ARC Review: Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston

Title: Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con, #3)
Author: Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Hardcover, 320 Pages
Publication Date: June 16th, 2020

Summary: Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills. On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he's forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read. When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual. But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.

I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I'm honestly so glad that I did because I was such a huge fan of GEEKERELLA and THE PRINCESS AND THE FANGIRL, so when I found out that there was going to be a third book in the series, I was overjoyed. So without further ado, let's get into my review!

As the summary explains, Rosie Thorne finds herself in an unexpected situation when Hollywood bad-boy heartthrob Vance Reigns lands himself in their town. After an unfortunate run-in that results in her having to do some work for his guardian in order to repay her debt, Vance and Rosie end up spending a lot of time together...but they don't hit it off. In fact, it's the complete opposite. They can't stand one another...until one thing leads to another, and Vance and Rosie find themselves opening up in ways that they never expected. Ways that could completely change how they feel about each other.

First, let me start off by clarifying that you do not have to have read the first two books in this companion series in order to understand this one. Vance and Rosie's story is completely understandable on its own, and the book gives you all of the background knowledge that you need. However, I would definitely still recommend reading the books in order, because several characters make appearances and iconic scenes are alluded to! So if you don't care much about those Easter eggs, then no, I wouldn't say reading the other two books is a necessity. However, it definitely enhances your reading experience if you've already read those previous two books, so that's my official recommendation!

As for the book itself, I really, really enjoyed it. As someone who is a huge fan of enemies-to-lovers stories, I knew I had to pick this one up. I also really loved the fact that so many characters make brief reappearances in the story. It's been awhile since I've read the other books, so at first I was worried that I was going to feel lost and confused, but I actually wasn't and I found it really easy to fall back into the story and fall in love with this world all over again. What I also really liked about this book was that it was the first one in the series that wasn't actually set in the con itself -- just a brief mention in the beginning! Seeing these characters in "normal" settings. It was sweet and exciting to see! 

My favorite character in this book was definitely Vance, as difficult and complicated as he was. I always tend to fall for the dark, brooding villains, and he was no different! I really liked his sarcasm and his wit, and I thought it was hilarious to see him trying to hide his feelings...until he can't. ;-) I definitely swooned over this British bad boy throughout the whole book! 

(Minor spoilers coming, so skip to the next paragraph to avoid them!) The only thing I wasn't 100% crazy about in this book was how quickly Vance and Rosie turned from enemies to friends to then people that were constantly kissing one another. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the enemies-to-lovers trope (I can never get enough of it), but it felt a little bit too rushed for me. Not enough to totally ruin the experience, but it just kind of confused me a little bit as a reader. But other than that, I absolutely loved everything else about this book, and the budding romance between Vance and Rosie after being enemies was actually really sweet and swoon-worthy! 

Overall, I really enjoyed reading BOOKISH AND THE BEAST. If you're looking for a hilarious, swoon-worthy enemies to lovers story that is a breeze to get through, then I'd certainly recommend this one! It was also really exciting to see brief reappearances from some of the characters from the previous two's to hoping that there's a fourth one on the way! 

And if you want to read my reviews of GEEKERELLA and/or THE PRINCESS AND THE FANGIRL, make sure you do that, too!


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