Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren was a unique reading experience. I was intrigued by the cover and smirked at the title. I like it; it’s a nice descriptive alliteration. I was forewarned about the explicit sexual content from reading other reviews, so I guess I should warn you too. (WARNING: Steamy and sometimes cringe-worthy lovemaking ahead!)
Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.
Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.
As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other. Originally only available online as The Office by tby789—and garnering over two million reads on fan fiction sites—Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release.
Let me explain. Within the first few pages, my eyebrows rose to epic heights and my eyes bulged out of my skull. It was one of those moments where you find yourself coughing and noting to yourself, “Oh, it’s THAT kind of book.” Just to clarify, it wasn’t because it was too crazy or kinky (however, it was scandalous), there just wasn’t enough set-up before the sexy time began. It made me feel like a peeping tom or something. I didn’t care to be thrown into something with no pretense. It made Chloe seem like a slut with no slut tendencies, which really confuses the reader. For me, it put the trash in trashy romance novel.
The story just kind of exploded in the first chapter, but once the dust settled half-way through the book, the characters finally started to develop. That’s when I was hooked. (Not like I could’ve looked away, anyhow.) So the first half was crazy — Bennett was a Jerk and Chloe was a hardworking professional who made questionable decisions. It drove me nuts that Bennett and Chloe didn’t communicate, never talked, just did each other in different rooms at the office, with a TON of panty ripping. However, once they started talking to each other, the book became so much more enjoyable. They finally had a “relationship.” By the end, I found myself smiling with an “Awww” resounding in my head.
Initially, I was turned off by the lack of finesse with introducing the characters and the plotline. However, this story got under my skin, making it a fun read, especially if you’re ever in a feisty mood. With the satisfying ending, I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a “good time,” but it wasn’t something I’d deem original or praiseworthy. I’ll most likely pick up the next book, Beautiful Stranger, which comes out in May 2013.
Beautiful Bastard will be released on February 12, 2013. Ladies, here’s an excuse to pick up something naughty (just for you) for Valentine’s day.
STARS: 3 out of 5
Thank you Netgalley and Gallery Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review!