While It Lasts
Simon & Schuster
2013 (originally 2012), 267p
Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster AU
Cage York has gotten himself into a situation that he can’t talk his way out of. A DUI has made his baseball coach very unhappy and now instead of summer meaning fun, the beach and loads of women, Cage finds himself working on a farm living in a barn and looking after a herd of cows. If he does his time and puts in hard work, then he won’t lose his baseball scholarship. But if he stuffs up one more time, then he’s out.
Cage finds things a little more interesting when he meets pretty Eva, the daughter of his new boss. Eva is beautiful but snarky and she makes no secret of the fact that she thinks that Cage and men like him are nothing but a waste of space. That and the engagement ring winking on her finger and the fact that he’s been warned off the farmer’s daughter put Eva firmly in the off limits column for Cage. Doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking about it though.
Behind her tough exterior, Eva is still nursing a heartbreak. She knows her life will never be the same but she likes the fact that she’s managed to at least get back onto an even keel. She doesn’t need a no good player like Cage York coming around and messing everything up again.
But despite all of this, Cage and Eva can’t get each other out of their heads. Slowly, inch by inch, Eva’s frosty façade melts and Cage begins to see the girl underneath who wants to get out and live. And also Eva begins to see behind Cage’s playboy persona and she likes what she sees. But there’s no way this could possibly be forever…she’ll just have to make the most of what she can have with someone like Cage while it lasts.
This is the 3rd novel in the Sea Breeze series and the second I’ve read. We were introduced pretty thoroughly to Cage York and his ways in the previous novel, Because Of Low and to be honest, I didn’t find him particularly endearing. I liked his devotion to Low but his arrogance and playing around were less than attractive. In this novel Cage finds himself a fish out of water on a farm instead of partying in bars and picking up women.
Even though I’ve only read 2 books, they both read very similar. In both there is a new guy on the scene (Marcus in the previous, Cage in this one) and they are immediately taken by a female but very confused as to the female’s status in someone else’s life. In this novel Cage eyes up Eva and wants her right away but she makes it pretty clear she has no time for him and later on Cage spots an engagement ring and the fact that she’s always with a boy named Jeremy leads him to draw his own conclusions. Of course these aren’t necessarily correct and they don’t really stop him all that much anyway. Cage has some odd ideas of chivalry.
He’s prone to acting out, tempted into physical violence – once because he thinks Eva has been slighted and the other time because she’s talking to someone she knows but Cage thinks the guy is hitting on her. He explodes and basically acts like a douche and even though at least in the second incident he knows that it upsets Eva, when she wants him to apologise to her friend, he refuses even though he was clearly in the wrong. And Eva basically says oh well, okay then.
Recently I read another NA novel with a split male/female perspective which is the same as these books. In that other book, I found it very difficult to be in the male’s head and I find it even harder in this one. Cage is a player we know that. All of his friends bar Rock and Marcus are players too. It’s all about how much ass they can get, who has big tits, find us some girls with big tits, I like big tits, I need some big tits tonight. Good lord it’s repetitive. And it’s lame. They’re 19/20yo’s in some local shitty band or hanging around with guys in a local band and they’re picking up like they’re Mick Jagger in the 1970’s. One laughable instance is when Preston (the “hero” of the next book in this series) brings four girls back to Cage’s apartment and when Cage isn’t interested because he’s all about saying no that he’s met Eva, Preston happily says he’ll take care of all of them. Oh, please.
I’ve enjoyed the rise of the “NA” genre (not going to get into the controversy about the title) and I count some of my favourite books as NA as well. But ones like this don’t do it much favours for me unfortunately. There’s not a lot of substance here and they’re feeling very “samey” and repetitive already which isn’t good when you’ve only read two of them. Maybe the trick is to read them a year apart but when you receive them together and they’re coming out at the same time it’s hard to avoid reading them somewhat close together. There’s no denying that these books are hugely popular though and I appear to be a relatively lone voice in not loving them. I see some glimpses of things, like when Cage and Eva briefly connect (I saw more of this with Marcus and Low though, to be honest). And Eva’s pain is pretty real, she suffered something pretty heartbreaking. But I found more in this book that made me cringe – like the amount of times Cage and Eva storm out on the other and basically just act like children. Or how much is made of the fact that Cage has so much sex with so many women and it’s inconceivable that the mighty would finally fall. Um, he’s 20 years old. He’s basically a BABY in terms of life experience. And I’m still confused in how people in this series earn money and Marcus is the only one who seems to do any study. Yet Cage has an awesome apartment overlooking the water….a Mustang…..money to drink and party every night. How much does a baseball scholarship pay? I’m curious. I thought it just covered your tuition and stuff. Anyway, it’s probable that I’m overthinking these books but if I’m distracted from the story thinking about these kinds of things then the story just isn’t strong enough for me.
Book #144 of 2013