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Beautiful Stranger Paperback – May 28, 2013
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“Hot . . . if you like your hook-ups early and plentiful..." (EW.com)
“The thing that I love the most about Christina Lauren and the duo’s Beautiful books is that there is always humor in them. As well as hot steamy moments and some of the sweetest I love you’s.” (BooksSheReads.com)
"The perfect blend of sex, sass and heart, Beautiful Bastard is a steamy battle of wills that will get your blood pumping!" (S.C. Stephens, bestselling author of Thoughtless)
“Filled with plenty of hot sex and sizzling tension.”
(RT Book Reviews)
“Smart, sexy, and satisfying...destined to become a romance classic.” (Tara Sue Me, bestselling author of The Submissive,)
“A devilishly depraved cross between a hardcore porn and a very special episode of The Office…For us fetish-friendly fiends to feast on!!” (PerezHilton.com)
“Beautiful Bastard has heart, heat, and a healthy dose of snark. Romance readers who love a smart plot are in for an amazingly sexy treat!” (Myra McEntire, author of Hourglass)
"Beautiful Bastard is the perfect mix of passionate romance and naughty eroticism. I couldn’t, and didn’t, put it down until I’d read every last word." (Elena Raines, Twilightish)
About the Author
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of longtime writing partners/besties/soulmates and brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, the New York Times, USA TODAY, and #1 international bestselling authors of the Beautiful and Wild Seasons series, Sublime, The House, and Autoboyography. You can find them online at ChristinaLaurenBooks.com, Facebook.com/ChristinaLaurenBooks, or @ChristinaLauren on Twitter.
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Top Customer Reviews
Sara Dillon is looking for a fresh start after coming out of a long term relationship. She's trying to figure out who she is on her own, what she likes, what she wants. Seeing her blossom in her journey was so much fun. I sympathized with what she was going through and I cheered for her every step of the way. She wasn't expecting Max in her life-and neither was I.
Max Stella. Oh, my Max. Max is absolutely magnificent. I was hooked on him immediately, from the moment he met Sara in the club I was a goner. Watching him fall, seeing him open up was just beautiful. He is absolutely, without a doubt, one of my all time favorite book boyfriends. I know I'll revisit him often.
The writing in this book is superb. I truly felt I was there with the characters-the pictures that were painted were that vivid. I wanted to go have a drink with these people after work, just go somewhere and talk with them. The pacing was perfect to me as well. This was one of those books I both wanted to savor and devour at the same time-and I wound up devouring it. I have no regrets on that. I look forward to exploring the rest of this series and Christina Lauren's work. I highly recommend this book.
I have been anxiously awaiting this book since reading 'Beautiful Bastard' and was even more excited about this one since it would not be derived from fanfiction and solely the writing of Christina and Lauren. So, I immediately dropped everything to devour it... and I was not disappointed!
The story starts with Sara leaving her cheating ex in Chicago and moving to New York to start over. She immediately meets Max Stella, the tall, gorgeous British playboy, at a bar. She is untrusting and does not want to be in any type of relationship, only sex in public places! Max has been happy being single, not meeting anyone that made him want to be in a relationship. Then he meets Sara who always keeps him at an arms distance and he is hooked! She is so guarded and will not let him in. The chemistry between them is so HOT! You root for Max all through the book and hope he somehow convinces Sara to let him in!
I am always sad when I find out that a series of books does not continue with the main two characters, so I was so pleased when Chloe and Bennett made some appearances in this book. Surprisingly, I like this one more than Beautiful Bastard!
Overall, I could not have been happier with this book. I loved the characters and I am still swooning over Max Stella, my new love (this week anyway and until my next great book). I am looking forward to anything and everything that Christina Lauren releases! They have a new fan!
Nice Girls Love Naughty Books Blogspot!
I feel a bit like a fledgling lately, having spread my wings, tested the air a bit and lept from the Y/A & N/A nest I've been swaddled in for many moons. I guess it's because summer's (almost) here and most of the kids in my reading group are doing their own thing (without me *sniffle*). For the most part, I find Adult Contemps a bit formulaic for my taste, most of what's out there seems very A LA Nicholas Sparks to me. So I've been testing the waters with the edgier stuff as well as a bunch of Indie books and have had some success.
I was more than a bit surprised by this series. I've read more than a few bad reviews, most pertaining to the notion that FanFic is somehow abhorrent, though I'm not certain I particularly understand judgement of a book based solely on its genesis. Nonetheless, I was reluctant to read any of it. Bad me. I've actually found some of it really entertaining. Is it great literature? No, not really. But it is fun. So, on the fun scale this definitely gets a four out of five WoHoo's from me. And, if we're being real here, I found this particular book even better than the first.
Here's why it got a better rating than its predecessor. Character development. No, it's not a homerun but it was way, way better in that arena than Beautiful Bastard. Still, I did enjoy the first book, but found it lacked a bit in the development department as a whole. Thankfully, not so much with this novel. Sara and Max are much more fleshed out and their relationship, though initially founded on sex, was explored more deeply and allowed to flourish more organically.
Sara (Chloe's friend and co-worker from book one), has left Chicago to join Bennett and Chloe in New York where they're opening a new office as the business expands. If memory serves, this is about a year about book one leaves off. The reason for Sara's departure from Chicago is twofold. One, she's just left her cheating boyfriend; and, two, she's looking for a way to explore her new self. Almost immediately upon her arrival she goes for a girls night out with Chloe and Julia (who's in town for a few days) and meets a charming Brit (Max) who's not only easy on the eyes, but makes Sara feel very sexy after being in a loveless relationship for six years with an absolute A-Hole.
During her encounters with Max, Sara slowly begins to unveil herself to him. And, yes, while he is somewhat the alpha male, Max shows a great deal of restraint and tenderness as he begins to share pieces of himself with her. Their true intimacy is a slow growing thing, and it takes most of the novel to fill in all the pieces of the puzzle, which is exactly how I like these types of reveals to go. Max is a fairly typical wealthy bachelor, though not in a sleazy way. The way he's portrayed never made me skittish of him as a true love interest for Sara given her recent heartbreak. It was clear he's sort of just plodding along in this life that he'd built without really knowing that it was unsatisying. I appreciated that he was willing to commit to a monogamous relationship, even if it was simply a sexual one, and that he never batted an eye at Sara's strange rules. He was open and candid and honest, never brooding or unkind, and always seemed to be looking for more from her. I loved that Max was given an opportunity to show his softer side, while Bennett's was somewhat limited. Max's mum works in his office; he speaks affectionately about his family and obviously holds them in high regards; he adores his mates. There's a great scene toward the middle in which Max asks Sara to meet him at a bar after a rugby match with his mates, and we're able to see him amongst his friends. It was a nice touch and showed that Max was truly a decent human being. I would have liked to have seen more of that given to Bennett in the first book.
Sara, too, was well written. Oftentimes the heroine in these setups is a brooding, angsty bitch but I never thought that of Sara. She gave as good as she got where the banter was concerned and though she was secretive about her history, she had her reasons and I couldn't fault her trepidation. I also never felt as though she was intentionally jerking Max around, their relationship evolved naturally without either truly taking control or needing the author's to implement some crazy plot device. Given that there are relatively little dramaticals until the end of the novel, this story progressed really nicely and I found myself following along and not even worried that there hadn't been any real craziness happening. Don't worry, though, if you need the craziness, trust me it's there, it just takes a while to happen.
It was also really nice to see Bennett and Chloe again and they each had some pretty funny scenes in the book, especially Bennett who, true to form, always has a way of putting things when he needs to be heard. George, Sara's assistant, is a new character in the book and was a fave of mine. I am totally hoping to see him again in the next book because he rocked my socks off and he brought a lot a humor into this at some much needed times.
So, yeah, if you liked the first book, then I think you'll love this one. And if you didn't, maybe give this one a chance. The story has a much different feel to it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked seeing Sara become the woman she wanted to be instead of how she...Read more