I liked it, didn’t love it sadly. There were tropes in here that I should have known would bother me, and then they did—so this is definitely an example of "Amy should read the summary first" and not a problem of the book!
Steam factor: ★★★ (for Tessa, this was bland)
Pacing: ★★ 1/2
Enjoyment: ★★★ 1/2
A quick disclaimer: I LOVE Tessa Bailey! This might have been a miss for me, but it was for personal, niche reasons and not for a poorly-executed story. This review is a little meh, a little gripe-y, and overall lackluster. That was totally me not enjoying the tropes written on the tin and not a reflection on the book.
In Tessa Bailey's latest novel, It Happened One Summer, Tessa takes on some romance trope titans: the small-town coastal community, the "airhead, sheltered" main female character, and the trope of "finding true meaning in the simple life."
If it sounds like K.A. Tucker's The Simple Wild to you, then you'd be right. I would say that this novel follows a similar blueprint to K.A. Tucker with some different twists and a different ending of sorts (so for those who have read that one, I'm not spoiling this book by comparing the two).
In a bizarre move that sounds ridiculous as I type it out, I'm going to recommend this book by highlighting all of the things I didn't like about it... because I think this is the perfect romance for the right reader and it's just my cranky self that hates these things.
1.) If you loved The Simple Wild, you'll love this. Lots of similarities with enough unique twists to be a different reading experience.
2.) If you like the idea of your main character being a transplant into a community/situation/set-up where she is at a huge disadvantage and does not know how to cope and is constantly seen as the rich/spoiled/sheltered female, then you'll enjoy this setup of a Californian, rich social media influencer transplanted into this coastal Pacific Northwest town.
3.) If you like your romances with very little drama—and when it gets to the drama, it's of the low-stakes variety—then you'll love this story. This is a not an angsty ride through the trenches.
4.) If you're looking for a story that handles plot first, romance second, and sex third, then you'll enjoy this story. For Tessa, who is known for some steamy scenes and content, I thought this was... really tame. Not sure why. It was definitely a departure from her other work.
Overall, not for me, but I did think it was cute. I am interested in the next book in the series, as it sounds like the tropes are much more up my alley. We'll see!
Amy Imogene Reads
Just someone looking for her own door into Wonderland.