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Peek Inside The Bookworm and the Beast

Derek’s prickly personality and resistance to all things Christmas at first make for a chilly holiday season as Izzy poses as his girlfriend in front of his interfering family.

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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 love a fairytale retelling. They’re a guilty pleasure and this was pretty much all I could have wished for as Charlee James has created a story filled with Christmas sparkle, romance and feeling.” –Nicola A., Goodreads

Charlee James took me to Christmas reading nirvana, with The Bookworm and the Beast and I have everything crossed that this author has a few ideas up her sleeve in relation to transferring a few more much loved fairy tales into modern day, sweet and emotive romances.” –Claire R., Goodreads

“This book made me laugh, a few tears were shed. A perfect holiday story to curl up with and pass an afternoon reading.” –Kim R., Goodreads

“This is a fantastic sweet read that had me smiling all the way through.  It's very well written with some amazing characters and a heartwarming storyline.  Perfect for the holiday season with the underlying message of how love and hope can heal old wounds.” –Bette H., Goodreads

“This book is sure to put you in the holiday spirit!” –Kelly F., Goodreads

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781640634398
Series: A Romantic Fairytale Retelling, Book 1
Release Date: Dec 4, 2017
Page Count: 250
Imprint: bliss
Genre: contemporary, fairy-tale retelling, holiday romances
Tropes: fake relationship, fish out of water, opposites attract

Select Featured Reviews

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By Carol [Goodreads Addict] December 05, 2017

The Bookworm and the Beast is by Charlee James.

Isabel Simon was raised by her Gram, her mother never having any interest in being a part of her life. Isabel’s Gram loved her and worked very hard to provide for her. But Isabel still always wondered why she wasn’t wanted by her own mother. Then, in co ...more

By Claire November 29, 2017

5 - "It's straight out of a movie." Stars!

Charlee James took me to Christmas reading nirvana, with The Bookworm and the Beast and I have everything crossed that this author has a few ideas up her sleeve in relation to transferring a few more much loved fairy tales into modern day, sweet and emotive ...more

By Nicola December 03, 2017

4.5 Stars.

I love a fairytale retelling. They’re a guilty pleasure and this was pretty much all I could have wished for as Charlee James has created a story filled with Christmas sparkle, romance and feeling.

description A worm and a porcupine. We make quite a pair.”

I fell head over heels for these characte ...more

By Carvanz November 30, 2017

To help her financial situation, Izzy accepts a temporary job as an assistant during the holiday. She was expecting a older gentleman, portly and balding. What she got was a grumpy writer that fired her blood and made her question the way she saw herself.

Derek’s staff had the holidays off and he did ...more

By Kelly December 04, 2017

This book is sure to put you in the holiday spirit! It’s also a cute spinoff of Beauty and the Beast.

Both of the main characters have had really crappy one or another parent issues. That leaves a sting on yourself and what you believe about yourself. For Derek, his mom just up and left him and his d ...more

By Elaine December 07, 2017

Rating: 4.5/5

This is a delightful, festive, fairytale-type contemporary romance. Abandoned by her Mum, Isabel Simon was raised by her Gram who now lives very happily in an expensive retirement home. Isabel is endeavouring to meet half of her Gram’s fees but her job as a librarian doesn’t pay a lot a ...more

By Irene December 05, 2017

4.5 stars

The Bookworm and the Beast by Charlee James is a sweet holiday read and I really enjoyed it.

The storyline was entertaining, the characters were likable, engaging and I didn't want to put it down.
Derek and Izzy were fun getting to know and I loved how their relationship unfolded.


If you're ...more

By Kathy April 16, 2018

Content: some language, innuendo and closed door/fade to black sex ...more

By Kathy Jo November 19, 2017

When Izzy accepted a two-week assignment as a personal assistant to a children's author, she never expected the man to look like Derek. Nor does she expect him to be such a grump. But she needs the extra cash this assignment will bring. She can't let him dismiss her without even giving her a chance. ...more

By romancejunkie October 25, 2019

Izzy Simon accepts a two-week assignment as an assistant for an author of children’s books, only to go to the place he lives and discover he didn't know anything about it. But when he needs someone to fake a relationship with him, it seems she will end up doing the job after all, but little did the ...more

By Suze December 04, 2017

Izzy could use some extra money, which is why she works for a temp agency during her time off from the library, where she has a regular job at. She's being sent to a children's book author to fill in as his PA, a surprise from his staff. However, when she arrives Derek, the author, doesn't seem to b ...more

By Jackie (Jackie's Book World) December 05, 2017

***Review can also be found at Jackie's Book World.***

For being Charlee James’ debut novel, The Bookworm and the Beast is sure to make you all modern fairy tale lovers happy with this retelling of Beauty and the Beast. At the very beginning we get to meet Izzy Simon a quiet bookworm whose Christmas ...more

By ♡AbbyBooks♡ August 21, 2019

a beautiful spin of beauty and the beast. ...more

By Donna November 01, 2017

A wonderful, sweet read for the holidays! What happens when you have a librarian down on her luck, a rich and handsome recluse, and an adorable floof of a dog, all at Christmas? MAGIC. I really enjoyed this take on the Beauty and the Beast trope! ...more

By Meghan Lloyd November 25, 2017

A contemporary Beauty and the Beast story that captures your heart with its wit and charm! That it is set during Christmastime makes it all the sweeter and wistful for its readers. I enjoyed the Grinch-like hero and the kindhearted young heroine who thaws his heart in time for the holidays. Though i ...more

By April January 19, 2018

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 ...more

By Isha December 03, 2017

As a reader, for me the stories that are the most memorable are the ones that thrive on simplicity. Whether it be a nod to a favorite classic tale or an inclusion of a few of my favorite subjects, what appeals to me most is that the tale is realistic and the characters can make me as a reader stop a ...more

By Melissa November 25, 2018

I don’t usually read this genre but I am familiar with the author so I gave it a try. I couldn’t put it down. It’s like a Hallmark movie. I loved it. It’s written so you can clearly picture each scene as they happen. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to picking up her others. ...more

By Mona November 08, 2017

What a wonderful written book. It was sweet, heartwarming, captures the true meaning of beauty and Christmas.. Filled with many more emotions.

When Izzy arrives at Derek Crofts House well more of a castle to her. She’s there for a temporary job as his assistant. But he acts all surprised about it. Sh ...more

By Pascale December 02, 2017

-‘Why couldn’t the client have been a sweet old man, or bald and frumpy? Instead, she had to trail a darkfeatured version of Thor, who had the disposition of a porcupine, around the endless mansion while trying to avert her eyes from his backside.’-

This is a sweet, light, contemporary romance. There ...more

By Mari's Struggle is Real December 12, 2017

I really liked this book. It is so sweet it will give you a cavity. It is perfect romance for a cold winter day. Izzy and Derek’s romance will warm you right up. I love these types of romance especially around the holidays to fill me with cheer and good mood.
*ARC graciously provided via NetGalley in ...more

By Marsha December 06, 2017

Reviewed at Keeper Bookshelf

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 a ...more

By Leah December 03, 2017

I loved this modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. There is all the magic of the fairytale while having the story definitely take place in a modern setting. I loved all the twists and turns that this story took. It was one that I found myself compelled to read because I had to know how Charlee J ...more

By teacupsandunicorns January 29, 2019

This was adorable. This is a nice, light, fluffy cute romance--obviously a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. This was a very short read. I read it in one evening. If you're in the mood for a super-cute, cavity-inducing story, then this is it. I normally don't read a lot of romance books (not ...more

By Katey December 03, 2017

I received an advanced reader’s edition of this book in exchange for an honest review.

If you're at all like me, then you LOVE the Hallmark Christmas movies! Even though the plots all follow the same flow (as my husband says), I can't resist the heart-warming love stories and happy endings.

The Bookwo ...more

Showing 1 to 25 of 25
3.72 avg rating
Charlee James

About the author

Charlee James

Contemporary Romance Author Charlee James was introduced to a life-long love of reading listening to her parents recite nightly stories to her and her older sister. Inspired by the incredible imaginations of authors like Bill Peet, Charlee could often be found crafting her own tales. As a teenager, she got her hands on a romance novel and was instantly hooked by the genre. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, her early career as a wedding planner gave her first-hand experience with couples who had gone the distance for love. Always fascinated by family dynamics, Charlee began writing heartwarming novels with happily-ever-afters. Charlee is a New England native who lives with her husband, daughters, two rambunctious dogs, a cat, and numerous reptiles. When she’s not spending time with her tight-knit family, she enjoys curling up with a book, practicing yoga, and collecting Boston Terrier knick-knacks.

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