⭐️⭐️⭐️ REVIEW: By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

As a huge fan of Beauty and the Beast and someone who has enjoyed Guillory’s writing in the past, this should’ve been right up my alley… and it just wasn’t. Think of this as Guillory watered down and sweetened up for a younger audience – it’s got the foundation of a good book, but the end result is bland and a little boring. It failed to hook me in at the start, then improved somewhere along the way, but I was already disconnected from the story before the romance even came into play. There are some cute Beauty and the Beast references that bring the classic story to mind, and I liked the modern twists that were included, but it didn’t hit the right notes for this adult reader.

The story follows Izzy, a young woman who works in publishing. She’s always loved books and dreams of writing one herself, but working in the industry has started to tarnish that love for her. When Izzy has the opportunity to stop at a troublesome client’s home – hoping to see the progress he’s made on his long-overdue manuscript – she gets more than she bargained for. Beau is every bit the beast she imagined he’d be, a former child star turned bad boy whose surly attitude is an immediate turnoff. But he shocks Izzy by demanding that she come stay at his home to assist in finishing up the manuscript. As Izzy spends more time with the brooding beast, she realizes that there is more to him than she realized.

This has a definite YA feel, though there is swearing, kissing, and implied sexytimes that make this feel a little older. I’m not sure that the tone will resonate with adult audiences – it just feels so young – but that’s not the major sticking point for me. It’s a story that feels very mild/somewhat boring, with not enough interaction between our couple. Told exclusively from Izzy’s point of view, Beau remains something of a mystery for much of the story, which doesn’t help advance the romance until later on. And even then, we don’t know much about Beau’s thoughts or feelings. Since the plot borrows so much from Beauty and the Beast, it needed more unique, swoony moments between our couple to really keep things interesting – and those come too late. I think there’s a lot of good buried within the story, but it’s ultimately a forgettable read… unlike the original. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this sweet romance.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3k2Uz2C


Blurb:

Sometimes to truly know a person, you have to read between the lines.

Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing after college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, still living at home, and one of the few Black employees at her publishing house. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to prove her worth and finally get the recognition she deserves.

All she has to do is go to the author’s Santa Barbara mansion and give him a quick pep talk or three. How hard could it be?

But Izzy quickly finds out she is in over her head. Beau Towers is not some celebrity lightweight writing a tell-all memoir. He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy. But despite his standoffishness, Izzy needs Beau to deliver, and with her encouragement, his story begins to spill onto the page. They soon discover they have more in common than either of them expected, and as their deadline nears, Izzy and Beau begin to realize there may be something there that wasn’t there before.

Best-selling author Jasmine Guillory’s reimagining of a beloved fairy tale is a tale as old as time . . . for a new generation.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3k2Uz2C


About the Author:

Jasmine Guillory is a New York Times bestselling author of novels including The Wedding Date, the Reese’s Book Club selection The Proposal, and While We Were Dating. Her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, and Time, and she is a frequent book contributor on The Today Show. She lives in Oakland, California.


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