Look. You know what you're going to get with a Tessa Bailey novel - pretty instant chemistry, lots of steam, some cringey dirty talk and pet names, but overall a fun time, and "Secretly Yours" was just that. Overall, it was a fun time, but this one in particular had some extra uncomfortable moments, namely, Hallie pretty much stalking Julian. The best way I can sum up my experience reading Bailey's books is that I enjoy it a lot in the moment and then it dims significantly over time post-reading, but I'll still almost always pick up her next book because you know it's going to be a quick fun (ridiculous) book.
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Some people weren’t a fan of this book but I think they’re crazy. It was adorable and I loved that it was set in a vineyard, and I related so much to the main character so it was such a fun read for me
Tessa Bailey can do no wrong! I love everything she writes and so does my book club. She puts just the right amount of spice and fun in her books. The chemistry between Julian and Hallie had intimacy and connection. I loved the game of the notes left by the tree trunk each day. Julian has come home to write a novel and Hallie just happens to be his sexy gardener doing work right outside his window. I loved his vulnerability with his panic attacks which I think people can relate to. Such a great book and love that it is #1 in a new series.
I’m a massive Tessa Bailey fan, so getting this arc was really exciting, and it did not disappoint! She really is the queen of dirty talk, I found the characters so easy to love and relatable. Honestly, I was surprised by how much I loved this book bc the premise is not something I’d normally be into.. I went in worrying it would be a long term exchange of letters, which I feel often borders on emotional manipulation, but I didn’t get that here. I appreciated the anxiety rep and showing the depths it can reach - the dark hole Julian goes into is something I think a lot of people can relate to and I loved seeing it in a romance hero. These two were so cute and it was such a fun read!! Definitely recommend, but check TW’s
This book was hilarious. I do think the secret admirer letters subplot wasn't necessarily needed, but it was fun to read. Grumpy + Sunshine is such a fun plot and as always, I'm here for small town romances. Looking forward to reading Natalie's story in Unfortunately Yours.
I've really struggled to get into Tessa Bailey recently, as I've found that her books are really not what I'm into with a lot of her storylines and plots having holes and being pieced together. I really enjoyed Julian as a character in this one and I adore any character that is a budding novelist (swoon!), but I can't say I connected well with this one - awkward sex scenes, lacked emotions and overall just okay.
"Secretly Yours" by Tessa Bailey presents a storyline that, unfortunately, falls into the realm of mediocrity. The character dialogues, for the most part, come off as cheesy, contributing to an overall lack of depth. The situations and dialogue within the narrative often lean towards the unrealistic, making it challenging for readers to fully immerse themselves in the story.
One notable aspect is Julian's peculiar obsession with Hallie's smile, a theme that persists throughout the book. What starts as an attempt to bring a romantic element becomes a bit awkward and repetitive as the story progresses. Julian's bossy demeanor, intended to add a certain charm, ends up feeling overbearing and not as endearing as intended.
Despite these drawbacks, the story maintains a fast-paced tempo, peppered with moments of unnecessary spice. However, it's not all gloom, as some parts manage to deliver a touch of humor, offering brief respites from the otherwise lackluster narrative. In summary, "Secretly Yours" is a mix of elements, with its fair share of shortcomings, yet still managing to inject moments of humor, earning it two stars.
This unfortunately was not for me and I sadly didn’t enjoy it. I couldn’t connect with the characters and had a hard time with the 3rd person. I am an avid lover of Tessa Bailey but think this just wasn’t for me personally. I adored that Tessa’s witty charm with her characters still showed through.
I had so much fun with this! It was a very fun read. My only issue was the miscommunication trope and the pacing. I'm not a fan of miscommunication. I'm sad to have seen it in this one!!
This is such a great book when you want something cozy on the beach or cuddled in a blanket on a winter day!
Another super cute romance from the one and only, Tessa Bailey! The romance is as sweet as the cover, and in true Tessa Bailey fashion, equally (and delightfully) spicy. This was a great grumpy-sunshine rom-com!
This was a wonderful book that was fun to read. i finished it in a long afternoon and I look forward to more stories from Tessa Bailey.
Tessa Bailey has always been a hit author, churning out stories so quick that I’m struggling to read them all! I couldn’t put this one down though. Storyline was well thought out, entertaining and the perfect blend of funny and charming. I loved the characters and the world building. 5/5
I have some mixed feelings about this one. I love Tessa Bailey and everything she writes but sometimes I think it falls a little flat or isn't what I expected it to be. Don't get me wrong, this book is still good and worth a read but is it her best? No. Right off the bat, I was kind of meh about this and it continued throughout the book. First, this book is in third POV and while I know 90% of her books are like this (with the exception of a few that are written in first person POV), I know she is capable of doing so because she has before. I think that would have elevated the book, at least somewhat. Second, it was really weird how Julian didn't remember Hallie at all but she harbored this immense crush on him for literally half her life, compared all other men to him (even though they never really even spoke to each other) and we were just expected to believe that he is this *great* guy because Hallie said he did some nice things for some people? I'm not so sure about that. She seemed very obsessed with him, which comes across in the secret admirer letters. I'm sorry, but you are almost thirty years old. We are too old to be sending secret admirer letters, especially when he is RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. At that point, they were already friends, so why the need for the letters? I don't know, it just seemed like a cheap cop out plot device. Also, she was a virgin at almost thirty years old. Okay, I'm not shaming her or anyone else who decides to hold onto theirs until that age but again, it just felt weird, like why include that? And Julian went from a shy, anxious, nerdy type of guy to all of the sudden sexy and dirty talking? It was not a great transition. Tessa Bailey can write smut so well though, so I give her props there. It just didn't fit Julian's character. He also was weirdly OBSESSED with her boobs and brought them up numerous times and it was borderline creepy. I think once they finally got together and decided to try things for real, it got much better, and I like how things played out after that. I also give kudos to Tessa Bailey for some fabulous anxiety representation. Overall, I thought it was just okay. I am looking forward to Natalie's book!
I was immediately obsessed with this opposites attract romance. These characters saw each other for who they were and their chemistry was off the charts. They bantered and fought it but all along you knew that they were meant to be and just had to wait for them to figure it out!
Tessa Bailey never fails to make me laugh and cry at the same time when it comes to her romance. Everything about this book is perfect.
It took a little while to get into the story but once I did I really enjoyed it. I liked the mental health representation with anxiety and PTSD. I also loved the letters they'd send to each other.
One eclectic gardener reeling from the loss of her grandmother stirs up trouble in Napa, California. Hallie is drifting through life, with no desire to look into her grief or her inability to respect others time. She has no respect for others time and will get to appointments when she feels like it and plants her gardens only as she sees fit, not with any input with her customers. To say I didn't enjoy Hallie from the beginning is an understatement. I felt for her in having lost the grandmother who raised her but one too many instances of self sabotage was too much for me. I finally gave up at the 60% mark. In the world of opposites attract, this one felt extreme. I also thought this book was missing the Tessa spark.
Overall this was a fun read by Bailey. She had well developed characters with a fun plot line. Overall a good read. I did like her other book Window Shopping better. She’s always a fun read though.
This was a super fun romance from Bailey—I loved the chemistry between the leads, the humorous antics they get into, and the fun, witty voice!
I’ll admit this one was harder to get into than I’m used to from Tessa Bailey. While I found it enjoyable in the end, I felt the story dragged at times.