There are sequels and then there are PERFECT sequels, and this is as perfect as a continuation of a favourite story can get. In While It Lasts, we fell in love with Cage York, a bad boy sent to work on a farm during summer because of a DUI, who met his match in one fierce and no-nonsense farmer’s daughter named Eva Brooks. We watched them flirt, fight their attraction, and eventually succumb to love. While at the end of that book we had left them in a good place, in this sequel, we watch them fight for that happy ending, through heartache and tragedy, but making it one heck of a roller-coaster ride that you won’t want to pause for one single second. Cage York is my new obsession and after you read this book, you’ll know why.
“No one else for me ever. You’re it. You’re my always.”
The story takes off where the first book ended, Cage and Eva are blissfully happy together and faced with their first big decision as a couple – whether to move interstate to attend a college that would offer Cage a full-ride scholarship and an opportunity to play college baseball, putting him one step closer to his dream of playing professionally. But smooth sailing quickly turns into choppy waters as Eva’s whole world comes crushing down when faced with her father’s sudden illness. Forced to stay back and look after her dad and the farm, Eva lets Cage go to college on his own, reluctantly but selflessly, knowing that holding him back would only take his dreams away.
“You gotta let that boy go, baby girl. He came here last summer because he had a plan. He had one chance to get the future he wants and even though he is a rascal he is a smart boy. He got what he wanted. But if you ask him to let it go he will. In a heartbeat. Don’t make him choose. Let him go. Make it okay for him to go take that dream he fought for. Do it ‘cause you love him.”
What starts as a temporary long-distance relationship soon turns into missed phone calls and unusual text messages, and one ugly breakup later, Eva and Cage are no longer together. Eva’s pain, coupled with the sorrow from watching her father slowly wither away, is tangible, soul-shattering. We watch her face a new reality in her life, bravely and with determination, regardless of the fact that her heart is breaking more and more each day. Cage is facing his own demons far away from the woman he loves. Eva’s parting words scarred him deeply, awakening the unwanted little boy in him whose own mother had called him her biggest mistake.
“Just like my momma had when she’d called me her biggest mistake, she’d meant it. How could I fight for someone who didn’t want me?”
They both stumble through their separation, heartbroken and lonely, until tragedy brings them back into each other’s lives and back on the farm where they fell in love. And this is where the story becomes a whole new ballgame, one of two people still loving one another heart and soul, their bodies aching for each other, their lives making more sense being together than apart, but not trusting their hearts to find their way back to each other. Cage fights for Eva, like a man on a mission, persistently and passionately. He misses her in his arms, he resents her for giving up on them so easily and rejecting his love so readily, but he also loves her more than anything else in his life and he cannot see his future without Eva in it. But actions are so much better than mere words and nothing warms my heart like a man proving his undying love by refusing to leave his woman’s side ever again.
“Being near you completes me. It makes me happy. I f*cked up and I lost you. I don’t expect to ever get you back. I don’t deserve you. But I want to be near you.”
As Eva’s resolve slowly crumbles down, we are reminded of the magic that made us fall in love with Cage and Eva in the first place, and why there is truly nothing like an Abbi Glines kind of happy ending. Brace yourselves because Ms Glines pulled out the big guns and gave these characters the send-off of a lifetime. Her books are getting more and more emotional with each new release and this instalment of the Sea Breeze series is no exception. Heart-wrenching, romantic, even sexier and steamier than the prequel and simply unputtable-down. Like I always say, pure Abbi Glines perfection.
“You’re mine, Eva Brooks. Always. You told me that yourself and, sweetheart, I’m holding you to it.”
The door opened and in she walked as if I’d summoned her with my desperation. Her long dark hair was loose and wind blown curling around her shoulders. The shorts she was wearing had once been a pair of her favorite jeans. She’d cut them off and although she looked f*cking amazing in them she had cut them way too short. The snug fitting shirt she had on she’d bought to wear to my games this past year. It had my number on it.
Dewayne let out a low whistle. “Damn, York, when you decide to f*cking settle down you sure pick some prime choice.”
“Don’t. Finish. That. Thought,” I cut him off before he could completely piss me off. If Dewayne was looking so was every other male in the damn bar. I jumped up and went to get what was mine.
“Go get her,” Preston called out with a hoot of laughter. Stupid shit knew what it felt like to have your girl looked at. He dealt with that about as well as I did. He was just an ass when he wanted to be.
“Hey,” Eva’s eyes lit up when she saw me coming through the crowd to get her.
I didn’t reply. I needed her first. Pulling her against me I licked her bottom lip before I slid my tongue into her mouth hungrily. I’d missed her taste today. She’d been gone too long. Giggling Eva pulled back before I completely forgot where we were and smiled up at me.
“I missed you too,” she said.