by Tessa Bailey
This was my highest anticipated summer romance of 2021 and it did not disappoint.
I had no less than SIX people recommend this to me. My undying love for Schitt’s Creek is well known amongst family and friends, so as soon as people realized this book was basically Alexis getting her HEA, they reached out to make sure I knew it existed.
It was sooo easy to picture Alexis as this female lead (Piper). They’re both pampered party girls down on their luck, physically, they’re the same, and hell, even their mannerisms are alike.
“Maybe I should have just slashed his tires. At least that’s legal.”
“That’s… not legal.”
“Oh.” Piper sent the guard an exaggerated wink. “Riiiight.”
In this book, Alexis – ER, I MEAN PIPER, doesn’t lose her fortune, but it’s taken from her after she goes too far with her shenanigans. Her sister, taking pity on her and knowing she can’t survive in the “wild” on her own, joins her in her exile.
The young women land in Westport, the small, PNW fishing village where their lives began, and are given a pittance of a allowance to get by on. These girls don’t even known how to start an oven, so obviously hilarity ensues. Enter Brendan, the male lead, a surly, six-foot-four fishing captain who was widowed seven years prior.
This part of the book is pretty predictable. We’ve seen it a thousand times in those rom-coms where the big city girl goes to the country and meets a man who does nothing but resent and belittle her. Only in this book, that lasts all of three pages before Brendan comes to his senses and realizes he’s being an asshole.
He apologizes and they manage to move past it pretty easily, because unlike all those other rom-coms where the man basically grooms the woman into becoming more “country” through coercion or insults, Brendan likes Piper just the way she is. He loves that she’s high maintenance. He’s turned on by having to work for it. And that was so, so refreshing.
I do want to say that people who maybe haven’t seen Schitt’s Creek might not be super impressed by this. There is almost zero diversity, and its filled with Rich People Problems. From the utter lack of discussion about their stations in life, there appears to be very little awareness of how privileged these ladies are. So it might all seem a bit shallow, and I mean, it kind of is, but I was okay with it for the most part. I will say that Piper isn’t a jerk, she’s only a bit sheltered and ignorant. Beneath her obsession with her instafame, she has a heart of gold waiting to emerge. Just like Alexis.
For anyone who has been following my reviews for any length of time, you’ll know that I have an acute allergic response every time I run into overly dramatic relationship angst or Big Misunderstandings that could have been avoided if only the male and female leads talked to each other like rational adults.
Yeah… I was actually totally here for both of those things in this book. They’re not overly dramatic or drawn out, but they’re definitely present and yet SO WELL DONE. Because they’re believable.
Piper, used to a life of frivolity, is terrified of Brendan’s seriousness. His undeniable, damn near gravitational pull on her. She’s only supposed to be in Westport for three months. She can’t start something serious with him. Not when she’s never had a relationship last longer than three weeks. Not when she’s been told over and over again by the men in her life that she’s nothing but a vacuous fame whore.
Brendan isn’t here for that shit and it is amazing to watch. He knows how much she wants him, knows it’s more than just sex for her too, and his steadfast doggedness pursuing her was so hot and never once came off as domineering or uncomfortable because Piper continuously shows him that he’s right.
And the sex. Good lord.
So maybe you don’t need to have watched Schitt’s Creek five times all the way through like some people *cough, me* to enjoy this one. Maybe these characters and their stories are endearing enough on their own to win you over.
There is so much development, so much growth on both Brendan and Piper’s parts, almost zero downtime, plenty of legitimate LOL moments, and some seriously steamy sex.
Basically what I’m saying is that this is the perfect beach read and I will 100% be bringing it on all of my summer vacations from this point forward.