Series: Beautiful Bastard
Published by Gallery Books on 12 February 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotica
Beautiful Bastard is about Chloe Mills and her complicated relationship with her boss, Bennett Ryan. They fight like cat and dog, he acts like an arse most of the time, and she hates his guts. The only problem is that he is so good-looking Chloe can't help but fantasizing about him! Bennett has the same problem when it comes to Chloe. He thinks about her all the time, loves what she's wearing and wishes he could just rip it all off her to see what's beneath.
*I received a free ARC of Beautiful Bastard from Gallery Books via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review*
Beautiful Bastard starts out with angry sex in the very first chapter. Chloe is talking to herself quite a lot in her own head, which some might find endearing, but I found that pretty annoying. For the first two thirds of the story, I thought both Chloe and Bennett were pretty much one-dimensional. The only thing we get to know about them is that they love to tell each other off – just before having rough sex in inappropriate places.
The sex wasn’t really very sexy in my opinion. I found the writing to be very sterile, it made me actually feel a little bored while reading the sex-scenes. That’s not what usually happen when I read about sex! I think this was partly because Chloe and Bennett didn’t even really like each other very much. They had a very strong sexual attraction, and that’s about it. Beautiful Bastard is also the nick-name Chloe and one of her co-workers (Sara?) gave Bennett, and I guess that fit him quite well. He really acts like a douche most of the time, and the only thing he thinks Chloe is good for is – in his own words – a hard fuck.
I found both Chloe and Bennett to be very superficial, and that is partly because they were written as one-dimensional. I did not feel a connection with their characters, and I did not see a real connection between them either. And the little I, as a reader, did get to know them was only poking at the surface. I think this is why I also felt that the erotic scenes were not erotic at all. It seemed very mechanical, no warmth or love – only lust. I have nothing against lust, but when two people are attracted to each other, I want there to be something more than a sexual spark. Beautiful Bastard was all about having the characters having sex in inappropriate places, and I’m sure some readers will find that enticing. But for me, it seemed more like going through the motions to try to make things more exciting, when just the act itself could be enough.
The writing was pretty repetitive, I lost count over how many times Bennett’s – excuse me, I meant Mr. Ryan – just-out-of-bed hair and long, graceful fingers were described. And I thought it was pretty forced that they continued calling each other Mr. Ryan and Miss Mills for most of the book. Chloe could have been a strong character, but the only thing on her mind seemed to be Bennett, not the fact that she was finishing grad-school in a few months. I prefer to read about female characters who have a back-bone and who know their worth without needing a man to feel complete. As a reader, I was told several times that Chloe was brilliant and self-sufficient, but what I saw of her myself was that she was guided by her libido and not by her brain.
Things got a little better once Chloe and Bennet went to San Diego for a conference, but there, they lived in a vacuum. Not having to deal with the real world, and staying in a bed together for the first time made them get to know each other a little better, but for me, it was too little, too late. I want there to be some more to the plot than two characters tearing the clothes off each other every time they get a chance, and that was missing in Beautiful Bastard. If you only want sex, and you find it exciting to read about a couple going at it in a stairwell or a dressing room, you should definitely get Beautiful Bastard, because there certainly is plenty of that!