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Audiobook Review: It Happened One Summer (Bellinger Sisters #1)

Published July 13th 2021

Author: Tessa Bailey

Narrator: Charlotte North

Audiobook Length: 10 hours 48 minutes

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 the first in the Bellinger Sisters series. It is my second Tessa Bailey novel and I continue to enjoy her chemistry filled romance style. This novel is inspired by Schitt’s Creek and I can see the inspiration as there is an Alexis Rose type main character that goes from her influencer-type life to a small town away from it all. For me, that is where the comparison ends as the main character in this story and Alexis are completely different and their journeys cannot be compared.

Piper Bellinger is an influencer in Los Angeles where she attends parties and works at being seen in society. She has everything done for her and does not have an idea about money or how to fully care for herself. After making a large-scale mistake, her step-father decides to teach her a lesson by sending her to the small coastal town of Westport, Washington, which was her father’s hometown.  Not only is she tasked with going to Washington, but she is given her father’s bar that she and her sister, Hannah, inherited when he passed away. As Hannah and Piper have not been back to the town since their father’s passing, it is one of the reasons Hannah decides to accompany Piper. The two of them make the move that will last three months to try and make the best of their time in Westport.

Soon after arriving, Piper meets the captain of the Della Rey, Brendan. The two of them get off on the wrong foot, but have instant chemistry. Brendan is initially cold and standoff-ish, but reveals his character as the story moves forward. The two of them begin to spend time together and their opposite personalities and the time limit before Piper returns to Los Angeles are obstacles they must try to overcome. The two of them have to first see if a relationship can work between them and then try to decide if it is worth keeping for the long run. The two characters are more complex than they initially seem. While Piper seems a little ditzy at times, she is clever and charming. Brendan is closed-off, but he has his reasons that slowly reveal themselves. I did enjoy that their relationship grew overtime, but it did feel a little rushed where it bordered on insta-love. They have a great connection and provide a nice balance with each other and I wish the writing expanded on their relationship a little more.

This story was an excellent read and was fantastically narrated by Charlotte North. Her narration added an extra layer of enjoyment to the story and I hope to listen to more of her reads soon. Though this is a romance read, Piper’s character stood out to me more as I loved her journey of self-discovery. While Piper and Brendan were very enjoyable characters, Hannah stole the show many times. I am very excited that she will get her own story in the sequel, Hook, Line, and Sinker when it is released next year!

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