Tale as old as time…
No really, that’s the name of the publishing company in By the Book by Jasmine Guillory. A publishing company in New York that Isabelle Marlow joins after college. The assistant to Marta Wallace one of the top editors, and one of the few black women who work in the publishing business, Isabelle often balances speaking up and keeping quiet.
TAOAT Publishing is trying to get the memoir of Beau Towers, Hollywood bad boy and child to two of Hollywood’s elite. Hearing her editor lament how the company can’t get Towers to send them anything about his manuscript, Isabella impulsively steps in and offers to go to his home and motivate him.
My new favorite trope is becoming books inspired by something else and then me realizing it right in the middle of the book. In case the reader didn’t know this was going to be a Beauty and the Beast inspired book by the name of the publishing company or the newest bestseller, It’s My Favorite Part!, it soon realized when Isabelle meats Beau and he acts utterly beastly to her. There’s even the dinner scene, sans talking clocks and candlesticks.
Set in the Santa Barbara oceanside, Guillory wraps the warmth of a California winter with the back lights of Hollywood and fame, bringing in the culture clash of a New York native stuck in the surfside all the while, trapped in a house with a person who is slowly revealing to be not the beast everyone thinks he is.
While there’s no Gaston persay, there’s Gavin. While Gavin is not in it much, more or less a foil, we still dislike him because of what he represents. The same things Gaston represents.
This was the lovely read for a weekend. I finished it in an entire day. The story sucks you in, and keeps you there, painting a story until the final act.
It’s provincial life at its most modern.
Well friends, November is almost over and the holiday season is racing towards us quicker than I can say, Stop!
I will be reading a Christmas themed novel this season. I received it too late last year and have been holding on to it for the entirety of 2022. I’m excited to read it and share it with you! Until thin friends, remember to take some time for yourself with a warm spot, a good drink and curl up with a good book.