Hook, Line and Sinker by Tessa Bailey is the second book in the Bellinger Sisters series. This is the story of Hannah and Fox, which if you read It Happened One Summer, you’ll have a really good idea of who they are. Because of how these books are written, both books can be read as standalones but it’ll make a touch more sense if you read It Happened One Summer first – though you can check out my review here!
Back to the book, Hannah is back in Westport, for work this time, as she’s brought the production crew she works on that’s currently filming a movie. She suggested Westport to give the film a small town vibe and Sergei, her crush and the director, went with it. While in Westport, Hannah ends up bunking with Fox, the town bad boy and fisherman who ended up becoming a really good friend to Hannah during and after her first visit to Westport. Things get complicated for Hannah and Fox’s relationship while she’s in town, and both of them embark on journeys to self discovery while figuring out how they fit together – if at all.
Hannah and Fox became friends during Hannah’s first visit to Westport, where they were talking to each other (via text) consistently – basically daily. Though Hannah suspected there could be something more between them, she took it at face value as a friendship. She knew from her first visit to Westport that Fox was not a serious dater. He was very much a womanizer who regularly hooked up with different women and was not a commitment kind of guy.
However, to Fox, their budding friendship was starting to mean more to him. Despite not wanting to admit it to himself or out loud that he was falling for Hannah, the town bad boy and womanizer hung up his role after Hannah left. He stopped going into Seattle to hook up with dates, no booty calls, no nothing, all of which he kept to himself. He became conflicted with himself because he clearly wanted more than a friendship with Hannah but did not want to ruin it by making a move on her. And to add to that, he didn’t see himself as someone who could be serious with her – he was strictly no commitment while Hannah was not. He knew he didn’t want something casual but did not deem himself worthy enough of Hannah or to pursue a real relationship with her.
Common Themes + Opinions:
Which brings me to one of the running themes in the book – the feeling of worthiness. Both Hannah and Fox question their worthiness for different things. On Fox’s end, he doesn’t feel worthy of pursuing a real relationship because of his past and his cemented reputation of womanizing bad boy. He had been put in that box his entire life by everyone around him, where he didn’t see how attempting to get out of that role would make any sense. Fox felt like he didn’t deserve to be anything else than the role that was pushed onto him.
For Hannah, she never saw herself as “leading lady” material and claimed she was only good as a supporting actress to the people in her life. While she’s fiercely loyal to her loved ones, she refrained from using that energy for herself. She was just a lowly PA to Sergei and his team and was incredibly reluctant to ask for more; she didn’t have the confidence to demand more or to believe that she can actually do it.
As the story progresses, Hannah and Fox help each other question their own doubts and come face to face with what’s holding them back – both individually and together. In developing this level of intimacy with each other, their friendship slowly evolves into something more, where Fox is legitimately challenged with answering the question of whether he deems himself worthy to have Hannah and dive into a real relationship with her. And for Hannah, having Fox as a support system helped push her in her own direction with her career and her future.
Final Thoughts + Ratings:
Hook, Line and Sinker was a good, interesting read. Having read It Happened One Summer already, I expected this to be lighthearted though I found it was not. Not to say that this book is serious, but it does talk through some heavyish themes that helped push the characters forward. While this is a romance book, their relationship wasn’t exactly front and center, though the events in the story revolve around it. I enjoyed Hannah and Fox’s story because I can identify with Hannah’s perspective of being a good supportive role for others. Sometimes I forget to support myself the same way I would a loved one – because I also deserve that level of loyalty and encouragement for myself.
Overall, Hook, Line, and Sinker gets 4.5 stars from me. As for the steam, Bailey does a really good job of heating things up between her characters! Though this story is very much a slow burn, by the time Hannah and Fox hook up, you are READY for some heat. There aren’t that many sexy scenes in this book, but the few that are deliver and for that, I give 3.5 peppers.
Have you read Hook, Line and Sinker? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!