Book Review: Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey

Posted February 9, 2023 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 26 Comments

Secretly Yours
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Series: A Vine Mess #1
by Tessa Bailey
Publication Date February 7, 2023
Published by HarperCollins
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Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fiction / Women
Pages: 384
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

From Tessa Bailey—#1 New York Times bestselling author, TikTok favorite, and "the Michelangelo of dirty talk" (Entertainment Weekly)—comes a steamy small town rom-com about a starchy 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 grumpy 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.

"Tessa Bailey is the queen of rom-coms. Long may she reign!" — Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Merry Little Meet Cute

Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey is her first book in the Vine Mess series about life in a California vineyard.  This steamy opposites attract story is the perfect start to a wonderful new series. 

Story Recap:

Hallie Welch had a crush on Julian Vos ever since he almost kissed her when she was only fourteen years old.  Now, she’s been hired to plant flowers around the guest house he’s staying in at his family’s winery.  Julian can’t take his eyes off Hallie as she digs around his garden.  

Julian is a professor on sabbatical to write a book at his family’s winery in Napa, California.  He’s guarded and focused on his book.  Hallie is the opposite, she’s a bit of a mess but in a good way.  She’s fun and outgoing, even if ‘s still grieving her grandmothers’ death deep inside underneath her bright exterior.  

Will this grumpy sunshine romance work out? Or will Julian go back to his university position alone?

My Thoughts: 

Tessa Baily is such a talented author.  I loved these characters, especially Hallie.  She’s a bit of a mess, but also a force to be reckoned with!  She’s grieving her grandmother’s recent death, but that doesn’t stop her from being her usual outgoing self.  And grumpy Julian is still hot, and sexy even if he doesn’t talk much.  

As with most of her books, Secretly Yours is a bit steamy which is either good or bad depending if you like that or not.  But, it’s also a slow burn, so it takes a while to get to the steamy bits.  Secretly Yours is a fun, light book, and the start of a promising new series set in wine country.  I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. 


I highly recommend Secretly Yours to anyone who enjoys romance.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Tessa Bailey

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.

Have you read Secretly Yours?

26 responses to “Book Review: Secretly Yours by Tessa Bailey

  1. Janette

    This does like a fun read although I prefer my books to be less steamy so not sure if I will add this to my TBR or not. Thanks for the review Wendy.

  2. Tessa Bailey is one of those authors where I’ve heard nothing but great things about and that I don’t have read yet. After reading this review I’m super tempted to go buy this book now. I love the sound of it SO much and the cover is super cute as well!

  3. Joanna @ TheGeekishBrunette

    The main character sounds like she is fun to read about! I’ve seen a lot about this author but haven’t pick up one of her books. Great review!

  4. I do like a main character who is a force to be reckoned with but it sounds like a lot of fast forward moments for me 😂. Excellent review, Wendy!

  5. Thanks for including a steaminess rating! I prefer closed door, so when I’m not expecting steamy it can lead to a DNF.