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Book Review - Beautiful by Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard, #5)

Funny, witty, and engaging. The sex is hot when lust overtakes the moment, but it’s even hotter when feelings get involved.

An advance reading copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher.

If erotic romantic comedy were a genre, then this book falls under it.

Beautiful is the fifth book* in the Beautiful Bastard series by Christina Lauren [ T | F | I | W ], but it can be read as a standalone.

* If you’re checking the Australian publisher’s website, this title is listed as the tenth in the series, because they count all the novellas separately.

…maybe you’ve just happened upon the white, thrusting bum of your idiot boyfriend as he shags another woman in your bed, and you muse with a touch of sarcasm, Ah, so that’s why he never fixed the squeaky stair. It was the Pippa alarm.

In this book we follow the budding romance and relationship of Pippa Bay Cox and Jensen Bergstrom. After realising that she is in a bit of a life rut, followed by walking in on her boyfriend shagging a mystery woman, Pippa takes the opportunity to leave London behind and do a once-in-a-lifetime boozy holiday with her friends in the US.

Jenson is a divorced lawyer who dove head first into his work to forget about his broken heart. He is talked into coming onto the road trip by his younger sister who is convinced that Jenson needs some time away from the office to find himself again and rethink his workaholic ways.

This is the first book I read in this series, so for me all the characters were new. But if you were fortunate enough to discover this series sooner, then you’ll be very excited about this story as it provides an insight into the ‘where are they now’ lives of the couples from the previous books.

For those like me who are only just discovering these authors and stories, that means embarking on the whole Beautiful Bastard journey. Reading this book has given me the irrational need to get to know all the other characters in more detail. Starting with Bennet.

As for this story, the author, Christina Lauren, is a wicked genius!

To begin with, you are lulled into a false sense of modesty when you start reading the book, only to find yourself panting at the end of the first ‘sex’ scene, amazed at what just happened and why you are this turned on by a dry hump.

My arms went around his shoulders, hands slid into his hair, and he was there, rocking between my legs, finding that spot where he would be inside me if it weren’t for these ruddy clothes.

When the characters first meet you are left in hysterics (from laughter) just from their reactions of each other.

Pippa leaves a lasting impression on Jenson when they meet by chance on the flight to the US in first class. Pippa’s very loose filter is nonexistent after a few too many at high altitude where she proceeds to tell Jenson all about her life, her work, and her now-ex-boyfriend’s gyrating bum.

Jenson takes the first opportunity he gets to spend the rest of the flight pretending to be asleep just to get a minute’s silence. Little does he know that Pippa will be at his sister’s this weekend for a birthday party.

Awkward?!?! …. Well, you’ll just have to read this book. The writing is very funny, witty and engaging. I read this book in two days.

As for the relationship side of things, I really loved the buildup of the story, and the fine line between lust and love.

In the beginning, love is this physical thing. You can’t get enough. Everyone loves talking about infatuation, like that’s love, but we all know it’s not.

The attraction between the two main characters is undeniable, but circumstances in the story thrust them together much sooner then they probably would have done on their own terms.

We read about the lust and infatuation of an uninhibited holiday relationship, which subtly transitions into something more. Just like in real life, sex is hot when lust overtakes the moment, but it’s even hotter when feelings get involved.

I cannot wait to read the rest of this series and step into the sexy world of the Beautiful Bastard.

Content advisory: High school giggles in public, and an irrational need to read the whole series.

You can find an extract of the book here. Published by Simon & Schuster (AU).

AUSTRALIA: Booktopia | iTunes | Kindle | Other WORLDWIDE: Amazon | Book Depository | Kobo | Library AUDIOBOOKS: Audible

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