Review: Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard, #2) by Christina Lauren

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4 hot and steamy stars

This is my first book by Christina Lauren. Although it’s book 2 in the Beautiful Bastard series, some underwhelming reviews of the first book turned me off, but I was assured that I could read this one without having read the first, and I’m so glad that I did! Max and Sara’s story was sweet and hot with some great banter and innuendo. I really enjoyed it!

Sara has moved to New York City after leaving a cheating ex-fiance and a very public break-up in Chicago. Determined to move on with her life, she has thrown herself into her work, and is on a girl’s night out when she meets a sexy-as-hell stranger at a club. Their instant attraction leads to shockingly blatant innuendo, dirty flirting and a very hot, slightly public, encounter right there in the club.

“Come home with me.”
This time I did laugh. “No”
“Come to my car.”
“No. There is no way I’m leaving this club with you.”
He bent and pressed a small, careful kiss to my shoulder before telling me, “But I want to touch you.”

Max is a charming playboy, and a favourite of the New York City gossip columns who love to watch his very active social life. He’s not adverse to relationships, he just hasn’t found anyone that he wants to be with, but his hot and mysterious night club hook-up has him rattled in a way he hasn’t been in a long time.

“Good Lord, little stranger. You’ve wrecked me.”

Imagine their surprise, when they run into each other again and Max immediately sets about pursuing Sara.

“I’m not interested in being anyone’s plaything right now.”
“I believe I’m asking to be yours.”

Sara makes it clear that she isn’t looking for a relationship, but neither she nor Max are able to forget about each other, or the way they completely stripped each other of their inhibitions, so they enter into a no-strings arrangement governed by strict rules where they meet once a week for hot sex and to indulge in a little exhibitionism and kinky photography. And OMG, it’s HOT!!!

Max quickly starts to fall and fall hard for Sara. The things they do together blow his mind, and he can’t get enough of her, but he is willing to take whatever he can get from her so he abides by her rules. And although Sara keeps her walls up in order to protect herself, it’s not long before Max start to break through, and Sara finds herself wanting more and more of him. But her last relationship left its scars, and the public scrutiny of Max’s life may prove too much for her. But taking a chance could just be the best thing that ever happened to them both.

I loved this relationship! I love Sara’s strength, and could absolutely understand where she was coming from with her doubts and fears, but I love that she was still able to take what she wanted, and her eventual opening up to Max was absolutely gorgeous. And, of course, Max is absolutely awesome! Confident, funny, sexy, and beautifully sweet, he was so understanding and patient with Sara – the perfect blend of strong and controlling and tenderly romantic. And the British accent and Brit-isms sprinkled throughout the book just made him even better! Of course the two of them together are hot as hell, but I loved watching them fall in love, and thought the whole thing felt really natural.

“Do you think we’re really intimate?”
She nodded. “When did that happen?”
“When has it been anything other than intimate? You just wanted to ignore it.”

Bennett and Chloe from Beautiful Bastard play a big part in the story, and even though I hadn’t met them before, I really liked them both, and I loved the interplay between the characters. I also really liked Max’s friend and business partner, Will – the teasing between the two guys was hilarious, and I’m looking forward to reading his book next.

I love the ‘fuck buddies falling in love’ storyline, so even though this one was predictable, I was happy just to sit back and enjoy the ride. It’s a quick, fun romantic read with great characters, lots of laughs, and a whole lot of hotness. Oh, and it’s dual POV too. What’s not to love?

4 stars.


The Beautiful Bastard series

Beautiful Bastard  Beautiful Bitch  Beautiful Stranger  Beautiful Bombshell  Beautiful Player

Beautiful Beginnings  Beautiful Beloved  Beautiful Secret  Beautiful Boss  Beautiful

Beautiful Bastard (#1) (Bennet & Chloe)
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Beautiful Bitch (#1.5) (Bennet & Chloe)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook Paperback

Beautiful Stranger (#2) (Max & Sara)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  | Paperback

Beautiful Bombshell (#2.5)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  | Paperback

Beautiful Player (#3) (Will & Hanna)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  | Paperback

Beautiful Beginning (#3.5)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  | Paperback

Beautiful Beloved (#3.6) (Max & Sara)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook

Beautiful Secret (#4) (Niall & Ruby)
Buy: Kindle Ebook  | Paperback

Beautiful Boss (#4.5) (Will & Hanna)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  | Paperback

Beautiful (#5) (Jensen & Pippa)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback


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