Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren
Series: Beautiful Bastard #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: April 16, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Format: Audiobook, Length: 8 hours and 6 minutes
Narrator: Grace Grant, Jonathan R. Cole
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
Escaping a cheating ex, finance whiz Sara Dillon’s moved to New York City and is looking for excitement and passion 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 that 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.
Y’all, I have a new book boyfriend and his name is Max freaking Stella. I loved this book so freaking hard. Like I said when I reviewed Beautiful Bastard, I am absolutely kicking myself for not reading these books sooner. Though, there is something to be said for a lovely Christina Lauren binge-read.
What starts out as a one night stand ends up as so much more in Beautiful Stranger. I was hopelessly hooked on all things Sara and Max right from their first encounter. Their trysts were hot. But I loved more than than just the sexy times they shared. I thoroughly enjoyed just watching them interact with each other. Despite their unconventional start, it wasn’t long before it was easy to see just how much they really felt for one another.
One of my favorite things about this book (besides EVERYTHING) was the role reversal. In so many books, it’s the woman who wants more and the man who holds back. Not here. Sara wanted to keep things casual and private (except, you know, when they were exploring their voyeuristic sides and taking photos) and Max, the former playboy and hot British man, was interested in more. I loved how this shifted the story a bit. I know the reformed bad boy thing can get tiresome after awhile, but it didn’t AT ALL when it came to Max. I think that’s partially because we don’t actually SEE that side of him. It’s not a secret, but we didn’t have to watch it. Somehow that made it better for me. Sara’s history was interesting, and while we didn’t find out the truth until later in the book, I could understand why she was cautious about being seen with a man as much in the public eye as Max was.
Beautiful Stranger had it all. It was funny, sexy and sweet. It was also a little more emotional than I thought it would be going in. There were definitely some teary eyes as I got to the end of the story. But, it all ended with a big smile on my face. Most importantly, I loved the characters in this book. Sara and Max were both fantastic. I enjoyed their character development throughout. I loved how they pushed each other. But, most of all, I just adored them together. As a bonus, Chloe and Bennett played a pretty large part in the book and I loved catching up with them. I’m definitely intrigued by Will and am excited to start Beautiful Player. This has quickly become one of my favorite series.
I listened to the audiobook version of this, which was damn near perfection. Both Grace Grant and Jonathan Cole were fantastic narrators. I could feel the emotion of the story through each of them. While I’m sure this book would’ve been just as enjoyable if read in eBook or paperback format, there’s a huge bonus in having a sexy British narrator. *swoons* So much yes. Loved this one!