Monday, February 11, 2013

Beautiful Bastard

Beautiful Bastard, by Christina Lauren.

My father said the way to learn the job you want it to spend every second watching someone do it.

"To get the job at the top, you've got to start at the bottom," he told me. "Become the person the CEO can't live without. Be their right-hand man. Learn their world, and they'll snatch you up the second you finish your degree."

I had become irreplaceable. And I'd definitely become the Right Hand. It just so happened that in this case, I was the right hand that most days wanted to slap the damn face.

My boss, Mr. Bennett Ryan.
Beautiful Bastard.

Beautiful Bastard, Christina Lauren, erotica, offices
This book started off as Twilight fanfiction called The Office, which I didn't know until after I had read it. The authors - there are two, but they write under the pen name Christina Lauren - then reworked it, and have said that only about 20% of the original Office remains.

I downloaded an e-galley from NetGalley a few weeks ago and threw it in my "virtual pile" of e-books to read, until The Romance Bookie told me that she had read it and that it was HOT. Actually, more than hot - it was well-written too, which is somewhat of a rarity in this genre, at least based on some of the books I've read. 50 Shades of Grey, for example, had a hot story, but the writing was atrocious - part of the reason I never actually reviewed it, though I whipped through the trilogy in about a week - and some of the other books in this genre also had good stories, but just subpar writing.

In Beautiful Bastard, however, we get a story with sex, rather than sex with a story. Chloe has worked for Ryan Media Group throughout college and now through her MBA degree, and is going to graduate from Northwestern in the spring. Her boss, Bennett Ryan, is gorgeous, but a complete bastard; she very rarely gets praised for the work she does, and she's held to a standard of perfection. One day, however, he asks her to stay late to work on something with him, and they have sex in the conference room; she still hates him, but her "body has betrayed her," she said. Soon, this is becoming an every day occurrence, and their relationship changes for good when they go to a work conference in San Diego together.

Chloe doesn't want to get a reputation as "that woman who slept to the top," especially after all the hard work she's put into her job at Ryan Media, and she's the one with everything to lose; Bennett is an executive and also part of the Ryan family (his dad owns the company), and he knows this. She and Bennett can't keep their hands off each other, though, so they keep their relationship a secret at first, until Chloe eventually tells some of her friends, and then one of the Ryan siblings accidentally finds out about it.

I thought the story in this novel was good, and I really liked how the authors changed the point-of-view in each chapter; it starts off from Chloe's POV, and then the next chapter is from Bennett's, and so on. The authors have a companion novel, Beautiful Stranger, that will be in stores in late May, too; Chloe and Bennett make appearances in that one, but it will focus on Sara, one of Chloe's friends, who moves to NYC from Chicago where she meets a new guy, Max. I'm a little disappointed that we don't get to hear much more about Chloe and Bennett, but perhaps the authors will consider a sequel to Beautiful Bastard in the future.

Beautiful Bastard will be in stores on February 12th. 4 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I received an e-galley of this book from NetGalley to review. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


  1. Great review! It doesn't sound like a synopsis! You express your feelings at the bottom! Maybe that chick didn't read the entire thing?

    1. I agree with her that it's like 60% synopsis, 40% recap ... but the first/second paragraphs talk about the book as does the last one. Thanks!


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