I knew I’d love this book just by looking at the cover, so before beginning the series, I collected all the books (I’m only missing one novella and one book that has yet to be published). Yesterday, a little bit after 3:00 in the afternoon, I picked it up and began reading book one, Beautiful Bastard, in need of a fun read to escape the pressures of school and the future.
I finished the book in a few hours. Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings—collectively Christina Lauren—quickly became my favorite authors. Beautiful Bastard was so easy to read and such a fun book. Here’s a brief overview.
The book follows sexy but asshole boss Bennett Ryan and his quick witted and temperamental intern Chloe Mills. They fight daily and can’t seem to get along no matter how hard they try (even though they never really do try). Chloe pushes Bennett’s buttons, and Bennett makes Chloe feel inadequate. However, one day in the conference room while along, things take a drastic turn, and they end up having sex against the conference room window. The rest of the novel follows their multiple hook-ups, increasing feelings, past confrontations, and their overall love story.
To Chloe, Bennett Ryan is a Beautiful Bastard—that is her title for him behind his back, and he proves over and over again that he is a bastard. To Chloe, Bennett’s sudden interest in sleeping with her is out of the blue and random, but Chloe can’t stop herself. She’s insanely attracted to his attitude and bossy tendencies, as well as his physical appearance. She knows she’s risking her career, but she can’t find it in herself to stop being with him physically. Chloe lets us know that she’s always been attracted to Bennett, even though he acted so crass to her.
However, from Bennett’s perspective, we see that Bennett has also always been attracted to Chloe. Even before he became her boss and was living in Paris, he saw pictures of her via his family (with whom Chloe was really close because she worked at Ryan Media Group before Bennett returned to the States). For the entire time that Chloe worked for Bennett until he made his first move in the conference room, Bennett actively fought his attraction toward her until he snapped.
The angst yet sweet and tender moments in this novel made it incredible. I loved how Bennett and Chloe could almost bite each other’s heads off one minute, but the next are sharing passionate moments in whatever secluded space they could find. The sex was written well and wasn’t cringe worthy, like so many other erotic books.
The plot line….Ah, the plot line. Phenomenal. For some reason, I love Boss/Intern or Boss/Employee relationships. Something about the forbidden aspect of the relationship really appeals to me. This was no exception. I loved the conflicted feelings each of the main characters had constantly, yet their feelings for each other overruled.
Another thing I wasn’t really expecting but was pleased with was the humor. Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings truly know how to evoke laughter with their novels. I was pleasantly surprised that along with sex, angst, and love came raw and natural humor that wasn’t forced.
Finally, the characters. Even though many of the novels I read tend to have not-so-strong female characters that are damaged in some way, I loved how strong and confident Chloe was. She was sure of herself and didn’t need anyone else’s approval. I loved how she was a powerful person in the workplace and with her life and those surrounding her. She didn’t take anyone else’s crap, and it was refreshing to read a character that didn’t let people, especially men, walk all over her.
And Bennett. Bennett Ryan. I dare to say that he’s my new book boyfriend. He is so rude at times, yet he says these sweet things that literally made my heart drop in the best way possible. He’s a romantic at heart, the one thing that Chloe isn’t really. His true emotions and feelings for her were written in the best way possible. His voice and his mannerisms and his overall demeanor and personality truly made the book for me. Without Bennett Ryan, the Beautiful Bastard himself, this novel wouldn’t have been as amazing at it was. Plus, he speaks French, and says the most romantic French phases to Chloe. I won’t lie, it made me swoon.
Without a doubt, I will now pick up any Christina Lauren book that gets published. This duo has made it into my list of top authors.
Beautiful Bastard deserves 5/5 stars. I’d recommend it to anyone that is looking for a fun, sexy read that is packed with a punch. You won’t forget it any time soon.