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review 2016-10-06 16:58
Beautiful Stranger (The Last Roundup #4) by Ruth Wind 5 Stars!
Beautiful Stranger - Ruth Wind

On Thursday, I feature a book I adore. This week I am sharing the wonderful  Beautiful Stranger (The Last Roundup #4) by Ruth Wind.


This a perfect sized romance. It houses one of the first and best BBW heroines and an artist hero against the backdrop of the Southwest. The class issues are compelling as well as those of race.  Wind always builds such fine details in her character driven love stories and this book is a showcase for her talent. 




Raised in a gilded cage, she was the chubby twin sister no one noticed. Now her weight loss made Marissa Pierce the kind of woman every man desired - including Robert Martinez. If only she had the courage to return his seductive gaze. A proud Native American, Robert resented Marissa's privileged lifestyle. Yet this elegant stranger understood his wounded heart. Now Robert was determined to show her how truly beautiful she was - before the princess could escape to her ivory tower forever.




There are endless treasures to be found in the troves of category romances. This love story shines.

Ruth Wind creates excellent nuanced characters that at once embody archetypes in order to explore the themes that draw a reader to a kind of character and then she sketches them so finely we can never see these people as anything but real, human, and compelling.

In this romance, we have a the less traditionally attractive twin as a larger sized heroine from the upper class and a hero who is a seen as a bad boy but sees the world and the heroine through artist's eyes.

The issues of class difference and self esteem around body image are deftly handled. The empathy and compassion that these two find for each other make a love story worth reading over and over again

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review 2016-06-17 11:00
Max. Stella. Yum!
Beautiful Stranger - Christina Lauren
In Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard #2) by Christina Lauren, Businessman Max Stella hasn't been tempted to settle down with one woman since his younger days back in England. The paparazzi in New York City love to cast him as a playboy, which might be a bit true, but his real focus is on his venture capital firm growing exponentially. Seeing the stunning Sara Dillon in a club and having the wildest time of his life with their exhibitionism, Max can't get her out of his head. Sara's offer of a no strings attached arrangement sounds brilliant. Until Max realizes too late just how taken with her he has become.
'I'd never felt such a tormenting mix of protectiveness, worship, and a binding need to completely own someone so physically. She was so beautiful, so bloody trusting--all fucking mine.'
Moving to New York City was the best decision Sara has ever made. Well, aside from ditching her cheating long-time boyfriend. Determined to start over again and forget the last six years of her life, Sara whoops it up with her best friends Chloe and Julia on the town. When a beautiful stranger, a gigantic British heartthrob, offers her a night of bliss, Sara throws caution to the wind. Thus, a new part of herself is revealed. She can be wild and young, setting the parameters of her time with Max. But once Sara finds out her emotions are tangled up with the physical, she might not have the strength to let her sexy Brit go.
"Women don't always want to be treated like we're delicate, or rare, or somehow more precious. We want to be wanted. We want sex to be just as raw as you do."
Beautiful Stranger kept a smile on my face for the entire three-hundred-and-forty-two pages of Max and Sara's romance. Just when I thought the sex couldn't get any hotter and the dialogue any dirtier, authors Christina Lauren turned up the volume.
She wore a short red wrap dress and it had come undone a bit at the top. I understood the feeling. I gazed down at her left breast, the black lace of her bra peeking out. "Nice to see you," I told her cleavage. "I've had a day. Can I bury my face in you?"
I was absolutely charmed by this novel. I had thoroughly enjoyed Chloe and Bennett's escapades in Beautiful Bastard and Beautiful Bitch, but I think I've fallen even harder for Max and Sara. There was just something so freeing in watching them be so daring with their exhibitionism and then of course falling head over heels in love. Thank goodness we still got all of the raunchy oh-so-good sexy-talk I've come to expect from a Christina Lauren book. And the love scenes? They were plentiful and ridiculously well written. Seriously...this book should come with a warning that it may spontaneously combust!
I think my favorite thing about this story, aside from the hot sexy-time scenes and fabulous characters, was the amount of personal growth both Max and Sara had. Their romance truly did feel like a personal journey they both took, finding out who they really were and what they wanted out of a relationship. I loved watching Max realize how confounded Sara made him and how much she had crept into his heart. He was an absolute charmer (with a filthy mouth!) who wrapped me right around his finger as he pursued Sara. And it was wonderful to see Sara embrace her newfound wild side while she also figured out that not every guy was a slimeball like her ex.
If you're looking for an erotic romance that is hot as hell but still has substance to the storyline, I highly recommend Beautiful Stranger. I hope you get as swept away by Max and Sara's love story as I did.
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review 2016-03-25 20:51
#CBR8 Book 28: Beautiful Stranger by Christina Lauren
Beautiful Stranger - Christina Lauren

Sara Dillon, Chloe Mills' best friend, dumps her cheating fiancee and relocates to New York when her BFF and her Beautiful Bastard of a boyfriend open a new set of offices there. Out celebrating Chloe's engagement, Sara meets a tall, sexy stranger in a nightclub and ends up hooking up with him, without even exchanging names. Turns out her sexy f*ck buddy is an old friend of Bennet's, Max Stella, and he can't get the alluring lady from the nightclub out of his mind. While Sara is actively avoiding a new relationship, she can't deny her strong attraction to Max and with every new meeting, she discovers new things about herself and what she gets off on (hint - it's mainly mild forms of exhibitionism, the thrill of nearly getting caught).


While Max has a past as a playboy of note, he's tantalised by Sara, especially her initial plan that they see each other just once a week, and then only for sex. He wants to take their relationship to the next level much quicker than her, but once he realises why she's so wary about long-term commitment, he's content to wait for her to return his feelings.


In this second book in the Beautiful series, you can already see Christina Lauren getting more skilled at writing, and including more to the story than just people yelling at each other or tearing each other's clothes off. I found the first book sadly lacking in most of the plot and character development, and Bennett and Chloe's hook-up MO didn't really thrill me all that much. There is more back story given to both Sara and Max in this book, and the reader is given an explanation as to why Sara might want to let herself go and have a purely physical relationship for a while, having been with the same man (who treated her badly) for far too long and finally breaking free.


Max is the contemporary romance version of a rake who's ready to be redeemed and he's all about respecting his lady love's wants and wishes. Even though he's emotionally at a place where he's ready to settle down, he's ready to wait until Sara returns his feelings. Of course, towards the end of the book, there is a big misunderstanding and some added complications thrown in the way of our lovers. It's one of my least favourite plot tropes (along with "I must push the people I love away from me to protect them!") and it is pretty much just a frustrating way for the authors to pad out the story for a bit until the couple can move on to their HEA. 


In conclusion - Beautiful Stranger is better than the first book in the series (and the novella following it), but still not up to the quality of either of the four books in the Wild Seasons series, where I would suggest readers begin if they're interested in the work of Christina Lauren.

Source: kingmagu.blogspot.no/2016/03/cbr8-book-28-beautiful-stranger-by.html
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review 2015-08-03 14:54
Beautiful Stranger Mini Review
Beautiful Stranger - Christina Lauren

I've been reading a lot of Christina Lauren's books over the past couple of weeks, but I still haven't read the first of this series, Beautiful Bastard. This one is the second in the series, but I don't feel like I was missing anything by starting here.


Sara, recently split from her cheating boyfriend, relocates from Chicago to NYC. Out with her friends (Chloe, from Beautiful Bastard), she meets Max at a club. They hook up at the club but don't exchange names or numbers. Max is British, "gorgeous" and "really tall." He's also a wealthy businessman, investing in art.


Sara works for Bennett (hero of BB) as his new VP of Finance of a public relations company. Max pursues/stalks her when he sees her at Bennett's new offices.


Sara and Max's relationship centers around their shared kink of enjoying public sex. It also includes cellphone pics and videos "but no faces." I found their smexytimes interesting and creative, but it took me a while to buy into the romance.


I really liked Sara. She had a shitty ex and knew enough to know it wasn't a great time to get into a new relationship. Max, as a character, felt uneven at times. In the first few scenes, he didn't come across as British. Maybe him being described as having really large hands made him sound like a basketball player? I don't know. His dialogue just didn't read British to me until about one-third in. So, I liked that he was into Sara and he eventually falls hard for her. He felt like a bit of a millionaire/billionaire caricature in some scenes.


So, I liked it but I didn't love it. By the end, I was rooting for Sara and Max to be together and they made sense as a couple.



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review 2015-06-22 09:46
“… odpowiedzią na jeden problem nigdy nie jest stwarzanie innego.”
Piękny nieznajomy - Katarzyna Krawczyk,Christina Lauren
Beautiful Stranger - Christina Lauren
Beautiful Stranger - Christina Lauren

Długo zastanawiałam się, czy faktycznie sięgnąć po drugi tom “Pięknego drania”. Pamiętałam, że choć miło przy nim spędziłam czas, nie była to literatura wielkich lotów. Jeśli mam być szczera, pamiętałam jedynie, że był to kiedyś ff i że chodziło o romans biurowy. Tylko tyle zapadło mi w pamięć po przeczytaniu i odłożeniu tamtej pozycji. Ciekawość jednak zwyciężyła. I dobrym w tym wszystkim było posunięciem, by w każdym tomie poruszać losy innych bohaterów. Dzięki temu nie musiałam ponownie sięgać po tom pierwszy w celu przypomnienia sobie dokładnych losów Chloe. I tak, jak okładka “Pięknego drania” nawet mi odpowiadała w swej prostocie, tak mężczyzna z dziwnym wąsikiem z “Pięknego nieznajomego” do tytułowego pięknisia mi kompletnie nie pasował.


I znów mamy romans, tym razem już nie biurowy, choć czasem w pracy też się wiele działo. Poznajemy Sarę, niesamowicie niewinną i poniekąd naiwną kobietę, która dopiero co wyplątała się z beznadziejnego związku. Zmienia całkowicie swoje życie i… rozwija skrzydła w sferze seksualnej. Wplątuje się w romans z jakże doświadczonym w tej dziedzinie, pewnym nieznajomym. Nagle mamy zdjęcia, filmy, a nawet seks kluby. I gdzieś tam, pomiędzy tym wszystkim, jest poszukiwanie przez Sarę swojego miejsca, pogodzenie się z przeszłością, próba stawania twardo na stopach i walka o lepszą przyszłość. Mamy uczucia i walkę z nimi. Mamy też silnego mężczyznę padającego do stóp niewiasty.


Podsumowując: Przyjemnie spędzone chwile przy romansie z dość mocno zarysowaną erotyką. Dla wielbicieli scen seksu – będzie tego sporo. Ja omijałam je, chcąc raczej relacji. Szybkie poczytadło na jeden wieczór. Podobnie, jak z pierwszym tomem, miło przeczytać, dobrze spędzić przy tej książce czas, po czym odłożyć na półkę. Pamiętajmy jednak – to nie jest tylko erotyk. To pozycja o przezwyciężaniu swoich lęków, o miłości budzącej się tam, gdzie nie do końca jest chciana, o ogromnym zaufaniu, ale i grzesznych zabawach, pożądaniu i wielkiej namiętności. Warto przeczytać i się odprężyć, przeżyć miłe chwile.

Source: smag-rekomendacje.blogspot.com
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