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Bellinger Sisters #2

Hook, Line, and Sinker

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2022)
King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he's a guaranteed good time--in bed and out--and that's exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She's immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his... personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah's in town for work, crashing in Fox's spare bedroom. She knows he's a notorious ladies' man, but they're definitely just friends. In fact, she's nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport's resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker's eye... yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can't deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.

Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she's walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and... and... man overboard! He's fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he's all in, she'll choose him instead?

In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man...

353 pages, Paperback

First published March 1, 2022

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About the author

Tessa Bailey

89 books40k followers
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 tessabailey.com for a complete list of books.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 24,635 reviews
Profile Image for Mareeva.
360 reviews5,047 followers
March 2, 2022
1.5 stars

Song - Wellerman by Nathan Evans

Why do I always have to be the hater? I refuse to believe the 4.40 avg rating. Something sus is going on🤨

Will be following tradition and writing in the format of my first review.

💿 The supporting character (no matter how much they wanted me to believe otherwise)
💿 Passionate for music & vinyl records
💿 Hopelessly infatuated with her Russian boss Andrei (or was it Sergei?)
💿 Aspires to make playlists for movies
💿 Rich LA girl but acts poor

1) description
2) description
3) description

🦀 Designated fuckboy
🦀 Perfectly stunning, blonde, and sun-kissed
🦀 Has hella issues
🦀 Got a better taste in music than Hannah (yes I listened to every single song mentioned. It was my only shred of happiness during this time)
🦀 Deserves a moment of silence because this man was lost to us from page one (to Hannah and his denial)

1) description
2) description
3) description

👑 One of Hannah's colleagues
👑 The main character
👑 The moment
👑 Everything Hannah wished she was
👑 I just know he carried that whole movie as much as he did this book

I would like to additionally say that Christian made a total of maybe three appearances.

“I hate that I like you.”
“I like that I hate you.”

1) description
2) description
3) description

I included Christian's little........mood board? Because I wanted to start this review on a positive note. And I think I've made it clear enough that he was the only entertaining or interesting addition to this book. Being Hannah's frenemy led to some hilarious interactions. And before any of you go building ships and whatnot🛠️🚢 he's gay.

“What are you drinking? Poison, I hope.”
She pursed her lips and perused the various liquor bottles. “What can I drink to give you a personality?”
Looking pointedly at her dress, Christian gave an appreciative snort. “So, what are you, like, trying now?”
“Could you do the same, please? It took you sixteen takes to nail four lines of dialogue this morning.”
“Can’t rush perfection.”

Dare I say the most offensive quote of this book🢁. Why? Because the gall of Hannah to say CHRISTIAN has no personality when he exerted more of it in the 2 seconds of page time he was given... than her - the apparent "main character" she was soo desperately trying to be.

Hannah Bellinger had always been more of a supporting actress than a leading lady. The hype girl. If she’d lived in Regency England, she would be the second at every duel, but never wield the pistol.

Both characters had their own personal issues to deal with. Whereas Hannah was struggling to be a leading lady (and failing), Fox was extremely insecure in everything that isn't sex due to being objectified for so long. If you think the heroine will contradict herself with time by becoming less of a hype girl and more of a main girl. You're in for disappointment. Her entire purpose this whole time was being Fox's support system/therapist, which is where the main problem stems.

As cute as this story was, it was also unbearably boring.

I couldn't form an attachment to any of the characters. I found Christian amusing and there were times when I could relate to Fox but other than that...there was a big hole in place where interest should've been.

Is it bad that whenever the main couple was left alone I kept hoping Segrei (or Andrei?) would pop up and we'd get to see the boss jealous😩. ME... no.1 hater of Russian men WANTED the Russian man, and he wasn't even that interesting.

It actually got worse. As Fox had Hannah pinned against a wall, in a full make-out sesh, I am completely zoned out thinking of best gifs I could use for Christian😭😭

That is how dry the romance (actually everything) was. I just wanted dramaaaa. Which is ironic because I thought It Happened One Summer was a lil too dramatic.

Now that I'm rereading the synopsis, I guess we did get what it was pitching, in a very lazy lacklustre way:

1️⃣Friends to lovers? Yes except Fox was already head over heels in love since the prologue. Friends where?

2️⃣Dating advice to entice OM? There were maybe two dumbass advices like "hey maybe bite ur lip more?" and she never even used them.

3️⃣Jealousy? Delivered in a very dispassionate way. I just didn't really care because he was already so much of a simp, it was bordering on pathetic how much he drooled over her.

4️⃣OM drama? NOTHING. Nothing that matter anyway.

5️⃣Rom-com? Idk I might be wrong but wasn't this supposed to be funny...

6️⃣Hot hot smut? The sex scenes are a mystery to me because I skipped them all. Oopsy so sorry.

It seems though, every time time I decided to not skim I just had to encounter words like these:

“Drop the oil, wet girl

“I know what you like now, freaky girl.

“How’s your tush?” He cupped the buns in question. “Sore, I bet.”

Took a pic of my face while reading all of the above as evidence of emotional distress. fkng try n beat me in a court of law now.

BUUUUUT! You know what we did have?
7️⃣self-sabotage on top of self-sabotage on top of self-sabotage from Fox. That was what the story started, continued, and climaxed with.

IN CONCLUSION: The best part of this book was the prologue.
Profile Image for Ayman.
201 reviews75.8k followers
May 1, 2022
my heart is so full. ok so i honestly didn’t think going into this that i’d be walking into a tsunami of emotions. i was hollering, screaming, crying, and dying. 🤬🥹🙄🔥😝😝🥶

i’ve said this before and i’ll say it again: if there’s one thing i love, it’s a broken man that doesn’t know his self worth but then he does all thanks to the woman. gets me every time. 😋😋😋

one thing i appreciated from this story was how complex it was. i was legit crying for this man, my heart was aching for these characters. i liked how this book had a more realistic and emotion-filled approach.

the tension and chemistry these characters extrude was potent. it was tangible. i was fucking feral. i’m talking -wringing out the mattress, foaming at the mouth, biting ankles- feral.

one thing i love, is a man that has it BAD for her and that was our very own Fox. he wants her SO bad “i’m so ready for you. been aching so long.” i was fucking giggling into my pillow. this man has my undivided attention yall 😩✨
and the dirty talk he’d do? “You want me to spread you out on the bed and use my tongue on that pussy, Hannah? say the word and i’ll do the rest. all you have to do is slide your fingers into my hair and hold on.” like SIR ?!? i was letting out moans y’all 🫦🫦🫦

Hannah is a baddie with a fatty😤. i love her so much. she’s so smart and confident. i loved her “leading woman” behavior. 😉 i was screaming at the top of my lungs when she’d put Fox in his place. Yeah you fucking tell him bestie! make his ass grovel. make him feel the pain of his actions. fuck him up and leave him desperate for the air you breathe. if there’s one thing i love, let it be a man that worships the ground a woman walks on!!! queen shit 😏😶‍🌫️⭐️🫦😭💖🔥😫💥🤸🏽🤩🥵✨

and that epilogue at the end was just the cutest thing ever!! i wanna live in that epilogue 🥰🥰🥰
Profile Image for jessica.
2,533 reviews32.3k followers
September 13, 2021
this book has no right being this amazing. this duology as a whole is seriously god tier.

this particular installment will speak to anyone who has ever seen themselves as the support, rather than the main character, in their own story, to the people who always have the perfect song for the mood they are in, to those who struggle with imposter syndrome, and to the ones who always believe in those they care about, even when they dont believe in themselves. this story oozes charm and heart and sweetness and understanding. its the perfect embodiment of the younger bellinger sister.

and honestly, i love how hannah prompts and encourages fox to grow. usually the female characters are the ones who goes through the development in romance novels, so its beyond refreshing to see the guy be the focus instead. foxs character development is so wholesome and purposefully combats the societal pressures men face when it comes to maintaining a certain reputation and image. its a topic that definitely needs more attention.

this is a wonderful follow up to ‘it happened on summer’ and gives a heartfelt send-off to the bellinger sisters.

a massive thanks to avon books for the ARC!!

5 stars
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,194 reviews40.5k followers
May 17, 2022
Wow! I was already intrigued by supportive, quirky, sensible, musical prodigy Hannah and heartbreaker, charming, flirty Fox at “It Happened One Summer”. They might have been supporting characters of Piper and Brendan’s love story but they truly deserved their own book.

And thankfully Tessa Bailey answered our prayers with this spectacular cover and most emotional, tear jerking, sweetest love story!

Hannah always considers herself as supporting actress, not a leading lady. She thinks she’s hype girl as her sister Piper always demanded the spotlight ( we already witnessed how her influential efforts resulted with more heartbreaks) since their childhood. And Hannah patiently waited in the wings, waiting for her right time to be announced as best supporting actress. She was always the one who was bolstering the heroine at her lowest point, taking care of the situation, fixing things!

But enough is enough. She wants to take risks: coming clean with her long time crush bohemian director Sergio about her feelings and her passion to work at the musical department. She doesn’t have to work as production assistant forever! She needs to make changes!

But she misses her sister and her time she spent in Westport. Maybe she also misses the charming king crab fisherman she’s been texting for seven months. Luckily she convinces Sergio to carry the last movie’s production location to Westport from L. A.

But Piper’s parent in laws’ visiting at the same time forces her move to this charming fisherman’s spare bedroom! Yes! The flames are blasting! She puts more gasoline into the fire!
Since they spent time at the convention center and he bought her Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors album, she couldn’t get him out of her mind. It seems like Fox felt the same: they already started seeing fireworks: but both of them were too stubborn to talk about their feelings.

Fox suffers from imposter syndrome. Even his coworker, best friend Brendan doesn’t trust him with Hannah. Everybody in the small town thinks he’s just a manwhore. His parental issues and an unfortunate incident at the college changed his perspective to the relationships. He’s always doubtful about his own self worth and he thinks he destroys anything he touches.

But seeing Hannah in his own apartment, getting jealous to see her with her precious douchebag director change something in him!

Hannah and Fox’s story is more intense, sentimental but also heartwarming than I expected. Especially seeing the vulnerable side of Fox affected me deeply.

Hannah might be my favorite character of the series from the beginning. I always loved her more than Piper.

I was thinking to give four stars to this book but ten years later epilogue filled my eyes in tears so I added additional half star to round up 4.5 to 5 sweet, teary, touchy, trust, love, self worth, bravery, second chances stars!

Special thanks to NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
Profile Image for Yun.
513 reviews19.8k followers
May 25, 2022
Is there anything Tessa Bailey can't write? I feel like with Hook, Line, and Sinker, she has cemented her status as a must-read author for me.

From the moment Fox and Hannah met, there's always been a little sizzle of attraction there. But between Fox's reputation as a ladies man and Hannah being the younger sister of his friend's fiancée, it doesn't seem like a good idea to take it further. Now they are solidly in the friend zone, texting every day and sharing their deepest thoughts. But when Hannah has to stay with Fox for a few weeks because of her job, will that finally nudge them towards being honest with their hearts and each other?

I thought the beginning of this book was just adorable. There was so much tension between them as they went around pretending they were strictly platonic friends with each other. Hannah even has a lingering crush on her boss, and Fox has to give her advice on how she can go about trying to snag him. It was so much fun and I about died with delight.

But then we reach the middle of the book, and I feel like it kind of lost some steam for me. Instead of the usual snappy pace, it just went on and on. Fox or Hannah would come up with yet another reason (or the same one) for why they can't possibly be together, and we just went in circles, again and again.

To be fair, I always think I'm going to love the friends-to-lovers trope so much more than I actually do. When I think of other books I've read in the same vein, I always end up a bit lukewarm by the end. It's because there just isn't 300 pages worth of material you can fill on two friends who clearly have the hots for each other, but are either too slow or hung up to actually realize it. So to make a big conflict out of the whole thing, minor reasons must be dragged out to the max, and that's what happened here.

Usually with Tessa Bailey romances, I feel like I have to make a note of how steamy they are, lest a new reader go in unawares and combusts in front of the pages. But this one didn't feel that hot. I don't know if it's because the story dragged on a bit and so the tension wasn't as high, or if the hotness level was a notch down from the usual. Either way, it's still steamy, just not as scorching as I normally associate with Tessa Bailey.

I feel like this all sounds a bit negative, but it really isn't. Tessa Bailey can write the heck out of anything, and she definitely makes this story as interesting and heartfelt as possible. So in terms of this being a delightful read, there's no question. But even her writing chops cannot overcome a trope that just isn't that exciting to begin with. But even within the confines of that, she still wrote my favorite rendition of it. And that says a lot.

See also, my thoughts on:
It Happened One Summer

Window Shopping

Hot & Hammered
Fix Her Up
Love Her or Lose Her
Tools of Engagement

Profile Image for elisa.
200 reviews1,270 followers
March 13, 2022
i'm sorry but i cannot be expected to take seriously the emotional journey of a straight white man whose inner angst centers entirely on being too hot + objectifying women his entire life in an effort not to be objectified first. like. HUH??? there was definitely room here to make some meaningful commentary on hypersexualization and its detriments to developing brains, but fox's entire arc was literally, "because i've been sexualized for as long as i can remember, i am enacting vengeance by treating every woman i encounter as an object......until one i like comes around and i realize that women (specifically one of them) ARE people who bring more value to life than simply sex." the amount of eye-rolling this novel induced!!!

trust commercial romance to do one thing and one thing well: flatten and water down any semblance of complexity in its main characters.

i really enjoyed the first book in this series because i felt it didn't take itself too seriously and hit all of its emotional beats with relative seamlessness. with hook, line, and sinker, i've had to write up a small laundry list of pet peeves:

• given the book's title, it's not unreasonable for me to expect the leading man to live up to his reputation, especially when his first name is fox and the book at one point describes him as "the maestro of feminine wetness" (HUUUUHHHH!?!?!?!). and yet this man CANNOT SEDUCE FOR SHIT!!!!!!!! not an ounce of wit. no charm. not even a little bit suave. fox is the kind of conventionally attractive person who has never had to develop a personality to get what he wants and it shows. he's been carried by his blond genetics.
• the biological essentialism in these books goes crazy fr. what the hell is this:
"Men like to feel useful. It stirs up our precious alpha male pride. Find something heavy and tell him you need it lifted. You will have emphasized your physical differences and thus, the fact that he's a man and you're a woman. Men need way less prompting to think of...[sex]"

i cannot believe someone sat down, created fox, and went, "yup, that's normal and needs no addressing at all." heterosexual a/b/o is so strange.....
• at one point, over the course of a single interaction, fox addresses hannah by name not once. not twice. not three times. SEVEN. TIMES. sometimes one line of dialogue after another. normal people do not talk like this!!!!! what are tessa bailey's editors doing?
• one of the pet names that fox uses on hannah at one point (in what is supposed to be a spicy, belly-tingling moment of foreplay) is........................wet girl. wet. girl????????? i almost want to dock a star from my rating for this line alone:
"Drop the oil, wet girl," he said. "We both know you don't need it."

WET GIRL!!!!!! tessa bailey can't keep getting away with this.
• just read this pls:

How could his father bring women over while his eighteen-year-old son was visiting?

this is what fox's trauma boils down to.........this and his mom giving him condom money from an early age. 😫😔🤣😧😐 moving on.
• the prose in this is harrowing. 2/10. please take a workshop taught by talia hibbert.

rating is more like a 1.85/5. fox thornton, you will never be brendan "your pussy hits better than my dead wife's" taggart from the first book in this series.
Profile Image for Cristiina♡Reads.
574 reviews3,301 followers
February 1, 2022
An obsessive friends to lovers that makes you crave more of their angsty story filled with two characters from different worlds that collide in the best of ways...

After reading the first book in this series, I knew I was going to love Hannah and Fox. Their starting banter is what makes them the ideal couple to fall in love with. They know what they both want, but are stubborn to admit their true long past feelings towards each other. But with time they both learn that their attraction is not the only thing in they way of them being together. And even though Fox has a past that prevents him from admitting and opening up towards Hannah completely, and not just physically, his struggles to admitting that she is the one is what draws the reader to continue this story;
"She felt like the runrise coming up over the water after a bad storm..."

Without further to say, Tessa Bailey knows how to truly make you obsess over her characters. A healthy obsession that will have your toes curling for much more to come.

ARC kindly provided by Avon Books, in exchange for an honest review...

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Profile Image for Phuong ✯.
617 reviews5,075 followers
March 2, 2022
– 2 stars

It’s a rare case of it’s 50% me and it’s 50% the book.

After reading It Happened One Summer, I wasn’t excited about Fox and Hannah’s book in the slightest because of the friends-to-lovers trope. It’s more of miss than a hit trope for me and Hook, Line and Sinker didn’t manage to change my mind. Turned out Hannah and Fox were as boring as I expected them to be. Was there mutual pining? Yes. Was there jealousy? Yes. Did I feel anything reading it? Nope. You can say what you want about Piper. Does she has 5 brain cells max? Hell yes, but that girl was so entertaining. Fox and Hannah ehhh... snoozefest from the prologue til the epilogue.

The other thing that was just not done well is the relationship progression between the characters. It was so slow and Fox’s insecurities and problems were getting repetitive. Every time I thought the romance would finally go somewhere, it would backtrack just as quickly. Can we just get to the smut already, I don’t want to read about how Fox is such a commitment-phobe and for what? All because he cares too much of what people think of him.


Reading this book made me miss Piper and her recharging station. 😔

┍━━━━━━━━»•» «•«━┑

#1 It Happened One Summer – 3.5 stars
#2 Hook, Line and Sinker – 2 stars
┕━»•» «•«━━━━━━━━┙
Profile Image for Elena Armas.
Author 6 books19.3k followers
February 27, 2022
Tessa Bailey knocked it out of the goddamn park with this equal parts swoony and angsty friends-to-lovers that will leave you panting. for. more. Hook, Line and Sinker has climbed right up to the top of my favourite romance books and I'm not ashamed to announce that I will fight anyone over Fox.
Profile Image for Warda.
1,152 reviews18.3k followers
March 4, 2022
“Do you ever get so happy, you can barely stand it?”

Tessa Bailey created absolute magic here. She seems to be getting better and better with each new release and this one more or less owns me.

It was so heartfelt and vulnerable. She crafts and cracks these characters wide open and she brings forth all of their insecurities, their quirks, their flaws and shows you who they are. You can't help but fall for them, you can't help but root for them.

It was all so beautifully done. I became sick with feelings. I felt way too much for these characters and I loved it. 😪


This has just become one of my most anticipated releases of 2022 and I had none.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,809 reviews32.3k followers
May 12, 2022
5 stars

“You make me feel like I’m in the exact right place,”
I’ve read quite a few of Tessa Bailey’s books, and although I’ve enjoyed every one I’ve read, none of them have had that five star favorite quality for me… until now. Hook, Line, and Sinker was the perfect romance for me. I loved everything about Hannah and Fox’s story!

Hannah is Piper’s sister and doesn’t feel like the leading lady in her own life. She’s back in Westport helping with a film and it feels right to be there. Back with her sister, back with Fox. Fox and Hannah became fast friends while she was in town before and have stayed in touch. Fox has a bit of a reputation, but he’s so much more than what he seems.

While in town, Hannah stays in Fox’s spare room. It’s fine… they’re just friends. While Hannah has a little crush on a coworker, Fox decides to help her out by being flirty with her to give a little more attention to her. When that flintiness turns real and real feelings get involved, they both have some big choices to make.
“I didn’t know what right felt like until you,” he choked out. “I’m holding on to the good you give me. I’m holding on to you.”

Though I had so much fun reading this one, one of my favorite things about it was seeing the characters so exposed, vulnerable, and unguarded. They really got to know the raw and real heart of each other and though they had mad chemistry, it was that honest heart connection that really did it for me. They both saw a side of each other that others don’t see and the way Hannah stood up for/protected Fox was absolutely everything!

If you enjoy friends to lovers, want a good rom-com with the perfect amount of emotion, and are looking for a sweet and steamy read that’s a lot of fun, pick up Hook, Line, and Sinker. This one completely stole my heart and I can’t recommend it enough!
Profile Image for Lacey (laceybooklovers).
2,018 reviews10.1k followers
August 24, 2021
3.5-4 stars! I had high hopes for this after loving book 1 but even though this was good, Fox and Hannah didn’t draw me in like Piper and Brendon did. It’s surprisingly slow for a Tessa Bailey romance and this is the first time I’m gonna say I wanted more steam in a book by her. We have a former playboy hero who realizes he’s fallen for his new best friend but he’s terrified of his reputation ruining things so he keeps her in the friend zone. It’s still a really sweet friend to lovers romance but it was just missing that charm from book 1 for me.


Tessa Bailey is giving me the friends to lovers romance that I NEED!
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,135 reviews2,157 followers
January 14, 2023

This is the second book in the Bellinger Sisters series by Tessa Bailey. While the first book focused on the romance between Piper and Brendon, this second book focuses on the romance between her sister Hannah Bellinger and Fox Thornton. What will happen when two platonic friends decide to live together? The author tries to explore this scenario through this book.

What I learned from this book
1) How can you have a main-character moment in your life?
Main-character moments are those moments in which you are in charge of whatever is happening around you. The author tells a simple yet powerful way to create such a moment in your life.
“The main-character moment?” "Yeah. You know, when you've got the perfect mood going, soundtrack to match. And you're on a rainy road, feeling dramatic. You're the star of your own movie. You're Rocky training for the fight. Or Baby learning how to merengue in Dirty Dancing. Or you're just crying over a lost love."

2) Why should you never laugh at other people?
Laughing at other people is a method used to humiliate others. It publicly shows your empathy level and consideration for others if you sardonically laugh at and slander someone publicly for their failures.
“Laugh with them, instead of being laughed at. Make the joke, instead of being the joke."

3) How to stop worrying about what other people think of you?
The anxiousness about being liked is one of the biggest problems youngsters face in the current era. It is difficult to escape from falling into the bandwagon effect of likes, shares, and followers trap if you are a social media addict. Never try to become a perfect person (perfection is an illusion). Try to find out your best qualities, focus on them, and live according to them. This might be a romance novel, but the author somehow managed to convey this inspiring message brilliantly.
"You can't live life worrying about what people will think. You'll wake up one day, look at a calendar, and count the days you could have spent being happy."

My favourite three lines from this book
“You make me feel like I’m in the exact right place.”

"I could tell by the way you looked at her, she was something really special."
"How did I look at her?" He was afraid to find out.
"Ah, son. Like a summer day showing up after a hundred years of winter."

“There was never going to be a life away from you, because, Jesus, that's no life at all.”

What could have been better?
Tessa Bailey has the ability to gather our attention to anything she writes due to her amazing writing skills. Her books are generally entertaining to read. I liked how she decided to use the smut at a moderate level in this book compared to her first book in this series. In my opinion, this book had everything to call it better than the first one.

But in this novel's middle portion, the author lost track of her writing, and the writing felt dragged without much content. Either she should have appropriately edited the central portion of this book and decreased the number of pages, or she should have taken some more time and effort to write those portions.

3/5 Even though there are some inconsistencies in writing it is still a fitting sequel to the first book in this series.
Profile Image for abigail ❥ ~semi-hiatus~.
254 reviews575 followers
April 10, 2022
4.5 stars
Let me just start off by saying that this book is in a ~different league~ from the first. Completely different dynamic in the best possible way. I didn't enjoy this book's predecessor which was Piper and Brendan's story, but I knew from the get-go from reading that book, that I loved Hannah & Fox and couldn't wait for theirs.

This is a forbidden crush to friends to lovers and it was incredibly addicting. If you have ever felt like you take the supporting role in life rather than being a leading character, you will find connection with this book. Always being the advice and therapist friend, never fully feeling like you have the confidence to take strides over your life. It will touch those who feel like imposters when stepping into things as well as accepting the reputation the people around you see you for instead of paving your own path.

This story really snuck into my heart and had me fully engrossed and attached to these characters and their destined love. Hannah is one of my favorite types of female characters. She is a strong individual, yes with insecurities, but when she believes in something—nothing stands in her way. She was the defining character to Fox's growth overall, and constantly showed her faith and trust in him. His character development was beautiful to see and seeing his struggles with societal pressures and reputation only made you fall deeply more in love with his vulnerability and openness with Hannah.

Ending this duet in the best possible way with a ten year later epilogue that showed us a glimpse into the life of both Fox & Hannah and Piper & Brendan leaving you teary and touched.

Thank you, Avon and Harper Voyager for this ARC!
Profile Image for aly ☆彡 (sick).
346 reviews1,032 followers
June 18, 2022
After the polarizing reviews I've been seeing around, you don't know how bad I wanted to be on the good side. I know friend-to-lover, in general, is a missed for me, but I do put strong faith in Tessa to turn the table with Hannah and Fox. I refused to believe that Tessa Bailey could disappoint me until today. Hook, Line, and Sinker is literally if not the most — one of my anticipated 2022 reads. The outcome? Underwhelming.

I usually would lay it out on what I like about a book first, but I don't think I have anything to bring to the table for this one. Not even the smut could save it. I either roamed or skipped it through as there weren’t much of the plot to cling to.

"I'm good at being... supportive"

Well, realistically speaking, there is a reason why you're the supporting character in the first book. Obviously, not everyone can be the 'leading lady' and Hannah just proved why. I'm not sure if it's either that she was forgettable in IHOS or this feels like reading a different character who despite the 'reconstruction' is still one-dimensional and the blandest I've read from Tessa. I thought she was cool with being the side chick, who does not care for the 'spotlight.' What happened to the actual plot? 😭

"If you're laughing with them, they can't laugh at you right?"

I'm not stone-hearted, because I do feel sorry for Fox. Having people to put a label on you, especially with your daddy issues. It can be bothering. However, as clear as day, Fox's insecurities were frequently exploited to carry the conflict and is inadequate to support the entire plot. It's becoming cryptic.

I understand that this is supposed to serve as character growths, and despite the confident demeanor we've seen, Fox surely had a massive self-loathing problem. And I am empathetic on any other day, but somehow, it's so easier to judge a character when they do questionable stuff — so, if I have to be frank, I find it annoying. He could've pulled his head out of his rear end sooner than intended. It's not like Tessa made him stand for himself with the insult or anything. His arc wasn't fully redeemed as it should have which made it more exasperating while reading his POV.

Characters - Failed ❌
Maybe the romance can be the saving grace. Guess what? Still no. ❌

Is this a friend to lover? Because I think we needed to dig into a lot deeper emotional connection for it to be more potent. All the same, we know Hannah and Fox only spent one summer together and started to text each other before the battle not to get physicals began. Hence, you can't blame me if I didn't buy their chemistry. Relationships are hard work. Having bosoms and rock-hard abs do not make a partnership. Last time, the insta lust work for Piper and Brendan. This time, it doesn’t. Not to add, the push-pull relationship here is chaotic and emotionally draining.

For the last part? It’s just another recycle plot from Tessa since she sure likes to make her heroes chased their girls abroad. And we also have Hannah who finally had her own business to work on… just like Piper again with Cross and Daughters — which is definitely a no problem but again: is getting repetitive and predictable.

Conclusively, while I don't like this book, I don't really hate it? The epilogue is adorable but disappointed is still such an understatement. I am more pep up when Piper and Brendan came to pages than Hannah and Fox do. Lowkey wanna give this a star, but I’m being generous and allow Tessa one last chance to vindicate herself. Tough luck.
Profile Image for SK.
247 reviews1,274 followers
August 15, 2022
Fox. Fox. Fox. Fox. Fox. Fox. Fox.

3.5 stars✨
We're getting slow burn and forced proximity? Friends to lovers? Sign me up.

But despite that, it felt a bit lacking. Where was the juicy smut Miss Tessa?! I thought the playboy would have more to show for himself but you made him soft (I did not mind that too much tbh). It was sweet to see Fox get jealous. Hannah was there too; compared to Piper- Hannah felt dull and didn't outshine. Fox easily carried this book for me.

There was repetitiveness in the conversations. Hannah and Fox go back and forth with their "friend pact" in the middle and it just dragged on unnecessarily in my opinion.

But it's still a fun book. To see them yearn for each other, root for each other and have fun with each other make the couple seem so good. But yes, I agree- there's no beating Brendan and Piper.
Profile Image for Ali Goodwin.
141 reviews11.8k followers
June 3, 2022
4.5 stars!!! Loved it so much. Fox had such a surprisingly rich backstory and depth to his character. And the epilogue 😫 so. freaking. cute. I love Hannah and fox together so much. This was such a perfect ending to the bellinger sisters series.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,478 reviews19.2k followers
March 9, 2022
3.25ish stars? This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and while I did still enjoy it, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. In It Happened One Summer, the snippets we got of Fox and Hannah’s friendship were EVERYTHING to me, but I was pretty let down by the way their relationship ended up playing out in their own book. I understand why Fox was hesitant to open himself up fully to Hannah, but that doesn’t mean that I liked it, lol. Also, the super unnecessary third act conflict in this one drove me bonkers. With all that being said, this was still a Tessa Bailey book so of course I did enjoy it (and the smut was of course, A+), but this as a whole just did not quite do everything that I was hoping it would and I am pretty bummed about it. Here's hoping her next release works a little better for me!

CW: death of a parent, slut shaming
Profile Image for Hannah B..
795 reviews1,066 followers
August 14, 2022
✨I am SEX hear me ROAR✨

I despised nearly every aspect of this experience. This is my third Tessa Bailey book and it was my Hail Mary. If the main character having my name couldn’t save it, there was no hope. It actually went so far as to make me hate my name! I’ll never read one of her books again and I think it’s about self preservation at this point. I’ll be saving us both the inevitable negative reviews. The writing style is pretty much the exact opposite of what I want it a book.

On the surface these characters have depth but underneath they were very very flat and unoriginal. They each only had one hurtle to overcome, one thing to change throughout the entire book. Neither one of the main characters was at all unique or did anything new for me. Their conversations felt weird and a lot of this book had me thinking I was listening to YA. Their texting conversation at the beginning was 15 minutes long (I listened to the audio) and it was very very juvenile. I didn’t learn much besides the fact that the tone it set for the book was one I’d have to crawl through broken and bleeding to get past the finish line.

Hannah wanted to make a career in movie music without her stepfather’s money. She didn’t change much from beginning to end. She was a good character, far better than Fox, but I still felt zero connection. I don’t know what makes her tick (besides Fox’s dick) and I’m absolutely done with music as the entire personality trait. I love music but a lot of the times it’s very forced in books. It’s normally the Only Thing about the character. Oops brb gotta go make a playlist.

Fox had nothing besides his past sexual conquests and how much he hated that reputation. This maybe would’ve been plausible except the fact that he kept shoving this “sex obsessed” playboy facade in Hannah’s face. Half of his interactions with Hannah were “I am SEX hear me ROAR” so that she would think all he cared about was fucking, for no apparent reason. He kept actively proving everyone else’s assumptions about him correct and it was fucking annoying I’m sorry. He did it in the past and the present. The only person he hated more than the Fox he curated was his father because according to Fox, his lusty loins were genetic. He perpetually wore a bracelet to remind himself that he’ll never be anything but his cheating father. Weird but okay (it’s actually not okay but screw it).

Even then, we barely broke the surface of Fox and his glorious [read: horrible] name. I felt n o t h i n g for this man. His pity party was an absolute rager 24/7. He kept telling us how doomed and tortured and sexually promiscuous he was but we were shown zero evidence. The book tried to go in depth with stuff his mom did but so much of it was just misunderstandings and caring way too much about other people’s opinions. This comprised his entire character. It was so hard to stomach after the first hour let alone the tenth. If he would’ve had SOMETHING else going on, even a hobby, maybe then I could’ve been more tolerant. I didn’t even get the sense he liked his job.

What little that was shown about his past was all told. Basically his main fuck boy years were in high school? And then he wanted to settle down with a girl in college but she was just using him. He swore off commitment because of that one relationship but he wasn’t the problem in it???? She was a shitty person but dropping out of college to “prove the point that I’m just a walking penis like my father” is a bold move. So I can see him being scared of commitment based on other people, but it was so internalized it didn’t make sense. And it continued to not make sense. He wasn’t a cheater! I have zero knowledge how his life progressed after college until we find him in the present. I don’t get it. “Dad’s legacy” is so flimsy. He is very one dimensional until his dick gets involved with Hannah and then he’s a little more 3D if you catch my drift.

As for the sex, this wasn’t as hot as book one. If you can include the phrases “wet girl,” “horny girl,” “freaky girl,” and “sweet girl” you can most certainly give us a “good girl” ?????? Why was that the one we omitted here? Their attraction was instant and I felt no tension or connection. I don’t know why they love each other. One fix could’ve be to get rid of Fox’s POV to up the stakes. Then we’d really have no clue what’s going on inside his head, which is better for us all. I rather [read: vehemently] dislike Tessa’s sex scenes. I don’t like her word choices and I didn’t care for any of the scenes we got, nor the placement in relation to the plot.

Some stand out verbiage:

✨ “I’m where you come for the down and dirty” (sir this is a Chili’s )
✨“Buns” & “buttocks” (remove the superfluous buns)
✨”Split of her femininity” (I shouldn’t have to defend my dismay here)
✨”Hot ass pussy” scratch the ass (lol)
✨”Get up girl” yee-haw turns so fast into haw-yee. Isn’t it crazy just how fast the night changes?
✨”Inside this tight thing without a rubber” repeated twice in the book (ribbed) for our pleasure.
✨”Brendan doffed his beanie” not sexual but I abhor 3/4 of this sentence.
✨”Classic Hannah” made me think of an urban dictionary entry. These characters didn’t speak naturally.

To go along with all the “girl” language, I just don’t like the daddy-adjacent kink. Fox had this weird fixation on babying Hannah and treating her like a child. From treating her injuries to protecting her delicate ears from bad language, it just felt off to me. It’s just not my kink. I didn’t like Brendan spoiling Piper in book one either. Both were possessive and jealous at times they forfeited rights to be. Everyone in that town treated Hannah like a child. They were all SO worried about her dating Fox but no one, not one person, asked her opinion on the matter. She’s too innocent, too young, too this, too that. She was a whole ass adult. Miss me with that patronizing bullshit. Seeing as it was her vagina he was rawdoggin, I think she should have a chance to talk. It was WEIRD. Piper was even guilty of this and in cahoots with Brendan.

Sea shanties were also here. A moose was in the epilogue. I really don’t know. I would not recommend the audiobook as the narrator sounds Very Young which contributed to the YA feels and I dislike her man voice. I also disliked hearing the dialogue of this book. I obviously don’t recommend the book in any format whatsoever. It made me hate the sound of my own name because hearing it in audiobook was horrifying. (I swear Fox is best friends with my 3rd grade best friend’s older brother because one time he told us that repeating someone’s name made them like like you so at dinner he demonstrated with my name and I SWEAR this book was deja vu.) It reminded me a lot of Duke, Actually by Jenny Holiday which I liked better than this (I actually liked the hero). Why does this book have “a novel” on the cover? A novelty maybe. Books like this drive me mad. No not today sorry I’m not home come back later.

✨I’ll proofread this review in the morning yolo✨

⭐️⭐️/5 🌶🌶🌶.25/5

**Thank you to the publisher for sending me a free finished copy of this book! Opinions are honest and my own. Even though I didn’t like the book, it’ll still be featured in so many photos on my feed so who’s the real winner here lmao. You can find my bookstagram in my profile description!**

My playlist ❤️inspired❤️ by this book:

✨Me to any Tessa Bailey book summary I see in the future: Never Going Back Again - Fleetwood Mac
✨Overall vibes of this book: I Hate Everything - George Strait
✨All of bookstagram witnessing my newest book related meltdown: There She Goes - The La’s
✨Fox when confronted with any rational decision: Fox on the Run - Sweet
✨Me when reading a Tessa Bailey sex scene: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
✨Returning this audiobook to the library: Goodbye to You (Feat Patty Smyth) - Scandal
✨My favorite parts of this audiobook: When You Say Nothing at All - Keith Whitley
✨Me sitting down to write another negative review: The Bitch is Back - Elton John
✨Me consistently throughout this book: Help! - The Beatles
✨When I finish a book instead of DNFing: I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) - Four Tops
✨This book @me every time I see a positive review on bookstagram: Don’t You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds
✨Me looking at the book cover: (You’re The) Devil In Disguise - Elvis Presley
✨Regarding this book, I: Should’ve Said No - Taylor swift
✨Past Me “you’re taking a risk by reading this book” Present Me “but her name is Hannahhhh” Future Me: I Told You So - Randy Travis
✨Me with the name Hannah: Where Did Our Love Go - The Supremes
✨Me five minutes into the book sensing danger: Should I Stay or Should I Go - The Clash
✨Last but not least, hindsight is 20/20: If I Could Turn Back Time - Cher
Profile Image for Anna.
157 reviews129 followers
April 27, 2022
I love love love Tessa Bailey as a human and I’ll always read her books. But I was definitely prepared to be disappointed by this one!

There are a couple of reasons for that. The first one is that one of Hannah’s main character traits is that she is very into music and is very nerdy about it - which is great! I just… don’t think that can be an entire personality? Idk! I mean, I feel like most people are very into music, and we’re all nerdy about the artists that we love the most. So I was a little annoyed that this had to be a thing with Hannah. Like, we all love Fleetwood Mac, chill out!

The other thing that was making me nervous was Fox’s whole deal; basically, he was just so hot that people always assumed he would be a womanizer and conditioned him into thinking he would never be able to commit (or be worth commiting to).

And yet, even though both of those things were very prominent in the book, I still LOVED IT!!!

Hannah was such a highlight for me. She was so fun and compassionate and witty, the friend of all our dreams.

The story starts seven months after It Happened One Summer; this whole time, Hannah and Fox have been texting every day and nursing tiny crushes on each other. Now, the movie Hannah’s working on as an assistant producer is heading to Westport for filming, and she’s about to move into Fox’s guest room for the duration.

This was truly so fun and funny and steamy and I absolutely loved Hannah and Fox’s dynamic. So flirty and cute the whole time. How many more Bellinger sisters can we get?? I want all of them!!!
September 18, 2021
WOW— how do I even find the correct set of words to describe this book. 5 stars doesn’t even seem like enough because I loved it THAT much. ‘It Happened One Summer’ had me hooked from page 1, and I love Piper & Brandon with all of me but I felt such a connection to Hannah & Fox as soon as they each appeared. I KNEW I was going to love their book even more.. and here I am to report that I was correct. Hannah is everything that is good in this world, she was one of few mc’s that didn’t piss me off AT ALL, like not even once. Fox was everything I wanted him to be and more. This was the perfect friends to lovers. The way they connected through music, through their insecurities and through their friendship was amazing. Their relationship was so pure and so genuine it tugged on all my heart strings. The prologue had me cackling & swooning at the same time. The entire book had me by the neck & I couldn’t put it down. & the epilogue??? brb while I re-read that perfect piece of literature. Thank you Avon & Tessa Bailey for the ARC to this book.

“I didn’t know what right felt like until you.”
i’m dying.
Did I mention 5 stars?
Profile Image for Kezia Duah.
376 reviews305 followers
June 1, 2022
“Even familiar, you’re a constant surprise.”

This was cute!! Hannah and Fox weren’t the kind of couple I would die for, but they got me in my feelings once or twice. Hannah and Fox both got personal challenges that affected their relationship. I didn’t expect Fox’s struggles since it’s not something I see often, but it was definitely interesting, especially with the parts that explored the origins of his struggles and how people over the years have fueled these struggles. Hannah also has some career challenges and also had problems connecting with some of her family members both of which a lot of people could relate to. I still liked the first book better, so it was extremely satisfying anytime Piper and Brendan appeared. I loved that the sisterly bond between Piper and Hannah still exists!! I definitely did not expect that epilogue though.
Profile Image for Jessica .
2,074 reviews13.3k followers
March 26, 2022
This was such a cute friends to lovers romance where they ended up being roommates too. I enjoyed this book a lot more than the first one because I loved our characters and their chemistry together. Fox was such an interesting character and there was a lot fleshed out about his past and how he's always been known as a womanizer and a playboy. His relationship with Hannah was sweet and I loved how they were friends over text first. Hannah had a huge crush on someone at work, though, so there was a bit fake dating in here, which was fun! I also enjoyed Hannah's character and her career ambitions. While the romance was cute, it didn't blow me out of the water. It was just a fun friends to lovers romance.
Profile Image for toointofiction.
192 reviews151 followers
April 5, 2023
Because she was the most extraordinary, loving, intelligent being on earth, and he cared about her so much it sometimes stole his ability to think straight.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐,5

Spice Meter: 🌶️🌶️,5

This review is spoiler-free

In all honesty, I did not have really high expectations for this book. I read a bonus scene of Fox and Hanna right before I started and I was so utterly unimpressed with it, I thought the same would apply to the book. Well...it did, but it wasn't as unbearable as I thought it would be. A lot of the dialogue and some romantic/sex scenes were incredibly cheesy and cringy, much like the first book. There was a fair amount of clichés as well, that I felt were unnecessary but other than that this book was a pretty decent read. Thankfully, a lot of it was actually enjoyable. The storyline was really interesting and there are times when clichés are actually kind of fun.

This is incredibly unusual for me but I'm not really fond of Hannah as a character. Sure, she's well-rounded, compassionate, and loyal and I wholly respect that, but other than that I actually found her a bit obnoxious. Her thing with music, in particular, was irritating for most of the book. It's literally all she thought about. Music and sex with Fox. Yeah, she loves music and there's nothing wrong with that but COME OOOOOON. WE GET IIIIIT. ENOUUUUGH. I actually liked her sister more.

I did actually like Fox, however. Being unwittingly made to think all he's good for is one-night stands and being judged for it really really sucks ass. I felt really bad for him and even though I don't entirely like Hannah, I think she's good for him and he deserved to be happy with her. He's also witty, smart, and compassionate, and his need to impress Hannah by any means necessary was really really cute. I might actually like him more than I did Brendan in the first book, but that's mostly because I just loooove a guy with a good sense of humour.

As for their relationship, it actually turned out to be much better than what I expected, which of course made me very very happy. It was really cute and I had so much fun reading how they went from 'just friends' to 'if I lose you I'll die'. The tension and the longing were so. damn. gooood. I live for this stuff. Obviously, the spice was juuust right. Duuuh. Also, I swooned a lot over them, despite most moments being cheesy and over the top. As I already said, clichés are actually kind of fun on occasion. If I had to choose a favourite part, however, it would be the ending. It was just so beautiful in the most unexpected way. Once again, I expected something really cheesy and cliché but thankfully it was anything but 😍😍 and that epilogue...oooh that epilogue...it was so adorable.

Have you read this series? What is your impression of it?
Profile Image for booksnpenguins (wingspan matters).
757 reviews2,304 followers
August 10, 2022
"Word to the wise, don't ever learn the harmonica while you have braces."
"Hannah. Oh God. No." His head fell back briefly, a laugh puffing out of him. "What happened?"
"Our parents were in the Mediterranean, so we walked to our neighbor's house and they were in France-"
"Ah, yes, Typical neighborhood problems."
She snorted. "So their landscaper offered to drive me and Piper -who had actually peed her pants laughing- in the back of his truck." She could barely keep her voice even, the need to giggle was so great. "We were driven to the closest hospital in the back of a pickup truck while the harmonica was stuck to my face. Every time I exhaled, the harmonica would play a few notes. People were honking..."
His whole body was shaking with laughter, and Hannah could tell he'd finally, fully relaxed.
The sexual tension didn't leave completely, but he'd shelved it for now. "What did they say at the hospital?"
"They asked if I was taking requests."

I don't know what it is about me and second books in a series, lately, but I keep being let down by sequels of books I'd absolutelly adored.
After I finished It Happened One Summer, last year, I was on a roll and I was
1) totally in love with Hannah and Fox
2) 90% sure and 100% thrilled they were getting their own book
3) completely freaking out over the fact that I finally had another Player Boy/Nerdy Girl romance novel to match Beautiful Player that I could swoon over
(fun fact: it doesn't seem intentional, but these novels have some elements in common; the age gap, the fact that Hannah -same MC name, too- is someone's blonde little sister, the player who actually is a player only because it's what people expect him to be, and so on)

So, yeah, the moment this book came out, I put on hold every other book I was reading and dove into it like I was having pregnancy cravings and this book was a pool filled with fries.
Unfortunately for me, the Second Book Curse, striked immediately.
The prologue with all its text exchanges between Fox and Hannah was cute, but I guess it failed at showing me how their frienship evolved during the months they spent apart, only speaking through their phones.
Once the chapter started rolling, the story started and they obviously were forced to share a house (because, of course, in Wesport there are no hotels and Hannah and Piper's grandma doesn't have a spare bed in her humble abode), I had to have a meeting with my own brain and heart and had to face an ugly truth I was purposely keeping myself from seeing and stop denying the evidence: this book wasn't giving.
The story itself wasn't bad, although there were times I considered skimming because I was a little bored. I didn't though, because I'm an old-fashioned reader and because I kept hoping it was just a moment.

Hannah's an interesting character that I wish I could have appreciated more;
I had some trouble believing she was the same girl I encountered in book one. Maybe it's because this book centers on her, and she's described as this deeply insecure and nerdy, simple girl who doesn't conform to social rules despite working in the Hollywood scene, who dresses all hipster and is obsessed with music, but what I saw was a pretentious young girl who wanted it all and had it while telling herself she was oh so unlucky and oh so complicated.

Fox, too, felt incredibly confusing.
As I've mentioned before, his main trait is that he's a player but a player with a heart, and that he's actually keeping it up as some sort of armor he's crafted and put on by himself as a way to avoid failure by doing exactly what people expect from him. I get it, okay? I've seen it happen before.
What I don't get is that he genuinely seemed to like Hannah and to wanted to be her friend in the beginning, but he kept being pushy every chance he got, to the point I started asking myself if he could get away with it if he wasn't good looking.
I blame it on lust, and to whoever decided to advertize this as a friends-to-lovers as it's certainly not.
The pining is there, but also not? I couldn't tell what the characters really wanted to do. One minute they were friends, the other they want to see each other naked, the next hour they were in love and then not even them could tell what was going on.
I just didn't find Hannah and Fox to be that compatible, I guess.
Sure, the flirtiness was there and I appreciated most of it, but they're not a couple I could see walking that very long run, if you get what I mean.
Quickly elaborating, I felt like most of the relationship consisted in Hannah blabbing about albums and songs and telling Fox what he should listen to and what he should do and feel, while he diligently did all he could to show her he wanted into her pants (and in her heart, too, because of course he did) without actually putting it into proper words and trying to give her useless advice she was going to ignore anyway.
Of course, they had their funny and sexy moments -some steamier and cheesier than others but who's counting-, reason why I'm giving this three and a half honest stars instead of just two.
I just wished their relationship felt more balanced and that they worked better as friends before they got all the lovey dovey talks and stuff in the way.

I really, really, really wanted to love this book; you guys have no idea how much I wanted to savor every line and relive the romance, hotness and chemistry that Piper and Brendan had going on.
I guess you can't always be happy? At least it was quick and I got to see domestic Piper/Brendan <3
I also had the chance to write down some of the songs and bands mentioned in this book (will gladly share the list with you guys if you want, just let me know) and I'm glad to announce I've found a few new favorite jams.

So, yeah, consider me disappointed but also entertained.

Oh, right, I almost forgot about this thing. I listened to a small sample of the audiobook yesterday and I couldn't for the life of me, listen to it without cringing at the narrator mimicking male voices.

Profile Image for Jennifer.
Author 5 books243 followers
Want to read
February 24, 2022
Holding a finished copy in my hands feels SO good! I ship Hannah and Fox so hard and can't wait to start this!


February 3, 2023
I know most of you will disagree with me, and it's totally fine, but I have to take this weight off my chest: I am disappointed.

Maybe it's my mood, maybe it's the fact that I have only read one book by Tessa Bailey so far so I didn't really know her range, or maybe my expectations for Fox and Hannah’s story were too high.
The only thing I know with certainty is that this is not Tessa Bailey at her best.

I fell in love with Fox the moment I realized he was the womanizer of It Happened One Summer, the classic bad boy who is everything but bad. Captain Frown was hot, but Fox was the one for me.
And while Piper is the main lady of her life - Hannah’s words -, I’m definitely more like Hannah: the side character who helps others; everybody knows her but she isn't anybody’s first choice.
It was so obvious they were meant to be a thing, and this is why I waited patiently. But one thing is character development, another is a 300 hundred pages long therapy session of everyone talking shit about one of the main character’s “problem” - including him.

We get it, Fox likes sex. Shame on him for being a 30-year-old good-looking guy with a dick. He was over-sexualised for his entire life, and his father was an asshole and a cheater, and he jokes about all of that because it’s easier. But how about minding your fucking business?
This is it, the whole plot: Fox getting all the ladies, Fox being horny, Fox being not horny enough, Fox not believing in himself. At first, I didn't minded; at half of the story, I was sick of it.
Perhaps I should apologize for not having enjoyed it the way most of you did, but it's difficult to empathise with such a long boring piece of work.

There were glimpses of the Tessa Bailey I know - the sex scenes were amazing as always and the first hundreds of pages really hooked me -, but I feel like she had all the right elements to write a love story maybe even better than the first one and she just didn't.
I'm grateful for one thing tho: the epilogue. I love a good epilogue because it feels as a circle closing, and here it's definitely what it is. The right amount of information, the perfect happily ever after, the knowledge that somewhere out there love exists.
And with some effort, everyone can succeed.
Everyone is worthy to be loved.

3.5 stars
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