Title: Beyond the Stars
Author: Stacy Wise
Release Date: February 8, 2016
Falling for him wasn't in the plans...
Most girls would kill for the opportunity to work for Jack McAlister, Hollywood's hottest actor, but twenty-one-year-old Jessica Beckett is ready to kick him out of her red Ford Fiesta and never look back. She should be spending her junior year in France, eating pastries and sharpening her foreign language skills. Instead she's reluctantly working as Jack's personal assistant, thanks to her powerhouse talent agent aunt.
Jack is private, prickly, and downright condescending. Jessica pushes his buttons—she's not the type of girl to swoon over celebrity heartthrobs, precisely why her aunt thought she'd be perfect for the job—and Jack pushes right back.
But as she begins to peel away his layers, Jessica is shocked to find she craves her boss's easy smile and sexy blue eyes. The problem is, so does the entire female population. And what started out as the job from hell soon has Jess wondering if a guy like Jack could ever find love with a regular girl like her.
Working for mega movie star Jack McAlister was not the plan.
Though there may be plenty of girls who would sell an ovary to be Jack's personal assistant, Jessica Beckett is not one of them. However, a derailment of her actual plans ends with her in that exact position and Jessica is determined to suck it up and make the best of it.
Jack is a bit of an ass. He's paranoid and standoffish and—sometimes—just downright mean. The harder he tries to push Jess out of his life, the more determined she is to stay and, over time, she grows on him. She's not impressed by him, and she doesn't put up with his bullshit. She treats him like a real person, respects his privacy, and—most incredibly to Jack—offers him friendship. Real friendship is tough to come by when you're a famous movie star and as the friendship grows, so do Jack's feelings for Jess.
This romance was a slow burn—with a long, simmering build-up—but I never felt like it read slowly. I was sucked in almost immediately, completely charmed by Jess's down to earth attitude and sense of humor. She's awesome, my favorite kind of heroine: level headed, plucky, and virtually drama free.
Jack took a little longer to grow on me, but as his walls came down, he captured my heart. He's unexpectedly sweet, and flirty and fun. He's a little lost in the world he's created for himself, and as the two navigate the changing landscape of their relationship, it becomes clear that Jess anchors him. She saves him. And it's the cutest, sweetest, loveliest thing to read.
This was a surprisingly clean book; there are no graphic sex scenes. This may be a deal-breaker for some, but I was impressed by how much my heart raced despite the fact that nothing was written explicitly. There was plenty of kissing, and flirting, and this delightful banter that allowed me to connect with Jess and Jack in a way that meant I honestly didn't even miss the sex. Their sexual chemistry—and the tension between them—was still plenty hot.
In the end, I read pretty much this entire book with a smile on my face. It's fluffy and sweet and a total feel-good romance—which is just exactly what I was in the mood for. Engagingly written with strong, likeable characters that drew my heart in almost immediately, this book was just perfectly swoony, and funny, and fun!
~ Review by Shelly
Sweet and funny….
When Jessica Beckett started working for Jack McAlister, the first day set the tone for a rocky start. Jess really didn’t want to be there and Jack didn’t really want her. Not exactly a match made in heaven! As time and events go on they seem to find their stride and acknowledge the other isn’t as bad as they thought. Actually, they both were really great.
Jess’s inner monologue is hilarious, and her wry and sarcastic tone hits just the right note. She’s trying to make the best of things but it’s not France, so I guess she is allowed a few grumbles. Jack, at first glance, really seemed like a jerk but I changed my mind as he proves himself to be a good guy after all… He just acts like a jerk on occasion. He’s handsome and has a pretty outstanding job even if he is in the spotlight 24/7. As they both deal with unexpected problems, it gives them an opportunity to find out what makes the other tick. What they find is a surprise on both sides I think.
A gentle romance with humor and angst galore, there was one particular element to the story that had me giggling and saying “aww” too many times to count. While I was disappointed on how that storyline played out, I get how it fit in the bigger picture. Even if I couldn’t help but say “why?” with just a bit of sniffle.
The perfect book at the end of a really long week.
~ Review by Diane
Stacy Wise is the author of BEYOND THE STARS (Entangled Embrace, 2016). She has a B.A. in Communications Studies from UCLA and a Masters in Teaching from Chapman University. She lives in California with her husband and four children.
Stop by her website, stacywise.com, or visit her on Twitter @stacywisebooks to say hi.