Saturday, February 26, 2022

Hook, Line, and Sinker (Bellinger Sisters #2) by Tessa Bailey ~ Review

Source: e-ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair & honest review.

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...

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?

After reading It Happened One Summer, I was pretty much salivating for this book. So I ran over to NG, put in my request and anxiously waited approval. (Lucky for me, I read The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood during this time, so the wait wasn't too agonizing.) Then I finally got approved, sent it to my Kindle, and proceeded to binge read the heck out of this beauty. And it was really good!

In and of itself, Hook, Line, and Sinker is a swoon-worthy romance. Fox and Hannah are a perfectly matched couple. They understand each other on a special level. They start as friends and grow so close they can't help but take notice of their chemistry. It was built up so well, and I truly enjoyed it.

That said, this book also has the pressure of following up It Happened One Summer, which I was obsessed with. I'm still in love with it. So I can't help but compare the two, and I personally preferred book 1.

But with THAT said, I still had an amazing time reading this one. Like I said, the romance was lovely. And now please allow me to declare my undying affection for Hannah and Fox. Both of which have their own hang-ups, but watching them grow and work through them was a delight.

And it must be said that Fox is so head over heels for Hannah the entire way through this story and I LOVED it. Did he mess up? Of course. But his remorse was instant every time, and he always put in the effort to make it right and learn to be better. I respect that a whole heck of a lot, and it was so refreshing.

Overall, Hook, Line, and Sinker was a lovely, fun friends-to-lovers romance that I can already tell I'm going to love more and more with each re-read. Because I WILL be re-reading it. And even though I personally preferred It Happened One Summer, I am positive there are going to be readers who prefer this one because it IS a great novel. I definitely recommend picking it up no matter what, because Fox and Hannah are more than worth a shot!

4 stars - A beautiful friends-to-lovers romance that had me laughing from the very first chapter.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Stuck In Books is on hold

 A message from Val...

After a year of teaching through a pandemic and then another year of trying to teach in person with a pandemic, I have no energy for the blog.  I am taking in indefinite break.  My social media is still there but I'm not using it currently.  I may occasionally post about a book there.

Google has made changes to the platform that I have been using to host this blog making it necessary to remove everyone but me from this platform.  

My hope is to recover emotionally from the stress of the last two years and return to posting reviews here.  But for now, happy reading.