this—not with him. But my body had other ideas. My body wanted this, and right now, I was letting that part of me lead.

I met him in the middle, the first brush of our lips tentative. Only a whisper of flesh upon flesh, and when I didn’t pull back, he leaned in again, pressing his mouth firmly to mine.

And his kiss . . . his kiss was an unexpected contradiction of the man I’d come to know. The softness of it surprised me, con- sidering the rough edges of him. His lips were tentative, question- ing in their exploration, and I answered every unasked question, moving with him without hesitation. When my tongue licked against the seam of his lips, he groaned, a deep sound resonating from his chest, and then his hands were on me. He cupped my face, pulling me closer to him as he opened his mouth to me, slid his tongue against mine.

It was everything I’d ever imagined and yet nothing I’d ever experienced. He was consuming me, every single one of my senses honing in on him. The scruffy whiskers of his beard were long enough that they didn’t chafe so much as brush softly against me. His hands were rough, the tips of his fingers marred by calluses that ran across my cheeks, down my neck. He smelled like fresh soap and laundry detergent and the scent I’d grown accustomed to that was all him. Every time a groan echoed in his chest, I felt it against my own, and I could barely hold in a reply.

Character Interview

For Ghost:

1. There seemed to be a lot of emotions for everyone leading up to Madison asking you what your name was. What went through your head when you heard the name you hadn’t gone by in so long coming from her lips?

It’ll probably make me sound like a pussy to say this, but honestly…awe. No one—ever—had taken the time to get to know me. Not Ghost. Not the guy who can do something for them. Just me. And all I could think at that time was that I didn’t deserve to hear it from her lips.

2. When did it become apparent to you that Madison was getting under your skin in a completely different way than your previous hostage situations? Was there something she said or did that solidified it for you?

I think it was different from the get-go with her, but there was a definite turning point. I don’t want to give details because it might spoil some, but let’s just say when she showed me how much fire she has in her was when it really clicked.

For Madison:

3. What was the first thing you did FOR YOU with your taste of freedom?

The first thing I did for me is at the end of the book. That was the first time in my life I’d ever chosen myself over everyone else, and it was my first step to freedom. After that, though, choosing the major I wanted to study was the next thing I did.

4. What is your favorite tattoo that Ghost has and why? (Not including the latest one)

This is hard to pick because he has so many…I love the dragon up his arm, the face of it resting on his back like it’s watching over him. And I love the fallen angel that takes up the majority of his chest and stomach. But my favorite is probably the letters that spell L O Y A L T Y across his upper chest, because that’s just him.

5. What was it about Ghost that made you want to take a chance on him? Are you glad that running proved to be unsuccessful?

He let me see parts of him that no one else had ever seen. And he helped me see that my life was worth so much more than what I’d allowed myself to believe.

Author Interview

What is with creating these droolworthy men that I (ahem, readers) can’t get enough of? I just want to become a polygamist for all of them! 😉 How do you find the inspiration to create such different, but still alluring, characters?

*evil laughter* It’s my goal to create a new swoony book boyfriend with every book. My inspiration comes from what I’d want in a book boyfriend. I try different mixes of traits, throw them all together, shake it up and pick a few. Part of figuring out who the character is also comes from the plot and the circumstances. That dictates a lot of who the heroes are.

I feel like we live in a world obsessed with looks; I know I’ve fallen guilty to it. What made you decide to make your heroine curvy and full? It made the story that much more relatable for me, but I feel like readers rarely get that in novels these days.

For Madison to work in my head and to lead the life I needed her to lead to fit with the plot of Captive, I knew she had to be insecure. And, as much as I hate it, women are mostly insecure about their bodies. It made sense that Maddie would be self-conscious about that, and it was a stepping stone to other things I built on. I also wanted to show growth in her character. And growth that wasn’t done through the coercion of a male interest, but with the heroine actually, genuinely growing more comfortable in her own skin, from who she is on the inside to what she looks like on the outside.

Author Bio

Brighton Walsh

Brighton Walsh spent nearly a decade as a professional photographer before deciding to take her storytelling in a different direction and reconnect with writing. She lives in the Midwest with her husband and two children.

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