Author: Abbi Glines
Just For Now takes us back to Sea Breeze, not too long after While It Lasts and gives us a much closer look at Preston Drake. Preston is best friends with Marcus Hardy from Because of Low and we have met him in both preceding books as quite a player, out to get the girls – but only for the night. Until now we haven’t seen a lot of Preston and that was fine with me because his behaviour and clear lack of respect for the girls he picked up really got up my nose.
It turns out that there was a lot more to Preston and his womanizing ways than met the eye, and a lot more than even his group of closest friends were ever aware.
Just For Now brings us closer to Preston in a way that allows us to see his past, where he came from and why he does what he does. These reasons shed him in a completely different light and totally changed my opinions of him. It wasn’t far into the story that I became a Preston fan – after he made me terribly angry at him first.
The other central character in Just For Now is Marcus Hardy’s younger sister Amanda, another character we have spent some time with previously but never got to know well. Amanda is just starting at college so even though to Marcus she is his Baby Sister, that isn’t really the case. She is still younger than Marcus and his friends so they all have that protective older brother attitude towards her and don’t want to see her treated badly.
Unfortunately for everyone Amanda has her sights set on Preston and as the story unfolds we discover that she has done so for quite some time, but being the baby sister she never made it onto his radar. She has always been hot for the bad boy, even knowing that he has never been with the same girl for more than a few hours.
There is a lot more of the Adult in this New Adult title, the language is more prominent and there is much more action, or there seems to be anyway. The action begins on the very first page when Amanda manages to capture the attention of Preston and finally get him to do to her what she’s been fantasizing about. Unfortunately for Amanda it’s not anything like she’d hoped, or the way I would wish for anyone to be losing their virginity.
Three months later we see Preston at his mothers place, a beaten up old trailer, home to his three younger siblings. We immediately see a different side as he takes care of the children, brings them groceries and makes sure the bills are paid. It is immediately apparent that there is no love lost between mother and son but Preston refuses to allow the children to suffer deprivation. How does a teenager going to college on scholarship and trying to juggle baseball find the time and the means to support himself in his own apartment and a complete family? Well he does whatever he has to because his brothers and sister are worth it.
I am very surprised that Preston has been able to keep his employment a secret for so many years because Sea Breeze is only a relatively small town, but he has and he wants to keep it that way. None of his friends know anything about how he makes his money, and they also know very little about his home situation growing up. Marcus was the only one he ever took home and even then once was enough, he swore that no-one would know where he came from and what he put up with.
All of this adds up and we quickly realise why Preston has never actually dated, and though he is smoking hot and clearly a very caring guy his opinion of himself isn’t high – I think a lot of that is because that’s what he learnt from his mother.
This low opinion is what has Preston being such a jerk to Amanda, even though they spent that time together. He doesn’t feel worthy of her affection and he knows his friends will never allow it because of his womanizing ways. Amanda keeps putting herself in his path, placing herself in the firing line of his nasty remarks. She hates the way he’s treating her but she can’t seem to walk away, and just sometimes she sees a glimpse of something behind his mask, something that won’t let her move on from him.
This book took a long look at the darkness, and the sadness, inside Preston. Something he really wanted to change and get away from, he wanted to change because he wanted to be worthy of Amanda but the weight on his shoulders kept him from seeing any options other than those he’d already taken – and really wanted to get away from before someone caught him out.
There are elements of this book that are very much role reversals to what we normally see and I really liked that. I liked seeing that side of Preston that put his younger siblings first, the side that knew how badly he’d grown to want Amanda but that it wasn’t good for her so he would try – unsuccessfully – to keep his distance. These are usually traits more common in female characters so I enjoyed watching this play out.
I like that this book made me completely change my opinion of Preston and empathise with him, to make me wish I could fix it for him. So I was very happy when in the end, after quite a bit of drama and unhappiness and heartbreak, things worked out and really started looking like a Happily Ever After. This is one couple I would like to see a second book about, to see how their future turns out. Considering we saw a little more of Cage and Eva here, and this was the book which saw Marcus and Willow marry I think any forthcoming Sea Breeze books will give us a look at how they’re going and I look forward to catching up with them again.
I devour books, vampires and supernatural creatures are my genre of choice but over the past couple of years, I have broadened my horizons considerably. In a nutshell – I love to write! I love interacting with a diverse range of artists to bring you interviews. Perhaps we were perfect before – I LOVE WORDS!