Exclusive: New 'Hook, Line, and Sinker' by Tessa Bailey Excerpt Has Brendan and Fox Talking About Hannah

If you’re a regular on #BookTok, then you’ve definitely seen a video or two from Tessa Bailey. When she’s not making us laugh out loud with clips about writer life and trying to hide signed bookmarks at local bookstores without getting caught, she’s writing up some of our favorite romance books. Recently, her book It Happened One Summer became an instant Cosmo fave. So when we got the chance to reveal a special chapter of the sequel, the answer was obviously yes!

In Hook, Line, and Sinker, it’s Piper’s sister Hannah’s turn to figure out her love life. When she suddenly finds herself back at Westport, Hannah decides to room with her BFF/town flirt Fox. But we all know what happens when two people suddenly find themselves constantly in close quarters together…

Here’s what to expect straight from HarperCollins:

Luckily, we won’t have to wait long to see what happens, as the book comes out on March 1, 2022. And it sounds like the writing came together for Tessa just as quickly as the debut.

“Sometimes an author creates a couple that has such tangible chemistry, they practically write themselves! Fox and Hannah were that for me,” she revealed to Cosmo. “It’s a hot, heart-stopping pleasure to help guide into love.”

Before you start pre-ordering this book (which, if you haven’t yet, what are you doing?!), check out an exclusive excerpt featuring Brendan and Fox. Trust us, you’re not going to want to miss this special preview.

An Excerpt From Hook, Line, and Sinker
By Tessa Bailey

Anyone who walked into the two-bedroom overlooking Grays Harbor would assume Fox was in the process of moving in, when in reality he’d just passed his six-year anniversary in the place.

At thirty-one, he was back in Westport, with no plans to leave. Once upon a time, he’d purposely attended college in Minnesota, but that didn’t turn out so well. Served him right for thinking this place wouldn’t suck him back in. It always did eventually. Leaving the first time had cost him most of the ingenuity he possessed, and now? He channeled what was left into fishing.

And women. Or he used to, anyway.

“And you’re one to call someone stubborn, dude who wore his wedding ring seven extra years.”

“Well,” Brendan rumbled. “I found a good reason to take it off.” There he went, looking blissful again. “I had another reason for coming over here to talk.”

“Do you need advice on women again? Because you’re way out of my depth now. If you’re here to ask me what your fiancée wants, ask me to recite the periodic table, instead. There’s a better chance of me getting that right.”

“I don’t need advice.” Brendan looked at him hard. Closely. On the hunt for bullshit. “Hannah is coming to town.”

Fox’s throat closed up. He was halfway to sitting down when Brendan said those five words, so he twisted at the last second, staying half turned, stuffing an unnecessary pillow behind his back so he wouldn’t have to look his oldest friend in the eye.

And, God, how absolutely pitiful was that? “Oh yeah? What for?”

Brendan sighed. Crossed his arms. “You know she’s still working for that production company. Somehow she convinced them Westport would be a good place to film.”

Fox’s laughter cracked in the sparse living room. “You must be thrilled.”

“I don’t care what they do as long as they stay out of my hair.”

“People from LA staying out of your hair,” Fox mused, forcing himself to delay the conversation about Hannah. Like some kind of weird, self-inflicted punishment. “How did that work out last time?”

“That’s different. It was Piper.” Well, I’ll be damned. The tips of the man’s ears were red. “Anyway, my parents will be here visiting while this whole filming business is going on. That’s why Hannah can’t use our guest room.”

He feigned annoyance. “So you offered mine.”

It was hard to tell if Brendan was buying his act. “Piper had kind of nixed the idea, but Hannah seemed interested.”

Why were his palms turning damp? “How long are they going to be filming? How long would she stay?”

“Two weeks or so. Figured she’d have the place to herself half the time, when we’re out on the boat.”

“Right.”

But the other half of the time, they would be there together.

How the hell was Fox supposed to feel about that?

More importantly—and this was a question he asked himself way too often—how the hell was he supposed to feel about Hannah? He’d never, not once, had a girl for a friend. Last summer, Hannah and her sister had crash-landed in Westport, two rich girls from LA who’d been stripped of their allowances by Daddy. Fox had only been trying to help Brendan nurse his crush on Piper by distracting the younger sibling with a walk to the record store.

Sex was a non-possibility between them.

That had been established early on, for a host of reasons.

Number one being that he didn’t fish local waters.

If he needed the company of a woman—and he should really get back to doing that kind of thing sometime—he went to Seattle. No chance of accidentally sleeping with someone’s sister or wife or cousin’s cousin, and he could wash his hands of the whole encounter afterward. Return to Westport with no chance of bumping into a hookup. Easy. No muss, no fuss.

The second reason he couldn’t sleep with Hannah was the very man sitting in his living room. Fox was read the riot act last summer. It was seared into his memory. Sleeping with Piper’s little sister would spell disaster, because if she got attached, Fox would undoubtedly hurt her feelings. And that would make his captain and best friend’s life hell, because the Bellinger sisters stuck together.

But Fox had a third, and most important, reason for keeping his hands off Hannah. She was his friend. She was a woman who genuinely liked him for something other than his dick. And it made him feel terrifyingly good to be around her. To talk to her.

They had fun. Made each other laugh.

Brendan was staring at him, brows drawn. Uncomfortable.

“Of course Hannah can stay here. But are you sure it’s a good idea?” His stomach drew in on itself. “People might notice she’s staying here. With me.”

The captain hedged. “I think certain speculation might be par for the course. As long as what folks are speculating on isn’t really happening.”

“Say it plainly.” Fox made an impatient sound, growing increasingly aware of what was coming. “Tell me not to fuck her.”

The captain rubbed the center of his forehead. “Look, I hate having to say this to you more than once. Feels like overkill and . . . Jesus, your sex life is your own business, but it could be different with her staying here. Close quarters and all that.”

Fox refused to make the conversation easy for his friend. And he suspected Brendan had known that coming here. They were men who regularly took responsibility for each other’s lives. They didn’t lecture each other. It was overkill. Maybe that was why the conversation hit below the belt this time, when before it felt more like a minor slap.

“She’s my future sister-in-law. She’s not temporary in any way, okay? Hands off.” He made a decisive gesture. “That’s the last time I’ll bring it up.”

“Are you sure? I can pencil you in for tomorrow—”

“Don’t be a jackass.”

“We probably didn’t even need to have this conversation, considering she’s still got a crush on this director guy. Sergei.” Brendan tapped his knee. “Am I supposed to do something about that situation, too? Go threaten to break his jaw if he takes advantage of Hannah?”

“No. Christ, it’s not the guy’s fault she likes him.” Fox said the words in a burst to relieve the pressing weight on his chest. He’d known about this crush of Hannah’s since summer and she’d still been pining for him in February, so it had probably been stupid of him to hope the infatuation had run its course.

It wasn’t his favorite subject to discuss. On account of any mention of the director making him want to kick a hole through his drywall. “You’re going to be busy with your parents while Hannah is here. I’ll keep an eye on it, if you want. This thing with the director.”

Why on God’s green earth did he offer to do that?

HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER: A NOVEL” by Tessa Bailey. Copyright © 2022 by Tessa Bailey. To be published on March 1, 2022 by Avon, an imprint of HarperCollins. Reprinted by permission.

Hook, Line, and Sinker, by Tessa Bailey, will be released on March 1, 2022. To preorder the book, click on the retailer of your choice:

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