Reviews

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Sparks fly between a bad-boy celebrity and the harried editorial assistant charged with helping him to write his memoir in this updated version of "Beauty and the Beast." Two years into her job at Tale as Old as Time Publishing, Isabelle Marlowe isn't so certain she's working in her dream industry anymore. The minutiae of her role—not to mention a very demanding boss—are starting to impact her lifelong love of reading for the worse, and what's more, her secret and eternal aspiration of becoming a published author herself has been put on the back burner. To make matters even more irritating, her day-to-day life also involves hounding celebrity heartthrob Beau Towers for updates on his memoir even though the man has gone effectively AWOL after blowing past his initial deadline. A chance trip to California, however, puts Izzy in the perfect position to impress her boss and find out what's taking Beau so long to finish his book, but when she manages to locate him at home, where he’s been hiding out, the initial response she gets is rejection—until she's able to wear him down with sheer optimism, that is. Convincing Beau to let her stay and help him get past his writer's block, as well as whatever deeper issues might be preventing him from writing about his past, marks the first step in a new professional relationship. Of course, as these two begin working together, and in particularly close quarters to boot, the circumstances are perfectly engineered to develop a more intimate connection between them. The book boasts enough playful nods and easter eggs to satisfy the most die-hard Disney fan without overdoing it, and this particular Beast has less bark than Disney's and certainly no bite. As a result, this retelling doesn't have the melodrama of the original but more than makes up for it with an endearing story. A fairy-tale reinterpretation that's more a sweet read than a dramatic tale. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

What could a people-pleasing editorial assistant, one of very few African Americans working for this publishing house, still living with her parents, have in common with a rich bad boy known for bar fights, fast cars, and dating supermodels? Guillory’s contribution to the Meant to Be series, which re-imagines fairy tales, following Julie Murphy’s If the Shoe Fits (2021), explores this unlikely relationship on a deeply emotional level with warmth and tenderness and, in so doing, provides a glimpse behind the glamour of splashy celebrity memoirs. In a bid for a promotion to assistant editor, Isabelle Marlowe decides to tackle recalcitrant playboy Beau Towers and get him to deliver his long-overdue memoir—and his book turns out to be the making of them both. His belief in himself as a writer grows, as does his belief that his life is worth sharing with others. She reaffirms that her love of books does truly support her career choice. Witnessing Beau overcome huge emotional obstacles to his writing, she finds the courage to pick up the pen again to write her own book. Best-selling Guillory delivers a charming Beauty and the Beast tale of looking beneath the surface to find the genuine heart of another. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Avid fans of Guillory's Wedding Date series will rush to read this brilliant variation on a classic love story.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Sparks fly between a bad-boy celebrity and the harried editorial assistant charged with helping him to write his memoir in this updated version of "Beauty and the Beast."Two years into her job at Tale as Old as Time Publishing, Isabelle Marlowe isn't so certain she's working in her dream industry anymore. The minutiae of her rolenot to mention a very demanding bossare starting to impact her lifelong love of reading for the worse, and what's more, her secret and eternal aspiration of becoming a published author herself has been put on the back burner. To make matters even more irritating, her day-to-day life also involves hounding celebrity heartthrob Beau Towers for updates on his memoir even though the man has gone effectively AWOL after blowing past his initial deadline. A chance trip to California, however, puts Izzy in the perfect position to impress her boss and find out what's taking Beau so long to finish his book, but when she manages to locate him at home, where hes been hiding out, the initial response she gets is rejectionuntil she's able to wear him down with sheer optimism, that is. Convincing Beau to let her stay and help him get past his writer's block, as well as whatever deeper issues might be preventing him from writing about his past, marks the first step in a new professional relationship. Of course, as these two begin working together, and in particularly close quarters to boot, the circumstances are perfectly engineered to develop a more intimate connection between them. The book boasts enough playful nods and easter eggs to satisfy the most die-hard Disney fan without overdoing it, and this particular Beast has less bark than Disney's and certainly no bite. As a result, this retelling doesn't have the melodrama of the original but more than makes up for it with an endearing story.A fairy-tale reinterpretation that's more a sweet read than a dramatic tale. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Guillory's (The Wedding Date) new enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy is a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast with Black and multiracial protagonists. Izzy has always wanted to work with writers and help them craft their books. She has her foot in the door at the publishing house Tales as Old as Time, but so far her job has just been grunt work. When she hears her boss discussing the long past-due memoir of recalcitrant notorious playboy Beau Towers, Izzy offers to track Beau down and remind him of his deadline. When Beau finds curvy, Black, beautiful Izzy in his kitchen with his housekeeper, he is scathing and rude. In return for turning in his manuscript, he dares her to give him her best motivational speeches every day for a month, and Izzy agrees. Can this beauty tame her beast and secure her place in publishing, or is this fairy tale doomed from the beginning? VERDICT Izzy is quirky, likable, and relatable, and her relationship with Beau is a hard-won slow burn that morphs naturally, if quickly, from combative to friendly to romantic. Her realistic frustrations as a Black woman in publishing add depth to the plot. Guillory's fans will clamor for this book, the second "Meant To Be" novel (following Julie Murphy's If the Shoe Fits).—Heather Miller Cover


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Bestseller Guillory (the Wedding Date series) throws together an aspiring editor and a brooding author in this bland retelling of Beauty and the Beast, the second in the multi-author Meant to Be series. Editorial assistant Izzy Marlowe is ready for a promotion. To prove herself, she crashes former child star Beau Towers’s home in hopes of getting him to finish a memoir he’s years late in delivering, having ignored all of her emails. After earning a bad reputation for being plain old mean, Beau has been holed up like a hermit in his Santa Barbara home. Despite his not-so-warm welcome and grouchy demeanor, Izzy refuses to turn tail and run, and, with a little nudge from his cook, Beau agrees to start writing if Izzy moves in and gives him regular pep talks. Beau’s bad temper hides a good heart, and Izzy’s patience and understanding nature quickly endear her to him, but the pair’s chemistry never quite comes through, partly due to the lack of Beau’s point of view. Their relationship feels like a friendship more than a romance, even as Izzy develops self-confidence and Beau learns to forgive himself and make amends for past mistakes. This is lukewarm at best. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary. (May)

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