Recommended Read, Review

Review: Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey (2022)

The Bellinger Sisters, Book #2

Review of The Bellinger Sisters, Book #1

Heat Factor: Get your fans out, it’s a steamy one

Character Chemistry: They have SUCH chemistry. It was obvious in book one, and it’s delicious in book two.

Plot: Hannah convinces her movie director boss to move their location to Westport, where she ends up rooming with her sister’s husband-to-be’s best friend, Fox. Unfortunately, Fox has a MAJOR reputation for being a deadly handsome casanova, so even though he’s got it bad for Hannah, he’s terrified of messing everything up.

Overall: Just electrifyingly steamy and so romantic…

I’m pretty sure Tessa Bailey not only follows our blog, but also is a huge fan of mine. That’s the only explanation for why she chose all (ALL) of my favorite tropes for The Bellinger Sisters series. 

In It Happened One Summer we had a grizzly, capable, grumpy sea captain paired with a bubbly, extroverted socialite. So good. And in this even more delicious book, we have a love-them-and-leave-them Don Juan who falls for a genuine, kind, girl-next-door, music lover. 

Basically, Hannah convinces her movie director boss to move the filming location to Westport. When she finds out her sister’s guest room will be occupied, she ends up staying with her friend (and her sister’s fiance’s best friend–TROPE ALERT) in his small apartment. Hannah has a mild crush on the director, but has been texting Fox since she left Westport after the previous book. They’re both connecting deeply, but it’s not until they’re face to face again that the feelings resurface and they both struggle to suppress them. 

Both characters are at the beginning of their careers and have serious doubts about their abilities. Fox, in classic small-town fashion, has ended up with a cemented reputation as a himbo, and leans into it to avoid the soul-crushing hurt and rejection that has historically come from trying to be someone different. And in fact, trying to protect Hannah from his reputation is one of the major reasons he tries to push her away throughout the book.

Hannah is sweet, and often overlooked. It’s clear that living in her sister’s shadow and as a production assistant has convinced her that she really is a supporting character, but she desperately wants to use her musical skills in movies and she’s just too shy to take the leap. Fox’s swagger and support helps her make that leap.

Here’s the thing about this book (and series, honestly)–the author is SO good at cooking up both romantic and sexual tension. It’s not too slow, but she peppers the whole plot with long glances and lingering touches. Every time the “action” starts, it feels like you’ve been slogging through a slow burn. Every time! And there’s multiple times!! 

The author gets you so invested in the characters that you end up rooting for them even if you normally wouldn’t be into it. For example, Piper in book one is a socialite/extrovert, and it would be so easy to make her look silly and over the top, but she’s fantastic. In this book, Fox in the hands of any other author would induce major eye rolling. (“Oh, poor Fox with his absurdly good looks and never ending supply of willing one-night-stands…”) But in this book, the author breaks down the moments and memories that make Fox relatable and human and by the time you’re done, you really want him to go for it and succeed. 

This series ROCKS. I loved both books so much, and I can’t wait to read anything (seriously, anything) Tessa Bailey writes next. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon | Bookshop

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