Cover Image: Secretly Yours

Secretly Yours

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Member Reviews

Rounding up to 4.5 stars! Tessa Bailey fans will adore this book! I loved the characters and the Napa setting! Super steamy tension and swoon worthy moments. Can't wait to sell this in store in early 2023!

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This was my first Tessa Bailey book and oh my God I didn't know what I was missing until I read this I loved it so much it was such a fun and amazing read ill be going and purchasing all her books now and reading them

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Look, sometimes “insta-attraction” or lust or whatever can work and sometimes it just doesn’t for me. I need a BUILD UP, some tension, give us some time to see feelings grow so that I can care. Julian develops such strong feelings for her in 0.05 seconds! At least Hallie has the excuse of the 15 year long crush she’s been harboring.

I also think when he “acts” on this attraction, it came off out of his personality. He needs “order” and “boundaries”. Intimate scenes made me raise an eyebrow and not in the good way.

I still don’t understand his explanation for his behavior during the third act? I also thought we would’ve learned more about the heroine’s background with her mother, but NOPE.

This one is kind of a miss for me.

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Heartwarming book about polar opposites falling in lust and love. Hallie and Julian are struggling with their unfulfilled lives, neither of them entirely happy but not quite knowing how to fix it. Hallie has had a crush on Julian since high school but he doesn't remember her. She is wild and free and messy and doesn't fit into his regimented life, but he can't resist her. The sex scenes are graphic but not overdone. Tessa Bailey has done a great job finding the balance of giving enough to satisfy the reader without making the book boring or leaving the plot behind. The characters were developed, flawed and empathetic. This is a great book.

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Secretly Yours is a brand new book by Tessa Bailey and lady and gents she did it again! I absolutely loved everything about this book from the setting, the characters, the plot and overall writing.

I’m in love with Julian Vos! He’s a bit reclusive due to his anxiety and likes to be in control of everything but the way he’s around Hallie makes my heart swoon. He’s sweet and caring with an overprotective side and will do anything in his power to make Hallie smile… which is a really big plot point for him in this novel. I just love how these two complete opposites go perfectly together! Hallie being everything free sprit and Chas and Julian being all about control. I thought these two were perfect together!

I also do love how we have anxiety rep and this book especially coming from a person who has bad anxiety herself. My only nit pick I have about this book is the whole secret admirer letters plot. I know that’s what is supposed to be one of the main plot points of the book but honestly it seemed more of a side plot than a main one. The story revolves more around Jullian and Hallie reconnecting rather that the love letters. The love letters didn’t play any role really until the end but even then it was tossed aside. The story could have honestly done without but nevertheless this still was an adorable rom com! I will definitely be reading the next story in this universe and I absolutely can’t wait until August and Natalie’s story….. I just know that’s going to be my favorite because I love the trope she’s writing for it 🤪

A big thanks to Avon, Harper Voyager and Netgalley for this arc!!!

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If you’re looking for a sizzling romance as you say a mournful goodbye to summer, look no further. Tessa Bailey’s SECRETLY YOURS is raunchy and ridiculous, a proverbial romp between the pages that puts the likes of ACOTAR and THE LOVE HYPOTHESIS to shame.

Switching between alternating POVs, SECRETLY YOURS introduces us to Hallie and Julian, two MCs who couldn’t be less alike, but could end up being exactly what the other really needs. Julian is a routine-obsessed professor who deals with extreme anxiety by furiously mapping out and scheduling every moment of every day. Hallie is the literal antithesis to this persona — a carefree and disorganized gardener, she plants without a plan and avoids being on time like a seasoned pro.

Things kick off with brooding and sensible Julian back to visit his family vineyard where he plans to hunker down as he writes his first book. His reemergence in the area leads longtime local Hallie, who is still harboring a major crush on the town’s golden boy (one that never quite disappeared after a near-kiss in high school) to finagle her way into gardening on the family’s land, all in the hopes she’ll end up running into Julian once again. One thing quickly leads to another, and against all rhyme and reason, the two MCs collide in a fiery inferno of passion that threatens to remake everything they thought they knew, undoing them both.

Bailey writes romance in an entirely unfiltered, no-holds-barred approach, with some scenes of dialogue almost guaranteed to make you blush, but that’s all part of this book’s roguish appeal. It has some missteps — the cliches are frequent and steer the plot way too much, compounding with some storylines and stereotypes embedded in the text that don’t sit right — but otherwise, it’s an easy, accessible read that does what it set out to do. One thing’s for sure: SECRETLY YOURS is flippant and it is fun. With it, Tessa Bailey proves no one writes romance quite like she can.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Avon and Harper Voyager for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!*

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Not quite as perfect as ‘It Happened One Summer’ but it's pretty dang close.

I love the sweet clash of personalities between Julian and Hallie. Not exactly grumpy x sunshine, but definitely has the same effect. I also think Napa plays the perfect setting - very summery with cosy small town vibes. And the anxiety rep is strong with this one. So a lot of good things to love all around!

But I think the tiny thing that missed the mark for me was whole secret admirer letters. Although the synopsis makes it feel like the story is going to revolve around them, it's much more of a side plot and one I don't think really adds anything to the story. The main focus of the novel is Julian getting to know Hallie without the letters, which makes me think “what was even the point?” I guess it's just not the trope for me.

But overall, this is a sweet romance and one that is going to be perfect for its Valentine release!

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***My review is scheduled to publish on my site for December 30, 2022.
I think I’m in a challenge with myself to see just how much Tessa Bailey I can read in a single year. I’m killing it in 2022, and I’d be even one point higher if she released the sequel to this one as soon as possible because I need it.

Hallie has been pining for Julian Vos, heir to the local winery, since her freshman year of high school. When he returns to their town of St. Helena for the summer, Hallie finagles a gardening job at the Vos guest house so she has a front row seat for his return. When Julian can’t help but break his rigid schedules for the charming Hallie, and real sparks start to fly, Hallie realizes reality with Julian may be even better than what she’s been imagining all these years…

…if only she hadn’t written anonymous secret admirer letters to Julian at the same time – and he wrote back.

This is going to be the perfect Valentine’s Day read. It comes out right before Valentines 2023, and it’s a sweet-as-pie romance for the day. The whole “secret admirer” concept feels very Valentines-y, and I think this romance has less bite and more sweetness to it than the usual Tessa Bailey. It’s a little on the lighter side and I think the cover reflects that…

I hate the cover. I’m just going to come right out and say it. I don’t know who’s been doing the last few Tessa Bailey covers (except My Killer Vacation…that one was good actually), but they do not impress me. We’ve ventured far, far into the land of “borderline immature”, over the line of “looks like young adult but is dangerously not”. These literally look like kids cartoons, and it’s too far gone. Reel it in a bit, graphic design department. I can say *with confidence* if this had not been Tessa Bailey I just wouldn’t have picked it up.

I don’t think I’ve rated a Tessa Bailey this low in quite a while, and I think it’s because I just didn’t connect with this one in any way. I didn’t hate Hallie, but I didn’t love her. I liked her chaos, but I felt like she was making a lot of excuses for something and not a lot of progress. She should’ve been seeking therapy or grief counseling in the book, like she kept encouraging Julian to do for his anxiety. While his panic attacks were very legitimate, and his desire to keep things so regimented for management felt very real, I still didn’t really connect with him even as someone with anxiety. Beyond his mental illness, this guy just had a stick up his ass. At least Hallie was carefree and warm; no matter how much he tried to prove the contrary, I couldn’t see Julian as anything other than a cold and calculating rich dude in a suit.

I still think this lives up to the standard for her romance books, but I definitely didn’t connect with it or enjoy the tropes. She executes it well but it’s not a romance I would’ve picked to read if it hadn’t been an author that I loved so much. If you *do* like those tropes, I would definitely recommend as it is still quality romance! What I really can’t wait for is the sequel. Clearly, Julian’s sister Natalie has an enemies-to-lovers trope happening based on some of the scenes in this book, and I can’t wait for it.

A copy of Secretly Yours was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. It will be released February 7, 2023. Hope you all have a great week!

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Tessa Bailey once again delivers a perfect, steamy, heartfelt rom-com that fans of her Bellinger Sisters series are sure to enjoy. I really enjoyed the anxiety representation, and the struggles that both characters endured throughout the story. Eagerly awaiting the second book in this series!

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Tessa Bailey can do no wrong. This was so beautifully angsty and sexy! Hallie was just so fun and I loved all of Julian's attempts to woo her without him knowing he was wooing her. I am already ready for the next one!

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Tessa Bailey does it once again with her latest novel, Secretly Yours, which is a genuine romantic love story involving secret admirer letters, wine orchards, flower gardens, and spiced with passionate language only Tessa Bailey knows how to voice.

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That was good good good! There was never a dull moment, which is just what I love about Tessa Bailey’s novels. The humor, the banter, and the steaminess — all amazing.

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My queen, Tessa Bailey has done it again. While this isn’t my favorite of her published works, I still really enjoyed it. It’s definitely one of those books you pick up to keep from falling into a reading slump. I loved both Hallie and Julien for the most part. I did find this slight misunderstandings to be annoying at times, but without those I guess there would be no plot. I’m very much looking forward to reading Natalies book in the future(: Thank you so much for letting me read an ARC of this book!

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Not my favorite Tessa Bailey. There were moments where MMC really toed that fine line between being romantically into FMC and just being a really mentally unhealthy person. I wish that treatment for his mental health was addressed more because I honestly couldn't believe someone in his state of mind could realistically be in a healthy relationship without some serious therapy. That being said, I loved the steaminess of this book.

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Thank you to Avon and Harper Voyager for the ARC!

Confession time: this is my first Tessa Bailey book - a cardinal sin for someone as deep in the bowels of BookTok as I am. And dear god, I will absolutely be back for more after this introduction.

First of all, the cover is obviously adorable. Blonde beauty and preeminent town gardner Hallie has been in love with Julian Vos, vineyard heir extraordinaire, since high school. Of course, he doesn't remember this. But when he returns to Napa for a much-needed break from teaching at Stanford, sparks fly.

My GOD, these two have chemistry. They each have their own flaws (Hallie being in a bit of a chaotic whirlwind since her grandmother died, Julian being a slave to time in an attempt to control his anxiety). Opposites attract, and everything about them seems to compliment each other. To say nothing of the spice...

This book is a beautiful combination of passion, spice, sweetness, and heart. The writing is earnest and witty, and I had a smile on my face more often than not. Julian is respectful and protective of Hallie, and Hallie is tuned in and aware of Julian's self-consciousness and anxiety. They provide one another support as they both work on their baggage. And, refreshingly, they both want to be better for not just each other, but for themselves and their own wellbeing.

This book has a huge amount of hype already, and it is absolutely warranted. I've had my first taste of Tessa, and now I'm addicted.

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I loved Tessa Baileys last two books and was really excited for this one. It had all the Tessa Bailey staples, interesting characters, a small town full Of fun people and a great romance at the center of it. My only complaint is that I felt like the central conflict with the letters wasn’t a big enough deal to be the central conflict. But I still loved the book.

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Tessa Bailey's books are always fun and this is no exception. Both main characters have issues and quirks, but they are both relatable and overcome their personal traumas in a realistic way. I have to say the whole virgin thing was a bit of a stretch, especially for a contemporary novel, but it is not a big quibble. I am looking forward to reading more stories in this fictional world.

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Tessa Bailey is always a "must read" author for me. I was so excited to see Secretly Yours available as an e-ARC.

Hallie is a spastic, chaotic, gardener living in a small town in Napa Valley. Hallie was very close with her grandmother who recently passed away and she is trying to figure out who she is without her grandma. She is also trying to protect her memories of her grandma by helping save a local wine shop. Julian Vos is local royalty due to his family owning a vineyard. Julian is back in town to write a book while taking a sabbatical from his job as a college professor. He is exactly the opposite of Hallie and is very tightly wound and relies heavily on schedules. Hallie has crushed on Julian since high school and when she hears he is back, she formulates a plan to be near him and is hired to do some landscaping at the vineyard. Hallie and Julian have a bit of history, and as the saying goes, opposites attract.

This was not my favorite of Tessa Bailey's books, but it still got 4 stars. I felt like maybe more development was needed in Hallie and Julian's relationship.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Tessa Bailey books are usually fun and zany romps and this one had those qualities, but it also had a really smart take on the opposites-attract trope! Typically, I feel we see opposites attract as "they have to learn to tolerate each other despite their differences" but this one took two characters--Julian, whose strict rigidity is a tool he uses to manage anxiety (but it isn't working), and Hallie, who is living on impulses to avoid processing her grief over losing her grandmother (but it isn't working)--who actually need to change to be a bit more like each other. Bailey also addresses the complicated ideas of what it means to change for a partner--particularly from Hallie's perspective, both because of the insidiousness of 'change for a man' cultural narratives AND because Julian's strategy, to work himself into the ground, is one that appears potentially functional and productive from the outside--and where that overlaps with changing for yourself and why someone who pushes your limits could actually be just the kind of person you need.

That said, fans of Bailey and the bonkers elements that bring her characters together will find the usual absurdities--Hallie, for example, has been crushing on Julian for fifteen years, and has channelled this into....basically never kissing anyone else, even though she hasn't seen him in all this time? Plus she keeps doing petty crime to a local wine store. The whole thing is just backed up by some really smart character work that you won't want to miss.

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All of Tessa's books are a rollicking good time - the woman does not know how to write a boring book. And this book is no different!

Tessa's heroes have really been the standouts for me recently, and Julian continues that trend. He's an anxious nugget realizing his coping strategies maybe no longer work, and is more than willing to try and find new ones. Hallie's lack of schedules and plans stresses him out, but it's always important to him to emphasize to her that this is his problem and not hers. We love a man who 1 - is working on his mental health and 2 - makes sure that his love interest knows that their differences are not a character failing on her part.

Hallie's also a real delight, but her end of the story is where things fall apart for me a bit, I think. Tessa writes books that really fly by, and I think this could have been 25 pages longer with a little more backstory for her and I would have been satisfied - I just would have liked her to be a little more fleshed out. To me, her reasons for not telling Julian she was behind the letters were a bit weak, but his reaction when he finds out she's his secret penpal is absolute perfection. Another ending that Tessa 10 years ago wouldn't have written the same way, and a great example of how authors grow.

As always, I am ready for Tessa's next book the second I close her latest one. Never stop, Tessa.

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