Operation Bailey Birthday
by Piper Rayne
Book 9.5 in The Bailey's series
𝐋𝐀𝐊𝐄 𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐑𝐋𝐈𝐆𝐇𝐓 𝐁𝐔𝐙𝐙 𝐖𝐇𝐄𝐄𝐋
𝐏𝐑𝐄𝐒𝐒 𝐑𝐄𝐋𝐄𝐀𝐒𝐄: Rumor around town is a certain matriarch of the Bailey family is having a 𝐁𝐈𝐆 𝐁𝐈𝐑𝐓𝐇𝐃𝐀𝐘! It’s even spurred a few of the Bailey kids to return home to celebrate with their beloved great-grandmother, Dori. In fact, now that there are twenty-six Bailey great-grandchildren the event is going to be overflowing with laughter and love. Also… I heard that Piper & Rayne have been speaking to some of the kids (i.e. Calista, Maverick, Easton, Brinley and Palmer) and so we’re getting some special POV’s. I can’t wait to report my findings the day after the party!
Well this little novella was fun!
It's a bit bittersweet of course, because The Bailey's - all of them - have gotten older. The couples we have all read about are now in their late forties or fifties. The kids are all older - Callista is 21! - and G'Ma D is celebrating here 90th birthday. Sad as it is that everyone is growing older, this novella is packed with fun.
Classic Bailey banter and humor.
Updates on the couples we love.
The newest Bailey generation, and their different personalities was interesting, and if you didn't know it already, a hint of what is do some in the spin off series, Lake Starlight.
As of right now, (Rome and Harley's oldest daughter) Callista and Rylan's (from The Greene's series) book, The Problem With Second Chances is out (I loved it, by the way), and The Issue With Bad Boy Roommates (featuring Brinley, Savannah and Liam's oldest daughter).
If I had to nitpick, there are a couple of continuity errors that bothered me. Not with this book, actually, but in The Problem With Second Chances. Rylan's memories of the event in this novella are written slightly different than what actually occurs in this book. Specifically, the state of their relationship. In The Problem With Second Chances, and the Greene series, they were dating in high school. In this novella, that isn't the case at all. And the car ride from the airport, in this book he mentions a girlfriend, but that girlfriend doesn't exist in The Problem With Second Chances.
I don't love that.
I can get over it ... but it's hard.
I hate continuity errors.
Honestly, if you love The Bailey's, you gotta read this book. Touching, and sweet, with the classic Bailey sense of humor, its a great "see you later" to the original Bailey's and "nice to meet you'" to the newest ones. I'm so excited to continue in this world.
My mom rolls down her window.
Holly: “How are the twins?”
Aunt Cleo just had another set of twins—girls this time—and Mom and every one of my aunts can’t get enough of them. Maybe because they’re the youngest of the Bailey brood by five years.
Denver: “They’re good. Sleep, eat, shit, repeat.”
Holly: “I bet they fall asleep in your arms and their little hands wrap around your fingers. The quiet nighttime feedings when it’s just you and them…”
My mom’s eyes roll back in her head as if she’d do anything to relive that experience.
Denver: “Amazing how warped your memory can become over time. Cleo was like you until the reality of being woken by screams and never leaving the house without a stain on her clothes set in. I will say though that the betting is fun.”
Holly: “The betting?”
Denver: “Yeah. I grabbed Abby, and Cleo put her money on Allie.”
Holly: “On what?”
My mom sounds as confused as I am.
Denver: “Who will walk first. Abby is so close, and the minute she walks, Cleo owes me a—”
His gaze trails back to me in the driver’s seat.
Denver: “Well, let’s just say I win.” Ethel smiles warmly at me.
Ethyl: “Yeah, Calista, what about you? I’m sure the boys must be circling you.”
Rylan: “More like trying to escape before she devours them like chum in the water,”
Rylan chimes in from across the aisle. Grandma Dori stops me before I can get my suitcase. She looks behind her then back at me.
Dori: “Just in case there is a party for me, I don’t want a stripper. Your great-grandfather would roll over in his grave having some man’s thing swinging in my face.”
I have to stop my mind from forming a visual. But nope. It’s right there. Great-Grandma Dori in a chair while some stripper’s dick bounces to the beat of “Pony” by Ginuwine. Colton: “I see you still have a key,”
my dad says, gaze shifting to my mom.
Dori; “Oh, Colton, you should feel lucky. In case anything should happen, I can get inside and help where I’m needed.”
My dad kisses my great-grandma on the cheek.
Colton: “I know. You’re always looking out for us.”
Mom places the spatula down and my dad ventures into the kitchen to watch over dinner while Mom hugs Grandma hello.
Dori: “Funny how I always find you two in the kitchen,” Mason: “Pop stand?”
Mason asks, sitting at the table and waiting to eat. He’s probably excited to have a night with just Mom and Dad. I like those nights too.
Colton: “It’s a term from way back when…”
Dad doesn’t finish after Great-Grandma’s eyes go wide.
Colton: “Hey, it’s taco night.”
He does a little dance on his way to the table. Maybe he is afraid of Grandma. Savannah: “I look so young. What happened?”
She looks into the mirror, pulling at the sides of her face to make the skin taut.
Liam: “You’re beautiful. Stop it.”
My dad hands me his fried rice and I pass him the chicken.
Liam: “You know I’m way too hot to be with anyone who’s not a ten.” Brinley: “Great-Grandma, can I drive you back to Northern Lights?”
I fish out my shoes because one thing about Great-Grandma is she never denies us great-grandkids.
Dori: “Of course you can. I didn’t live to be almost ninety without taking any chances.” I hope one day I’m in her position, having been blessed to watch my entire family grow around me. She’s been through some of the worst heartbreak anyone could imagine, but she never let it make her crumble. For that alone, I want to be like Great-Grandma Dori one day. G’Ma D ignores him and turns her attention to my dad and uncle.
Dori: “And you two? Why are you not trying something on?”
Denver: “I have a suit,”
Uncle Rome nods.
Rome: “Me too.”
Dori: “Not one that looks like this.”
She thumbs behind her. They both lean over to look at Rohan as though they don’t remember what the suit looks like. The one with the gold button-down shirt and black tie.
Denver: “Yeah. No.”
Dad leans back and rests his ankle on his knee.
Dori: “Yeah. Go.”
She points toward the dressing rooms. Wyatt: “She’s cute.”
Lance: “Um… no. You can’t say that.”
Wyatt: “Why not? Brinley’s cute.”
He gulps down a sip of his water.
Lance: “Because that’s like the dad and the nanny or something.”
Wyatt: “Your aunt Phoenix was a nanny for Uncle Griffin.”
My mouth hangs open.
Lance: “I don’t want to know that. There are certain things that happened before I was born that I’d like to be blind to.” Kingston: “Want me to take her?”
Dori: “Nah, I won’t be able to do this forever.”
I press a soft kiss into Mabel’s dark hair.
Kingston: “I wish you could.”
My dear Kingston. My ninetieth birthday has hit him the hardest. I’ve tried to ignore his longing stares and worry for the past few weeks, but this conversation feels inevitable now. I reach forward, careful not to drop Mabel, and pat his hand.
Dori: “I got a good twenty years left, don’t you worry.”
I wink, but he gives me a sad smile.
Dori: “Kingston, I’m going to go sometime. We all are. But know that when I do, I’ve had a good life. A magnificent life. And I’m so grateful for it. It wasn’t all roses, but it’s been the blessing of a lifetime and filled me with more joy than you can even comprehend, to watch you and your brothers and sisters make your way in the world and create families of your own. Don’t be sad for me, kiddo. I’m one of the privileged ones. I got to be here to see it all happen.” She nods toward where I was just looking—Calista and Rylan.
Ethyl: “What do you think? Gonna work?”
Dori: “All we can do is bring them together, right?”
Ethyl: “Do you think they’re our last?”
Ethel’s voice is resigned. I laugh.
Dori: “I’m not ready to hang up my cape yet, are you, Louise?”
Ethyl: “Never, Thelma.”
She squeezes my hand. Denver: “Who’s watching my kids tonight? I won the bet and now my wife needs to pay up. Which means, I need a house without kids.”
The entire room fills with laughter and it’s the best sound in the world. There are sad moments in everyone’s life and oftentimes you find a moment of peace, but the laughter makes life worth living.