Tessa Bailey’s latest romance novel, It Happened One Summer, is a sizzling and heartwarming story of two people who fall in love on the Jersey Shore. Set against the backdrop of sun, sand, and sea, Bailey weaves a tale of unexpected love and second chances that will leave readers feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Twenty-four-year-old Piper Bellinger is spending the summer working at her family’s resort on the Jersey Shore. She’s sworn off men after her last relationship ended in disaster, but when she meets the handsome and brooding Brendan, she can’t help but be drawn to him. Brendan has been coming to the Bellinger’s resort for years, but this summer is different. He’s dealing with some personal demons and is trying to figure out his next steps in life.
Despite their initial reservations, Piper and Brendan can’t resist the attraction between them, and they start a secret summer fling. As the summer heats up, they both start to realize that their relationship may be more than just a summer romance. But with the summer coming to an end, they must decide if their love is strong enough to survive the real world.
Piper is a strong and independent woman who is determined to make a success of her family’s resort. She’s a bit guarded when it comes to love, but Brendan’s persistence and charm soon break down her walls. Brendan is a complex character who is dealing with some heavy emotional baggage.
His past experiences have left him with trust issues, but Piper’s unwavering support and love help him overcome his fears and open up to the possibility of a future together. Bailey does an excellent job of developing both characters, making them relatable and likable, with flaws and quirks that make them feel real.
Themes and Symbolism
The novel touches on several themes, including love, trust, family, and self-discovery. Bailey uses the Jersey Shore setting as a symbol of new beginnings and second chances, as Piper and Brendan find themselves in a place where they can let go of their past and start fresh. The resort itself represents family and tradition, as it has been in Piper’s family for generations.
Throughout the novel, Piper and Brendan must confront their own personal issues and fears, which are symbolized by the ocean waves that crash against the shore. Just as the waves are a force of nature that cannot be controlled, their emotional struggles cannot be ignored or suppressed.
Writing Style and Pacing
Bailey’s writing style is engaging and witty, with plenty of humor and heart. The pacing is just right, with a good balance of action and introspection. The dialogue between Piper and Brendan is particularly enjoyable, as they banter back and forth in a way that feels natural and realistic. Bailey also does an excellent job of describing the Jersey Shore setting, making it feel like a character in its own right.
Overall, It Happened One Summer is a fun and steamy romance novel that will leave readers feeling good. Bailey’s characters are well-developed, and the pacing is just right. The Jersey Shore setting adds an extra layer of charm to the story, and the themes of love, family, and self-discovery are explored in a way that feels authentic. This is a great beach read for anyone looking for a sweet and sexy romance.