It Happened One Summer (Bellinger Sisters #1) – Tessa Bailey

Genre: Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 397
Release Date: July 13, 2021

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. 

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It Happened One Summer is Alexis from Schitt’s creek meets The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker. If you loved The Simple Wild but wanted more steam, It Happened One Summer delivers on this front.

It Happened One Summer follows Piper as she’s sent to a small town to learn responsibilities after throwing an out-of-control party. Once there, she meets the town’s locals who help her discover a new side to herself.

What made this novel work for me was its main characters, Piper and Brendan. Bailey walked a fine line in making Piper a stereotypical Hollywood socialite with a character with insecurities, hopes, and dreams beneath her very coiffed exterior. Piper is independent (despite first appearances) and fierce with a heart of gold.

Brendan could easily be classified as a typical male love interest in a sunshine/grumpy romance, however it became quickly apparent to me that there was more to his character than that simple classification. Brendan is quiet and brooding, but he’s also thoughtful and intense. Piper and Brendan fit each other perfectly in that they balance each other out.

The chemistry between Piper and Brendan is almost immediate. Their first meeting is filled with tension and the angst only builds until it explodes in some truly well-written sex scenes.

Overall, It Happened One Summer is a spicy yet heart filled romance about discovering different aspects of yourself all while falling in love. It Happened One Summer was my first Tessa Bailey novel and it will not be my last!

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Have you read It Happened One Summer? What did you think?

5 thoughts on “It Happened One Summer (Bellinger Sisters #1) – Tessa Bailey

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