It Happened One Summer is the latest buzzy book in the online romance community – for the last month I could not open my BookTok without seeing people raving about it. I finally bit the bullet and read it – in one sitting, and finished at 3AM. And y’all – I am so mad that I waited so long to read this book.
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.
It Happened One Summer was damn near impossible to put down – the plot got going quickly and moved quickly – I loved how well paced it was and how the author balanced the romantic scenes with the perfect amount of angst (a realistic and not over the top amount).
I loved, loved, loved how Piper was portrayed – she was totally spoiled, but she owned exactly who she was. She wasn’t ashamed of her upbringing – she knew who she was and embraced it. I also loved her determination and grit – when she met Brendan (and he was being an ass) – she rose to his challenge and stuck it out in Westport, and slowly became a part of the community. Her character arc was just immaculate – by the end of the book she wasn’t a radically different character – she was still just as vivacious and fun loving, but she had learned to put down roots and not depend on the validation of strangers on the internet (and she could rock a pair of jeans).
Piper and Brendan were the perfect sunshine / grumpy couple, I am convinced. Piper was a ray of light in every room she walked into – while Brendan was a routine driven grump who was unfamiliar with change. As they slowly got closer (by way of a flaming pan and a hand built pergola), Brendan began pursuing Piper in earnest – and cemented his place as the perfect “grumpy with everyone except her, who he is unfathomably soft for” character. Brendan’s constant wooing of Piper was phenomenal – he was relentless and respectful and wonderful – he knew what he wanted and went for it. Their chemistry was undeniable and they had some EXCELLENT steamy scenes.
If you’re a romance fan, you need to pick up It Happened One Summer ASAP. It’s chock full of swoony moments, has the perfect grumpy/sunshine couple, and has the perfect amount of spice. Tessa Bailey can just go ahead and take my money for the next Bellinger Sisters book, Hook, Line, and Sinker. I’m counting down the days until March 1, 2022 – I can’t wait to read Hannah and Fox’s story. In the meantime, I’ll definitely be rereading this a couple of times. 5/5