If you don’t want to let go of the summer and looking for more hot and funny reads, this is the book for you!
Tessa Bailey’s “Hook, Line, and Sinker” is the second novel in “The Bellinger Sisters” series and, I think, it’s just as perfect even as a stand alone. I loved the first book in the series (and I wrote about it here), but this one is even better! Of course, it helps if you’ve already read “It Happened One Summer”, as you’ll already know the characters, but, as I said, it works if you just want to read this one, as is.
In “It Happened One Summer”, Hannah and her sister, Piper, had come to a forgotten fishermen’s village after one of Piper’s dramas to stay for the summer and learn more about their father’s legacy. In the meantime, Piper has decided to remain here and Hannah is an occasional visitor. While on her first visit, she had befriended fisherman Fox Thornton.
“Hook, Line, and Sinker” starts with Hannah and Fox having kept in touch in a platonic way, given that Hannah already had a crush on one of her colleagues. However, now, she has convinced the production company with whom she was working that Westport is so beautiful and the perfect location for their movie. Surprisingly, they listen to Hannah and they all came to the village to make their movie here.
This is the perfect opportunity for Hannah and Fox to get to know each other better, especially since Hannah has to stay with him. The book follows their friendship and how it evolves, but, more than that, Tessa Bailey creates two complex characters that complement each other. It’s one of the best romances I’ve read in a long time that focuses on support. Each of the characters helps the other become better, improve in what they need, develop emotionally. Their friendship is nurtured by small, beautiful acts they each do for one another and becomes stronger with time.
Hannah is lovable from the start and yet her character develops so beautifully! She learns to truly grow and trust herself. She has a passion for music and follows her passion into a wonderful career. She is willing to take more risks, even listen to her instincts more as her trust in herself grows. This self trust is what seeps into her personal life as well. As she puts it, she grows from a supportive character into the leading lady and I found this growth so natural and beautiful and exactly right for her. I felt I watched a real person mature.
Fox is a sexy, carefree flirt fisherman. He seems all strong and brave, a lady’s gentleman, and, yet, he doesn’t trust himself either. He feels he is a joke for his fishermen colleagues, never seriously taken into consideration as something more. He never sees himself as something more. Hannah’s friendship infuses in him a sense of trust and he just blossoms as well. What I loved most is how upside down everything is turned in his case. Hannah actually has to tell him she doesn’t care with how many girls he slept with. I found that cute and endearing.
The slow burning friendship to lovers was amazing, in my opinion. Hannah and Fox’s chemistry was undeniable and I loved to see them grow individually before coming together. Hannah recognises Fox’s need for validation outside the sexual area, validation for anything else that is not sexual as his whole personality is based on just being a lady’s man. Hannah helps him see he has a lot more to offer than just sex.
Beyond that, I need to add that I preferred the sex scenes in the first novel of the series, though here, too, explicit language is used (this book is not suitable for all ages). The scenes are fine and their style is similar, it’s just that passing from friendship to something more is just not that hot for me.
What I need to add is the talk about the fishermen’s life. This was beautiful, engaging, exciting in the first novel and here, it just continued and combined with music and the village scenery.
[Westport] It’s moody and misty, set right on the water. Most residents have lived there since they were born, and they’re very, um”—set in their ways, unwelcoming, wonderful, protective—“routine-oriented. Fishing is their livelihood, and I guess you could say there’s an element of melancholy there. For the fishermen who’ve been lost.“Hook, Line, and Sinker”. by Tessa Bailey
We got to see everything through a music lover’s eyes and it completely enhanced the experience. Hannah’s passion for music wasn’t just a filler. It was an integral part of the book. It created an atmosphere, a vibe. Fox admires her love for music and is so much inspired by it that he becomes a record collector as well. We all appreciate music more through their eyes. I think this was the extra that made this book so much above the first.
P.S. I put together the playlist below with all the music mentioned in “Hook, Line, and Sinker”. Open it in Youtube (you’ll find it on my channel) and listen to it while reading 🙂
2 thoughts on “Hook, Line, and Sinker”