Review: Nocturne by Alyssa Wees

NocturneNocturne by Alyssa Wees
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let’s start off this review with a little confession, shall we?

I participated in a Readathon this week where one of the prompts was to read the lowest rated book on your TBR. While this isn’t the lowest rated book overall, it was the lowest rate ARC that I currently had to read.

Always trying to check off some ARCs, I decided to give it a go, but I didn’t go in with high expectations.

Luckily for me, Nocturne turned out to be a pretty great example of why I tend not to look at ratings and reviews before I pick up a book. I know that goes against everything we’re doing here, but it’s the truth.

Reading is an incredibly subjective activity. Pair the right book, at the right time, with the right Reader and magic can happen. Read that same book when your in a certain mood and it can be a total flop.

I’m clearly the right Reader for this book. This story is set in 1930’s Chicago and seamlessly blends Historical Fiction with Dark Fantasy and light Romance.

Our main character is Grace Dragotta, who after being orphaned, ventures out on her own and joins a dancing company. A life she dreamed of. When we meet Grace, she is a teen and on the cusp of being elevated to prima ballerina within her company.

Unfortunately for Grace, raising to this rank is bittersweet. She only gets the role after her best friend, Emilia, leaves her spot as prima to be married. Grace is losing the closest person to her in all the world. She doesn’t know how she’ll get by without Emilia’s comforting presence.

Not long after her ascendancy, Grace receives word from her Mistress that she has caught the eye of a mysterious, wealthy patron. In order to keep her dance house afloat, the Mistress essentially sells Grace to this man.

Grace is forced to live at his estate, only traveling back to the studio to train and perform. There’s a lot of whispers about her new life, but Grace tries her best to just get on with it.

As she learns the shocking truth about her patron, it’s clear that the life she dreamed for herself will never come to be.

Y’all, I really enjoyed this. It’s not a complicated story. It’s pretty straight-forward, well-written and the concepts are easy to understand.

I should note that I grew up in dance and playing the violin, the two artistic pursuits that the main character engages in. Having my own personal experience and passions in those two areas did increase my connection to the story. I loved Grace and learning about her life.

This feels very much inspired by Beauty and the Beast. I loved those elements. I wasn’t expecting them and every time I would come across something that made me think of that classic tale, it would make me happy.

The relationship between Grace and her Master, was lush and evocative. I really enjoyed the truth of him and what he was offering her. Additionally, I enjoyed the evolution of her feelings for him and her place in his world.

Wees writing is quite beautiful and I liked the way she wrote the initial set-up and then progressed the plot. I thought the pacing of this was fantastic, it kept me engaged the entire way through.

Overall, I found Nocturne to be lyrical, dark and enchanting. Wees successfully swept me up and away into a whole other world. In a way, it felt like a love letter to the healing power of artistic expression. I’m so glad I finally made time for it.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Del Rey, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was gorgeous and I look forward to reading more from Wees in the future!

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Review: A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Heart So Fierce and Broken is the second book in Brigid Kemmerer’s YA Fantasy series, Cursebreakers.

I finished the first book in the series, A Curse So Dark and Lonely, earlier this year and had a ton of fun with it. A creative take on Beauty and the Beast, Kemmerer did a great job delivering her own spin to that classic tale.

There’s a lot of information packed into that first book and although I didn’t find it info-dumpy in any way, I knew I wanted to continue on with haste. I didn’t want to forget all I had learned about the beautiful world of Emberfall.

For this sequel, I decided to try the audiobook and I enjoyed that format a lot. The narration was so good and helped to bring the story to life for me.

There is a focus shift in this one, as far as characters go, with us mainly following Grey, Prince Rhen’s right-hand man from book one, and a new-to-us character, Lia Mara, daughter to Emberfall enemy, Karis Luran.

Initially, I was worried I wouldn’t enjoy this as much as the first book because of this shift. I felt like I was going to miss Rhen and Harper too much, but then in a surprising twist of fate, I actually ended up enjoying it a little bit more!

A lot happens in this one, there’s a lot of continued political maneuverings and changes in alliances, as well as threats to the kingdom and our characters.

I am really hoping to continue on with the series very soon, as this one has a bit of a stunning conclusion. I’m excited to wrap up this story and find out what is going to ultimately happen to all of my favorite characters.

Will Kemmerer give me the happy ending I’m dreaming of, or shatter my heart into a million pieces? Honestly, I feel it could go either way…

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Review: A Curse so Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Curse So Dark and Lonely was such a fun read. I was drawn into this drama so deep, it felt like I was a part of it.

I had my popcorn, I had my sword, I had my opinions on the relationships; it was quite the experience.

I’m super excited to see where it goes from here and will definitely be continuing on with the series. I have some theories, I have some suspicions, I can’t wait to see the conclusion.

I actually read this as Book #15 for my TBR-Haul Project. It feels so good to finally check it off the list!

I originally hauled this book in January 2019. In fact, I was so stoked about its release, having loved previous works from Kemmerer, that I actually preordered it.

Yeah, that’s right. I preordered it, paid full price and then let her sit on my shelves for 4-years, UNREAD. Even I am disappointed with myself.

Nevertheless, she persisted. It is now read and I had such a fun time with it. I loved the whole idea of the portal from the modern world transporting Harper into the magical world inhabited by Ren and Grey.

Additionally, I felt like the influence of Beauty and the Beast was just enough to keep it satisfying, without being stereotypical, or toeing into copycat lane. I may have some further thoughts on this at some point, but for now, this is sufficient.

Onward we go!!!

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Review: When You Wish Upon a Star (A Twisted Tale #14) by Elizabeth Lim

When You Wish Upon a Star: A Twisted TaleWhen You Wish Upon a Star: A Twisted Tale by Elizabeth Lim
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When You Wish Upon a Star is the 14th-installment to Disney’s A Twisted Tale collection.

If you are unaware, these books take our favorite Disney tales, twist one element and then explore what would have happened if that twist actually occurred.

They’re like Disney’s version of alternate history stories and I’m low-key obsessed with them. Also, important to keep in mind, these books can be read in any order.

They are completely distinct stories, each following a different set of characters, so you can start anywhere you want, with which ever story sounds most appealing to you.

In this story, we explore the question: What if the Blue Fairy wasn’t supposed to help Pinocchio?

I have never read the source material, The Adventures Of Pinocchio, that the 1940-animated Disney film Pinocchio is inspired by. Additionally, I have only watched Pinocchio a handful of times. It actually scared me as a kid, so it wasn’t one I necessarily gravitated towards.

However, when I heard the pitch for this story and saw that it was being written by Elizabeth Lim, I knew I had to pick it up as soon as I could.

This is based on Pinocchio’s story, yes, but this is really the story of the Blue Fairy. Who was she before? Had she always been a fairy? If not, how did she become one and who did she leave behind?

It turns out, the Blue Fairy was once a girl named Chiara, who lived in the village of Pariva, the very same small village that Pinocchio’s father, Geppetto, is from.

I loved the direction that Lim took this story. I found it fascinating learning about Chiara, her complicated relationship with her little sister, Ilaria, and the process that Chiara underwent to become the Blue Fairy we all know and love. Even the village was fun to learn about.

I was immediately swept up into this. I feel like Lim’s writing is completely immersive. Everything about it, from the descriptions, the setting of the scenes, the drama, the character work, it’s all top notch. If you’ve never read anything from Elizabeth Lim, I actually feel like this one is a great example of her style.

The fairy aspects were really fun. There was a school where Chiara went to train and she had a mentor. I love those relationship dynamics, so was happy to see it.

It was also interesting to see the choices, or should I say sacrifices, that individuals had to make to even become fairies. Chiara struggled a bit making her decisions in that regard, but they were important decisions, so it all made sense. It never felt angsty, or overdone, in my opinion.

Ilaria, Chiara’s sister, on the other hand, she was bringing all the drama. With dreams of being a world-famous opera singer, Ilaria’s personality could be a bit grating.

However, with this being said, it did make perfect sense in context with the greater story. We needed that push-and-pull, that vast difference between the two girls’ personalities in order for this story to have maximum impact.

The best part of this for me though, was seeing those connections to Pinocchio. Meeting younger versions of characters we know, for example, like Monstro, Stromboli and even a cricket.

Don’t be alarmed though, long-time Pinocchio fans, he is in the story too! So that was fun, seeing him and the interactions between Pinocchio, Geppetto and the Blue Fairy.

Overall, I had a really good time reading this. It’s a fantastic addition to The Twisted Tales collection. If you are curious about my rankings for all the books that I have read in this series, I will list them below at the bottom of this review.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Disney-Hyperion and Disney Audio, for providing me with copies to read and review. It was nice to see a lesser known Disney character finally getting her time shine!!

My current ratings for the Twisted Tales series:

1. What Once Was Mine (Tangled): 4.5-stars rounded up
2. Reflection (Mulan): 4-stars
3. Almost There (The Princess and the Frog): 4-stars
4. When You Wish Upon a Star: 4-stars
5. Go the Distance (Hercules): 3.5-stars rounded up
6. As Old As Time (Beauty & the Beast): 3.5-stars rounded up
7. Straight On Til Morning (Peter Pan): 3.5-stars rounded up
8. Mirror, Mirror (Snow White): 3.5-stars rounded up
9. Unbirthday (Alice): 3.5-stars
10. Conceal, Don’t Feel (Frozen): 3.5-stars
11. A Whole New World (Aladdin): 3-stars
12. Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid): 2-stars

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Review: The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (The Four Kingdoms #2) by Melanie Cellier

The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (The Four Kingdoms, #2)The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood by Melanie Cellier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Princess Fugitive is the second book in Melanie Cellier’s The Four Kingdoms series.

The books in this series are all fairy tale retellings, this one focusing on the story of Little Red Riding Hood.

I’ll admit that I have never read the original source material for this classic fairy tale. What I do know of the story of Red Riding Hood, I have gotten solely through television and movie adaptations.

In spite of that, I still really enjoyed my time with this book. This story follows Princess Ava, who we got to meet in the first book in this series, The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea.

I wasn’t crazy about Ava in the first book. She was a bit of a twat, going against the interests of my favorite character in that book, Alyssa.

Here we learn the motivations behind Ava’s earlier behaviors though. Also, since she failed at her mission in the first book, she is forced to flee from her harsh family, bringing only her personal bodyguard, Hans, with her. I couldn’t help but feel sympathy for her because of that.

During their exile, Hans and Ava discover more about their kingdom than they knew before. For one, Ava’s family is even more horrible than she could have imagined, particularly her brother, next up to rule as King.

Even though they need to stay hidden, Ava feels compelled to do something to help the citizens of her kingdom, but she cannot do it alone. She needs allies for her fight. Will she be able to gain enough support to save her kingdom from downfall, or will she be the one to fall?

I really enjoyed my time with this story. I have so many other books I feel I ‘should’ be reading right now, but once I started this, I couldn’t stop.

I loved the relationship between Ava and Hans. The books I have read in this series seem to have in common forbidden romance tropes, people falling for people they shouldn’t. I sort of love that.

In this one, Hans is but a guard and Ava a Princess. How can that work? Their stations are so unlike one another. What’s clear though is Hans commitment to Ava, right from the start and that’s hard not to swoon over.

I also liked getting to see some of my favorite characters from the first book pop up here. I wasn’t expecting that at all and really enjoyed those connections.

Additionally, there is a bit of a competition at the end of this story and we all know, I love a competition.

Overall, I’m having a blast with these stories. They’re really not like anything else that I normally read, so it’s such a nice change of pace.

I am definitely planning to continue on with this series via audiobook. I have loved the narration so far. I find it completely engaging and I can’t help but get swept away, which is exactly what I am looking for.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys a solid retelling.

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Review: The Princess Companion (The Four Kingdoms #1) by Melanie Cellier

The Princess Companion (The Four Kingdoms, #1)The Princess Companion by Melanie Cellier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A few weeks ago, while searching for retellings, I came across the work of Melanie Cellier for the first time. I was astounded by her vast catalogue of reimaginings, for both very popular and some more obscure fairy tales.

The book I decided to pick up first was The Secret Princess, which is a retelling of The Goose Girl. It is also the first book in Cellier’s Return to the Four Kingdoms series.

I was so excited to begin my journey with this author.

While I enjoyed it, I could tell that I was missing something. There were certain events alluded to in that story more than once that left me wondering, what do other people know that I don’t know?

Thanks to a comment from one of my book friends, I discovered that what I was missing was an entire other series that predated that book. I mean I had an idea that The Secret Princess was the start of a companion series, but I guess I just didn’t think about it that much.

Once the original series, The Four Kingdoms, was recommended to me, I decided I should go back and begin at the actual beginning. Let’s do it right.

I’m glad I did. I had so much fun with this one. It has really reinvigorated my love for fairy tale retellings.

This story is actually a reimagining of The Princess and the Pea and follows a mild-mannered, woodcutter’s daughter, Alyssa. As our story begins, Alyssa, gets lost at night in a storm while traveling and she’s separated from her companions.

In search of shelter, she stumbles upon the Winter Castle, the off-season home of the royal family. Currently in residence, the King, Queen and their children, Prince Max and two twin Princesses, as well as their various servants.

After a bit of a mistaken identity moment, Alyssa is granted a room for the night and subsequently gets caught up in the dramatics of the royal family. They seem to take to her right away, even offering her the position of Princess Companion for the unruly twins.

Of course she accepts, it’s a huge jump in status for a woodcutter’s daughter, and Alyssa truly enjoys her time with the royal family, particularly her time with Prince Max.

This story follows Alyssa’s time in their employ, as she grows closer with the royal family and fights to save the kingdom from malicious outside forces.

This was such a delight to read. I listened to the audiobook and the narration was fabulous. Esther Wane’s voice work brought this story to life for me. I found it completely engaging from the very start.

I loved Alyssa as a character. She was so down-to-earth and pure of heart. Her circumstances got a little intense towards the end and I was actually biting my nails in anticipation. I didn’t want anything awful to happen to her.

I think Cellier did a great job creating such likable characters over the course of this story. It’s not that long, but I did find myself becoming quite attached to many of them. Additionally, the pace was really well done, with just enough at stake to keep it compelling throughout.

This also provided an excellent base set-up for the greater Four Kingdoms world. I am excited to continue on with this series. The next book follows a character that we met in this novel. She’s not someone I cared for, so I am interested to see if Cellier can get me on her side in the next book.

I am so happy to have discovered this series and to have now picked it up in the proper place.

I think these books are going to be a great way to break up my many other darker reads. Every once in while you just need something light and fun. These books definitely check those boxes.

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Review: Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Cinderella Is DeadCinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cinderella Is Dead is set in a stark-Fantasy world, 200-years after the legendary Cinderella’s happily ever after with Prince Charming.

We follow 16-year old, Sophia, who on the eve of her first Ball, can think only of how she wants to be with her girlfriend, Erin, forever after, not with some man, or boy, she doesn’t even know.

Even though it’s risky, Sophia pleads with Erin to run away with her. Erin refuses. In their society it is treacherous to be different; to want something different for their lives. Erin is scared to be caught, to put herself and her family at risk.

Within the kingdom, all young ladies of a certain age are required to attend the King’s Annual Ball, where they are paraded around in the hopes of being selected to be a man’s wife. They are given a limited number of chances. If not selected, it’s sort of unclear what becomes of them, but many forfeited girls are never heard from again.

The girls are chosen for completely superficial reasons, so it’s important to look your best; to be seen, but not heard.

On the night of their Ball, one of Sophia and Erin’s friends isn’t as prepared as she should be. The King reacts harshly and the poor girl’s fate is sealed.

After witnessing the King’s cruelty, and the citizens impotence in the face of such evil, Sophia can’t stand it anymore. She makes up her mind that she needs to get away. Feeling she has no other option, refusing to bow to these ridiculous traditions, Sophia runs.

Now a wanted criminal, on her own for the first time, outside the grip of the kingdom, Sophia begins to learn more about the kingdom’s history and finds that the lore the society is based upon is nothing but a bag of lies.

Together with her new friend, Constance, Sophia vows to return to the kingdom and dismantle the hurtful, unfair and savage system. It may not be easy though, as the King’s power stems for a formidable and unusual place.

While this started strong for me, with an intriguing premise and set-up, the further I got into the story, the more it lost my interest.

By the end, I was ready to move on. I still think this is a solid idea and build-up, however the final execution just didn’t match my tastes.

As the story opens, I was intrigued by the system and I still find that interesting. I also like how Bayron framed the society around the legend of Cinderella. It was a clever plot device for setting the stage for some serious examination of a patriarchal society.

I also really enjoyed and appreciated how well the dystopian tone blended with the fantastical backdrop. That was nicely done.

I think where this started to lose me was the melodramatic interactions between Sophia and Constance. I didn’t like Constance at all. I was disturbed at how quickly Sophia shoved aside her once-proclaimed super powerful feelings for Erin the second she met Constance.

That didn’t feel genuine. It kind of turned me off to both characters. I also didn’t vibe with how quickly and easily the girls seemed to be able to overpower, or influence, others. This was especially evident in the final scenes, although I don’t want to say too much here because, spoilers.

Overall, I think this was creative and had a very solid set-up. The ideas explored were interesting and I loved the use of the actual fairy tale to set up the basis for the functioning of this system.

Even though the execution of this didn’t quite blow me away, I am still definitely looking forward to reading more from this author!!

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Review: Cursed (Gilded #2) by Marissa Meyer

Cursed (Gilded, #2)Cursed by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cursed is the highly-anticipated follow-up to Marissa Meyer’s 2021-release, Gilded. I genuinely love Meyer’s style of writing and her always clever take on classic stories. In my opinion, she’s the queen of retellings.

Because of this, Gilded, pitched as a haunted retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, was one of my most anticipated releases of 2021. Spoiler alert: it did not disappoint!!

Initially, I was under the impression that that was a standalone novel. Reaching the final pages though, it was clear that was not the end of the story.

I have been anticipating this novel, Cursed, ever since.

Following the final scenes of Gilded, Adalheid Castle is in chaos. Serilda has been trapped in a deadly game with the cruel and clever, Erlking, or Alder King.

In a classic power move, the Erlking forces Serilda to become his wife. He’s hoping to be able to use her powers for his own gain. She plays along, mildly, as she has her own agenda going on under the Erlking’s nose; keep your enemies close and all that.

Serilda is determined to help Gild, the mysterious boy who came to her aid in the first book, solve the mystery of his forgotten past.

Meanwhile, the Erlking is plotting revenge against the seven gods who trapped the Dark Ones behind the veil. If he succeeds, it could change the mortal realm forever.

The stakes are high. Can Serilda and Gild figure out how to free themselves from the Erlking’s grasp before the Endless Moon finds them cursed forever?

Y’all, I’m most likely summarizing this very poorly. My apologies for that, but I do not want to give anything away. This is such a fun story to just sit back and watch unfold effortlessly before you.

I think Meyer did an incredible job of building this world, the characters, the lore and the action, oh my goodness! This one had so much action, but most captivating was Serilda’s character arc over the two books.

The conclusion to this couldn’t have been better. It felt so complete; a true 360. I loved sort of the exploration of the idea of what is in a story, folklore, legends that are passed down over generations. Is there truth in them? From where did these legends come?

Overall, this is a fantastic duology for Fairy Tale fans. It has such a classic feel, but is wholly original; great writing and character development.

Additionally, I did listen to the audiobook for both installments, narrated by the always fabulous, Rebecca Soler.

I highly recommend that format for these stories. Soler’s narration style lends itself perfectly to Meyer’s writing. It’s a match made in heaven.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Macmillan Audio, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I’m not sure what is going to come next for Marissa Meyer, but you best believe I’ll be reading it!!

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Review: The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Daughter of Doctor MoreauThe Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I first heard about The Daughter of Doctor Moreau, this was my exact response:

What in the heck is this!?!? OMG, I’m so exicteddddddddd!!!

I hear THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU and I’m sold. We all know Moreno-Garcia can bring that toe-curling body horror to the page and we love to see it!!

That’s quite a reaction, I’ll admit. I can be dramatic.

Unfortunately, I struggled with this story from the very start. I was kindly gifted an e-ARC and started it at least a week prior to its publication date. Two weeks later I was stil at 25% with zero desire to continue.

I made the decision to put it back on the shelf and wait for an audio copy through my local library. I finally received the audiobook on August 16th and read it in three days.

It made all the difference for me. The narration by Gisela Chipe was fantastic. They brought this story to life for me and actually succeeded in keeping me engaged. With this being said, the story still wasn’t anything I was crazy about.

This is a good book, with solid character work and a wonderfully-developed historical setting, however, I was here for the SFF-Horror and I just didn’t get it.

Maybe I set myself up for disaster thinking this was going to be something that it wasn’t, but regardless, that’s the experience I had with it. I was bored and underwhelmed.

This doesn’t detract from the fact that Silvia Moreno-Garcia is an incredibly-gifted storyteller whose work I will continue to pick up from now til forevermore. This just wasn’t my favorite of her work.

I am happy that I gave this one a second chance though and that I was able to get through to the end. It is a sweet story, sad and dramatic. I think a lot of people will really love this one. Particularly people who enjoy Historical Fiction with complicated familial relationships.

Thank you to the publisher, Ballantine, for providing me with a copy to read and review. It’s always a pleasure to see what Moreno-Garcia has developed and this was no exception.

I’m looking forward to her next release!

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Review: By the Book (Meant to Be #2) by Jasmine Guillory

By the Book (Meant to Be, #2)By the Book by Jasmine Guillory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

By the Book is the second novel in the Meant to Be series. This is a series of Adult Romance companion novels that are modern re-imaginings of well-loved fairy tales.

Each book is written by a different author and features its own cast of unique characters. These books do not need to be read in order.

With that minor bit of business out of the way, let’s get into this story, shall we?

By the Book is Jasmine Guillory’s modern-take on the classic Beauty and the Beast; think the Disney version. We follow 25-year old, Isabelle, who is just starting her career in the publishing industry.

Her first job out of college is as an editorial assistant at Tale as Old as Time publishing house. Isabelle, Izzy to her friends, is a charmingly-enthusiastic young woman who cannot wait to prove herself and move up the corporate ladder.

Unfortunately, achieving the success she dreams of is slow going; very slow going. Meanwhile, she’s still living with her parents, commuting into the city and struggling to get her boss, Marta, to notice her.

When Izzy overhears Marta complaining about a young male celebrity, Beau Towers, who has failed to turn in a manuscript for his long-awaited memoir, Izzy sees it as an opportunity to get within Marta’s good graces.

As luck would have it, she will soon be attending a work convention in California and the author in question happens to live in that state, in Santa Barbara. She hatches a plan and volunteers her services to Marta.

All she has to do is go to Beau’s house, figure out what the deal is with his memoir and aide him in any way possible in order to get him to turn it in.

Due to some very personal issues, Beau has been locked away in his Santa Barbara mansion for the last year, seeing no one but a few personal staff members.

Izzy has a tough nut to crack, but she’s determined. This could be sink or swim for her career. She makes her way into his home and eventually into his head and his heart.

By the Book was so cute. I really enjoyed this and am very happy that I made time for it right now.

This was exactly the ray of sunshine I needed as a palate cleanser between all my super dark recent reads. Thank you, Ms. Guillory! You have filled my heart.

I really enjoyed both Izzy and Beau as characters. I especially enjoyed the scenes where Izzy was coaching him through his writing. I thought that was so well done and a great, realistic way for them to form a bond quickly.

I also loved the set-up of her getting to stay at his Santa Barbara mansion while she is helping him. It was so fun. Izzy, an East Coast girl, was a little out of her element, but she adapted easily and actually was happy for the escape.

As always I appreciated how well-fleshed out these characters were. I always love how Guillory includes real-life struggles for her characters to work through. Even the characters who seem to have it all also have personal challenges.

Both Izzy and Beau were working through issues and watching them move through that and grow together was immensely satisfying. Even though this wasn’t as steamy as some of her prior works, in my opinion the level of romance fit this story perfectly.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Hyperion Avenue, for providing me with a copy to read and review. This was such a delight.

I’m such a Jasmine Guillory fangirl and look forward to her future works!

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