Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Beautiful Stranger (The Beautiful Series #2)


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.

4.25 out of 5 stars

I received a book for review from Gallery in exchange for an honest review.

Sara, who is also Chloe from Beautiful Bastard's best friend, is on the heels of her very public and very humiliating break-up.  She packed up and moved to NYC to head Ryan Media Group's finance department in their new Manhattan office.  She made a promise to herself to enjoy life and reclaim the youth she lost when she settled for a man who never really loved her.  Out dancing and celebrating one night with Julia and Chloe she meets a Beautiful Stranger.  A very tall, very hot stranger who elicits desires Sara never knew she possessed.  One wild night, one sexual awakening with this Beautiful Stranger completely changes the course of Sara's life.  It's obvious she wants more of these encounters but doesn't want the attachments of a relationship so she strikes an arrangement with Max, aka Beautiful Stranger.  The questions is what's going to happen when Chloe realizes there's more to this man and their "not relationship"  than she ever thought possible.

I've got to say I enjoyed this book even more than I did Beautiful Bastard.  I definitely liked Bennett, but I adored Max, of course its not hard to be enamored with a handsome British guy whose confident, witty, and falling in love without even realizing what's happening.  I loved watching him struggle to only give Sara what she wanted even though it was killing him to not have more, it's not that he is or was ever against a committed relationship he just hadn't even met a woman who made him feel the things Sara did.  He was dominate, yet vulnerable and always put Sara's feelings before his own.  It was never a game to him and I think Christina and Lauren (the authors) did an excellent job portraying his emotions through all the ups and downs of this tryst, which just made him all the more like-able in my opinion.

There's no doubt Sara was going to have a hard time dealing with the aftermaths of her past relationship.  Not only was she cheated on time and time again, but she was used for her family's name and quite honestly her ex never appreciated her sexually.  Her first night with Max was the first time she has felt alive in years, and honestly who can blame her for wanting more.  I really liked Sara, I enjoyed getting a closer look into her life and while this relationship with Max is something I don't see myself doing it was written in such a way that it made me understand her excitement, understand her need for this kind of attention.  I never for once felt their relationship was crazy, the way the characters and story were written it totally made sense.

For me I felt more connected this time around to Sara and Max, their interactions with one another are based on trust, respect, love and I felt all those things.  I think one of the other things that worked for me was we got to see each of them outside of their sexual relationship more than I felt we did Chloe and Bennett, and as a result I felt as though I knew them better.  While there is a good deal of sex in this book (and let me tell you Christina and Lauren seriously know how to write these kinds of scenes --- not too little description, not too much, the perfect amount) I didn't feel as though it was on every page.  The story-line was just as good as the smut!  I'm recommending you read this book, its the perfect mix of love, smut, humor, romance and of course a little drama.

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