Published April 2013
Series: Beautiful Bastard #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
Beautiful Stranger is the second book from the Beautiful Bastard Series by Christina Lauren. Again, some people make a lot of fuss about this being some stolen Twilight fanfiction, but I am not aware of this and this is no way near Twilight so I’ll just concentrate on reviewing the book.
Actually, this book is not the sequel of Bennet and Chloe’s story, but it’s the story of Sara Dillon (who happens to be Chloe’s best friend and colleague). So for those of you who crave for more Bennet and Chloe, you’ll just have a small share of their story, but believe me when I say Sara’s story is way more interesting, and way hotter.
Bennet’s company, Ryan Media Group, is expanding and has opened an office in New York. It’s the perfect opportunity for Sara to start over from a broken relationship with a cheating self-absorbed politician who only used her for his own career goals, and whom she dated for seven years. So when she comes to New York, she is determined to be a new Sara. And this change will happen soon enough: at her first night out with Chloe and friends, she gets noticed by a handsome brit called Max Stella, who propositions her right away. Being the reserved girl she is, she says no at first but then gives in for a moment of pure passion: no names, no strings attached.
Soon enough, however, they bump into each other again because Max is actually a good acquaintance of Bennet. Sara and Max start seeing each other again, but Sara insist on keeping their encounters strictly sexual and subject to steady rules. Obviously, despite their agreement, both start wanting more (although she doesn’t realize this as fast as he does), and they both start exploring sexual exhibitionistic penchants which she never thought she had…
As in Beautiful Bastard, this story is written from alternate points of view (once you see what’s going on in Sara’s head, and once it’s Max who speaks), and once again, I loved that – especially the “male parts”. The plot itself is WAY better than it was for the first part. It is somehow deeper (as deep as it can get through only 352 pages), and less predictable. Contrary to Beautiful Bastard, I couldn’t put Beautiful Stranger down, because I wanted to know what would happen next in their relationship, that’s all. Because once again, there was no thrilling intrigue, except maybe one minor happening – but the relationship’s evolution was worth the read.
Again, it’s about a guy who has a really bad womanizer reputation which he wants to leave behind for the girl he loves. Sure, it’s redundant, but Max is part of Bennet’s posse, so obviously he must have the same reputation as him, right? And the good thing is, Max and Bennet don’t deal with it the same way, which is good and keeps from being redundant for someone who has already read the first part of the series. And once again, it’s the male main character who’s being the most romantic and sentimental, and who gives in first when it comes to admitting feelings. I am starting to like that.
And the women in Christina Lauren’s books, on the other hand, are overly prudent in their commitment, and always over-thinking each tiniest details of every situation. And it’s true – that’s what we all do, don’t we? So, basically, this story it about men trying to crack us women open and make us give in to them…
And I loved witnessing how Sara started to bloom after meeting Max – she wants the hot encounter with a stranger, she gives in at the slightest touch and she find out that she’s totally unpredictable with him. So she does everything to battle this situation since her modus operandi is generally all about organisation, rules and guidelines. Yet, her affair with Max makes her break all these rules she set herself, and which ultimately kept her from being happy all the time she was with her ex.View Spoiler » Sara actually wants to keep Max at arms length. She wants fun and no commitment because of the number her ex pulled on her. She is so happy to have something extraordinarily hot, out in public and with a lot of adrenaline pikes, that she fears the mere idea of having sex in a bed. She doesn’t want a regular relationship at first since she’s afraid this would lead her to hit a dead-end as it was the case with her ex. She also has an aversion when it comes to being seen in public and having her photograph taken, so I must say I felt that this whole picture-taking-while-having-sex thing went a little too fast because that was the one thing that was REALLY contradictory to Sara’s mindset, but hey, it’s only a story. Oh and don’t you just love the nickname “Petal” Max is giving to Sara? « Hide Spoiler
So all in all I would say this was a really nice story with a deeper meaning and more thorough “issues” than the first. Following their relationship grow was nice, and their sexual encounters were even better. The book was hot, and the happenings were unexpected and spicy. It’s not THE must-read of the year, but it’s a nice and fun book to pick up! I must definitely say I will be happy to read the sequels!
|All the feels|