Review: Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

Tuesday, April 16

Title:  Beautiful Bastard*
Author: Christina Lauren
Series: Beautiful Bastard series, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Gallery Books
Format: E-book, Trade paperback & Audiobook
Date/Year: February 12, 2013
Reviewed by: ElaineReads
*This book was provided to the reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

An ambitious intern.
A perfectionist executive.
And a whole lot of name calling.

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.

My Musings:

Chloe Mills has worked for the Ryan family firm for months and is highly respected for the job she has done.  It’s only after Bennett Ryan returns to the home office that her problems begin.  She is a professional, extremely talented intern and Bennett treats her like an idiot.  I think the biggest insult is when he calls her an “office girl.”  Think of the worst boss you ever had and double it.  That would be Bennett.

Chloe does not take his attitude meekly however.  She gives as good as she gets within the limits of the employee/employer relationship.  The description of this book makes it seem so tame.  It does not mention what a jerk Bennett can be.  The term "bastard" does not even begin to describe how arrogant, dismissive, insulting, etc. he is to Chloe.  Unfortunately, the beautiful term in the title is an understatement.  Bennett is gorgeous and Chloe can’t help but notice.

To quote Chloe’s thoughts:
“If only he would keep his mouth shut, he’d be perfect.  A piece of duct tape would do the trick.  I had some in my desk that I’d occasionally pull out and fondle, hoping someday I could put it to good use.”

It was at this point that I had problems with the book.  The first time Bennett touches her, they fall madly in lust.  Sex in the office (and it is really good sex) is putting it mildly.  From that moment on they can’t keep their hands off each other.  Location doesn’t matter . . . his office, the stairwell . . . all places where they could be caught and professionally crucified, they attack each other.  And attack is the right word.  There is no making love, it is purely sex.

They still hate each other - Chloe because of the way he treats her and Bennett because she makes him want her.  Like that’s her fault, right?

Their personal and professional relationship does develop, of course.  Otherwise it wouldn’t be a romance novel.  I even learned to like Bennett.  The beginning however makes it hard for me to say I liked this book.  The first time I read it, I only rated it a two.  I couldn’t even write this review because my opinion was so negative.  I let it rest for several weeks and then reread it.  I liked it much better the second time around and upped my rating to a 3.5.  

I doubt I’ll read the sequel, but the first book is worth your time.  Just don’t let your initial opinion of Bennett keep you from finishing the book.  He really is worth it and the sex scenes are hot!


Overall: 3.5
Sensuality level: 4

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