MINI AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey 🎧

It’s a mini review! I’m clearing out my review queue of all the books I can’t seem to convince myself to finish, for one reason or another. That doesn’t mean these are negative reviews, it simply means that something isn’t compelling me to keep reading at the moment. Maybe I’ll go back to them another day, maybe I won’t!

DNF Details:

How far did I get? About 100 pages, then a heavy skim to the end. I cannot really say that I read the whole thing, but I looked through most of it – and I know how it all plays out.

Why did I stop? It was cringy. Look, I’m a Tessa Bailey fan – both It Happened One Summer and Hook, Line, and Sinker made my Best of the Year list – but there’s a reason why this is already one of Bailey’s lowest rated books on Goodreads. At the time I wrote this review, only 15% of readers had given it a 5-star rating, which is… abysmal. The book has only been out a few weeks, so a significant portion of its readers are super fans who have been eagerly awaiting release day. Which means the rating is likely to continue dropping. And why is that? Because the characters are over the top in a bad way, leaning towards caricatures vs. relatable people. I did not find the hero compelling, and I wince when I think about the heroine and how she doesn’t date because no one can live up to the 15-year crush she’s had on a man who doesn’t even know who she is. Add in the secret admirer letters, and it was too much. It’s one thing to read the blurb, but it’s another to experience this chaotic heroine and how much she’s let this (undeserving) hero impact her life.

Was I enjoying it initially? Not really. I’ve been anticipating this book for months, and was super excited to have both the audio and ebook on-hand soon after release day. But I’d seen enough early reviews to know that I should temper my expectations, and I’m glad that I did. It was apparent from the first few chapters that this wasn’t going to be a successful read, but I was hoping it was simply a rocky start. Once we got a feel for the characters, I knew that it was going to be a struggle for me, and the addition of the letters – after they’d already interacted several times – just made this feel even more over the top. I may have been able to struggle through, but it was pretty clear this was going to be a 3-star (at most) read for me, so I chose not to invest any more time into it.

Would I finish this? I skimmed to the end, and I’m glad that I didn’t spend any more time on the book. While there are a few successful components, they are overwhelmed by the plethora of things that didn’t work.

Who would I recommend this to? Tessa Bailey super fans/people who want to read the series in order only, and lower your expectations before going in. Every author has an off book here and there, so I’m hoping that the next book in the series will be better. If you want to get a feel for the series, then it’s probably best to check this out at some point. Maybe just borrow it from the library to try before you buy, lol!


Audio Note:

Just your standard audiobook, nothing special. It’s narrated by Callie Dalton only, and I think she’s competent but not overly compelling. Recommended for anyone who sincerely prefers audio, but it won’t win over any new fans. There are sexual references from start to finish (the hero is obsessed with the heroine’s breasts and dirty knees), so not a good workday listen. The runtime is perfect for bingeing though, so there’s that.



From Tessa Bailey—#1 New York Times bestselling author, TikTok favorite, and “the Michelangelo of dirty talk” (Entertainment Weekly)—comes a spicy small town rom-com perfect for Valentine’s Day, about a grumpy 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 Napa Valley, and when Hallie is hired to revamp the gardens on the Vos estate, she wonders if she’ll finally get that smooch. But the starchy 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 grayscale 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.


About the Author:

New York Times Bestselling author Tessa Bailey can solve all problems except for her own, so she focuses those efforts on stubborn, fictional blue collar men and loyal, lovable heroines. She lives on Long Island avoiding the sun and social interactions, then wonders why no one has called. Dubbed the “Michelangelo of dirty talk,” by Entertainment Weekly, Tessa writes with spice, spirit, swoon and a guaranteed happily ever after. Catch her on TikTok at @authortessabailey or check out for a complete list of books.

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4 thoughts on “MINI AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey 🎧

Add yours

    1. There’s a reason why It Happened One Summer and Hook, Line, and Sinker were so popular – both are excellent! Definitely worth a library loan. I’m still newer to her books, but I hear she can be pretty inconsistent in the quality, which was the case with this one.

      Liked by 1 person

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