3 Sentence Summary
“It Happened One Summer” is a romantic comedy novel written by Tessa Bailey and published in 2021. It is the first book in a series featuring the Bellinger sisters. The story follows Piper Bellinger, a wealthy socialite, as she is sent to the small town of Westport, Washington after being banished from Los Angeles.
Summary Read Time: Less than 4 minutes
Actual Book Length: 416
First Published in: 2021
Below is the detailed yet quick It Happened One Summer book summary:
The story begins in modern-day Los Angeles, where Piper Bellinger, a carefree and affluent young woman, finds herself in a tricky situation. She has been caught breaking into a hotel and throwing a wild party in the pool. Its an act of mischief she had devised to distract from a recent, hurtful breakup with her boyfriend.
In an effort to teach Piper a valuable lesson, her stepfather decides to send her to a quaint coastal village in Washington state. There he plans her to inherit a rundown bar from her late father, a fisherman who passed away prematurely. He hopes that Piper will learn to take on more responsibility during her three-month stay in the village. Her mother, who left Westport when Piper was still a child, concurs with the plan. Along with her younger sister, Hannah, Piper sets off to Westport, only to find that the bar has been taken over by the local community, one of whom is a tall, scruffy fisherman who seems particularly unfriendly towards her. He tells Piper in no uncertain terms that she does not belong in Westport and should return to Los Angeles.
Brendan Taggart is a widower who prefers predictability. He feels unsure when Piper, a fashionable young woman from Los Angeles, arrives in Westport. Despite his initial reluctance, he finds himself drawn to her and starts to see beyond her glamorous façade. He finds her intriguing and decides to pursue her, despite his uncertainty of what she could see in a set-in-his-ways fisherman like himself.
Piper is drawn to Brendan, but initially resists acting on her attraction because he still wears his wedding ring. However, as Brendan stops wearing the ring and shows interest in helping her and Hannah restore the bar, Piper’s attraction grows. Despite her growing feelings, she tries to keep things casual and reminds Brendan that she will be returning to Los Angeles. Their first sexual encounter is passionate, but Brendan soon leaves for an extended trip to fish for king crab, a dangerous job that had claimed Piper’s father’s life.
As Brendan is away, Piper occupies herself by working on the bar. She tries to get to know the town of Westport better. She makes new friends, meets her grandmother Opal and starts to feel a sense of belonging.
When a storm causes an accident on Brendan’s boat, Piper rushes to the hospital in a panic, thinking Brendan has been injured. This realization of her attachment to him is a turning point for both of them. They make love at the hospital, and Piper starts to struggle with her conflicting feelings. Although she is drawn to Brendan, she is still planning to return to Los Angeles. As work on the bar progresses, Piper plans a Labor Day party. Brendan takes her on a trip to an expensive hotel in Seattle to show her that he can give her the luxurious things she enjoys.
In Seattle, Piper realizes that she is in love with Brendan, but she is unsure of where she truly belongs. Her friend Kirby is planning a glamorous party in Los Angeles to welcome her back and Piper is hesitant to tell Brendan that she wants to stay in Westport. Fearing that he will lose her, Brendan walks out on Piper the night before he leaves for another fishing trip. An accident with one of her new Westport friends prevents her from seeing him off at the dock and telling him how she feels. With Brendan gone, Piper begins to question if she truly belongs in Westport and decides to return to Los Angeles.
As soon as he returns, Brendan wants to apologize to Piper for walking out. He drives to Los Angeles and appears at the party, confessing his love and desire to be with her. Piper has realized that her life in Los Angeles does not offer the same fulfillment as Westport does with Brendan. They both finally confess their love. The novel ends with Piper settling into life in Westport, and welcoming her boyfriend back from a fishing trip.