Title: It Happened One Summer
Author: Tessa Bailey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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.
Tessa Bailey is a master at creating flawed yet lovable characters, and It Happened One Summer is no exception. The story left me feeling both content and sad, content because true love conquers all, and sad because I wanted more of Brendan and Piper’s story.
The writing was so captivating that I was completely drawn in and felt invested in every character’s journey. The book was sweet, fast-paced, and had all the elements of re-readable read.
Piper’s character undergoes a gradual transformation throughout the story as she learns to rely on herself for validation and find happiness in the simplicity of life.
Brendan, on the other hand, experiences a freeing and cathartic moment when he finally says goodbye to his late wife and lets go of the weight he had been carrying. The ending was perfect for both characters, and I appreciated that their compromise didn’t feel like a sacrifice.
I’m eagerly looking forward to the sequel featuring Piper’s younger sister, Hannah, which I already have on my list. Overall, It Happened One Summer is a 4.5-star read that I would gladly revisit in the future, even if it means falling in love with someone else’s husband. Oops!
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts?