Review: The Bookworm and the Beast by Charlee James

Title:  The Bookworm and the Beast | Goodreads |
Author:  Charlee James | Goodreads | Website |
Publisher: Entangled Bliss
Publication Date: December 4, 2017
Genre: Contemporary
Format: Kindle | Amazon |
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When quiet, bookish Izzy Simon accepts a two-week assignment as an assistant for an author of children’s books, it seems like the perfect way for her to make some much-needed extra money, but the grumpy author claims he doesn’t want or need her services. He might be as handsome as a storybook prince, but his prickly personality and resistance to all things Christmas are sure to make for a chilly holiday season.

Derek Croft never agreed to the cheery temp his staff arranges for him while they’re on vacation. Izzy is his polar opposite, but Derek soon realizes she could be the perfect solution to his interfering family…if he can get her to agree to pretend to be his live-in girlfriend. Before long Izzy’s sweet disposition and unflappable optimism has him decorating a tree and looking forward to late night hot cocoa, but he’s all too aware their time together can’t last.

I have found myself lately reading more and more retelling of fairy tales, and The Bookworm and the Beast is a wonderful retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Izzy is a librarian who needs a little extra cash to help out with her grandmothers living arrangement. She takes a temp job as an assistant for Derek Croft, a children’s book author, who sent his staff away for the holidays. However upon arriving at Derek’s house, Izzy immediately feels unwelcome. Derek wants peace and quiet, he doesn’t want or need a temp assistant and wants Izzy to go away immediately. Through a turn of events Derek suddenly needs Izzy  to play his live-in-girlfriend to fool his family that he is settling down.

As Izzy and Derek get ready for his family to show up on Christmas eve, their feelings for each other start to manifest more. Derek, the loner who doesn’t decorate for Christmas, who does not trust women because of his mother starts to soften to the idea of decorating and looks forward to spending the time with his father, step-mother and step-sister, and of course Izzy.  Izzy meanwhile loves Christmas and is enjoying decorating Derek’s house for the holiday, as well as spending time getting to know him better and his family.

Of course like Beauty and the Beast, there is a forbidden room, and wouldn’t you know it, Izzy goes in there and Derek has a fit. Thus ending their tenuous relationship.  What I really liked about this story was that I could see the relationship between the original Beauty and the Beast and the more modern version of it. I loved Izzy, and her desire to take care of the only parent she has known, her grandmother, while opening herself up to trusting and loving Derek. Derek was a wonderful brooding male character who just needed to realize that not all women are out to hurt him. He had a lot of healing to do.

All in all a good modern retelling of an old classic.




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