Review: It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

Posted August 21, 2023 by Stephanie in 4.5 stars, Bellinger Sisters, Contemporary Romance, Reviews / 5 Comments

Title: It Happened One Summer
Author: Tessa Bailey
Series: Bellinger Sisters #1
Publication: July 13, 2021 by Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Find it on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Kobo | iBooks | Waterstones
Rating: 4.5/5★

Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who’s 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. 

As seen on E!Online, PopSugar, CNN, EliteDaily, Vulture, Buzzfeed, Bustle, the Nerd Daily, PARADE, LA Magazine, Country Living, USA Today, and more!

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 one of the most fun, sexy and enjoyable romcoms I have read in a long while. It was my first Tessa Bailey book but I know it certainly won’t be my last. I hadn’t expected to love this book as much as I did but I could hardly put the book down and adored every single page.

When a party goes disastrously wrong, socialite Piper Bellinger gets send from sunny LA to the fishing town of Westport, Washington along with her sister Hannah by their stepfather as punishment for three months. Enter Captain Brendan Taggert, born and bred in Westport and working as sea captain catching King Crap and fish. The moment Piper and Brendan meet they get under each other’s skins and he doesn’t think she’ll last a day let alone three months, but the more they run into each other the more their attraction and feelings grow for each other. Piper may be highmaintenance but Brendan is willing to work for it and for her. Will Piper admit to her feelings for him and stay in Westport or will the lure of Beverly Hills be too much for her?

Piper starts out as a spoiled rich girl who’s more interested in getting the best angle for Instagram than anything other but even so there was something endearing about her from the start. She does grow and learn what truly matters in life but also stays her fun-loving and cheerful self throughout. Brendan is quite the opposite of Piper. He’s serious, gruff and set in his ways, down to the things he eats. And yet their chemistry was off the rocks sizzling hot. They definitely had the opposites attract things going on and it worked very well for them. Brendan knew very early on what he wanted and he wanted her. And oh boy the sex scenes were so good. They were fan yourself panty dropping good. This book may have an innocent cover but the things it hides within… HOT!

A romcom is not complete without hilarious scenes and a great cast of secondary characters. This book and its characters were hilarious. I laughed a lot, especially with Piper and her comical shenanigans. I really had such a good time with this story. And as for the secondary characters, Piper’s sister Hannah and Brendan’s friend and fellow fisherman Fox were probably my favorite. Luckily for me the next book happens to be about them. I also loved that the two sisters met and got to know the grandmother they didn’t know about. That was really sweet.

If you love the grumpy/sunshine trope with hot as hell smut and laugh-out-loud funny moments then It Happened One Summer is the book you need to pick up next. It was a surprising but amazing read and I can’t wait to pick up more of Tessa Bailey’s books in the future.



About the author:

New York Times Bestselling author Tessa Bailey can solve all problems except for her own, so she focuses those efforts on stubborn, fictional blue collar men and loyal, lovable heroines. She lives on Long Island avoiding the sun and social interactions, then wonders why no one has called. Dubbed the “Michelangelo of dirty talk,” by Entertainment Weekly, Tessa writes with spice, spirit, swoon and a guaranteed happily ever after. Catch her on TikTok at @authortessabailey or check out for a complete list of books.

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