By the Book: A Meant to Be Novel

  • Author Jasmine Guillory
  • Release Date May 3, 2022
  • Publisher Hyperion Avenue
  • ISBN/ASIN 9781368053389
  • Our Rating
  • Reviewed by Jo

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Our Review

BY THE BOOK drew me in from the very beginning. Izzy is a strong woman who finds happiness where she can, but she’s no longer enamored with her entry level job in publishing. Her very critical boss and at least one of her coworkers (whom she thinks has her back) make working there unpleasant. She also still lives at home since she can’t afford an apartment on her own and doesn’t like answering to her parents on a daily basis. 

We get to know  the characters a little at a time There’s Izzy and her best friend and coworker, Priya. And Beau, who signed a contract to write his memoir but really isn’t doing much writing.

When Izzy and Priya plan to go to a work conference as gofers for their bosses, they’re excited since it’s in sunny California. They get to leave the drudgery and cold of New York City behind for a few days. That turns into more for Izzy when she volunteers to meet with Beau—without his knowledge—at his home in Santa Barbara to find out what’s really going on with his writing since he doesn’t respond to calls or emails. This makes up the bulk of the story, and it’s fun to see what makes each of them tick. They strike sparks off each other, and their interactions display some terrific sexual tension.

The description of Beau’s hometown, Santa Barbara, makes you feel like you’re there; I could hear the waves and smell the ocean. The story has a perfect pace to it, the relationship developing wonderfully. I especially like the story’s closure along with some characters’ hard-fought personal achievements. The epilogue is the icing on the cake. I just wish it went on a little longer. The cover is whimsical and exactly how I envisioned Izzy.

BY THE BOOK is the second book in the Meant to Be series, and I’m so looking forward to more. Note: the first book in the series is written by a different author. Ms. Guillory is an author whose books I’ve enjoyed. In her The Wedding Date series, I’ve read all the books except for PARTY OF TWO, and I hope to read it soon. I look forward to reading more of her books.

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