Review: Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren

Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard #2) 
By: Christina Lauren
Release Date: April 16, 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: Personal Copy
Reviewer: Jenn and Nahomi
Links: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads / IndieBound

Jenn's rating: 5 stars out 5 stars
Nahomi's rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars
Our overall rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars

Escaping a cheating ex, finance whiz Sara Dillon's moved to New York City and is looking for excitement and passion without a lot of stings attached. So meeting the irresistible, sexy Brit at a dance club should have meant nothing more than a night's fun. But the manner-and speed- with which he melts her inhibitions turns him from a one-time hookup and into her Beautiful Stranger.

The whole city knows that Max Stella love women, not that he's ever found one he particularly wants to keep around. Despite pulling in plenty with his Wall Street bad boy charm, it's not until Sara-and the wild photos she lets him take of her-that he starts wondering if there's someone for him outside of the bedroom. 

Hooking up in places where anybody could catch them, the only thing scarier for Sara than getting caught in public is having Max get too close in private.


        After Sara finally realizes that her fiancee of many years has been cheating on her with half of the women in Chicago, she decides to take up a job offer in New York to get a fresh start. On her first night out celebrating her best friend's engagement, Sara meets a hot Brit who will change the course of her plans. Max can have any women he likes and normally has a different one every week. But when this playboy meets a mysterious woman at a club he is left wanting more.

I was a little skeptical as I read this book because I really loved Bennett and Chloe and wasn't sure how Christina Lauren could improve on that. But let me tell you, I completely fell in love with Max and Sara. I found the characters to be three dimensional and easy to relate to. I love that Sara is sweet and determined to find herself without a man. *sighs* Max is so swoony, OMG he makes me wonder if men like him exist because I want one just like him. Max is not only tall, extremely good looking and has a British accent (heeellloo) but is sweet and considerate as well as funny and creative. Ok, so I really really like Max, even more so than Bennett *gasps*.

But it wasn't only the main characters that were well written. I loved Sara's assistant George, he was funny. Max's friends at the bar were hilarious, and I was left with the feeling of wanting to hang out with them. I also really liked the relationship between Max and Will. I'm really glad we will get to know more about him later in Beautiful Player which come out on October 29.

Moving on, there is a matter of the steaminess of this book jeeezzzz... The sex scenes... Well lets just say they were really really hot and steamy and easy to imagine. *fans self* At the risk of sounding like a prude, I didn't think I would like the voyeuristic theme during the sex scenes. I found that the scenes were incredibly intimate and required a great deal of trust from both Max and Sara; which totally makes up for the lack of romantic connection in the beginning.

There were only a couple of things there were kind of annoying. Let's start with Sara's reluctance and self doubt for a big part of the book. I understand why she acted the way she did, but it still irked me. At times, I wanted to jump into the book and shake her. The other thing is that for the majority of the book, the whole conflict was "I trust you. I shouldn't trust you," type of thing and I didn't feel like the plot really started moving until the latter part of the book. With the exception of the aforementioned, I really loved the ending and am excited for Beautiful Bombshell and Beautiful Player to be released!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"Because the whole British thing you have going on makes me want to do very wicked things to your mouth."

"When I say 'I love you' I don't mean that I love what being with you does for my career, or I love how often you're willing to shag. I mean I love you. I love making you laugh, and seeing how you react to things, and getting to know the little things about you. I love who I am with you and I'm trusting you not to hurt me." 


Ok, here’s the thing, I’m not sure whether I read this book at the right time or not, but I just LOVE THIS BOOK. Ok? I did. So just for that (and the caps lock) I’m giving this book 5 star.
Like Nahomi mentioned, Max Stella is one swoony man and holy shit do I want one of him. There are so many parts throughout the book that I just loved him. He is basically my new book boyfriend. He is sweet, funny, understanding, and just plain hot. He is patient with Sara when she was dealing with her breakup and whether or not to trust Max. He’s the perfect guy for her and I just love them together.
“My friend just got engaged. We’re doing the girls’ night out thing.”
“So then you’re unlikely to leave here with me.”
“I… what? No.”
“You’re serious? You just met me.”
“And already I have a strong urge to devour you.”
Some people may not like Sara’s indecision but I can’t blame her for that because she’s confused and she moved from Chicago to New York to get a new life and she meets this beautiful stranger on her first night out with the girls. She was trying to play it safe in moving on with a relationship with Max so soon after her breakup and that is completely normal. I do have to admit that I got a little exasperated with her when she didn't trust Max and wouldn't give him a chance to explain during a certain scene of the book. But that may be because I was already head over heels in love with Max and I couldn't see straight.
“It was easy. Falling absolutely in love with you was really fucking easy. Isn't it supposed to be that way? Just because I haven’t been brokenhearted in recent years doesn't mean I’m incapable of it.”

Christina Lauren managed to make me fall in love with them with Beautiful Stranger. While I wasn't a big fan of Beautiful Bastard, I just fell in love with this book, and with their words. I’m a little sad that the next book won’t be a Max and Sara book but at least we’ll get glimpse of them.


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