Chloe Mills only has a few months left of studying for her MBA, working as an intern for perfectionist business prodigy Bennett Ryan. She gets along famously with his father, the founder of the company and his older brother, but she pretty much detests her boss and he seems to delight in finding fault with everything she does and says, demanding almost impossible things from her. But behind their seemingly mutual loathing, there is also explosive attraction as they start hate-f*cking in the board room in between yelling furiously at each other.
Neither can stop thinking of the other, and even though they can't seem to say a civil thing to one another, they keep tearing each other's clothes off every chance they get. Should Chloe really be risking her career by having a love affair with her boss? Can their angry hook-ups develop into anything more or will their furious passion burn itself out eventually?
Having just finished the final book in Christina Lauren's Wild Seasons series, which I thought got better with each successive book in the series, I decided to check out the book that started their romance writing career. I am very glad this wasn't my first experience with their writing, because it didn't really work well for me. In her review for the entire Beautiful series so far, Mrs. Julien mentions that the border between romance and erotica is a flimsy one. I would probably classify at least the first of these books as straight up erotica, as there is a whole load of smexy times from (to me at least) surprisingly early on (especially as I was given absolutely NO indication that the characters did anything but hate each other before they're suddenly getting it on on a conference table and against a window). For the first two thirds of the book, there is barely any character development, just a lot of sex (and the wanton destruction of a lot of ludicrously expensive, but flimsy undergarments) and neither character seems like they are in control of the situation - as with most Christina Lauren books, the hero and heroine has alternate POV chapters throughout the book.
Their relationship seemed badly dysfunctional, not to mention highly inappropriate, considering Bennett is Chloe's boss, who should not be making the moves on his intern, no matter how attractive she is. There was rather a lot of tell, don't show, about how physically attractive Bennett is or how everyone in the Ryan family loves Chloe and can't understand why Bennett is so mean to her all the time, but really not very much character development. The couple keep calling each other absolutely horrible names and seem to get off on it (a lot and frequently), but never calm down and speak civilly until they go to a conference towards the last third of the book, where suddenly their emotions seem to have engaged (not sure when in between the name calling and angry sex that happened) and they want to make a go of it. Of course Bennett does something unbelievably douchy that makes Chloe cut all ties for a while, but after a few months apart, they are reconciled.
Because I love it to pieces and it so excellently and expertly analyses the rather common romance trope of the alphahole, I wanted to take the opportunity to link to the article written by my favourite author team (sorry Christina Lauren) Ilona Andrews. Bennett Ryan is an alphahole of the first order:
- He is extremely good at his job and excels in everything he does.
- He has a terrible temper and such exacting standards that he is feared by pretty much all the interns of the company and when Chloe goes away, can't keep an assistant for more than a day or two.
- He loves his family, but is otherwise known to have had a string of female conquests with no apparent need to settle down before he suddenly initiates a sexual relationship with Chloe.
- There is a distinct lack in status between Bennett and Chloe: he is her boss, she is his intern. They can at a future point be equals, but are not at present.
While Bennett may seem to have all the power, from the very beginning, Chloe gives as good as she gets, and frequently has the emotional upper hand. Because we get to see whole chapters from Bennett's POV, it's clear that he's never really been in love before and is deeply confused (and therefore angered) by his new and baffling emotions and keeps saying and doing the wrong thing and then patching over it with more smexy times.
Where to start this review is the question...I mean this book was just so exhausting when I read it. I was literally tired with all the back and forth between these two characters in the book. Ok first of all let me give a quick Synopses, or at least my version of it: An ambitious intern named Chloe Mills and a perfectionist executive named Bennett Ryan. Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. And ends up with Chloe Mills as his intern/assistant. So both work together, him being a complete ass and her right back at him. There you go pretty much that is how most of the book goes. Him slinging crap her way and her returning it. Then they end up throwing crazy sex in the mix..lol. The book was a fast read and entertaining at times, but there's just so much sex you can have in a book right? I mean don't get me wrong I love hot, sexy sex scene, such a entertainment to see the actual build up and all but, every single chapter almost the same thing. Plus my question is how the hell can they pull that off. Having sex in every public place they can think off and never get caught, I mean not a passer by or someone by accident walking in nothing. I mean WOW! they sure knew how to pick the right time and places throughout all the book...lol. I cant say that I will stop reading the series after this book, but I do hope there's more of a bigger story line than just to people not getting along and having some kind of power trip over each other. In the end it did make me laugh a couple of times. And like a said before, never having been the one to quit on a series that I start...Keeping fingers crossed and hoping for "Beautiful Stranger" Book 2 in the series to be a little better. Happy Reading People!
I didn't have a lot of hope for this book when I started reading it. I just wanted a book to pass the time, and I got a little bit more than expected. Now granted there are a lot of things about this book I thought I could do without but overall the book was very interesting, and I was constantly laughing so that made me like a whole lot more. So I'm going to say that the good out ways the bad in this instance, so I will give this book a higher rating for that.
It starts out with Chloe Mills working for the "Beautiful Bastard" as she and her coworkers like to call him. He is an extreme jerk, especially to Chloe. And things start to change when he starts to show some interest in her. They both know crossing that line is dangerous because he is her boss, but neither one of them seem to be able to stop it. I loved the chemistry between them, and the fact that they could be so rude to each other and they actually liked it. It made for a very interesting story. But in the end, when Bennett starts to change, and admit more to Chloe. I love his attitude towards her, and how he starts to talk to her, it is really cool. Now some of the written got on my nerves, and the fact that they seemed to constantly going at it. I mean that was very frustrating, but other than that I really enjoyed the book, and I'm so glad I was able to read it.
Puh. Am Anfang wollte ich dem Buch nur ein Stern geben, dann zwei ... und jetzt sind es doch drei geworden. Hallelujah.
1 Stern gibt es für den Unterhaltungsfaktor. Ja, ich musste manchmal etwas schmunzeln und fühlte mich einfach gut unterhalten. Vielleicht liegt es auch daran, dass ich einfach ein Fan von solchen Streit-Beziehungen bin. Ich mag es einfach das zu verfolgen, wie fiktive Paare den Streit als Vorspiel benutzen und sich während des Sex noch streiten :D
Den 2. Stern gab es dafür, dass es sich so schnell weglesen lies. Ich meine, ich habe Samstagvormittag damit angefangen und heute, Montagabend, schon ausgelesen. Das ging wirklich fix! Und es war nicht einmal langweilig - obwohl der Spannungsfaktor sich in Grenzen hielt. Die ganze Handlung bestand nur aus Sex.
Und den 3. Stern gibt es für die beiden Hauptcharaktere. Ja, also mehr das der Chef ein "hübscher Bastard" war und irgendwie ständig zerrissene Slips von ihr gesammelt hat, kann ich nicht über ihn sagen oder das Chloe dunkle Haare hat und super für die Firma, waren sie angenehm. Es waren Charaktere, die nicht alle Klischees erfüllt haben. Zum Beispiel war er kein Stalker und total besitzergreifend. (Ja, er war eifersüchtig, aber irgendwie noch ... normal im Gegensatz zu anderen männlichen Hauptprotagonisten.) Und die Frau? Sie war keine schwache Jungfrau in Nöten. Sie hat ihre Krallen gezeigt - was ja auch irgendwie zu der "Handlung" sein musste - und war gegen Ende auch nicht zu weinerlich.
Das Buch hat mich wirklich überzeugt, dass es mal anders sein kann. Die Liebesbeziehung war angenehm leicht. Doch leider muss ich jetzt auch ein paar Punkte sagen, die mich ziemlich gestört haben: Das Buch bestand eigentlich nur aus den Sexszenen. Der Mann hat ihr elf oder zwölf mal - ich kam mit dem Zählen nicht mehr hinterher - das Höschen auseinander gerissen und es dann gesammelt. (Auch, wenn die Protagonistien sagten dass das pervers war, war es eklig. Aber gut ... das ist einfach etwas ... wo sich die "Geschmäcker" scheiden.) Dazu kommt, dass es immer nur am Rand, wenn sie denn eben mal keinen Sex hatten, um diese Praktikantin x Chef Sache ging. Das hätte man viel besser ausbauen können. Dadurch hatte ich das Gefühl das diese "verbotene Liebe" nur dazu genutzt worden ist, um irgendwie einen Weg zu den Sexszenen zu finden. (Die mich auch irgendwie nicht erreicht hatten. Es wiederholte sich immer und na ja ... angenehm zu lesen war es, ja, aber hm. Obwohl ... lieber so, als wenn ein Buch wieder als "SM" "SGFSJH-denkt euch hier irgendwelche Buchstaben für irgendeine Sexpraktiken aus" bezeichnet wird und es eigentlich nur Blümchensex ist.)
Und ich habe jetzt den Faden verloren, also ... als Fazit: Das Buch war angenehm zu lesen für zwischendurch, aber nichts besonderes. Und wer gerne Bücher liest in denen es mehr um den Sex geht, als um die Story-Line der wird mit diesem Buch glücklich werden! :)