My Review: It Happened One Summer (It Happened One Summer #1): by Tessa Bailey

Publish Date: July 13th, 2021
Number of Pages: 397 Pages
Publisher: Avon
Genre(s): New Adult Romance, Romance

Total Star Rating: 4 Stars

‘Eh.’ She waved a hand. ‘There are thousands of me there.’

Brendan snorted at her joke. And then he realized she was serious.

‘Piper, there is nobody like you.’

She smiled like she was humoring him…

He pulled the car onto the side of the road, slammed on the brakes, and threw it into park. ‘Did you hear me?’ He reached over to tilt up her chin. ‘There is nobody like you.’

‘Why are you getting so worked up?’

‘Because I . . .thought I was an intuitive man. A smart man. But I keep finding out new ways I’m flying blind when it comes to something so important. You. You are important.’

– Tessa Bailey, “It Happened One Summer”

What It’s About:

The official synopsis:

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 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.


Schitts Creek is easily one of my top favorite shows; I watched it 7 or 8 times in 2020 alone to get me through that train-wreck of a year, and In loved the comedy, the themes of family and perseverance, and even the queer acceptance and representation! It is perfect and I felt like I related to both David and Alexis Rose on different levels based off their personalities and behaviors…but the reason I’m mentioning all this in a book review is because this book was heavily compared to the hit comedy show, and once I heard this, I knew I had to get my hands on this book!

It Happened One Summer was a fun, uplifting, cute and even a little spicy summer romance read that is definitely one to pick up! The Schitts Creek is spot on, and I can even add that anyone who really enjoys those small town stories like Heart of Dixie, Virgin River, or even Sweet Home Alabama will absolutely love this book!

The story is about Piper Bellinger, a total Paris Hilton, Elle Woods, Kardashian, Alexis Rose type character who goes a little too far with a rooftop party one night after she gets dumped, and then as punishment is forced to relocate to a small fishing town in Washington; she and her younger sister must operate her late father’s dive bar.

From there, she learns about what sort of legacy her father and their family have left on the town, and she meets burly fisherman, Brendan Taggert, who is convinced she won’t make it a week without all her luxuries she’s taken for granted for so long…but before you know it, sparks begin to fly as they discover there’s more than meets the eye with each other…

The romance was done incredibly well, and both characters really helped each other out with their own inner baggage, which is so integral in order to make a romantic relationship believable and engaging. They really did have some great chemistry and some equally sweet and sexy moments between them.

It’s an easy, breezy sort of novel that’s easy to put up and down on the side table next to your beach bag while you catch some rays and/or sip on some drink with a mini umbrella as garnish–whether there’s alcohol in there too is entirely up to you!–but with how well written this story is, if its the kind of book you’re into, this is another great addition to your library or summer reading list!


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.


Brendan stared. ‘You’re all fired. Go home.’

– Tessa Bailey, “It Happened One Summer”

What I Liked:

  1. The Spicy Sex Scenes! Okay, so looking at the cover, it’s pretty subtle and makes you assume this story is going to be pretty clean and wholesome, right?……..WRONG! I was happily surprised to see that were was some spice sprinkled into the romance and while I’m not unfamiliar with erotic content, I still raised my brow at a few things that went down in this book, ONLY because I wasn’t expecting it to happen in this type of romance novel!
  2. The Hint of More to Come With Another Character! So while this book revolves around Piper and her personal story of growth moving from LA to a small town, I liked that her sister, Hannah, also got some attention and it’s hinted at how there’s more to her story that continues! I’m glad Piper had a more level headed sister to help her with her predicament, it also gave us some lovely moments of family and sisterhood.
  3. The Grumpy/Sunshine Trope! Total opposites attract here with Piper and Brendan when they meet each other and unexpectedly start to fall for each other! Think a Hollywood Paris Hilton, Elle Woods, Alexis Rose type of character falling for the rough, tough, burly, rugged, and moody fisherman, and they’re dynamic is actually such a huge highlight! I loved their romantic development as they went from weary acquaintances-to-friends-to-lovers.
  4. The Deeper Messages/Themes! You’d probably expect a story like this would be pretty shallow and just pure fluff entertainment, but much to your shock, you’ll discover that there is actually some hidden depths to the story and that there were some worthwhile lessons to be learned! Stuff like inner vs. outer beauty, change vs. tradition, grieving the death of a loved one, moving on, self confidence, materialism and wealth, growing up, and of course family!

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Some of The Dirty Talk is CRINGE…While I loved that there were some pretty sexy scenes within this book, I will also admit that once or twice there were times where the dirty talk was so bad, I swear i’ve heard better lines in a bad porno…It made me laugh, and while this book is a fictional rom-com, I wasn’t laughing for the right reasons.


Overall, this was a funny, uplifting, heartwarming, and even heart-rate accelerating summer romance novel that is a great selection for anyone who loves these sorts of books, or for anyone who wants a book to read because of their love for movies/shows like Schitts Creek!

I originally thought this was going to be a standalone novel, and it totally could work as one if the author wanted it to, but there is a sequel titled Hook, Line, and Sinker expected to release March 1st, 2022 according to Goodreads! You can bet I’ll want to get my hands on a copy and keep reading this wonderful story full of wonderful characters!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

New Adult, New Adult Romance, Romance

My Review: The Roommate: by Rosie Danan

Publish Date: September 15th, 2020
Number of Pages: 336 pages
Publisher: Berkeley
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, New Adult Romance, Romance

Total Star Rating: 4.25 Stars

Once I read the blurb for this contemporary romance title, I was immediately into the idea of a story of an uptight upper east sider inadvertently becoming roommates with a laid back, Californian porn star; think of the sitcom-like humor you’d get when two people who are two total opposites are forced to live under one roof! You can’t write this stuff…. oh wait.

While reading, this book was definitely a fun debut that I had a fun time reading; I liked both main characters more and more as the story developed, and really saw them grow throughout, especially the female main character: Clara Wheaton. She really learned to let a lot of things go and to not put so much on her shoulders, especially things that she couldn’t control. She definitely had a lot more growth than the other main character and her love interest: Josh Darling (porn name). It’s not that he didn’t have some growth of his own, but it felt like it didn’t really come until much later in the story and the rest of it was all about him trying to figure out his attraction to her in the first place while also figuring out his tricky job situation.

The sitcom-like setup was a definite part of the whole book that I liked; the more the two characters interacted and flirted, bantered, and had hot little scenes between the two of them, I truly did believe the growing chemistry more and more. I really thought they were cute together! I was also a huge fan of how one of the themes of this book was about being so sex positive, and how the author totally flipped what may seem like pretty cliché side characters. I go into more details about these further down in my review!

Some things I wasn’t a big fan of was how this story is set up just like any other rom com kind of story that you’ve probably read before. Not that this made me dislike the book in a big way, but part of me does wish more romance titles tried to veer away from the stereotypical setup we see in literally every book that falls within the genre and be more original. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of how the book ended…I mean, it was fine and all but it could’ve been a whole lot better too. Once again, I go into more detail about these further along in this review.

What It’s About:

The Official Blurb:

House Rules:
Do your own dishes
Knock before entering the bathroom
Never look up your roommate online

The Wheatons are infamous among the east coast elite for their lack of impulse control, except for their daughter Clara. She’s the consummate socialite: over-achieving, well-mannered, predictable. But every Wheaton has their weakness. When Clara’s childhood crush invites her to move cross-country, the offer is too much to resist. Unfortunately, it’s also too good to be true.

After a bait-and-switch, Clara finds herself sharing a lease with a charming stranger. Josh might be a bit too perceptive—not to mention handsome—for comfort, but there’s a good chance he and Clara could have survived sharing a summer sublet if she hadn’t looked him up on the Internet…

Once she learns how Josh has made a name for himself, Clara realizes living with him might make her the Wheaton’s most scandalous story yet. His professional prowess inspires her to take tackling the stigma against female desire into her own hands. They may not agree on much, but Josh and Clara both believe women deserve better sex. What they decide to do about it will change both of their lives, and if they’re lucky, they’ll help everyone else get lucky too. 

What I Liked:

  1. Opposites Attract! It’s a sitcom-y rom com with two totally opposite people forced under one roof together! Clara is the uptight, proper, and kinda prudish Upper East Side WASP who’s never done something like moving across the country before, and Josh is the charismatic, charming, and brow raising porn star who Clara inadvertently becomes roommates with in a small house in LA. You can’t write this kind of stuff! Oh wait……….Anyways, despite coming from different backgrounds, these two were a joy to read about, and their relationship was so enjoyable to see develop as they go from just roommates, to friends, and to lovers. There was definitely some chemistry there I thought, and the buildup of sexual tension was also fun. It was obvious that Josh’s feelings for her were way stronger than hers off the bat, and I love stories where the guy gets smitten first, but they were both feeling the urge as they lived in such a small space together for a hot LA summer.
  2. Sex Positivity! This book sheds some light on sex workers and the topic of sex in general. I’m never one to slut shame anyone or judge someone as “beneath me” because they work in adult entertainment, and I like that one of the themes of this book is that there’s not “one pleasure to fit them all,” That couples need to be willing to open up to another, trust each other, listen to each other, and be willing to try new things that work specifically for them. It’s also a good message that no one should feel ashamed about pursuing their own pleasure out of something because of societal expectations and judgements; it sounds a little hedonistic, but there is some valuable life lessons that I think everyone should consider! So long as you’re not hurting yourself or others, I say go for whatever your heart desires.
  3. Trope Flipping! One small thing I really enjoyed was how the author totally flipped two types of characters we’ve seen so many times before: the boy next door and the ex. Clara has had a crush on Garrett Bloom ever since he moved next door way back when they were kids, but as you meet him and learn more about him, he’s not really as much of a golden boy as the role usually has been in the past. Then there’s Naomi Grant, who’s Josh’s ex, but instead of being a woman scorned, she actually becomes friends with Josh and Clara and even works together with them on a business venture. It was refreshing to see these tropey character arcs get a new direction given to each of them.

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. The Same Old Setup…I suppose this is a minor thing, but the storyline is set up like any other rom com storyline, so there’s nothing new there with how it develops. There’s nothing too original about it in this sense, but then again, it’s not like most readers are really looking for something like that in this genre to begin with.
  2. Once Again, A Rushed Ending…I don’t know what it is about romance novels, but lately almost every single one of them feels so cramped and shoved together when it could’ve totally benefited to include another 25-50 pages, or maybe another chapter or two. It’s become a consistent thing with romance novels, and man oh man do I wish it’d stop!


Overall, another pretty good contemporary romance to enjoy for anyone who’s looking for something cute and lighthearted to read! It’s nothing groundbreaking or extraordinary, but it definitely fulfills the expectations you have upon starting reading it. Sure, you’d think it’d be a little steamier since the male character is a porn star—and a pretty good one at that—but there’s other books out there if you’re looking for a much steamier read. Some readers would even go as far to say this book would be so much better if it went further in either the humor or the steam. I can believe that and support that, but I still say this book is an enjoyable addition to the genre. I know I really liked this story, and it’s a keeper on my shelf for sure!

I definitely recommend this title to those who love the rom com stories with familiar tropes that are given new and thoughtful changes to them to switch things up and make them feel fresh. I’d also say fans of books by authors like Christina Lauren, Elle Kennedy, and Sarina Bowen will probably also like this book.

It’s a pretty impressive debut novel, and if this is where the author is starting at, I’d say I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for whatever she comes up with next, she has another title already hyped to release in 2021, The Intimacy Experiment, which will star one of the side characters of this book, so I will for sure check it out upon its release!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell