Beautiful Player, by Christina Lauren.
I'd always understood why women wanted Will in the first place. He wasn't beautiful in the same way Bennett was, and he wasn't tender like Max. He was visceral and imperfect, dark and knowing. He gave the sense that he looked at a woman and in an instant read every need she had.
But now I knew why women truly lost their mind over him. Because in the end, he did actually know every need a woman had, that I had. He'd ruined me for any other man, even before the first touch. And when he leaned in behind me, dragging his lips across the shell of my ear - not a kiss, not exactly - and asked, "You think you'll scream when you come this time, too?" - I was lost.
I believe Beautiful Player may be the longest of the books in the series, all of which I have reviewed so far, and although it was a little different than the others, I still ended up really liking it.
A bombshell bookworm. A chronic Casanova. And a lesson in chemistry too scandalous for school.
When Hanna Bergstrom receives a lecture from her overprotective brother about neglecting her social life and burying herself in grad school, she’s determined to tackle his implied assignment: get out, make friends, start dating. And who better to turn her into the sultry siren every man wants than her brother’s gorgeous best friend, Will Sumner, venture capitalist and unapologetic playboy?
Will takes risks for a living, but he’s skeptical about this challenge of Hanna’s…until the wild night his innocently seductive pupil tempts him into bed- and teaches him a thing or two about being with a woman he can’t forget. Now that Hanna’s discovered the power of her own sex appeal, it’s up to Will to prove he’s the only man she’ll ever need.
First off, I'm sad that the Beautiful Bastard series is ending - after this one, there's a novella, Beautiful Beginning, and then that's it. Christina and Lauren (who make up the pen name Christina Lauren) are on to a new series, which will be coming out soon.
As always, the characters and situations in this book felt incredibly real. Hanna, aka Ziggy, has known Will Sumner since she was a little kid - he's her brother Jensen's best friend. Jensen and her dad agree she needs to get out more and tear herself away from her work at the lab, and she gives Will a call, hoping he can maybe show her the city a bit. She ends up becoming his running partner, and soon, more than that.
Hanna is maybe the most inexperienced out of the Beautiful Bastard women (Chloe and Sara, from the other books), which made Beautiful Player interesting. She wants Will to teach her what he knows, for the most part, but he finds himself slowly falling for her; she's had a crush on him ever since she was a kid, and they have instant chemistry now that they are of appropriate dating ages (she's 24, he was 31; at flashbacks during the book, she was 12 and he 19, and she was 16 and he 23).
I liked the character of Hanna because she reminded me a bit of myself, in some ways, and I liked Will because although he used to be a player, he was also a geek; he always got Hanna's science references throughout the novel. I also liked that although he was a "bad boy" or "player," when he met Hanna he wanted to change his ways for her.
I'm hoping we see more of these two in Beautiful Beginning, at Bennett and Chloe's wedding, and I think we should, based on Player's ending. We also get a sneak peek of Beginning at the end of Player's paperback copy, so keep a look out for that.
4.5 stars out of 5.
My previous reviews, for your reference: