Synopsis from Goodreads
A heart-stirring novel of unrequited love and second chances by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.
Young widow Bella Sunshine-Caldwell is focused only on raising her daughter and running the family business, Sunshine Bridal. There’s no time for romance—especially with her fellow wedding planner, Gabe, whom she’s growing increasingly attracted to. He’s too enterprising to stay in Cape May for long, anyway. And too tall, dark, and handsome to be anything but a heartbreaker.
Every woman in town has her sights on Gabe Garcia. The only woman he has eyes for doesn’t seem interested. All he wants is to fall in love, be a father, and settle down. As he and Bella work together on a magical winter wedding, the distance between them closes, the nights grow warmer, and Bella might be seeing Gabe for who he really is: a man worth the effort.
But all it takes is a single rumor for these two hearts’ fragile love story to shatter. And now the happy ending Bella and Gabe hoped for is something they’re going to have to fight for.
Temptation on Ocean Drive is a slow-burn romance complete with epic emotions and amazing character development.
Bella has maintained control over every detail of her life since the death of her husband. Raising a child alone is a daunting task, luckily Bella has her sisters to lean on. However, Bella doesn’t feel as if she is truly succeeding at any aspect of her life due to her need to stay within the confines of the box she has placed herself in. Especially as she hasn’t really dealt with the overwhelming grief she buried along with her husband.
There has been an undercurrent of attraction between Gabe and Bella since Gabe joined Sunshine Bridal, however, Bella was determined to keep him in the co-worker zone until she is forced to get to know him better when they work a celebrity wedding together.
My heart hurt for Gabe and the devastating emotional and mental abuse he suffered growing up. I adored his view on weddings and being able to create that little piece of perfect for other people. The narrative deals with the objectification of men and the way in which it impacts their lives, careers and relationships. It was quite eye-opening to see this viewpoint and certainly made me more aware of my own actions. Due to Gabe’s good looks, he has to also navigate the constant female attention which has gained him the player label, although he is far from a player. In reality, Gabe is desperate for a stable loving relationship and a family to call his own.
Gabe and Bella are perfect for each other although they have to work through a lot of emotional baggage in order to get to the happily ever after they both deserve.
With only one Sunshine sister left unattached, the path has been paved for Taylor’s story in Forever in Cape May.