PLOT: 3.5/5

“I could tell by the way you looked at her, she was something real special.” “How did I look at her?” He was afraid to find out. “Ah, son. Like a summer day showing up after a hundred years of winter.”

Tessa Bailey, Hook, Line, and Sinker

My musings

I had read Tessa Bailey’s It Happened One Summer, a few months ago and enjoyed it. The book turned out to be an effortless read and came as a welcome break from the heavy reading I was doing back then. In the mood for a similar break, I was on the lookout for something romantic but not too heavy. A breezy feel-good read, if you will.

And then popped up, on my Storytel app, the suggestion for the second book in the series – Hook, Line, and Sinker. Without delving deeper, I decided to go ahead and give it a listen. Read on to know more about the book and about my experience of reading it.

What to expect?

Expect a contemporary romance fiction that is equal parts emotional and equal parts fun. Expect a book that features a rather unusual romantic pair – A King crab fisherman and a Hollywood production assistant. Expect a friends-to-lovers story that is set in the small sea town of Westport in the American state of Washington.

Who can read?

Just about anybody can pick it up. The book uses simple English that can be read by all levels of readers (including beginners).

The story as it goes

Fox Thornton, the King crab fisherman, is known as the Casanova of the town. His dashing good looks and raw masculine appeal are enough to have the ladies swoon all over him. To top it all, he is quite a ladies man himself. After all, it is not for nothing that he is known as the player, the flirt, the heartbreaker.

Love is just a physical need for him. Never the one to care much for emotions anyway, he always avoids getting into relationships. Thus, with the ground rules clearly laid, his standard operating procedure pretty much remains the same. And that is exactly how he has liked it all these years.

Then why does everything become meaningless when he meets Hannah Bellinger?

Hannah, who doesn’t seem to fall for his charm. Hannah, the one girl who doesn’t want to get physical with him. But quite strangely, seems to like him for his personality and carefree banter. And because she enjoys his company so much, she wants to remain friends with him.

Now Hannah is in town for a movie that she is working on, and she has no choice but to crash in Fox’s spare bedroom. For Fox, this spells trouble. As if this itself isn’t torturous enough, he agrees to help her win over her crush’s love.

Will Fox get over his feeling for Hannah?

Or will Hannah manage to win over her crush?

What turns and twists this summer will bring in Fox and Hannah’s story?

The characters are something

Hannah and Fox are both flawed, but not in ways one usually sees. Hannah, though clearly a gem, refuses to see her own worth. She is like a delicate, unsure, and unpolished version of herself who doesn’t know the effect she has on others. Her most adorable quality – is how she always puts others before herself.

Though initially, Fox comes across as smug and cocky. But as the pages turn, the reader witnesses just how layered his character is – confident outside but insecure inside. And the way they both help each other grow is #friendshipgoals and #couplegoals.

The writing

It is interesting to delve into Fox and Hannah’s account after the scintillating romance that brews between Piper and Brendan. The many references to music render the book a unique vibe and so does the dreamy setting of the seaport town.

I have to say this though, my favorite from the series would still be It Happened One Summer. For one, the romance is incredibly good, and two, the novelty of the small seaport cum fishing town wears off by the time the reader comes to Hook, Line, and Sinker. It’s still a good setting, but the novelty is gone.

In Hook, Line, and Sinker, the romance is good but not as passionate and intensely emotional as the reader would have expected. The story is also a tad slow, not having enough hooks to spur the reader on.

With characters like Hannah and Fox, the possibilities were endless, but guess this one doesn’t do justice to such remarkable characters. Somewhere deep down, I also feel that the book gets burdened by the benchmark set by its predecessor, and because of that, fails to live up to the high expectations of the reader.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Hook, Line, and Sinker using the link below.