Office & Workplace

Book Review: Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren

Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard, #2)

Sequels.  Are they really better than the first book that you read?

Book synopsis: Escaping a cheating ex, finance whiz Sara Dillon’s moved to New York City and is looking for excitement and passion without a lot of strings attached. So meeting the irresistible, sexy Brit at a dance club should have meant nothing more than a night’s fun. But the manner—and speed—with which he melts her inhibitions turns him from a one-time hookup and into her Beautiful Stranger.

The whole city knows that Max Stella loves women, not that he’s ever found one he particularly wants to keep around. Despite pulling in plenty with his Wall Street bad boy charm, it’s not until Sara—and the wild photos she lets him take of her—that he starts wondering if there’s someone for him outside of the bedroom.

Hooking up in places where anybody could catch them, the only thing scarier for Sara than getting caught in public is having Max get too close in private.

My review: The beautiful thing about the Beautiful Bastard series is that you can pretty much read them in any order.  You can read my review of Beautiful Bastard here and get an idea of what I thought of the “first” installment in the series.  But as I said, you can read them in any order, there is a flawless crossover between the characters in Beautiful Stranger and the characters in Beautiful Bastard – you get little bit of the backstory of Bennett and Chloe in the form of conversations between Chloe and Sara and also between Bennett and Max.

Beautiful Stranger is set in New York City after Bennett moves the Ryan Media Group to NYC to grow the business.  Originally, Sara left her position in RMG for a position in another company but after finding out that her fiancé and partner of 6 years has been dropping trou with any female who’d stay still long enough, Sara decided she’d pack up everything she owns and leave everything she’s ever known for an adventure in the Big Apple.

To be fair, I don’t blame her in the slightest.  She ends up working as the head of finance for RMG with Chloe and Bennett; the girls go out for a night on the town and Sara finds herself taken by a beautiful stranger.  This stranger just so happens to be Max Stella – resident ‘playboy’ and British hunk of man meat *cough*.

Don’t get me wrong, I like all accents but there’s just something about having a British male character in an American story.  I feel a little closer to them in a strange way.

Max and Sara have the kind of dynamic that makes me think “would y’all just fuck already for Pete’s sake!” I got my wish.  On a balcony above the club dance floor, with the possibility of being found by anyone.  Can you say hot?

From there, their relationship only grows in leaps and bounds.  Predominantly to begin with their relationship is purely sexual – usually that bothers me but I love Christina & Lauren’s work and it doesn’t bother me as much when I’m reading about the Beautiful Bastards and their Beautiful Bitches.

It has some soft undertones of voyeurism throughout complete with saucy pictures being taken by Max and an instance in a sex club with a viewing window.  It was soft and almost romantic in the way that it is written and it doesn’t come across as overly smutty in the slightest; the undertones were just that – undertones.

There was some tension in the relationship – Max, I felt, was trying to make their relationship a relationship while Sara was trying to keep it as strictly sex – it worked for a while but I felt their relationship grew to be more romance than sexual about halfway through the relationship.  It was subtly done to the point that the characters didn’t even realise that it was happen until later on in the story.

The plot line itself was probably a little bit too overused for my tastes – rich man meets poor woman they have great sex, end up falling in love blah blah blah.  However, it was well written and not just from Sara’s POV – I love that Christina & Lauren tell the story from the male characters point of view as well as from the females.  I feel it gets a bit too tedious when it’s purely from the female characters point of view where it’s always the same sort of thing.

I enjoyed Beautiful Stranger a lot, the character dynamic was outstanding, the writing itself was on point and the dialogue was amazing.

Series: Beautiful Bastard

The Verdict: 5 stars

For: Lovers of dirty talkers, a British accent and mild voyeurism.

Publication details: April 16th, 2013

Format: Kindle edition, 352 pages

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