I've always loved retellings of Beauty and the Beast, and By the Book is a captivating take on a favorite trope. It has humor, romance, and two very appealing characters.
Isabelle Marlowe is an over-worked, under-appreciated assistant at Tale as Old as Time, a publishing company in New York; but she has dreams of becoming an editor and maybe even a published author someday.
Beau Towers is the son of two celebrities and a former teen hearthrob known for his bad behavior; he's supposed to be writing a tell-all memoir, only for the past year he's pretty much become a recluse.
Isabelle's boss is sure Beau is never going to finish his memoir; Isabelle has her doubts, too, but she impulsively volunteers to go to Santa Barbara to talk to him in person. And at first, Beau is brusque and rude....but mostly he doesn't have a clue where or how to begin writing his book. Luckily, Isabelle is persistent and refuses to give up. She convinces him to let her help and as Beau starts to write his story, a friendship develops between them that slowly grows into something more.
My thoughts: I liked how Isabelle's and Beau's relationship developed and deepened so naturally over the course of the novel. Their misunderstandings and angry accusations were resolved with apologies and honest, heartfelt conversations, which I also appreciated. And I thoroughly enjoyed their witty banter, Isabelle's surfing lessons from Beau, and their shared love of snacks. I also loved all their bookish interactions as Beau struggles with his writing and Isabelle helps him work on his book. And their closed-door romance? Very sweet and swoony. I'd definitely give this one 4 stars.
P.S. This is also another good one for Susan's Bookish Books Reading Challenge.
I do enjoy a good Beauty and the Beast retelling and this sounds lovely! I'll put this one on the list! Fab review, Lark!ReplyDelete
I love that Beauty/Beast trope in romance novels. It's always fun. :DDelete
I'm usually not mad keen on fairy tale retellings 'but' Beauty and the Beast is one I actually don't mind at all and this sounds good!ReplyDelete
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorites...and it works well in so many different settings and time periods. :DDelete
Hi Lark, romance novels where the two characters start out angry and at odds with each other and then gradually fall in love is a favorite plotline of mine but it's hard to pull off. It sounds like Jasmine Guillory has succeeded. Also I am curious about the life of a former teen throb now a recluse. His story sounds interesting.ReplyDelete
I thought she did very well at putting these two characters together. :DDelete
"Beauty and the Beast" was always a favorite fairy tale of mine when I was growing up. This sounds like a creditable retelling of that story.ReplyDelete
It's always been one of my favorite fairy tales, too, along with the Twelve Dancing Princessess. :DDelete
I do like beauty and the beast re-tellings. This sounds really fun. I still haven't read anything by Jasmine Guillory and think I'm missing out!ReplyDelete
Give this one a try! It's a lot of fun. :DDelete
It's been years since I've read a Beauty and the Beast retelling and this sounds really good. I love that their arguments are resolved with communication! That's not happening in the book I'm reading right now and it drives me crazy.ReplyDelete
I appreciated that, too....even when Isabelle went storming off in anger, after some thought she always came back to have a conversation. And Beau owned up to his own mistakes, which was also a nice change in a romance book.Delete
I enjoyed this one too, Lark. Great review!ReplyDelete
It's a fun read, isn't it?Delete
I love a good Beauty and the Beast retelling, so I'm adding this to my list. It sounds like a lot of fun. :)ReplyDelete
I think you'd really like this one!Delete
Great review, Lark!!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Cindy. :DDelete
This sounds great! I love honest, heartfelt conversations in a relationship- lack of communication in book relationships always bugs me lol- and the surfing lessons sound fun too! :)ReplyDelete
The surfing lessons were very fun. And miscommunication in a romance that leaves to pages and pages of angst and hair-tearing really drives me crazy.Delete
I like a good Beauty and the Beast retelling too.ReplyDelete
It's just such a fun trope. And perfect for romances of all kinds. :DDelete
This sounds so cute! I also love Beauty and the Beast retellings. I haven't read a good fairy tale retelling in a long time, and I used to devour them. Thanks for the review.ReplyDelete
This is a fun modern take on Beauty and the Beast.Delete
Witty banter? Honest Conversation? Yes, please! Great review, Lark!ReplyDelete
You know I hate when a simple miscommunication is allowed to linger and fester...there is miscommunications between these two characters, but it's followed by a conversation in a few hours, or the next day. And I appreciated that!Delete
This sounds similar to the reasons why I loved Book Lovers by Emily Henry!ReplyDelete
It has some of the same feel, especially with the humor. I really enjoyed Book Lovers, too. :DDelete
Sounds like a good read!! The setting is in Santa Barbara? Ha, I may need to read this novel as I lived in the Santa Barbara area for almost 16 years.ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed this one. I really liked it too. :)ReplyDelete