Review–Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

Beautiful Bastard
by Christina Lauren
Summary: An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling. Discover the story that garnered more than two million reads online.
Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.
Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.
As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other. Originally only available online as The Office by tby789—and garnering over two million reads on fan fiction sites—Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release.

Source: I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.



Curiosity is what made me request to read this book, despite my personal feelings about pulled to publish fanfiction. The debate on the morality of pulled to publish fanfiction will have to wait another day, because I’m only going to review the book as just a book, regardless of what it used to be. This story really isn’t my kind of story, but I really wanted to love similar books that everyone else seems to rave about and I thought perhaps Beautiful Bastard would be better than it’s competition.

My first reaction after the first chapter of Beautiful Bastard was pleasant surprise and shock. Everything that I felt I was missing from Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James was in this book from the very beginning, such as a heroine I could actually like, a narration that didn’t make me want to bang my head against a table, and scenes that actually had some heat to them. (As much as I hate to compare the two, I really can’t avoid it.) I loved Chloe, the main character, because she was feisty and sure of herself. She was a heroine I could respect immediately. She didn’t take any crap from her jerk of a boss and didn’t melt every time he paid her any attention.

I didn’t really care for Bennett Ryan, the Beautiful Bastard boss of Chloe’s. But I knew I wouldn’t like him because I tend to hate that kind of persona. I knew, of course, that the boss would be the kind of persona I hate, so I just gave the story the benefit of the doubt in this area. I liked him better than other disturbing terrible male love interests, such as (I hate to add more comparisons) Christian Grey. Parts of Beautiful Bastard were written from Bennett’s point of view, which helped me understand him a little better and made me like him more.

I was shamelessly enjoying the novel up until the halfway point when I realized that despite all the chemistry between Chloe and Bennett, they weren’t going to do much besides have angry sexual encounters and not communicate at all otherwise. Also, nothing else happened. There was no other plot or conflict. While the two of them eventually realize they feel more than just lust for each other, it took forever. Seriously, it took the entire book for it to happen. I can ignore the fact that Bennett is a jerk and has creepy tendencies and I can ignore the fact that Chloe and Bennett are screwing their way to love, but I needed something else to happen in order for me to feel like this was a good story overall.

I thought the entire story needed to be developed better. Or it could have been half the length if it was going to be so focused on Chloe and Bennett screwing the entire time. With that being said, I did find myself enjoying it and turning the pages to find out what would happen next, which is why it ultimately earned 3 stars from me. Even though I gave the same star rating to Fifty Shades of Grey, I don’t feel the same about them. Fifty Shades had somewhat of a more developed plot, but I liked Beautiful Bastard a million times more.

I recommend this book to fans of Fifty Shades of Grey, but I also recommend it to people somewhat disappointed by Fifty Shades or annoyed with the narrator (and her inner goddess). In these areas, I found Beautiful Bastard to be much better.

Beautiful Bastard will be released on February 12, 2013.

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