In honor of the release of Beautiful, I want to talk about my favorite romance series. As I previously discussed, I kind of dove head first into reading
romance smut, and once I made my way around to actually paying for books, one of the very first purchases I made was Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren. If you haven’t read this yet, you need to follow that link to Amazon right now and one-click it. Trust me. I actually first saw this book when I was shopping in Target (side note: did you guys know Target has all kinds of dirty books now?!), while I was still naive about the amount of written dirty romance that existed in the world. I read the blurb on the back, and I was sold.
See, I already knew I liked “office romance” type stories, because a few of my favorite stories on Literotica, Flowers for Jill, My New Boss, and Write Me What to Do. Add in the dose of enemies-to-lovers (my favorite theme) and I was dying to read it.
I read it all in one day.
At that time, this was not a common occurrence for me (it’s practically routine for me now), but I just Could. Not. Put. It. Down.
I loved the story, loved the writing, and LOVED the characters. Bennett Ryan is still to this day my favorite book boyfriend.
Recently, I decided I wanted to re-read the entire series- all 9 books (now 10), 4 (now 5) novels and 5 novellas- so that it would be fresh in my mind when the final novel, Beautiful, is released in a few weeks. I told myself that I would start with Beautiful Bastard (obviously) and then I would pace them until the release date. I should have known better. I finished the entire series within a week [Side note: I meant to publish this over a week ago, but fell into the rabbit hole of reading the Rock Chick series and am just now getting fresh air again] .There’s just something about Christina Lauren’s humor that always leaves me wanting more. Anyway, I will probably review each and every novel and novella separately on this blog, but for now, let’s just talk about Bennett Ryan (and Chloe Mills).
Somewhat cliche in the forbidden office romance sense, but the characters are so strong that it’s easy to overlook that. The basic gist of it is hot boss + hot intern = bang city. So obviously, it was right up my alley.
Have I already told you how much I love Bennett Ryan? Well here it is again: I fucking love Bennett Ryan. He’s hot, he’s witty, and he’s alpha enough to be attractive but not so much that it sets back the feminist movement. I love how his character was written, and I love the chapters that are from his POV. My favorite thing about him though, is how he is brought to his knees (quite literally) by Chloe. I know I keep talking about how much I love Bennett Ryan, but let’s also talk about the gloriousness that is Chloe Mills. She’s strong, she’s independent, and she wears power panties. Honestly, I think we all have a Chloe Mills inside of us, wanting to shop at La Perla and have hot stairwell sex. I love a lot of things about Christina Lauren’s writing, but possibly my favorite thing is how they are able to write a strong female lead character that doesn’t need to be saved.
The best part about this book (except the sex of course) is the banter between Bennett and Chloe, and how fighting serves as their foreplay. Even re-reading it for the third or fourth time, I found myself laughing out loud a few times. In my opinion, this book has one of the best balances of humor/sweet/serious and that’s why I will continue to read it over and over again.
Christina Lauren does it best. By dirty talk I mean both the sexy-time dialogue between the characters AND the writing that describes those sexy-time scenes. One of my favorite things about this book (I know, I have a lot) is the way the sex scenes are written. The dialogue between Chloe and Bennett is electric and the scenes give me that feeling. The sex is intense, yet sweet, and you can feel it as you read. On top of that, their banter carries over into their sexy-time talk. I can’t think of a better combination.
One of my favorite books. No, it’s not a cerebral read, and I am not going to tattoo a quote from it onto my body, but it makes me feel good when I read it. If I am in the mood for a lighter romance that makes me laugh out loud, this is my default book. AsI said before, Christina Lauren perfected the combination of funny and dirty to bring me stories like this, and I will continue to read anything they write.