Release Blitz - Beautiful Secret (Beautiful Bastard #4) by Christina Lauren ~Ava's Review and Excerpt
Gah, another Christina Lauren book is finally here!! *ALL THE FLAILS*
“and when I made it up to his eyes…I registered with horror that he was watching me eye-fuck him like it was my job.”
Oh how I have missed this writing duo and their fabulous words.
Beautiful Secret is the story of Niall Stella and Ruby Miller. Niall is reserved and vulnerable when it comes to getting back on the horse after his marriage of eleven years is no more. And Ruby Miller has been lusting after the stoic, handsome man for the last six months. So what happens on a month long business trip? Some boundary pushing and some sizzling chemistry just for starters.
“Yesterday, Niall Stella didn’t know I existed. Today, I’d practically flown to New York in his lap. In twenty-four hours I’d gone from Ruby Miller: Secret Admirer and Semi-Stalker, to Ruby Miller: International Travelling Mate.”
Christina and Lauren proved that a guy in a business suit could be as hot (if not hotter) than a knuckle-scraping Alpha. I loved the way in which Niall presented himself. He was aware of his limitations and his inexperience with Ruby. Her vivacious personality should’ve had him running for the hills but it didn’t. Niall saw something in Ruby that he yearned for. He wanted to shed his old life and embrace what Ruby could teach him. He wanted to feel, to want, to desire and to be desired.
“Was it enough for you?” he asked, and I knew he wasn’t looking for false praise or ego boosting, he was simply wondering. “More than enough. I don’t think people appreciate the awesomeness of a good fingerbang.”
He laughed, shaking his head as he focused on his hands knotting his tie. “The things you say.”
I agree with Niall Stella completely. The things Ruby said had me laughing aloud. I loved her honesty and because her parents were psychologists, it meant Ruby was used to talking things out, breaking them down and analysing them. The opposite of what Niall was used to and Ruby certainly taught him a thing or two, even if it was his to his detriment nearer the end. But Niall was hot and after all, a mere human so he was quickly forgiven (by me at least, Ruby had a better resolve and quite rightly so). And that was my favourite thing about Ruby. I loved her independence and her level of self-respect. Even though she wanted to give into Niall a thousand times, she had to do what was right for her and come to a conclusion in her own time. I’m all for girl power!
And will we mention the sexual tension and crazy build up to intimacy between Niall and Ruby?? CLo were all about the delayed gratification and not only did this work for the emotional storyline but it ignited the hunger in each character as well as me, the reader. I just knew it was going to be worth the wait!
I was trying to put my finger on what I loved most about Christina and Lauren’s books. I know without a doubt, I will fall in love with unique characters and flawless writing. And as I was reading Niall and Ruby’s story, about a man trying to navigate life post-divorce and a woman trying to remain true to herself without giving it all up for her long time crush, it came to me; Christina Lauren write about REAL people. Their stories are relatable and their characters are ones I wish were real because I’d make them my friends. Love is awkward, life is hard and the struggle is real and I think the ladies capture that in the truest way but they always leave you with hope and happiness. So I read these books, not just to be entertained but also to be excited for my own story and what may lie ahead.
If you have never read a Christina Lauren book then I urge you to rectify that right now!! Beautiful Secret can be read as a standalone, their story is contained in this one book but in order for you to smile and ooh and ah when Max, Will and Bennett appear, I say read them ALL and make it quick.
I never want this group of characters to run out of stories. I’m in it for the long haul. As new characters like Crain are mentioned, no matter how fleeting, I find myself thinking, so what’s his story? What would his book be like? So I really hope CLo have lots of plans up their sleeves because I for one am already hungry for more.
P.s. I'll even let the girls off with the lack of epilogue. Surely that means the story isn't over yet....
A silence fell over the table as everyone turned to watch Ruby leave the bar and head upstairs to bed. She had been utterly charming throughout dinner, and the group had groaned in unison when she’d excused herself because of our early morning. I, too, had been quite sad to see her go.
I looked up to see my brother’s smug expression.
“Now that we’re alone,” Will began, “I think we can all agree to drop any pretense that we’re not ruined for civilized conversation, yes?” Each of them nodded in agreement and beside me, his glass now refilled, Will raised his tumbler to take a small swallow of scotch. “I also think we can all agree Bennett will be an important consultant on this case.”
“The conference?” I asked, confused.
“It’s an all-too-common predicament,” Bennett added dryly. “Knockout intern. Boss in denial. I’ll draft up a step-by-step plan of containment.”
I blinked, swallowing thickly as I realized what they meant. “She’s not my intern. I have absolutely no say in her career.” I shook my head, frustrated because it was exactly the wrong thing to say. “I’m not . . . that is to say, she’s not interested. Nor I.”
All four men laughed.
“Niall,” Will said, leaning his elbows on his knees. “She nearly dropped her drink in your lap when George asked if she was interested in anyone.”
“Was going to say the same thing,” Bennett said.
“And something tells me she’d be first to volunteer to clean it up,” Will added.
“Well, maybe that’s because she’s interested in someone who works with us at R-C.”
“Yeah. You.” Max lifted his glass and finished the last of the amber liquid.
“Sincerely,” I said, fighting a smile. “She’s a fantastic girl, but she’s certainly not a romantic option for me.”
Tilting his head, Bennett asked, “What color are her eyes?”
Green, I didn’t say. I shook my head as if I didn’t know.
“What was she wearing?” Will asked.
A blue dress that hit just above her knee, I didn’t say. A delicate gold chain around her neck and a ring on her right ring finger that I had to resist asking her about until George bulldozed in and asked about a boyfriend.
I rolled my eyes, and my brother laughed again, this time pointing his drink at me. “Blokes don’t notice these things unless they’re interested.”
“Or George,” Will added, and George reached over to grab the back of his neck and try to pull him in for a kiss.
“Well, it’s apparent I needn’t think on this any further,”
I said. “You’ve all decided for me.”
“It’s what we do,” Will said, adjusting the skewed collar of his shirt as he settled back into his chair. “It’s a sickness, we know.”
“I thought we’d lost that muscle, honestly,” George said.
“It’s a relief to know we still have it in us. The ladies will be so proud.” Max rapped his knuckles on the table as he made to stand. “Alas, I’d best be off. New routine: Sara gets the baby to sleep; I do the midnight bottle feeding.”
“Finally taking a bottle from you then? Guess you smell like a woman, too,” I said to Max, reminding him of the little dig he’d thrown my way on my last visit.
Max laughed and patted me on the back, and we all stood, a silent agreement in place that we were ready to call it a night. I watched my brother gather his things and say his goodbyes, feeling the same mix of pride and longing for what he was headed home to: a wife, a daughter. A proper home.
“Kiss the girls for me,” I requested as he made his way out of the bar. He waved a hand, retreating, and then disappeared from view.
Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, bestie to a shoe-stealer, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.
Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. Married to the cutest boy in school, she has a thirteen year old daughter, is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter, and also likes to steal Lo’s shoes.
You can follow their shenanigans at: their website or @lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter. On Tumblr! where we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!
For official information about their books, events, interviews, movie news and more, follow @beautifulbastrd.