Beyond the Stars by Stacy Wise
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication: February 8th, 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.
Beyond the Stars by Stacy Wise was a very surprising book for me. For one, the romance was not far-fetched and full of angst as some other stories with similar situations do. I have a knack for actor/singer YA and NA books because of how their authors used to work in that industry and know how most of it is, so it gives you an insight of reality. The thing I appreciated the most was that there was no melodrama at the ending, no horrendous gossip that blew out of the atmosphere, no drama Hollywood style and just normal people problems and how they solve them. It was fantastic to see how these two characters, Jack and Jessica, interacted and came to be together in this book.
Jessica was a very down-to-earth girl who, in her current situation, admired to not being immune to the hotness of Jack McAlister. She even mentioned it a few times, so we know she’s a very realistic character with tons of expectations and disappointments that drive her through the book. And against all the bad things that happened, the situations, the ended friendships and the prospect of having her life made public in tabloids, she kept it together and held on strong, and I liked her very much for that. It’s not every day that you read a NA Contemporary with someone so levelheaded.
Jack McAlister was… amazing. We know him at first for being this weird and stupid asshole who we want to punch, regardless of his sexiness. As the story progresses, like Jessica, we stop seeing the actor and start knowing the real person underneath that barrier made with the years of paparazzo and the magazines that invade many parts of his life. He was so sweet and caring, kind and humble even with all the things he had achieved, and had me wanting one like that for me.
Story-wise, it was a very flow-y story that was hard to put down for just a sec. While Jessica and Jack seemed very realistic, I feel like the imagine of the other women actresses was a bit too much on the almost slut-shaming type. I get that maybe in that setting there ARE people like that, sure, but it would’ve been nice to even it out more. If we have someone as Jack in there, there must be a woman who is not mean and superficially too. But it’s forgiven, considering it’s not the main point of the story.
All in all, I deeply enjoyed this story of unexpected romance with its many trials, funny moments, truths and discovery of oneself and the choosing of people in your life, even when you’re more adult than a teen. Another “Hollywood themed” story for the favorites, and a debut author I hope to read more of in the future. A perfect read for Valentine’s Day too for anyone looking for a sweet, young romance.
Rating: 4.5 stars
About the Author
Stacy Wise is the author of BEYOND THE STARS (Entangled Embrace, 2016). She has a B.A. in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Masters in Teaching from Chapman University. She lives in California with her husband, four children, two dogs, and ever-changing number of fish. BEYOND THE STARS is her debut novel.
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I'm Jennifer, addicted reader, lover of books, and aspiring author. I babble too much when I write and like to procrastinate work with other work 🙂