Lessons from a One-Night Stand (The Baileys #1)
PARTY OF FIVE, PARENTHOOD, GILMORE GIRLS, 7TH HEAVEN
• AUSTIN: 30. LEAD. DEPENDABLE AND CHARMING.
• HOLLY: 29. CO-LEAD. AUSTIN’S ROMANTIC INTEREST AND BOSS, RESPONSIBLE AND CURIOUS.
• SAVANNAH: 28. AUSTIN’S SISTER WHO RUNS THEIR LUMBER BUSINESS.
• DANA: 29. HOLLY’S BEST FRIEND AND CONFIDANTE WHO’S STILL BACK IN FLORIDA.
• KAREN: 50S. HOLLY'S MOM.
• PHOENIX: 17. ONE OF AUSTIN’S YOUNGEST SISTERS WHO’S
Austin returned home at nineteen to help raise his other eight siblings, giving up his chance to play major league baseball. Now that the youngest siblings are getting ready to head off to college he has a second chance at his dream. But he's also found love. Now he has to choose.
Target Gender: Female Leaning
Alaskan small town
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Publisher: Piper Rayne Inc.
Year Published: 2019
Austin is the baseball coach/teacher at Lake Starlight High. After a brief sexual encounter with a woman in his Jeep behind the local bar he shows up to work to find out she's the new principal/his boss and that their encounter has made the news on the local gossip blog, Lake Starlight Buzz Wheel.
Austin is offered his dream job coaching college baseball in California and decides to take a second chance at his dream until his meddling grandma makes him see that dreams can change. He gets off the plane and tracks down Holly to tell her he isn't going to leave Lake Starlight, Alaska.
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Mature Audience Themes
Plot - Other Elements
Happy Ending,Meaningful Message
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Name: Austin Bailey
Key Traits: Masculine,Charming,Sexy,Confident,Heartthrob,Honorable,Leader
Additional Character Details
Name: Holly Radcliffe
Key Traits: Obedient,Engaging,Sarcastic,Educated
Additional Character Details
The author has not yet written this
Additional Character Details
The author has not yet written this
Party of Five meets Gilmore Girls. Lessons from a One-Night Stand is the first book in the USA Today Bestselling series, The Baileys, and is best suited for a TV series. The Baileys consists of nine siblings who were orphaned when the oldest was finishing college. He returned home to the small town of Lake Starlight, Alaska to help raise his younger siblings while the eldest sister took over responsibility for the family lumber business. Each sibling dealt with the death of their parents differently and has their own character ARC to find happiness and all are reoccurring characters throughout the series. A local gossip website, Lake Starlight Buzz Wheel, run by a mystery person constantly reports on the Bailey's lives much to their dismay. Their ancestors essentially founded the town and everyone is always keen to know what their up to. They're a little like local celebrities. Throw in a zany and meddling Grandma Dori who always has a hand in pushing her grandchildren toward the right path and you have a hilarious romp with heartfelt emotion.
COMEDY, ROMANCE, MATURE AUDIENCE
A high school baseball coach sleeps with a woman he meets at a bar, neither of them realizing she’s his new boss. She intends to go back to Florida after the semester, while he’ll be leaving Alaska for California and a college coaching job. The two can’t deny their chemistry and try to keep things casual since they don’t have a future. However they can’t deny what they feel for each other, and they both decide to stay in his Alaskan small town permanently.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: GOOD
Accuracy of Book Profile
The logline on the Book Profile could be cleaner, as it reads a little clunky. It also doesn’t have the further character details filled out for anyone but the two protagonists. Overall, though, it’s representative of the book.
Draw of Story
The author has a compelling writing style, and they do a good job of having clear voices for each character. Even without the chapter headings indicating whose chapter it is, it would be obvious which is Austin’s and which is Holly’s. It’s difficult to have distinct voices for each character in dialogue, much less in action, and they pull it off with aplomb.
Austin is a somewhat problematic character. He unfortunately conveys a number of things in his chapters that read as sexist microaggressions, and these make the book feel dated. Being frustrated by his former boss’s pregnancy hormones, for instance, or constantly thinking about Holly’s body and wanting to have sex with her at times that seem more suited for emotional intimacy. Toning this down a little would go a long way to making him feel like a modern man, one that doesn’t need to rely on his fragile masculinity.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
As the author points out in the Book Profile, this would be best suited to a television adaptation. The hook of the series would easily be the characters and the town. Small town Alaska isn’t a setting that audiences are regularly treated to, and the uniqueness is a huge draw. All the different Bailey siblings also have their own personalities and interests, and the family is a great backbone for a show.
It’s easy to see this being a show that runs for several seasons due to the innumerable storyline possibilities thanks to so many characters. This means it would undoubtedly have a fanbase, and there’d even be internet quizzes like “Which Bailey Are You” floating around.
It’s unlikely due to the genre that there would be awards potential.
Similar Films/TV Series
PARTY OF FIVE, GILMORE GIRLS, PARENTHOOD, 7TH HEAVEN
What’s New About the Story
Austin taking care of most of his younger siblings after the death of their parents is fairly unique, as it’s only really been seen in PARTY OF FIVE. However, there are extenuating circumstances making this task far more difficult for the eldest in that show. The Baileys running a lumber company is interesting, and definitely original, as is them being royalty in the town. Leaning more into this latter aspect will help it to stand out, though it runs the risk of making the family less likable.
Austin giving up his dreams to take care of his family makes him stand out, and Holly giving up everything to connect with her estranged father is similarly unique. Their hidden relationship is also different, even if they struggle to keep it a secret. Having Holly be more successful in her quest would strengthen her character. She seems to give up on her dad rather quickly, and while that’s understandable given the type of person he is, it doesn’t match up with the woman who was willing to take the giant risk and move to Alaska out of the blue. Holly could have more of a spine all around.
Uniqueness of Story
It’s unfortunately not a rare gem. Austin’s story isn’t terribly unique, as it is very similar to PARTY OF FIVE. Giving Austin more challenges would help with this aspect. Another workaround would be to use Savannah as the entry point to the Baileys’ story. She’s a far more interesting character, as she’s a woman running a lumber company in rural Alaska. The author has a series of Bailey books, and surely one must tell her story. This might be a more natural fit and open more possibilities than a standard romance.
TV Series - Network, TV Series - Streaming
WORK IN PROGRESS
The plot is surprisingly light, and it feels rushed toward the end. We’re told (not shown) that Holly is accepting the principal job full time, and that Austin has decided to accept the USC job offer. The audience doesn’t see any of these decisions made, nor the thought process that goes into them. It feels like a good amount of plot with important character motivations is skipped over as a consequence. Holly also doesn’t feel fully fleshed-out, as she doesn’t come off as professional given how easily she gives into Austin. Having her be sex-positive is great, but she borders on recklessly promiscuous (as does Austin).
Tips for Improvement
Because the plot flounders toward the end of the book, many things seem to come too easily. Seeing the above decisions made, and what goes into them, would be helpful. The Baileys being royalty in the town is also difficult, as it makes it hard for an audience to connect with them. They face very little adversity in the book despite the death of their parents a decade past. Yes, this is tragic, but they seem to still be extremely privileged. There’s also not really a theme to the narrative besides love and following one’s heart. While these are important to be sure, they’re not groundbreaking. Most TV shows have much deeper threads running through them, or have a message they’re trying to betray to the audience. This book isn’t really saying anything new or topical, and it’s not clear what more a show could offer on top of that. The Buzz Wheel is also a little hard to buy into as an audience member. It’s a cute idea, very GOSSIP GIRL, but it seems far-fetched.
A high school teacher and coach who gave up on the possibility of a professional baseball career to move home after the death of his parents has spent nearly ten years raising his siblings. Since the youngest are finally graduating, this is his chance to get out of his small Alaskan hometown and be a college coach in a different state. He’s thrown a curveball by the arrival of the new principal, though, whom he has an instant romantic, and sexual, chemistry with. Now he has to decide whether to chase his lifelong dream or let himself see a possible future with her.
What We Liked
- Small town Alaska isn’t a setting that audiences are regularly treated to, and the uniqueness of this will be a huge draw. The large Bailey family is a great backbone for a show, too, as everyone can connect with a different sibling, and it even makes the possibility of spin-offs realistic. Everyone will want to know what’s next for Rome’s new restaurant, or how Brooklyn is handling her broken engagement, or if Phoenix has her music career off the ground yet. These are the kind of siblings you follow for years as a viewer, so familiar they become your own extended family.
- Film: This book would make a charming romantic comedy that doesn’t skimp on the steamy details. With plenty of fun, both risqué and not, and enough drama to shake a stick at thanks to the homegrown gossip tabloid, there’s always something new for the audience to uncover alongside the characters. Austin and Holly’s romantic hijinks would fill a swift and joyful feature easily, and their happy ending just seals the deal.
- TV: This is the kind of story that’s made for television. It’s a large ensemble cast set in a charming small town, the kind of thing TV series dreams are made of. The number of possible storylines is infinite, and it’s easy to see this running for several seasons and never running out of material. What’s more, the author has penned a whole series of Bailey family books, so there’s plenty of source material to draw on — plus more ways to hook in a loyal audience and keep that content coming.
- Key points: Unique location in Alaska; Large ensemble; Women-heavy cast; Memorable small town setting; Wide appeal for audience with range of cast ages
On her first day at Lake Starlight High School, new interim principal HOLLY RADCLIFFE learns that her hot one night stand from the weekend is none other than biology teacher and head baseball coach AUSTIN BAILEY. When they hooked up in Austin’s Jeep, neither of them had any idea Holly was Austin’s new boss. To add insult to injury, the town’s tabloid website Buzz Wheel has a photo of the encounter. It’s not clear it’s Holly in Austin’s jeep, but that’s the rumor and it just keeps spreading like wildfire. Austin is practically royalty in Lake Starlight, Alaska thanks to his family. The Baileys host the Annual Founder’s Day Celebration, and their company, Bailey Timber Corp, practically bankrolls the entire town. There are nine Bailey kids, and Austin took over raising seven of his siblings after their parents died nine years ago. He was 21 at the time, and he gave up his chance at major league baseball to come home and take care of the family.
The one sister he didn’t have to raise, SAVANNAH, took over the family’s lumber business with the assistance of their GRANDMA DORI, and it’s booming thanks to her business acumen. The youngest Baileys, twins PHOENIX and SEDONA, are graduating at the end of the semester, freeing Austin from his parenting responsibility so he can pursue coaching at the college level and leave Lake Starlight for good. Holly is only acting principal for the spring semester, since the previous principal will return after her maternity leave. Holly’s from Florida, where she left her best friend DANA and mom KAREN. The trick is she lied to Karen about where she was accepting a position. The real reason Holly is in Alaska is to see the father she’s never met, CLINT EDISON. She tracks him down in a nearby town, but she has to build up the courage to approach him. She can’t bring herself to do it yet, and she feels guilty as her mom raised her single-handedly and Karen doesn’t even know where she is.
Despite trying to keep things professional, the chemistry between Holly and Austin is undeniable. Holly is dragged along by a coworker, FRANCIE, to the Bailey’s Timber Founder’s Day Celebration. The Baileys even have their own float in the parade, where they all perform a song and are treated like rockstars by the crowd. Afterward, Austin convinces Holly to spend time with him, which leads to them sneaking into Holly’s house to avoid Buzz Wheel. They sleep together again, and Holly insists they keep things as casual as possible. No dinners, no roses, no romance. They’ll be in different states by summer after all, no sense in risking a heartbreak. However, they keep falling into each other’s arms, even fooling around behind closed doors at the school. As they grow closer, they open up to one another. Just like Dana, Austin encourages Holly to contact her dad. When she does, he’s an utter disappointment. He’s rich and successful, with an entire second family, but he’s rude about his privilege. Holly is on the fence, especially with how he condescendingly talks about her mom who’s a server. Then she learns that Clint’s lumber company is the main rival of Bailey’s Timber Corp. He’s tried to ruin them multiple times for his own profit, and he has no respect for Savannah. This infuriates Holly, and she decides she doesn’t need a relationship with him after all.
Thanks to Holly repeatedly ignoring her calls, her mom Karen wheedles her location out of Dana. Karen shows up out of the blue and plans to stay until Holly leaves. She wants to make sure Holly is okay, and to pick up the pieces from Clint being awful. Austin has an interview at USC for a coaching position, and he’s offered the job. For the first time he’s torn about accepting it, as he’s loathe to leave Holly behind. He’s falling for her, and her for him, but this has been his dream for years. Meanwhile the old principal decides not to come back, so Holly is offered the role. Her plan has always been to return to Florida, but she’s fallen in love with Lake Starlight. Even without Austin in it, she likes her life in this town. She and Karen both decide to stay, and Holly says goodbye to Austin after the high school’s graduation ceremony. Before he can leave for Los Angeles, Savannah and Grandma Dori confront him at the airport. Austin realizes he’s chasing an old dream, and that giving that up wouldn’t make him any less happy. He loves Holly, and she’s all he needs to be happy. He comes back to Lake Starlight and confesses he wants to spend forever with her, and she ecstatically agrees.