Bella’s life has hit a fork in the road, and she’s not sure which direction to go. While most of her life is back in Connecticut, Wellfleet has always been in her heart, and this summer should help her decide between the two. Only she’s determined not to let a man into the equation. No, this decision will be based entirely upon what she wants, and the best way to ensure that is to avoid a relationship until she’s made up her mind. But when a handsome cop with uncanny timing catches Bella and her friends trying to save the neighborhood from the sounds coming from Leanna’s bedroom, her pros and cons list begins to take a turn for the romantic.
But...I hate to say it, but the whole perfect parent thing kinda got on my nerves. Cade was a great guy who put his son first, and understandably so, but the many references to doing what was best for Evan or understanding Evan’s teenage rebellion was a little too much for me. The single dad thing usually tugs at my heart, since I know how much my dad sacrificed and struggled to raise us on his own, not to mention what my brother goes through in those same shoes, so maybe that has something to do with it. I’ve lived it and watched it, so having it mapped out for me didn’t resonate so well.
The Verdict: First off, I love that the craziness of the Seaside girls carried into Bella’s story, complete with late night mischief and the continuation of Kurt and Leanna. But where Leanna was a bit of a gypsy, Bella’s much more stable and level-headed — but just as much fun, of course. That Cade first met Bella when she and the girls were traipsing around in their PJs simply meant that he got to see her for who she really was instead of some carefully planned first impression.
Evan was a nice addition as well. So many romances have an adorable little kid to go along with the single parent, and that can be great, but the teenage child brings a whole different side of parenting and drama into play. And while Evan was ultimately a good kid, he was just as challenging and moody, just as bad at decisions as any other teenager. Of course, with a father who’s so utterly devoted, not to mention a cop, it’s not like Evan could too easily become disconnected, and the way he not only liked but pretty much bonded with Bella on a friend level was awesome.
The relationship between Cade and Bella was just as sweet as I expected, made even more so by the way he subtly persisted when she was reluctant to get involved, and when they finally did take the plunge, the heat level was incredible. And it was so cute how Cade loved that mischievous side of Bella that didn’t one hundred percent mesh with his law-upholding cop side. The only thing that bothered me (and it’s more a personal preference than any fault with the writing) was that even though Cade was the one to put figurative distance between them, Bella beat him to the punch in insisting they had something worth fighting for. It made for a good show of how Bella’s heart overrode the logic that initially made her put off any semblance of a relationship, but it would have been nice to see Cade get to bat first.