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.
Title: The Bookworm and The Beast
Author: Charlee James
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Re-telling, Christmas Romance
Published: December 4, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Publishing – Bliss
My Rating: 4.5 stars
I happen to love a fairy tale retelling into the modern world. I’ve never really outgrown my love of fairy tales, and I hope I never do… should that happen I know it’s time to put away the glasses and not charge the Kindle. I’m thinking that probably won’t happen. Lizzy and Derek are the perfect modern day equivalent of Belle and her Beast. A quiet, often unsure of herself book lover and a man who has absolutely no belief in love or happiness outside of his very limited, self containing world. His redeeming qualities? He’s a writer of children’s books and his one love, his big, goofy, lovable dog. Lizzy’s enjoyment of books has lead her to the perfect career as a librarian. Yet, with additional financial issues hounding her she’s also doing temporary work whenever she’s got time off from the library. Which brings her to Derek’s imposing household for a temporary job as his personal assistant. What began as almost being turned away at the door has morphed into something quite wonderful – if only he could believe, if only their time together could last.
The Bookworm and The Beast clicked on every single feel good, love this story button of mine. Derek is just enough of a arse to be biting, and has just enough of a soft spot to be able to see quite another job for Lizzy instead of the one his staff hired her for. He needs a decoy to get his family off of his back about finding that perfect woman for him. He’s not looking, not interested and is tiring of the constant pressure – but a live in girlfriend would stop all of that nonsense, at least for the holidays. He and Lizzy might have started as pretend, but they grew into something so much more.
Lizzy is simply sweet, I don’t know that I’d really call her shy but she is unsure of herself, enough to be endearing not annoying. I enjoyed watching Lizzy work her lighthearted magical outlook on Derek, as well as watching them both grow into two people who complimented each other and really belonged with each other. Yes, there are misunderstandings on both sides, but that’s not surprising considering their far different outlooks. Their romantic scenes are for the most part fade to black, although we certainly know that they are attracted to each other. The bottom line is that I liked them and wanted them to find that happily ever after that they deserved – following along on that journey was a delightful experience.
I would definitely recommend The Bookworm and The Beast to any Romance reader who loves a fairy tale retelling, believable situations, and watching two people find their way to trust and love. I’ll be watching for more from Charlee James, for this story touched my heart.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
*This review first appeared on Keeper Bookshelf*
Available for the Kindle