Sunday, February 19, 2023

Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey

A steamy new rom-com about a starchy professor and the bubbly neighbor he clashes with at every turn...

Hallie Welch fell hard for Julian Vos at fourteen, after they almost kissed in the dark vineyards of his family's winery. Now the prodigal hottie has returned to their small town. When Hallie is hired to revamp the gardens on the Vos estate, she wonders if she'll finally get that smooch. But the grumpy professor isn't the teenager she remembers and their polar opposite personalities clash spectacularly. One wine-fueled girls' night later, Hallie can't shake the sense that she did something reckless--and then she remembers the drunken secret admirer letter she left for Julian. Oh shit.

On sabbatical from his ivy league job, Julian plans to write a novel. But having Hallie gardening right outside his window is the ultimate distraction. She's eccentric, chronically late, often literally covered in dirt--and so unbelievably beautiful, he can't focus on anything else. Until he finds an anonymous letter sent by a woman from his past. Even as Julian wonders about this admirer, he's sucked further into Hallie's orbit. Like the flowers she plants all over town, Hallie is a burst of color in Julian's gray-scale life. For a man who irons his socks and runs on tight schedules, her sunny chaotic energy makes zero sense. But there's something so familiar about her... and her very presence is turning his world upside down.

Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 7, 2023 
by Avon US
3/5 stars

I've been wanting to read a Tessa Bailey book for a while.  Highly recommended I went with her latest release, Secretly Yours.

This book got off to a good start, an introduction to Hallie along with her beloved dogs (a surefire was to win this reader over.) Things start to heat up when Hallie's teen crush, Julian, moves back to town. up.  Yes this qualifies for a couple spicy emoji's.

Alternating between these 2 pov's did break up the narrative but, unfortunately, I found the plot to be lacking.  It was missing the com in rom/com, tension and had characters I didn't really care about. Coming in at 384 pages it was ta bit too long and the fact that it took me almost 2 weeks to read is a sign of how captivating I found this read.

I'll give Tessa Bailey another go at some point in time and hope that this is just a one off for me.

This book was part of my 2023 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge.

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