Book Reviews

Review: By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

I totally forgot that If the Shoe Fits was the beginning of a new fairy tale romance series, until I saw By the Book. Inspired by Beauty and the Beast, this latest release is great for book lovers. While the original story isn’t my favorite, I appreciated the twists from Guillory to freshen the story. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.

Summary

Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing right out of college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, living at home, still an editorial assistant, and the only Black employee 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 finally get the promotion 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 He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy.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.

Review

(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

By the Book brings a new and inventive look to Beauty and the Beast. At its heart, it’s a story about seeing past someone’s exterior. Of taking the time and effort to look beyond. We can hide our true selves behind layers. Behind pieces of our trauma and fear. So By the Book, by extension, it also a story about being seen for who we are and taking the time to find someone who will do the same. With lots of cute references to the original – can you spot them all? – By the Book is a great addition to a promising series.

By the Book gave Izzy and Beau the time for their relationship to bloom. And removed the whole forced to stay in the castle element. Because of that, their relationship felt more even especially as they push each other just the right amount. Their interactions together were cute as they confront their fears together. If you love the original or even Guillory as an author, this is an easy auto-buy. For me, I wish we had gotten more depth into Izzy as a character. I wanted to get to know her more, her quirks, her fears.

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However, I still enjoyed By the Book and their chemistry. Having Izzy as a writer was a sweet touch! And I can see this being a good summer read. Find By the Book on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.

Discussion

Do you have a favorite romance read retelling?


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