BEAUTIFUL STRANGER by Christina Lauren
Author: Christina Lauren
Rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Erotic Fiction
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: April 16 (ebook) April 28 (Paperback)
Recommended Reading: AGE+18
Explicit language, Sexual Situations etc.
Contains no spoilers[divider top=”0″]
OVERALL THOUGHTS: What I didn’t get in the previous book, I definitely got a healthy dose in this installment. Where Beautiful Bastard was slightly emotional with a rinse cycle of sex scenes, Beautiful Stranger mixed up the hot moments and added a decent sized dose of honest emotion. And even though this book was not a game changer in the genre, it was a solid read and I recommend it. The bonus, you don’t have to read the first to enjoy the second.
SYNOPSIS: A charming British Playboy. A girl determined to finally live. And a secret liaison revealed in all too vivid color. Book two in the NYT Bestselling series.
Escaping a cheating ex, finance whiz Sara Dillon’s moved to New York City and is looking for excitement without a lot of strings 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 Max Stella loves 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.
THE LOWDOWN: As I mentioned in my earlier review of Beautiful Bastard, the book was more repetitive than sexy and what started out hot and heavy became mundane and boring. Well the authors (yes they are two girls) obviously paid attention (No, I am not arrogant enough to think it was because of my review), because almost all their wrongs were righted and the result was a deeper and sensitive book, that I enjoyed.
The protagonists, although pulled straight out of the new adult erotic manual on how to pen a book that will sound almost identical to all those other bestsellers, were fairly dynamic. The male lead was, of course (insert BIG eye roll), an arrogant, alpha, who was sexy, stunning to look at and madly in love with the girl. Yes, he is also a sickeningly rich overachiever, but he’s a Brit, so at least that was a change. The one thing I loved was that the writers didn’t take his wealth over the top, with helicopter rides, extravagant gifts, etc. It was also refreshing that he was vulnerable to emotional pain and very open about it.
The girl on the other hand, was cut from the same erotic cloth as all her literary predecessors. Looking for love in all those naughty places and liking it… a lot. However, what put her in a group that strays slightly to the left was her need for public sex. Not that this topic hasn’t been discussed in other books, this one did it while still walking the New Adult fine line.
The story was cute, but the ending was disappointing in that it did what all other books in this genre feel it necessary to do and it just pisses me off, because it is so forced and inorganic. Don’t worry I won’t give anything away, because it is a general narrative issue as opposed to content. I just hate when authors think it is necessary to stuff a conflict in the final pages. It literally comes at the 80 percent mark of the book and the close of the conflict is so rushed and anticlimactic. It needs to build and happen as a result of a collection of things. You can’t force one moment into a book just to follow the standards of mass market publishing.
FINAL THOUGHTS: If you are into the naughtier books that don’t leave much to the imagination and hunky leads that will try to melt your panties off in a look, this book will leave you satisfied. It’s no Anais Nin, but it’s good enough.