In need of a spicy, new romance that leaves you wanting more? One that will have you reading on the couch until you flip to the very last page? Cue “It Happened One Summer” by Tessa Bailey. Meet Piper Bellinger, a 28-year-old socialite and fashionista who lands herself in jail after a wild party that was quickly busted by the local cops. After her rich step-father decides he’s had enough, he ships her and her sister Hannah off to Westport, Washington… A town that hits closer to home than both sisters initially realize.
Hannah and Piper step into Portland and feel immediately out of place. Used to glitz and glam, Portland is full of fishermen whose biggest worries are how many crabs they’re going to catch and making sure no one dies falling overboard — like Hannah’s father did. Henry Cross passed away in a tragic boat accident that left Piper’s mother needing to relocate immediately, despite her mother-in-law begging her not to. Piper and Hannah realize how little they know about their past, and how much they want to know more. What was once meant to be a horrid trip turns a little better when Brendan Taggart steps into the picture. Captain of a fishing boat, Taggart is the opposite of Hollywood royalty, so why is Piper so attracted to him? And why can’t Taggart keep his eyes off of her? Will their pasts get in the way? Will Piper be able to let her old life go?
What I love so much about “It Happened One Summer” is the dynamic between Piper and Brendan. There’s something refreshing about seeing two characters who are complete opposites of each other. The audience is able to see the growth taking place between each individual and how they’re growing together and independently. Not to mention, how I visualize Brendan in my head is definitely pleasing to the eye. Bailey does an amazing job at truly describing what is happening in the book. The whole time, I was able to visualize Portland, Hannah and Piper’s apartment, the fishing boat and even Brendan’s car.
While of course this story is fundamentally a romance, it deals with topics that are much deeper than that. Piper struggles with the validation she feels through social media and being the “it” girl, despite it not making her happy. Brendan is holding onto his past marriage, even if deep down he knows it was not always meant to be. While both characters struggle with vastly different issues, they manage to find a way to help each other and lift each other up when one is feeling down.
If you’re at all remotely involved in BookTok, BookTube, or just the book world, I’m sure you’ve heard of “It Happened One Summer.” Filled with smut, glamour, real-life and everything in between, Bailey’s book sweeps me off my feet. If you wish to indulge in a must read that you won’t be able to put down, I highly recommend getting your hands on this book ASAP.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars