Thursday, April 16, 2015

Beautiful Secret (Beautiful Bastard #4) by Christina Lauren: Review

Blurb:

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?


 


Click to Buy the Beautiful Series on Amazon:

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About the Authors:

Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, bestie to a shoe-stealer, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.

Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. Married to the cutest boy in school, she has a thirteen year old daughter, is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter, and also likes to steal Lo’s shoes.

You can follow their shenanigans at:

@lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter. On Tumblr! where we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!

For official information about their books, events, interviews, movie news and more, follow @beautifulbastrd.

Social Media Links:

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Review by Yvette:

I started Beautiful Secret after binge-reading the entire Beautiful series so I was still wrapped up in the high of finding a series that I absolutely adored for its humor, sexiness, and memorable cast of characters. I was particularly excited to read Beautiful Beloved, eager to get even the barest glimpse of Niall Stella, a.k.a. the male protagonist of Beautiful Secret and, after just a taste of Max’s more reserved, recently divorced younger brother, I was already hooked. His personality couldn't be more removed from that of his brother, Max, but that's why he was so fun to read about. After the smooth-talking, overly confident, and irresistibly charming heroes from previous books in the series – all three of whom are over-the-top swoon worthy – it was an entertaining change of pace to have a hero who wins the heroine’s affections because of, and not in spite of, his social awkwardness and predictability.

Why is it that the prospect of an unrequited crush reduces me to a giggling schoolgirl? The moment protagonist, Ruby Miller, is introduced lusting over an oblivious Niall, I began to smile uncontrollably, already plotting how the two would fall in love and have lots of sex and babies a la Max and Sara. What I didn’t expect was that Niall would be the textbook definition of a stuffy Brit. I alternated between cringing and chuckling as Niall and an almost equally awkward Ruby stumbled around their growing attraction to each other. Theirs was a tentative courtship, mindful of Niall’s discomfort in jumping into a physical relationship with his younger colleague. It was an exercise in patience, waiting for Niall to shed his controlled countenance, but the wait was worth it to experience the moments when he stopped overthinking every little thing and started feeling.

If it seems like I’m gushing over Niall, it’s because I am. To me, this was his story and, although Ruby was an extremely likable character, he stole every scene he was in and commanded my complete and total attention. Less than one hundred pages in, I was already more than slightly enamored with Niall bumbling charm and then he had to pull out a pair of glasses and say things like "I think you rather exquisite". It’s not often I read contemporary romances with a hero that is an old-fashioned gentleman more befitting of a Jane Austen novel. I loved Niall’s dichotomy of going from aloof and restrained to passionate and dominating at Ruby’s urging. The progression of their physical relationship is almost painfully slow – a fact that’s easily forgiven with several steamier than steamy close encounters to tide readers over in the meantime.

It’s not often that I can read a novel in its entirety in one sitting but Beautiful Stranger is the type of story that’s extremely hard to put down. There’s nothing major that happens plot-wise so the narrative is driven mostly by the strength of Ruby and Niall’s connection, following the roadblocks they face as they transition from co-workers to lovers. From start to finish, Beautiful Secret is a humorous, charmingly awkward and emotionally gripping read. Niall and Ruby’s story is a refreshingly different addition to the Beautiful series and I’m already looking forward to getting updates on this couple in future books.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars

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