Book Review: By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

Posted May 5, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 44 Comments

By the Book
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Series: Meant to Be #2
by Jasmine Guillory
Publication Date May 3, 2022
Published by Hyperion Avenue
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Genres: Fiction / Women, Romance, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 320
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

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 He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy.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

By the Book by Jasmine Guillory is the second book in the popular Meant To Be series that has different authors doing fairy tale re-tellings.  By the Book is loosely based on the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast.  I loved finding all the little nods to the animated movie throughout this book.  

Isabelle (Izzy) is an editorial assistant for Tale of Old Time publishing company.  She’s worked at the company for 2 years and she is still an editorial assistant and she still lives at home.  When she goes to Los Angeles for a book conference, she overhears her boss talking about a very late manuscript from a reclusive, former child actor who is writing his memoir named Beau.  In order to help her struggling career, she asks her boss if she can go to Beau’s home in order to try and help him write his memoir, or at least answer their emails and find out why he is so late with the manuscript.  

But, just going to Beau’s house is the easy part.  He doesn’t want to talk to her at all and definitely doesn’t want to talk about his book.  But, when his assistant sprains her ankle, and Izzy helps her out, Beau gives her a chance to talk to him. She eventually agrees to stay with him for a week in order to work on the book.  She finds Beau is a recluse and very closed up, but eventually she warms to him, and he breaks out of his shell.  

I found this book so much fun.  I loved looking for all the little details that tie this book to the movie and enjoyed the story immensely.  The mansion in Santa Barbara is full of little twists that relate somewhat to the movie.  Izzy ends up talking to some of the inanimate objects in the house, and there is a large snack cabinet with an unending supply of a variety of snacks.  

 I love a grumpy hero, and Beau was pretty grumpy, but not cruel or arrogant.  The romance was a bit slow burn and I felt it was very realistic.  I was rooting for Izzy and Beau throughout the entire book, and couldn’t wait for them to figure out they are meant for each other.  

I highly recommend By the Book to anyone who loves a good romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory is the New York Times bestselling author of six romance novels, including The Wedding Date, The Proposal, and While We Were Dating. Her work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Bon Appetit, and Time. She lives in Oakland, California.

44 responses to “Book Review: By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

  1. This sounds so cute! I’ve been really neglecting the romance genre lately but a few books ago I picked up one on a whim and absolutely loved it. I’ve been wanting to get back into romance and this seems like a good choice!

  2. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and this one sounds just as good. I also love a grumpy hero. I hope to read this one sooner rather than later. Great review Wendy. I will watch for those nods to the Disney movie.

  3. I’m honestly not a big fan of the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale (which is what I’m assuming is the inspiration here?), but this retelling sounds super cute! It’s great you loved it so much. I think it would make an adorable film from the sound of it.

    • It is based on the Beauty and the Beast Fairytale. I wasn’t a big fan of the fairy tale either, but I loved this a lot.

  4. I enjoyed the first book in this series and really enjoyed the author’s The Wedding Date series. I’ve read mixed reviews for this one but trust your opinion and am waiting to listen to my library’s audiobook copy. Thanks for sharing Wendy.

    • I can understand the mixed reviews, it’s a fairly simple romance. But, that’s what I loved about it.

  5. This sounds like such good fun. I liked the premise when you had mentioned the book earlier, and am glad it turned out as enjoyable as it promised🙂

  6. This sounds like so much fun! I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Belle since she also loves books.

  7. I love the sound of this one! A little bit of Beauty and the Beast is always fun in a romance. 😀

  8. Jenny+McClinton

    I love beauty & the best so I would be doing the sane as you, great review 😊

  9. It sounds like the reclusive Beau should never have been talked into writing a memoir. I think the business people in stars’ lives are too influential and that adds some realism for me with this plot. It’s probably not the right book for me, but I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  10. Ash

    WHAT I didn’t know this existed!? I’m assuming the first is Cinderella? I NEED to read these! I’m glad it was a good read and the cover is beautiful.

    Ash @ Essentially Ash

  11. I saw an author event with this author and book on Tuesday. And between that and your review, I think I would absolutely adore this story. Excellent review, Wendy!

    • I think you’d really enjoy it, Tessa. It’s light and fun, and I loved all the little hints of the movie in there.