This hero is the kind you’ll want to steal from his heroine, because she will never be good enough for him. That kinda sums up my feelings about this one. A serious, small town romance featuring two wedding planners, this is a little bit charming and a little bit sexy. I loved the hero; he’s been painted as a playboy when really he’s been pining over his girl. The heroine, well, I didn’t love her but I also didn’t hate her. The story is a bit frustrating with miscommunications, assumptions, and OW drama, but I was invested in the relationship and wanted to see them find their happily ever after.
The story follows Bella and Gabe, two wedding planners who work for the same company – but never seem to spend much time together. That’s Bella’s doing; she thinks Gabe is too sexy, too much of a playboy to stick around their small town, so she doesn’t want to risk the chance of falling for him. Gabe’s been half in love with Bella for years, but she’s made it clear that she wants nothing to do with him. But as the two spend more time together, getting closer is unavoidable and they soon realize that there’s something there worth fighting for.
I really felt for Gabe; he is nothing but loving to Bella, and the scenes with her daughter are just too cute. It’s clear that he craves a family, and this guarded widow is someone who is able to give him that – if only she’d take a risk. The tone is serious but not overly heavy; emotional but still with some lightness. There’s a lot of push/pull and an emotional build that works to give the relationship plenty of depth. I definitely did get frustrated by all of the miscommunication, and the OW drama was a bit much for me at times. There were a couple of instances where I felt like elements of Gabe’s backstory were contradictory – I’m still not sure if he was waiting for Bella, or if he just didn’t sleep around like everyone believed. Regardless, both Gabe and Bella are genuinely good people, and I really wanted to see them find their way together. For me, this one falls somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, but the quality of the writing gives it a boost. I received an ARC via Valentine PR and am voluntarily leaving a review of this slow burn romance.
Temptation on Ocean Drive, A heart-stirring novel of unrequited love and second chances by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst is live!
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.
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He repeated the question. “I need to know. Why was it easier not to believe me?”
This time, she didn’t hesitate. “Because then I could pretend you weren’t the man I really wanted.”
“And do you? Want me?”
She jerked back. Her tongue slipped out to wet her bottom lip. Her voice was barely a whisper. “Yes.”
He muttered a curse. Then leaned forward, his hand cupping her chin. “I want to kiss you, Bella. I’ve been wanting to kiss you forever, but I need to know it’s okay.”
She stared at him, pupils dilated, ragged breaths panting from her lips, and he knew this moment would be carved out in his mind—the first time he saw her face reflect her open want for him. She gave a tiny nod.
He moved closer. His lips stopped an inch from hers. “No. You need to say it.”
“Yes. Kiss me, Gabe.”
His mouth covered hers.
About the Author:
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She holds a masters in English Literature and lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley in upstate New York. Her family keeps her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. Her passions include horse racing, Scrabble, rescue dogs, Italian food, and wine—not necessarily in that order.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, spent 26 weeks on the New York Times. Her work has been translated in over a dozen countries, sold over a million copies, and was dubbed a “romance phenom” by Kirkus Reviews. She is also a proud three-time RITA finalist.
She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at http://www.jenniferprobst.com.