It Happened One Summer
Author: Tessa Bailey
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong.
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 is a book I was so excited to read. First, it’s by Tessa Bailey, an author I love. I can always count on her to make me laugh. Second, it’s set in my home state. West Port, Washington is a place I’ve been to a few times over the years. My first reason for wanting to read this book worked out well. The second, not so much.
The whole “it” rich girl trope was a lot of fun. Piper was definitely a fish out of water when arriving in West Port. I loved how she had to learn how to survive without her wealth and the people who helped her along the way. Her relationship with Brendan was fun and full of steam. I liked their enemies to lovers path. He was a gruff fisherman who was a sentimental man underneath it all. They balanced each other well and their relationship made me happy. The romance of this book was well done, earning the 4 stars.
Now, West Port….
THIS BOOK IS FACTUALLY INACCURATE.
West Port is a cold, dreary place most of the year. The Washington coast has cold water. I know I’m SPOILING something here, but Bailey has a typhoon from Alaska hitting West Port. A TYPHOON?!?! There has never been a typhoon to hit WA in my lifetime, nor has there been one that I could find historically when researching. There are wind and rain storms that hit the coast, but the water wouldn’t be warm enough for a typhoon. This happened toward the middle of the book, and I couldn’t get over it to fall in love with the rest of the book. I wish Bailey had done more research on the climate of the Washington coast.