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It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

Blurb: 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.

Review: I adore Schitt's Creek, so when I read that It Happened One Summer was inspired by the hilarious Canadian sitcom of a wealthy family falling from grace and landing in a poor, rundown town I knew that I was going to love it. And love it I did. Tessa Bailey is one of my favorite authors so I don't say this lightly...but It Happened One Summer is better than her last three books combined--and I loved the Hot and Hammered series as much as a person can love books. That's how serious I am about the deep feelings I developed for the relationship between Piper and Brendan.

Bailey does a great job of creating a spoiled rich girl character who is not only relatable to the average, non-millionaire reader, but actually likable. She is dynamic and intelligent and knows how to market herself to stay in the public eye, but she's not without faults. I haven't enjoyed a heroine as much as Piper in a long time and I think a lot of that was due to just how much she changed as a person from the beginning of the read to the end.

Brendan is the grump that every grumpy/sunshine addict dreams of reading about. He starts off our story as a total asshole (yes, yes, yes) and has to grovel in a few different occasions (yum, yum, yum). Plus, as typical with a Tessa Bailey novel, the dirty talk from our filthy sea captain is literally some of the hottest words I've ever read on the page. But the best pat of his character development was that he had genuine reasons for his stubborn behavior that really made me feel for the man and understand him. I don't think I've ever wanted a hero to be real as much as Captain Brendan Taggert.

This book is genius. I honestly wept. Real tears. And I'm not a crier, so you know that there were some mad emotions happening between these characters. I cannot wait to read more about the town of Westport and am so excited for Piper's sister Hannah and Brendan's best friend Fox to get what will surely be a pretty dramatic book.


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