Series: It Happened One Summer #1
Published by Avon on July 13, 2021
Tropes: Opposites Attract, Enemies-to-Lovers, Smalltown Romance
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Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
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 genius. Beginning the book with a heroine who is supposedly an airhead lowers your expectations drastically. So when the airhead turns out to be a smart, sweet young woman who never lived up to her potential because everything was handed to her on a silver plate and all she had to do was look pretty, you can’t help but fall head over heels for this heroine. This girl was such a revelation. Sure, Piper had to work through her fears but she was quick to admit when Brendan called her out on her BS. I adored her, she was so quirky, cute and sometimes she put her foot in her mouth which made me laugh so hard. She grew so much into her own over the course of the story, Piper found her purpose, herself. For as much as she didn’t want to be in a small town, away from the glitz and glitter of LA, she was the girl people gravitated too. Except Brendan.
Brendan was the perfect grump. He’s not warm and welcoming when Piper and Hannah first arrive in the PNW and sometimes even hostile but when he realizes that Piper sees herself as insignificant and that she has depth and a good heart you can literally see him melting. He knows what he wants and he goes after it with gusto.
“You can wrap me as tight as you want around that little finger, but I won’t play games about what this is.”
No matter how often Piper pushes him away or tries to make it casual he follows his gut feeling – he knows Piper feels the same things he does. I loved this so much about him because, even though their feelings grew fast, he knew very soon that Piper and Brendan were supposed to be.
This girl. He’d be keeping her. There was no way around it.
The whole town was awesome and there is a wonderful supporting cast, spearheaded by Piper’s sister Hannah, who is the best sidekick ever and Fox, Brendan’s friend. And I’m pretty sure this is also a match in the making and I can’t wait!
When I saw that this was set in my beloved Pacific Northwest I had to have this book. And I regret nothing. If you’re looking for a hilarious, swoony, ovaries-set-on-fire, small-town, opposites-attract/enemies-to-lovers story, look no further. Tessa Bailey has you covered and is giving us a dreamy hero and an adorable heroine. Despite the occasional cheesiness and a little OTT drama I loved IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER so much. I’ll end this with a quote from a scene in which sea bear Brendan signs up for Instagram and his crew ribs him about it.
“It won’t let me just use my own name as my username.”
“Yeah, probably because about nine hundred Brendan Taggarts joined before you.”
“So what should I use?”
“CaptainCutie69,” Fox spat out.
“IGotCrabs4U,” Deke supplied.
“You’re all fired. Go home.”