Book Review — By the Book: A Meant to Be Novel by Jasmine Guillory

I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book from Netgalley and Hyperion Avenue. This has not impacted my rating and this review is voluntary.

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 He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy.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.

Best-selling author Jasmine Guillory’s reimagining of a beloved fairy tale is a romantic triumph of love and acceptance and learning that sometimes to truly know a person you have to read between the lines.

via Goodreads

Rating: 4/5

The second (but standalone) book in the Meant to Be series did not disappoint… but of course, that’s to be expected from the incredible romance novelist that is Jasmine Guillory!

There’s nothing groundbreaking in this modern re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, but it’s filled with so many cute moments and is an easy, enjoyable romance. Plus, the setting is a gorgeous mansion with a library (eek!) in California.

It’s fun to find the easter eggs of how the original story has creatively been added to this story. For example, the cook and friend of Beau’s nickname is Kettle.

Another fun part of this story is that the main characters are involved in the publishing world and we get to see the work of an agent and editor.

This novel is great for anyone looking for a pleasing and cheesy romance with a little of the enemies-to-lovers trope! Can’t wait for the next one in the series!

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to know!

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