So here we have the follow up to the Alexis-from-Schitt’s-Creek fanfic It Happened One Summer that I had somewhat similar feelings for–aka, there is a bunch to like but a bunch to also see coming from a mile off that I disliked. Was it immediately obvious that this book was going to be about her sister and the dashing Fox? Yes, of course, but a book wouldn’t be the start of an expanded universe if there wasn’t a steady stream of ancillary secondary characters to expand outwards.
We do get some snippets of life for Piper and her bearded fisherman….Brennan? Brandon? (quick google later) Brendan. As you might imagine, she’s doing great! She has completely given up her life as an LA socialite and is enjoying running a bar in a tiny fishing town in the Pacific Northwest. That is how people work!
Her sister, on the other hand, is totally making a not-living as a PA on films and has aspirations to be a “music picker for movies,” which is totally a real job that multiple humans can do who aren’t well connected potential heiresses. The biggest issue with having characters be “music people” is that at some point their music tastes have to be shared with the audience and songs have to be picked, which means you run the risk of (like what I remember happening here) a character suggesting in perfect seriousness a song that is unbearably basic/has personal associations that are totally the wrong vibe/unrealistic to how anyone actually behaves re: music.
I also SUPER SUPER SUPER disliked the “there can only be one” ism of the Bailey/Hannah storyline. Setting aside the implausibility of there being multiple people in the world who aren’t score composers who score movies with songs, I cannot believe no one flagged the “women be bitchy to each other when threatened” trope as tired and sort of triggering.
All that aside, the main romance line was a bit…messy with the miscommunications and dramatic hurdles. But I like the conceit of Fox needing to be told he’s more than just sex–it’s a gender reversal, of sorts (the trope of men who have lots of sex finding meaning in sex with this woman is the tired out older sibling to this trope). But it’s still one step forward one step back and sideways and maybe forward if you change the axis because the solution to the problem is Hannah doing the emotional labor for Fox, and that’s of course my favorite trope of them all!!!!11