Author: Christina Lauren
Series: Beautiful Bastard
The Verdict: ★★★★★
For: Lovers of British men, American women
Genres: Contemporary romance, Office Romance
Publication details: April 14th, 2015 by Gallery Books
Format: Kindle, 416 pages
All images link back to their respective Goodreads page
Synopsis: AN UPTIGHT BRITISH EXECUTIVE. AN ADVENTUROUS AMERICAN NEWBIE. A SEXY INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL IN THE MAKING.
New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Christina Lauren’s Beautiful and Wild Seasons series hook up in Beautiful Secret for an erotic intercontinental romp that celebrates the best of both worlds!When Ruby Miller’s boss announces he’s sending her on an extended business trip to New York City, she’s shocked. As one of the best and brightest young engineers in London, she knows she’s professionally up to the task.
The part that’s throwing her is where she’ll be spending a month up close and personal working alongside—and staying in a hotel with—Niall Stella, her firm’s top urban planning executive and The Hottest Man Alive. Despite her ongoing crush, Ruby is certain Niall barely knows she’s alive…until their flirty overnight flight makes him sit up and take notice. Not one for letting loose and breaking rules, recently divorced Niall would describe himself as hopeless when it comes to women.
But even he knows outgoing California-girl Ruby is a breath of fresh air. Once she makes it her mission to help the sexy Brit loosen his tie, there’s no turning back. Thousands of miles from London, it’s easy for the lovers to play pretend. But when the trip is over, will the relationship they’ve built up fall down?
My review: I’ve reviewed every other book in the Beautiful Bastard series so it seems only fair for me to review Beautiful Secret also. In Beautiful Stranger we met Max Stella – a British man living in America who falls in love with an American – in Beautiful Secret we meet Niall Stella – Max’s brother – an uptight company executive going through a divorce and in need of some serious loosening up and Ruby Miller – an American new girl on an internship at the same company that Niall works at, with a huge crush on Niall to boot.
The plot starts out pretty normal – or at least as normal as normal can be when you’ve got a HUGE crush on your colleague who coincidentally doesn’t even know you exist. Thursday meetings are the highlight of Ruby Miller’s working week because she has a whole hour where she can stare at and listen to the dulcet tones of Niall Stella and his British accent. We all know how much I love a British character in a book especially when it’s paired with an American.
The meeting gets awkward for a completely different reason this time around, Ruby interrupts Niall and gives information that he didn’t have – is it a mistake? No, not really. Niall notices her and then proceeds to become perplexed by her. It’s actually quite cute.
Fast forward a bit and Niall is going to the US for a meeting for a month, along with the biggest sleaze bag a-going Tony, but Tony cancels and sends Ruby in his place. Things start to heat up quite a bit at this stage, usually I like an Alpha man who knows what he wants, when he wants it and isn’t afraid to either ask for it or take it (with permission of course), but Niall isn’t really all that Alpha – in this book it’s Ruby who is the more dominant and I think that’s fantastic.
Niall comes across as very sheltered and an over thinker – predictable and consistent as he has been described – but then he says things like this: “Right now,” I began with a grin, “are you imagining how far I could work my tongue inside you, or how many of my fingers would fit?” and it’s at complete odds with how he was at the beginning to first half of the story: “Unless you have a…” I paused, fumbling for words. “That is to say, an agent… of… pleasure in your room.”
Can you say AWW? He’s so adorably awkward.
Ruby on the other hand is Niall’s polar opposite; she’s outgoing, adventurous and comfortable in her sexuality and she helps Niall come to terms with the fact that he’s sexually a virgin in most acts but missionary – but he’s a god at that!
It’s quite a good balance between the two characters actually, I was pleasantly surprised especially after reading “An uptight executive” in the synopsis but they worked well together. There was a lot of tension especially where Niall didn’t really know what he was doing in most of the situations, eleven years of marriage and only being with that person sexually can take its toll on a lot of people but I feel like Ruby did him a favour.
The dialogue was as per usual on point and very well written – I loved the fact that the characters from the other books were brought into this one and the storylines were brought back into the fold. Fabulously written as always. I hope there’s another one in store for us!