Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey

Bellinger Sisters #2

Published March 1st 2022 by Avon Books

385 Pages

Goodreads Summary: King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time–in bed and out–and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.

Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?

In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man…

Review: Last year I read and reviews It Happened One Summer, the first book in a duology by Tessa Bailey about two sisters who must leave their posh lives in Los Angeles to prove themselves to be capable adults in a small fishing town in Washington state. I really enjoyed that first book introducing the two sisters, with the main focus on Piper, so I was really excited to get a chance to read and review book 2 in the series that focuses on Hannah. I could more easily connect with Hannah than Piper so I knew the second book would probably be even better for me than the first book. I was not disappointed.

The book opens with a text string between Hannah and Fox over the course of several months while she is back in L.A. and he is in Westport. I loved the connection between them and how music brought them even closer together. They seemed to easily understand one another even though they were both so different at the same time. Even before Hannah got back to Westport, the way they fought their growing attraction made it seem more and more that they were meant to be together. Their chemistry was absolutely undeniable throughout the book. I also really enjoyed the vulnerability that they both had. Neither had been in a serious relationship and were scared to take that step. Especially with Fox knowing how his father was and thinking that everybody basically expected him to follow suite. Even more than the romance between Hannah and Fox, I very much enjoyed Hannah’s character evolution. She started out working as a production assistant for this director and always thought of herself as an extra or sidekick character rather than the leading lady. Gradually Fox helped her to see that she can and should be the leading lady in her own life. She started to take those steps to put herself out there more and get what she wants. I enjoy romances but it makes it so much better when the female character takes charge of her own life and doesn’t just let things happen to her.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I am sad that there will not be anymore of these characters in future books. But I will definitely be checking out more books from this author in the future.

4 Stars

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

Published December 7th 2021 by Atria Books

354 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.

Called “Pastoral,” this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it… he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.

Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.

Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.

Review: The first thing that drew me to this book was the author, Shea Ernshaw. I read and loved The Wicked Deep a few years back when it was published so I knew that she was an author I wanted to keep my eye on. The second thing that drew me to this book was the cover. The cover image is so haunting and beautiful, I just had to know what this book was about. The third and final thing that drew me to this book was the synopsis. Missing author and a mysterious commune in the middle of the woods?! Yes please.

When the book began I figured that the story would be following from Travis’s point of view for the duration but it didn’t take long for me to be proven wrong. We are then introduced to three characters living within Pastoral, the secret community in the woods: Theo, Calla, and Bee. Theo and Calla are married and Bee is Calla’s sister. Together they live in a farmhouse near the edge of the commune. Each of them has secrets they are trying to keep from each other but those secrets don’t last for long.

I don’t want to say too much about the story because I think honestly one of the best parts was being unsure of what was going on and what was going to happen next. It was such a puzzle to try and fit all of the pieces together about what happened to Travis and Maggie. And when those pieces began to be revealed… I was shocked by each and every one of them. The last third of the book is so full of twists and turns. I literally just finished the book a few minutes ago and wanted to start this review while my head was still spinning. So many “Aha” moments! One of the other really cool things about this book is you get little excerpts from the Foxtail book that Maggie St. James was famous for. It was incredibly eerie with how well it fit the surroundings of Pastoral. Shea Ernshaw did a fantastic job writing this book. Her words had a way of drawing me into the story and I felt as though I was in Pastoral, seeing and experiencing everything that the characters were experiencing. Especially with Bee’s character. Bee is blind and so you get to experience all of her other senses being heightened, mainly her sense of hearing and smell. I definitely see myself thinking about this book for quite some time.

4.5 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

It Happened One Summer (Bellinger Sisters, #1)

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

Bellinger Sisters #1

Published July 13th 2021 by Avon

397 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. 

Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong.

Review: When I first started reading It Happened One Summer, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to be able to make it all the way through the book. Piper is your stereotypical shallow Hollywood girl who is famous for being the stepdaughter of somebody famous and becoming a social media star. It opens with her being dumped by the guy she had been dating who was supposedly her longest relationship which had lasted all of 3 weeks. To blow off steam and repair the image of her begging not to be dumped, she breaks into a hotel pool and throws a raging party that gets busted by the cops. Her stepfather decides enough is enough and sends her north to the coastal WA fishing town where her biological father was from and she had spent the first few years of her life. I have a hard time reading and enjoying books where the main character is so far towards this direction but kept reading in the hopes that she would have some character growth once she got to WA and out of the Hollywood bubble

Enter Brendan… rugged fishing captain who finds Piper insanely gorgeous but incredibly naive and shallow. When they first meet you get a little enemies to lovers vibe, which I love, so I started getting more into it. As Piper and her sister Hannah settle into their new lives in Westport, the cast of characters they encounter have that classic Stars Hollow-esque charm… quirky and strange but lovable and would do anything for their community. The more Piper gets out there with her fellow townspeople, including Brendan, the more she begins to realize that the Hollywood bubble may not be all that she thought it was.

By the time the book was nearing the end, I was really rooting for Piper and had completely changed my view on her as a character. Overall I ended up really enjoying this book and am now looking forward to reading the sequel that follows Piper’s sister Hannah, and Brendan’s best friend and fellow fisherman, Fox. If you loved The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker and watching Schitt’s Creek, then this is the book for you.

4 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman

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The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic #2

Published October 12, 2021 by Simon Schuster

400 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Master storyteller Alice Hoffman brings us the conclusion of the Practical Magic series in a spellbinding and enchanting final Owens novel brimming with lyric beauty and vivid characters.

The Owens family has been cursed in matters of love for over three-hundred years but all of that is about to change. The novel begins in a library, the best place for a story to be conjured, when beloved aunt Jet Owens hears the deathwatch beetle and knows she has only seven days to live. Jet is not the only one in danger—the curse is already at work.

A frantic attempt to save a young man’s life spurs three generations of the Owens women, and one long-lost brother, to use their unusual gifts to break the curse as they travel from Paris to London to the English countryside where their ancestor Maria Owens first practiced the Unnamed Art. The younger generation discovers secrets that have been hidden from them in matters of both magic and love by Sally, their fiercely protective mother. As Kylie Owens uncovers the truth about who she is and what her own dark powers are, her aunt Franny comes to understand that she is ready to sacrifice everything for her family, and Sally Owens realizes that she is willing to give up everything for love.

The Book of Magic is a breathtaking conclusion that celebrates mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, and anyone who has ever been in love.

Review: **Please note that this is the final book of a 4 book series so if you have not read the other books there may be spoilers ahead.**

When I heard that there was going to be one more book in the Practical Magic series I was INSANELY excited. I jumped at the chance to get an early copy of this book because I love the stories of the Owens women. The story picks up with Franny and Jet in their 80s, Gillian and Sally in their 40s, and Antonia and Kylie in their 20s. Jet hears the infamous deathwatch beetle and knows that it’s almost her time to go. She spends her remaining time with those she loves and after discovering something in the Owens Library, sets up Franny to find a way to break the family curse that their ancestor Maria set upon them centuries ago. But it’s not Franny who finds what Jet leaves behind for her. Let me tell you that when that happened, I knew that all sorts of things were about to happen and not all of them good. Kylie finally discovers the truth about who she is and who her family is after her mother, Sally, had spent all those years hiding it from her daughters.

If you have read and loved one of the previous books in this series, The Rules of Magic, then you will be very happy to find that a familiar face has returned to the story. Franny and Jet’s brother Vincent! Vincent is also the absentee grandfather to Gillian and Sally. Before they were born, Vincent had faked his own death to escape being drafted into the army during the Vietnam War. He fell in love with a man named William and the two of them absconded to France, leaving behind everything and everything they ever knew. When Kylie goes off in search of answers, Franny, Gillian, and Sally board a plane to France to see Vincent and enlist him to help them find her. Seeing them all together again was wonderful even if the circumstances weren’t the best. Add another plane ride and another character later and we have the incredibly interesting Professor Ian Wright in England.

I don’t want to say a whole lot more in regards to the plot because once you hit that point in the story, it’s hard to keep out the spoilers. But let me tell you that it was absolutely incredible. I loved being with these characters again in their story and the new characters that were introduced to the story, with the exception of Tom Lockland (you know what you did, Tom!). The writing is everything I’ve come to love from Alice Hoffman. Everything flows so easily and so descriptive that I have no trouble playing the story out as a movie in my head which is one of my favorite parts about reading. She has a way of making it feel as though the reader was right there in those moments. I fell in love with these characters more than I had loved them before. As sad as I am that this is the end of this series, I believe it was the perfect conclusion. I highly recommend reading this book. I can’t wait to re-read the entire series again in the near future from Maria’s tale in Magic Lessons, to the introduction of Franny, Vincent, and Jet in The Rules of Magic, with Gillian and Sally in Practical Magic, and finally this continuation of Franny, Jet, Vincent, Gillian, Sally, Antonia, and Kylie’s story in The Book of Magic.

5 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

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Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff

Empire of the Vampire #1

US Publication Date: September 14th 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

752 Pages, Hardcover

Goodreads Summary: From holy cup comes holy light;
The faithful hand sets world aright.
And in the Seven Martyrs’ sight,
Mere man shall end this endless night.


It has been twenty-seven long years since the last sunrise. For nearly three decades, vampires have waged war against humanity; building their eternal empire even as they tear down our own. Now, only a few tiny sparks of light endure in a sea of darkness.

Gabriel de León is a silversaint: a member of a holy brotherhood dedicated to defending realm and church from the creatures of the night. But even the Silver Order could not stem the tide once daylight failed us, and now, only Gabriel remains.

Imprisoned by the very monsters he vowed to destroy, the last silversaint is forced to tell his story. A story of legendary battles and forbidden love, of faith lost and friendships won, of the Wars of the Blood and the Forever King and the quest for humanity’s last remaining hope:

The Holy Grail.

From New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff comes Empire of the Vampire, the first illustrated volume of an astonishing new dark fantasy saga.

Review: *Note: I received an exclusive 400 page sampler from the publisher so this review is based solely on those 400 pages.*

It comes as no surprise to anyone that has been following me for awhile that Jay Kristoff is one of my favorite authors. I am also a huge fan of vampires so when I found out that he was writing a book trilogy about vampires…. I almost lost my mind in excitement. And when St. Martin’s Press sent me the exclusive sampler, whoa boy! I was torn between wanting to devour it and savoring it because I knew that the sampler was going to leave off on a massive cliffhanger so if I finished it too quickly I would be left dying inside waiting for my finished copies to arrive. (And yes, I did say copies plural… but more on that later.)

From the moment I cracked open the sampler, I knew I was going to be in for the ride of my life. There was a huge sense of forboding but in the way that you know you’re reading a vampire novel if that makes any sense. The story starts out in Gabriel De Leon’s present and then proceeds to backtrack to how he came to be in his present circumstances as Jean-Francois of the Blood Chastain records Gabriel’s oral history via the written word and sketches. In that sense it had a similar setup to Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice. And yet, Gabriel is a captive which is likely the only reason he is being so forthcoming in telling the details of his life and how he became to be the Last Silversaint. The banter between Gabriel and Jean-Francois is absolutely hilarious which provides a nice bit of levity amongst the heaviness of Gabriel’s tales. Gabriel has lived a rather hard life which is evident from his stories so those brief moments of humor really help to break things up. There is even more humor added once Gabriel arrives at San Michon and the other silversaints are introduced… be prepared to write down some really fantastic insults!

Jay Kristoff’s writing really has a way of immersing the reader into the worlds he creates and it is no different with Empire of the Vampire. It was incredible to visualize certain scenes in my mind and have them match up very similarly with the illustrations. And let’s talk about the illustrations…. wow!!! Bon Orthwick (aka @monolimeart on Instagram) did a phenomenal job on the illustrations for this novel. Bon’s attention to detail in transforming Jay’s words into these stunning illustrations… just amazing.

Everything about this book so far has completely drawn me in! I love all of the different editions that are out there and had actually preordered 6 different editions for my collection! The book published in the UK last Tuesday so I actually received one of my UK editions yesterday and my first US edition is currently out for delivery! The Waterstones special edition is the one that arrived yesterday and it is bloody gorgeous! I can’t wait for my other editions to arrive and add them to my shelf. I have continued reading the rest of the book with the Waterstones edition.

*Please note: These are not glamorous vampires. This book is graphic in terms of violence and sexual content so proceed at your own risk.*

I received an exclusive sampler of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

5 bloody fangs!

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UK Edition

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