Review – It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

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Book Ingo

Title: It Happened One Summer

Author: Tessa Bailey

Publication Year: 2021

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Number of Pages: 397

It Happened One Summer


From Goodreads: Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. 


I read this book with two of my best friends for our bi-monthly book club. We were looking for a quick read and this is what we ended up picking. While I enjoyed talking about this book with my friends, it’s safe to say that I have mixed feelings about it.

I’m going to start my review by talking about what I liked about this book. My favourite thing about this book was the setting. I loved the town of Westport. I like books that take place in small towns in general, because I like the sense of community that a small town has. I also like that when a town is small enough, it almost becomes its own character in the book. I liked reading about the community coming together and getting a glimpse into its history. I also liked watching Piper explore the town and connecting with her roots and the community.

I also liked that this book was exactly what I was expecting it to be. I wanted to pick up something quick, fun, and steamy, and it checked off all of those boxes. This book was very easy to read and to get into. If I didn’t have work and other adult responsibilities, I likely could have read it in a day. It was also a fun read with a lot of steamy scenes, which I appreciated.

What I’m still processing is my thoughts about the two main characters. I thought that Brendan was too possessive of Piper, and it didn’t sit well with me. Don’t get me wrong, I would love a man to build a pergola, but knowing that he wanted the entire town to know that Piper was his and off limits wasn’t cool. On a positive note, about Brendan, I did appreciate his commitment to his crew and Westport and I enjoyed the discussions about grief and moving on. As far as Piper goes, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I felt like the author turned the stereotype of “dumb party girl” up to eleven, but on the other hand, she did have some sweet moments. I will say that I did like the discussions about her insecurity and influencer Piper versus real Piper.

As far as the side characters go, I liked Hannah and Fox and I’m looking forward to reading about them in Hook, Line and Sinker.

As far as tropes go, I’m not a big fan of insta-love and I feel like this book falls into that category. I also don’t think that this book falls into the enemies-to-lovers or rivals-to-lovers category because I don’t think the characters knew each other for long enough to be enemies. Sure, they didn’t exactly start off on the best of terms, but that doesn’t make them enemies. I will say that some of the banter in this book was enjoyable though.

Overall, this was a fun summer read. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it and I’m still processing all of my thoughts about it.

Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Copy of Divide


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