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The Bookworm and the Beast

A Romantic Fairytale Retelling

by Charlee James

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.

There’s no denying that this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.  While there are no big surprises, there’s a certain awwww feeling when the author uses something out of the original and tweaks it a bit.

Derek is gruff and not very friendly but he’s hiding his more princely qualities behind a lot of hurt feelings from his childhood.  Izzy has her own issues thanks to her mother and tends to run away when pushed (which grumpy Derek does more than once) but she really needs the money that she’ll get working for him.  Time spent alone over the holidays has them growing closer but until they can figure out a way to resolve their pasts they’ll never have their HEA.

For those who love old Disney fairytales, I think this one will be a winner.