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.
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
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About the Author
Stacy Wise *wrote* her first book when she was six. It was completely plagiarized, but she spent hours copying it word-for-word in her best printing, so that should count for something.
She devoured books as a kid, but never considered she'd be lucky enough to call herself a real author. Nonetheless, she kept writing. Years later, she graduated from UCLA with a degree in communication studies. Thanks to an internship at NBC, she dropped her plans for graduate school and pursued a career in television casting. She worked on shows including The X Files, Married...With Children, and Party of Five. She continued to write (really bad) stories. After nearly a decade, Stacy left casting and returned to school for her teaching credential and masters. She taught kindergarten and third grade. One marriage and four kids later, Stacy finally decided that maybe one of her stories was worth sharing. "Beyond the Stars" is her debut novel.
She lives in California with her husband and children. When she's not writing, you can find her walking her dogs, Bailey and Rex, kickboxing, or lost in a good book.
Read an Excerpt
Beyond the Stars
By Stacy Wise, Karen Grove
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Stacy Wise
All rights reserved.
I try to ignore the pig in the passenger seat. He snorts, and I stare straight ahead, willing the red light to change to green. Like now. I sneak a glance at him, assessing whether he's going to make a move that'll freak me out. The light changes, and I lurch my car into the intersection. The sudden movement slams the pig into the seat back and bounces him onto the floorboard, where he crashes into the empty plastic water bottles I keep forgetting to recycle. Shit. Maybe I should've strapped the seat belt around him.
"Sorry, Leo. Just stay there. You're fine."
Snort. Snort. There might've been a whimper, too. Great. I hope I didn't hurt the little guy. Even though I'm slightly terrified of him, with those beady eyes and all, I don't want to see him injured. If anything happens to the pig, I'm pretty sure I'll be fired, and it's only my first day on the job. Getting fired would be the best possible outcome. The worst? I'll end up on TMZ. They'll flash a scandalously bad picture of me with the caption Animal Abuser Caught! in bold below my face. I'll probably even go to jail. Because this pig belongs to Jack McAlister. As in, the Jack McAlister — the hottest actor on the planet.
Jack's appearing on The Francine Allen Show today, and for reasons unknown to me, he wants his pet piglet there with him. I reach the Trident Pictures lot and pull up to the guard kiosk. A man resembling an old desert tortoise stretches his neck out of the window. "Name?"
"Jessica Beckett." I hope this guy is fast. Getting here took longer than I planned. A fire hydrant on Sunset had exploded, sending water spouting straight up like a geyser, flooding one of the lanes of traffic. As much of a mess as it was, it was kind of cool to see. Everyone else must have thought so, too. Traffic slowed to a crawl as we all watched the water show while merging into the clear lane.
The old man examines a computer screen in the kiosk. "I don't see a drive-on for you. Do you have one?" he asks in his slow, measured voice. He certainly doesn't seem like a security guard. And I have no freaking idea what a drive-on is. I've been to studios before, but my aunt always drives, and guards wave her through with a smile.
"I don't know. I'm Jack McAlister's assistant, and I'm here to deliver Leo to the Francine Allen set."
He shuffles out of the kiosk and peers into my red Ford Fiesta with suspicion. "Leo? Does he have a drive-on?"
"I doubt it. Leo's a pig." I point to the wiggling creature on the floorboard in front of the passenger seat. He sticks up his baby pink snout and snorts. A tiny black moustache covers the tip, as if someone painted it on to be funny.
He heaves a sigh. "Can I see your ID, please?"
This clearly isn't the first time someone hasn't had the proper authorization. I reach behind my seat to retrieve my purse and drop it onto my lap, digging through the contents for my wallet. I fish it out and hand him my license. He inspects it carefully as he steps back into the kiosk. I tap my fingers on the steering wheel, trying to distract myself from my growing impatience while he stares at my ID as if I'm some sort of criminal. I stop tapping when he picks up a phone. He better be talking to someone at the show and not making a personal call.
I look in my rearview mirror and cringe. The line behind me snakes out to the street. And now someone is honking. It's entirely possible that the honker has collapsed face-first in frustration onto his horn, because he's not letting up.
"Jessica?" The guard leans his neck out of the kiosk window.
"Here's your ID. You're clear to go through. Next time make sure you have a drive-on. We wouldn't want to make a habit of this now, would we?"
"No. Can you tell me where to park, please?" My words are polite, but I doubt they make up for the impatience in my tone. I can't help it. Some people say patience is a virtue. I say arriving on time is a virtue.
"Go to Parking Structure B. Straight ahead, then turn left."
After looping through the garage to find an available spot, I scramble to open the passenger door. "Okay, Leo. Time to act like a movie star." I slide my hands around his plump tummy, and he squeals as if my hands are made of fire, which, in turn, freaks me out. "Leo. Settle down, dude. I'm just taking you out of the car. This is supposed to be fun for you. Like a field trip. So come on, be a good sport."
I give him a few gentle pats. "You're good, Leo." My voice is soothing, even though I want to tackle the pig and make a run for it. "We're off to see your famous owner, okay? Any other pig would jump at the opportunity." I continue to pet his rough fur, and then quickly tighten my grasp, as though trying to capture a slippery fish. He squeals again and scurries onto the driver's seat. Frustration building, I look around to see if there's anyone who can help me.
A man with a phone to his ear is pacing next to a gleaming black Jaguar. He looks pretty focused on his conversation, but this is kind of urgent. I glance back at Leo and find him huddled in the floor space below the driver's seat.
"Oh, no you don't, you little stinker. That's it." I yank him onto the driver's seat, determined to get him out of the car. But as soon as I have him locked in my arms, he lets out a wail as powerful as a shrieking two-year-old. It startles me so much I drop him. Shoot. Couldn't Jack have given me a pet carrier or something? Leo's making so much noise that someone will surely come to help. In fact, the Jaguar owner is striding toward me.
"I'm so glad you walked over ..." I start to say, but he doesn't hear me.
He gets a little closer and pulls the phone away from his ear. "Can you get that kid to shut up? I'm on a call here."
Typical Hollywood asshole. "It's not a kid. It's a pig," I shout. "And I am trying to quiet him, but I'm not versed in pig care."
The man glares at me with eyes beadier than Leo's.
"A little help and a lot less attitude would be nice," I mutter under my breath.
"Figure it out. I need to close this fucking deal, and my phone doesn't work on the elevator. Get that thing to shut up!" He kicks a tire on the car next to me for effect and succeeds in setting off the alarm. Leo continues his earsplitting wails. Jaguar Man curses his way back to his car. I want to cover my head and cry.
I'm ready to rush back to the security guard for help when I see my saving grace in the form of a reusable (well, probably not reusable after today) Trader Joe's shopping bag. It has a zipper on top. Perfect. I can put Leo in the bag, zip him up, and off we'll go. Lots of women carry their fancy little dogs in their purses, so I'm sure it's fine to carry a pig in a bag.
In one swift move, I clamp it over Leo and jostle him to the bottom of the bag before zipping it up. He lets out a pitiful squeal. My hands are shaking so much that I'm scared I'll drop him again.
I heft the bag off the seat and slam my car door. Leo sounds like a panic button that won't stop. God, I hope he doesn't have a piggy heart attack. I race to the elevator, jamming my finger on the down button. Thankfully, the doors open immediately, and I step in. A girl who could be a Kardashian stands there. I steal a closer look. She actually resembles one of the girls my ex-boyfriend was dating while he was allegedly committed to me — the girl with "a face like Kim K. and an ass to match," to be exact. The sight of her makes my stomach hurt. My palms feel sweaty. I wish this stupid elevator would go faster.
The girl scans me up and down, moving nothing but her eyes. Now I know how the "befores" feel in those makeover shows when the audience inspects them with thinly veiled disdain.
Leo squeals, and the girl turns to me. "What is that?"
"A pig." I barely glance at her.
"You're joking, right?" She grips her yellow patent leather Tori Burch clutch a little tighter.
"Really? Are you an animal trainer?"
"That's totally bizarre."
"Yes, it is," I say. The doors open, and I leave her standing by the elevator, smoothing her hair. I jog down the walkway that leads out of the garage, trying to ignore the fact that my armpits are tingling with sweat. Welcome to Hollywood, baby. Ugh.
There's a row of sound stages directly in front of me, and they're all numbered. Thank you, God. I race ahead and pass stages three, four, and five. But I don't see six or seven. Shoot. Leo has finally stopped squealing, but now I fear that he's feeling sick. The bag bangs against my hip as I run. A guy driving a golf cart whisks by, and I flag him down. He rolls next to me and stops. I'm sure I look hysterical.
"Can you tell me where to find stage seven? I have four minutes to get there."
He grins. "Hop in. I'll get you there in one. I'm Max, by the way."
"Nice to meet you, Max." As soon as I'm seated, he hits the gas, and we jerk forward. I brace myself, thinking he's going to floor it. When he doesn't, I relax a little. I grab a water bottle from my purse and take a swig.
"What've you got in the bag?"
"Jack McAlister's pet pig."
He turns to me. "For real? You have a pig in there?"
"Watch the road. And yeah, I have a pig in here."
"Cool. What'd you say your name is?"
"Jessica." I take another sip of water just as we hit a bump in the road. My chin taps the bottle, and water sloshes down the front of my shirt. I swipe at it with one hand, while trying to balance the bag with the other.
Max eyes me. "Oh, man. I'm sorry. That freaking pothole. I'm always in it before I see it. You okay?"
"I'm fine. It'll dry."
"Here we are. Craft services will have napkins if you want some. Good luck."
"Thanks. I owe you one." I rush to the huge stage door and knock. When no one answers, I pull it open just enough to peek in. People wearing headsets and carrying clipboards scurry like rats. There's a group of men in well-tailored suits standing in the corner talking. I assume they must be Important People. They seem intimidating now, unlike when I have Aunt Marnie by my side.
I scan the place, looking for Jack. A girl who appears less harried than everyone else passes, and I stop her, asking where I can find Jack McAlister.
"Who are you?" she demands, all business.
"I'm his assistant, and I need to get this to him right away." I motion to the bag hanging from my shoulder and try not to notice it feels like dead weight.
"Oh, yeah. They just called me to check your drive-on. Come on."
I follow her down a hallway, barely taking in all the activity. We reach a door bearing a temporary plaque with Jack's name. She knocks three times. I take a breath and comb my fingers through my tangled hair. Jack opens the door, and I inhale sharply. Damn, he's hot.
"Hi there." I smile, attempting to shake off the stress I'm feeling.
"What the hell took you so long?" he snaps. His gaze lands on the water stain on my shirt, then quickly moves to meet mine, anger flaring. "Where's Leo?"
Seriously? That's the thanks I get? "I didn't have the lucky golden ticket to get on the lot and had to do some finagling to get here. Anyway, Leo's in the bag. I'm sure he'll be happy to see you."
"You put my pig in a fucking shopping bag?"
I look at the bag and realize I didn't think to leave a little part unzipped so he'd have some air. Oh my God. How could I have forgotten? That's why he feels like dead weight. Please, please, please let him be alive. I give Jack a fake smile, attempting to exude a confidence I don't feel. "Can we close the door and let him walk around a bit?"
Not waiting for a response, I sweep past him and set the bag next to a low coffee table. My hands tremble as I inch open the zipper. I worm my hand into the bag, feeling around for Leo. When I make contact, he lets out a little squeal. I've never heard a more glorious sound. I suck in a breath and pull the bag open wide. Leo looks scared, but he's alive. Jack peers down at us.
"Can you move out of the way?" He frowns as he frees Leo from the bag. "You okay, buddy?" He turns to me. "What the hell did you do to him?"
My mouth goes dry. "Nothing."
Jack cups some raisins in his hand, allowing Leo to snuffle them up the way my Dustbuster picks up crumbs. "Maybe this wasn't the best idea to bring you here, buddy." His blue eyes flash with anger. "You have to be more careful with him. If you're going to be my assistant, I need to know I can rely on you to handle the basics. Marnie hired you to help me, not stress me the fuck out." He leans close to Leo, brushing a hand across his coarse fur. "I told you I don't need an assistant," he whispers.
I don't know if he intended for me to hear. But I did.
Someone raps on the open door, and we both turn to see a shaggy-haired guy with a clipboard. "You're on in five. Come with me, and I'll show you where you can wait backstage."
Jack stands with Leo in his arms. "You can hang out here and watch the monitor." He glances around the room. "Just don't mess with anything."
He disappears with Leo in tow, and I sit on the couch, afraid to move. God knows I don't want to cause any more trouble. Jack's words play in my head: I told you I don't need an assistant.
Whatever. I didn't ask for this job. I was supposed to be studying abroad in France as part of the junior year abroad program at school, but just before I was scheduled to leave, I was laid up by mono and stuck in bed for nearly two weeks. The doctor told me I could go on my trip, but that if I were his daughter, he wouldn't send me. My mom didn't need to hear anything more. I wasn't going. And it was too late to register for fall classes at UCLA.
My parents informed me I could take time off from school, but if I planned to stay in my apartment, I'd have to pay my own rent.
I think their threat scared them more than it scared me, because the next day, I was having lunch with Aunt Marnie, Jack's head agent. Before I had the chance to pick up my menu, she started in. "One of my clients needs an assistant — an efficient, high-energy individual. And, most importantly, someone loyal. I'm talking as loyal as a trained border collie." Her eyes softened. "And I don't know anyone more loyal than you, my dear."
"Wow. Thanks, Aunt Marnie. Which client needs an assistant?"
"I can't say just yet. But I think it's someone you're a fan of. Are you interested?"
"Yeah. It sounds fantastic." All of a sudden, missing out on France seemed like a blessing in disguise. What if my new boss turned out to be Martha Stewart? I'm a huge fan of hers. I envisioned working side-by-side with her in a fabulous kitchen, getting inside information on how to create fondant flowers with ease. It never occurred to me that I'd be working for People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive.
It was just yesterday that I sat in my aunt's posh office waiting for the big celebrity reveal. I fiddled with my hoop earring so much that it fell out. Her intercom buzzed, and a frazzled assistant announced, "Jack McAlister's here. I'll send him up."
"Thanks." She clicked off the intercom and turned to me, looking all agenty. "He'll be right up."
I stared at her, unable to keep the panic from my face as I untangled the earring from my hair. "Aunt Marnie, I can't work for an actor. There's no way."
"He's not just an actor. He's my best client."
"Please. I can't even —"
"Look, Jack needs an assistant. His manager already met plenty of candidates, and apparently none were able to function normally upon meeting Jack. I'm taking over now. You won't be fazed by Jack's celebrity. That much I know. And," she continued, tenting her hands like a TV lawyer making her case, "I understand why you're upset, but Jack is not Jordan Kennedy. He won't try to date you. I'll make that clear from the get-go. All you need to do is act kind and professional. No ogling, no flirting, no mouthing off. You can handle that, right?" she asked, softening back into the Aunt Marnie I was more familiar with.
"I guess," I lied, trying to ignore the bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.
There was a loud knock on the door. As we watched the knob turn, Aunt Marnie whispered, "Please let this go well."
And in walked Jack McAlister. Every fear that I'd automatically detest him because he's an actor was replaced by a new fear that he was way too attractive to work for. He was dressed in ripped jeans and a white T-shirt. On anyone else that shirt would've looked plain, but on him, it was like the draping over a perfectly chiseled statue — like you knew something extraordinary was ready to be discovered beneath it. Drop. Dead. Gorgeous.
Excerpted from Beyond the Stars by Stacy Wise, Karen Grove. Copyright © 2016 Stacy Wise. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 out of 5 stars!! Jess’ (Jessica) dream has always been to live in France and speak fluent French. However, that all changes after she has to give up her year abroad because of getting mono. So, if she wants to stay in LA she is stuck helping out her Aunt by becoming a personal assistant for Jack, a popular leading actor. They don’t have a good beginning at all but overtime they let each other into their worlds and overtime they seem to fall for one another. But could it all be too good to be true or are they actually “soul mates”…. This passionate sweet romance wins over its readers with endearing characters that make you want to either be them OR want them to be your friend! I fell in love with Jack right alongside Jess. Finding out whom the “true” Jack was behind the façade he shows everyone else was entertainingly enjoyable. It made this first-person read a mystery in a way because though you know they’re going to get together it is the “how” that made me more curious than ever. In addition, I liked watching how Jess grew in her relationships all around even though it was a struggle for her in some cases. Yet is WAS Jess’ relationship with Jack that sells this novel, and hooks me from the beginning. As Jack is SOO secretive that finding out what made him tick was fun. PLUS, they were/are sooo wonderful together! I truly loved the ending and the way their plotline was laid out! *happy sigh* I HIGHLY recommend this novel to those looking for a passionately sweet New Adult romance!! Review By: From Me to You ... Video, Photography, & Book Reviews -- read more of this review and THREE TEASERS on my blog: frommetoyouvideophoto.blogspot.com --
This was a really fun read! The characters were really well written, and I enjoyed the banter and interactions between them. The guy, Jack, at times I didn't quite understand him, but in the end I grew to really like him and to root that he and Jessica would get together. Especially after the living arrangements for Jessica fell through. A fun Hollywood romance between a big star and a normal girl. Give it a try!
This sounded adorable and fluffy and I couldn't wait to read it. Sadly, it was just okay. I liked Jessica and Jack well enough. I really would have loved getting Jack's side to things because he wasn't fleshed out to be more than the movie star. They're both nice people and there were some sweet scenes, but I didn't see the chemistry or connection. My main complaint was the time flow, especially when it came to Jessica's feelings. It seemed like it had only been a week or so before she was full blown in love with him, but it was also 70% into the book before that scene. It was a lot of build up that didn't quite match up with what was happening. There were definitely some plot lines/characters that could have been taken out. Overall, the story is fluffy and the epilogue is cute, but it didn't have the banter and "button pushing" I was expecting. **Huge thanks to Entangled and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
*ARC received from Entangled Publishing in return for an honest review* With school postponed for a year due to a brief illness, Jess takes a job as personal assistant to movie star Jack McAlister and it's proving to be a bit of a challenge. He might be distrustful and a little snobby but when he shows his caring side and loosens up a little, he's also pretty irresistible. The last thing she wants is to fall for a guy that's unattainable to an ordinary girl but her heart isn't listening. I loved this romance. It's funny and sweet and I really cared about these characters. There is no sex in this book but it wasn't needed. I really enjoyed the story and the writing style, and would love to read more by this author.
Jessica hasn't had the best luck with Hollywood stars. So, when her aunt tells her she's going to be the assistant to Hollywood's hottest star she's not too excited. All the stars do is lie to get what they want. Though Jack tries to keep her at a distance and Jessica is determined he's just as smarmy as the last guy they just can't stay away from each other. Jessica's story is captivating. Her journey with Jack, her roommate, and learning the ins and outs of becoming an assistant to Jack kept me on the edge of my seat dying to find out how everything ended up in the long run. Jessica is ballsy and I love it. She is also kind, caring and supportive. Jack he made me weak in the knees. He always knows when Jessica needs back up and seems to pop up just in time. The humor through the story was just when you needed a good laugh. Beyond the Stars is a wonderfully emotional new adult romance that shares Jessica's journey into her happily ever after.
I do love a good famous person/regular person romance – and I fell in love with this cover as soon as I saw it – so I was all about Beyond the Stars. There was something really appealing about the forbidden aspect of the assistant falling for her boss, famous or not. Despite a little bit of a slow start, it was a cute and quick read. If I gave half stars, this one would be 3.5 stars, but I rounded up because it's better than 3 stars. I really liked the setup here. Jessica is all but forced to work as a personal assistant to Jack, one of Hollywood's most popular actors. He has a playboy reputation, but is pretty closed off now. Jessica is pretty much counting the days until she can leave this job and go to Paris. I liked the pacing of this book and how they moved from people who could barely be in the same room with each other to friends and then finally to more than that. Their chemistry wasn't as overt as you'd typically see in a book like this, but it still worked for me. I can't even call this a true slow burn, because I don't feel like it ever really exploded... it just was. But I liked it that way. I liked the character growth and the ways their relationship changed each other. If you're looking for a cute, sweet, quick read that's low on the angst, give this one a shot. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
From the lovely cover to the attention-grabbing synopsis, I was immediately attracted to the book that I had to read it right away. For being a devout novel, Wise was able to capture the lives of two completely different characters and bring them together to create a hilarious and unexpected romantic story that will leave you wanting for more. In this particular story we get to meet Jessica Beckett, a twenty-one-year-old college student whose dream is to visit Paris on her junior year. But things immediately changed for her once her aunt gets her a job as a personal assistant for one of Hollywood's hottest actors, Jack McAlister. Anyone would have jumped at the chance, but not Jessica, she is not Jack McAlister's #1 fan. Their introduction is rather brief and to the point that Jack puts Jessica to work right away. Her first task is get his pet piglet to a set, which was totally unexpected and hilarious. Now this when the story gets really cute and makes you want a piglet for yourself. I had fun reading those scenes, it made the story that much more unique. Jessica goes through a lot of trouble to get the piglet to the set, but they made it, only to meet an angry Jack in his dressing room. Soon the pair embark into a series of adventures that slowly brings them together. Though Jack's personality makes him push people away due to his public life, he is determined to keep things private, but the more he is on the spotlight, the less privacy he has. As Jessica begins to learn more about Jack and his past, the closer she feels to him, and she slowly stars to realize just how fast she is falling for him. It is then that she has to decide whether Jack is worth fighting for or if his public life is going to get in between them. Like I mentioned before, this was a sweet and romantic story that begins with the two characters not liking each other at all. It is Jack's piglet pet that brings them together, then through a series of events the characters start to trust each other more. Jessica knows that Jack is a huge star, and his life is in constant spotlight, but she has never experienced any of that before. When the two start to see just how perfect they are for each other, she has to think about all of the spotlight that she is going to get if word gets out of their relationship. That soon puts pressure on them, and things start to change. Though there were a lot of hilarious scenes, the characters' go through a roller coaster of events, which lead to a very surprising and sweetest ending yet. Overall, if you are looking for a quick and hilarious story that has very sweet moments than I would highly recommend reading this book, it will not disappoint. ;) ***ARC provided by Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review.****
Jessica had dated Jordan, who was an actor. Then she found out she was cheating on her. Jess was really hurt by Jordan so she decided no more actors. Then her aunt Marnie got her a job to work as the assistant for Jack, who was a class one actor and very in demand. He was definitely hot. Jess couldn’t deny that but he was a bit of a butt at first. Jess did good with just keeping Jack as her boss until she started to get to know the real man. I like the story and plot a lot. The story was a little predictable but that didn’t take away from the way it was written or the story itself as far as I am concerned. I loved the ups and downs Jess and Jack went through. I definitely recommend. **I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review
Stars and Beyond- a really clean romance read A wonderful story by a new author about two people who really are made for each other and the trials that occur before they can commit fully to each other. Jack and Jess are the couple of the hour in this story—ahhh and they light up the story and keep you glued from beginning to end. Jess was supposed to go to France during her junior year of college with her aunt but was ill so she ended up staying and getting a job with hunky and handsome Jack McAlister who is the hottest actor in Hollywood. Her new job is as his personal assistant and boy let me say, I so would be his assistant. Jess has some personal pain in her past due to an actor and she isn’t looking for a relationship…So she goes into this job as this being her job. Jack is kind of a jerk in the beginning of the book. He isn’t that nice to Jess but the more time they spend together in a professional setting, she sees Jack isn’t as bad as she first thought and he starts to see she isn’t the pretty face he thought and sees she is intelligent; the chemistry is there and the harder they fight it, the more evident it becomes that they are attracted to each other. Jess wanted something more in life and she wanted a guy to love her for her while Jack is trying to figure out what he really wanted in life and find him a good woman who loved him for him, not for his bank account or his lifestyle—these two were made for each other. I really loved their interactions and how they played off the chemistry. There wasn’t any graphic sex scenes- it was really a clean read. If you are looking for a romance book like that, you will enjoy this book. It did take a while for the MC to finally get together but when they did, WOW- it was good but the book was almost over. The ending was sweet and left me with a feeling it’s a HFN/HEA –I wish there was a epilogue showing their life more than 1.5 yrs to two years down the road so that I could see how life is going for the MC. Overall this was a good story with a great flow and the characters had a lot of chemistry. My rating: 4.3 stars **** *A gifted copy was provided the publisher for my honest review*
3.5 sweet slow-burning Stars I’m not sure if NA Chick-Lit is a thing for real, but that defines exactly the kind of book Beyond the Stars is. Jess is taking a year off college when she is forced to miss the trip studying abroad she had planned, and her aunt offers her a job as some A-lister star assistant. Seeing as she needs a job to pay for her part of the rent of the apartment she shares with her best friend, she takes the job… after all how hard could it be? Jack is the hottest man alive (according to several magazines) and is very set on not having an assistant, his privacy keeps being invaded enough as it is, he doesn’t need another person in his house posting about his life and everything he does. He will soon find out that Jess is not the typical girl, and she doesn’t seem to be wowed by his famous persona, he finds this kind of refreshing and he starts to very, very slowly lower his walls and trust her. Jess, for her part, at first finds Jack to be a complete jerk. It’ll take some time for her to start seeing another side of him and for the attraction she feels (he is the hottest man alive after all) to morph into deeper feelings. Beyond the Stars is the definition of a slow burn romance… as in there’s one nice kiss around 60% maybe… and they don’t get together until like 90% of the book, there was definitely a bit of steam to those make-out sessions but nothing to really see… if you know what I mean. Definitely a sweet story, it’s told solely from Jess’ PoV until the great epilogue, which is the only snick peak we get into Jack’s mind (question: if author’s can write a bit from the guy’s PoV for the ending, why don’t they do a few more during the story?? I would have loved to get a read on Jack’s thoughts during some parts of the book.) There’s a bit more to the story in general as we get to know Jack’s life, his story, Jess’ life and their relationships with their peers. I won’t lie, at times I wanted the other stuff to just fast forward until something happened between them, but at the same time it didn’t feel like it dragged on too much. I greatly enjoyed watching Jess and Jack falling for each other… I almost didn’t mind the lack of action *I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Reads like a YA story line: BEYOND THE STARS by Stacy Wise is a stand-alone, contemporary, new adult story line focusing on Hollywood actor Jack McAlister, and his personal assistant twenty one year old Jessica Beckett. Told from first person point of view (Jessica Beckett) BEYOND THE STARS follows Jessica as she is thrown into the world of Hollywood movie stars, paparazzi, and the jealousy that comes with success, and the friendships made along the way. Jessica’s aunt Marnie is a Hollywood agent, and her biggest client is a man whose personal life and schedule are a mess. Enter Jessica, who is on leave of absence from college, and in desperate need of a job. What ensues is a building relationship between Jess and Jack, and Jack’s need to protect himself and Jess from the media hell. BEYOND THE STARS is a sweet story line that focuses on the not so private life of a big time Hollywood star, and the woman with whom he will fall in love. The relationship between Jessica and Jack begins as professional, leading to friendship than love. The $ex scenes are implied and fade to black. As to the tone of the story line BEYOND THE STARS reads more like a young adult (YA) story: there is no $ex and the slow build to love is more anticipatory due to the lack of physical fireworks; the requisite evil is a jealous friend who tries to make Jessica’s life miserable; and the story line conflict is easily over come leading to a happily ever after. If you like your romance storylines ‘clean’ and far removed from sexually graphic, than BEYOND THE STARS is the perfect read. I would have no problem recommending the novel to young teens or adult readers.
I love picking up these great ebooks of sweet romance stories for review and to enjoy in my down time. This new release by Stacy Wise is a perfect example of a delightful read that was thoroughly entertaining. I love the fact that the female lead, Jessica, is not the type of girl who falls all over a celebrity. In fact, she tries to stay away from them. So when she ended up working for Jack, who was cranky and not happy she was there, she didn't put up with much of his stuff. Jack is a sweetheart and soon finds out that he's really rather enjoying Jessica being around. Even though he didn't want an assistant, he soon found that he couldn't be without her. The author took time to develop an entertaining story that's I had trouble putting down, so needless to say, I read it all in one shot. The story is sweet, a little hot and spicy in places, and had a wonderful happy ever after. Beyond the Stars is a fun read that makes you smile the whole way through. Definitely one to pick up
A sweet, funny, and romantic read, this book left me with a big smile on my face when I turned the final page. I loved the behind the scenes glimpses of stardom and the banter between Jack and Jessica. Perfect for poolside!
The storyline for Beyond the Stars is every New Adult woman's fantasy, at least it was mine when I was in my early 20's living in Los Angeles. I had visions of myself at 24 attracting the eye of a then sane Mel Gibson or Tom Cruise (also pre-crazy). Jessica, who is 21, is on a sabbatical from college and does her aunt a favor by becoming a personal assistant to movie star Jack McAlister. Jess, who just got out of a relationship with an actor, isn't thrilled about this job opportunity. Jack's reputation as a bad boy who dates a different girl a week does not sound like fun, but she loves her aunt and does her this favor. I say this flippantly, But I'll give credit where it's due, Stacy Wise does a great job of giving these characters depth, and I'm glad I gave this new author a chance. Jess and Jack, as they were getting to know each other, were very prickly and judgmental. If the author hadn't moved the characters forward as quickly as she had, I would've lost patience. They opened up to each other and Stacy Wise gave us something to care about with both of them and because of that I liked them, and liked the book. I will admit to no longer being a 20-something young woman, and my fantasies are a little more adult and feature George Clooney, but it was fun to re-live my youthful dreams, if just through this novel.
Beyond the Stars, Stacy Wise Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre: New Adult Romance I love film star/rock star romances.....its fairy-tales/Cinderella brought up to date. We don’t want princes anymore.... I loved how Jack was so obnoxious to begin, so rude, so arrogant and Jessica doesn’t shrink back from telling him what she thinks. She’s trying her best, she needs the job and her aunt needs her help but her nature is definitely not doormat. That doesn't mean she’s one of those in your face aggressive types, though, she’s not. She’s a lovely girl, been through some tough stuff by way of her ex, and then an illness derailing her current plans, and yet she picks up and makes the best of herself and her situation. She’s so nice to everyone, goes out of her way just to help, and you see that resulting in people liking her for her kindness and sunny nature. Even Jack succumbs after a while, respecting that she doesn't just tell him what he wants to hear but what he needs to know. That’s rare when you’re famous and everyone wants something, has a hidden agenda and he comes to value Jessica for her openness. There’s a few hiccups along the way though when others interfere and that gave the story some needed (for me anyway ) dramas. So Jack, film star at the top, Mr Obnoxious and arrogant when we first meet him. I really didn’t like him, he typified what we see so often, those who have fame and money and think that entitles them to walk roughshod over others. I was cheering inside when Jessica told him what to do in that succinct, truthful way she has. Slowly though we saw another side of him, that he wasn’t like that all the while, that he’d been used too, and was now more cautious and that the pressures of his job were real, and with the press sometimes very scary. It was a great slow burn romance, when we as observers can see their thoughts changing, and I liked it done that way. Its not a hot and steamy read, with sex scenes on every other page, but a more subtle sensuous one, with some great humour at times and it felt very real. Stars: Four and a half, its a story I really enjoyed, and a bit deeper on the drama and it would be a five for me. ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers
My Review: I have to admit I have a weakness for movie star heroes, but I was not at all sure Jack was going to do it for me when this book began. He was such a jerk...and it took longer than I expected for that to change. But yeah, he has a seriously jaded view of everyone around him. Being one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood, he's unfortunately used to everyone around him selling him out. He's so paranoid...when I thought about how he got this way, I just wanted to give him a hug. And the sad thing is that this is probably a reality for most actors. But I did really love Jessica. She has the feel of such a real girl even though she's dealing in this high-powered world. I loved how klutzy she tended to be, and how she really didn't let Jack push her around even though she really needs to do a good job for him. My heart hurt for her with her roommate/friend situation. But from page one, I loved her and was most definitely in her corner. She is very grounded and handles herself really well even in the most unusual of circumstances. I could see being friends with her. She's just one of those people. There was a lot to love about this first book from Stacy Wise. It was really easy to read and highly entertaining. There were little tidbits to the story that made it so fun...I loved Leo and his whole aspect of the story. The premise of the story was really well done. I have a son who's at the same stage of college/life as Jessica so I found the whole mono/France/college aspect really believable in how it all played out. I loved that Jessica bakes when she's stressed and how she would bring sweets to Jack's trainer. (I would LOVE to see him in a story, because I really loved him and felt a bit bad for him in how all this played out for him.) Overall, it was just a great read. I'd recommend it for an afternoon of escapism. I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Check out this and other reviews on my blog, notapickyreader.blogspot.com Beyond the Stars is the perfect happily ever after, girl meets celebrity romance. Hilarious, dramatic, and adorable, it has all the pieces of a great, quick read. I thought that Jack and Jess have great chemistry. The dialogue is witty and authentic and I think that the character interactions, which can sometimes seem stiff and weird in books with this plot, are believable. The thing that makes this book for me is the humor - I wasn't expecting it and I thought it really made a scenario that could seem completely unbelievable, believable. Along with this, Jess's character is hilarious and sassy and really ties the whole book together. A fun, quick read, Beyond the Stars is the perfect book to read on a blustery afternoon or a day at the beach. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Gotta love a book that pulls you in from the very first words written in the beginning chapter. Loved. This. Book. I’m not one for spilling the deets on a book so no finding spoilers here. Beyond the Stars by Stacy Wise is a delightful read that is well-written with nicely developed characters and a catchy storyline. I fell in love with Jack and Jessica, and totally enjoyed the pairing of them and watching their personal evolutions over the course of the story. A clean romance with some good ol’ fashioned steam but no actual blow-by-blow as it were...well I’m definitely down with that. These days many books tend to have pages filled with much of the latter so this was a supa sweet change up...way to go Ms. Wise! I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out on this author and her books to come.
My rating: 3.5 Jack and Jessica are like oil and vinegar. They don't mix. Perhaps due to circumstance or just personality conflict. There were times that both came across as spoiled and self absorbed pain in the buts. It was amazing how much they had in common but allowed ego and bias to hold sway in their opinions. When I began reading Beyond the Stars it did not impress me but as the characters opened up more I slowly began to see there was more to love about these people. In the end Beyond the Stars was an in depth look at the life away from the cameras and was a story that surprised me. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This is a truly delightful romance, one where love grows rather than the insta-love prevalent in some novels. It was great to read how the couple initially didn’t really gel but that, working together, finding out about each other, their relationship developed, despite their initial apparently different expectations on life. I liked how Jack revealed more about his upbringing, opening up his history and his heart. I definitely wouldn’t like to have the pressures of stardom, no wonder some of them in reality don’t cope with it, wishing only to have an opportunity to maintain their own lives and their privacy! I enjoyed how Jess was manipulated into taking the job by her aunt and I’d have loved to have discovered that her aunt was really matchmaking but that’s me taking the story further (sorry!). Sorry, no more spoilers! Well written, with well defined characters and a total mix of secondary characters this is an engaging story. Jess has some friends the likes of whom we’d all love to have at our backs but her supposedly best friend – well!?!?!?! With friends like that….. This is a funny, romantic story, with many laugh out loud moments, a great story which I thoroughly enjoyed and have no hesitation in highly recommending! Thanks to Entangled for providing me with an ARC to read, in exchange for this, my honest review.
I wasn't sure what to expect from this one but I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. This was a fun, sexy read that I enjoyed very much. The only thing I would have changed is I would have enjoyed it even more if it had been written in a dual POV. I often wondered what Jack was thinking but overall it is very well done. Working for an A-list celeb is the last thing Jessica Beckett wants to be doing for her summer. She's had one experience with them and never wants to repeat it. Unfortunately when her talent agent aunt asks her to be a personal assistant to Jack McAlister she can't come up with a good excuse not to. Jack doesn't want a PA but his agent won't let up one him until he accepts. He's very private and tired of the Hollywood games, the last the he wants is some fangirl working for him. Jessica is quite the surprise though. She seems completely unfazed by his fame. Maybe this won't be such a bad time after all.... This was really a great read and I highly recommend it to everyone.
This was just fun to read...I found myself laughing out loud in many parts!
Great read. Was super hard to out down. You won't be disappointed!