Review: By The Book by Jasmine Guillory
Title: By The Book
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Publisher: Hyperion Avenue
Publishing date: 3rd May, 2022
Genre: Romance. Contemporary romance.
Tags: Beauty and The Beast retelling.
A tale as old as time—for a new generation…
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 He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy.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.
By The Book read like a fairytale and I am doubly honored and glad that I finally got around to reading this beautiful title. This is my first book by this amazing author and I am sure that this will not be the last.
The plot played loosely with the Beauty and the Beast story and this heartfelt nod to the fairytale will live with me forever.
It had the elements of the original fairytale—the enormous library, a secretary cum housekeeper named Kettle, and, of course, the brooding, temperamental protagonist forced to wine and dine with an unsolicited visitor.
The affection between the protagonists built up slowly and was feeling in all the ways that matter.
I appreciated how layered and textured the plot was, and loved that the author established the plot without eroding the characters’ personal development.
The author showed the gentle progression of the affection between the leads on one hand, and on the other, how they blossomed on their own.
I have an big issue with authors that inadvertently romanticize codependency, so I appreciated this beautiful take.