By The Book by Jasmine Guillory
Narrated by Sarah Hollis
Standalone. Part of an UNRELATED Series.
Don’t be put off by the fact that By The Book by Jasmine Guillory is listed as book 2. There is no continuing story. Book one, If The Shoe Fits, is a modern day retelling of Cinderella and is written by Julie Murphy. By the Book is a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast. These books are put out by Disney books, so there is no on-page sex.
I didn’t know any of this going in, I just saw a book about books (my favorite trope: see my list of 60+) with a diverse cast written by an author of color. So I grabbed it without reading the blurb and without knowing its Disney roots.
Isabelle works for TAOAT (Tale As Old As Time) publishing as an editorial assistant. She has been passed over for promotions a number of times and is feeling stagnant in her job. While in LA for a convention, Isabelle offers to check on a difficult client who hasn’t turned in any of his manuscript and is avoiding all contact, in the hopes that this would make her stand out and finally get promoted.
Beau Towers is a grumpy, mean asshole at first. He doesn’t want her there, but finally admits he really needs the help. So Isabelle extends her stay in California and moves in with the grumpy star who is writing his first book.
There is a lot of writing tips and some minutia of the writing process. This might get boring for some, but I enjoyed the tips. By the Book is a slow-burn romance, but the chemistry just never burned through the pages. This may be partially from the lack of sex, but I think that I just never fully got immersed in the story—it felt very surface-level.
“The question I want you to think about is whether it will feel worse for you to push through this hard, scary feeling now, and do it, or if it’ll feel worse to turn around, walk back in the house, and wake up tomorrow, and every day after this, knowing you didn’t do this.”
- Diverse Cast.
- Takes place in the book world.
- She is plus sized!
- Some insights into writing and publishing (but this may bore others).
- The snack closet.
- 3rd Person.
- Lack of chemistry, I think partially because of lack of sex.
- It really missed opportunities for great banter.
I really enjoyed Sarah Hollis’s narration, but it always feels a little stilted to listen to a 3rd person book.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 3.5 stars, 0 heat, 4 narration
Purchase By The Book by Jasmine Guillory