Doing it at: 5%
Catnip: Hate to Love You, Secret Lovers, Boardroom Sex; Elevator Sex, Dual Narrative, Ass Biting, Hate Fucking, Panty Ripping
Shame Scale: The steam factor in this one is high, low shame for how much you wouldn’t want someone reading this over your shoulder on the bus.
Fantasy Cast: Daniel Gillies; Emmy Rossum
An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling.
Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate–and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative–completely infuriating–creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules–or outright smash them–if it means he can have her. All over the office.As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.
Beautiful Bastard is book one in the Beautiful Series. As usual I have gone into this series backwards and read book four in the series first, AND all of the inter-connected Wild Seasons books. Essentially Mary and I will read anything that the writing duo of Christina Lauren churns out, their heroines are smart, strong ladies, their heroes are of the highest order of hot, and there’s enough sass and sex to please any romance fan.
Chloe Mills has worked at the Ryan family’s marketing empire for years, she’s a rising star and tight with the family, when the prodigal son returns from years spent in France and ends up as Chloe’s new boss. Bennett is hot, like tall, built, and broody hot; but unfortunately he seems to hate Chloe. He’s extremely critical, works her to the bone, and it isn’t long till she hates him too. They can barely manage to be polite and when they look at each other it’s all:
I was really expecting this to be a slow burn, a gradual thawing where the protagonists eventually learn that they have a lot in common and fall in love. Delightfully that is not what happens in Beautiful Bastard. Instead we get Bennett unable to keep his hands off of Chloe in the boardroom late one night, 5% into the book and he’s angrily taking her up against a window. And It. Is. Hot. Bennett literally rips Chloe’s panties off and they’re still sparring even as he’s inside her.
“What’s that?” he hissed through clenched teeth, his hips slapping against my thighs, driving deep inside. “Never been fucked like this before, have you? You wouldn’t be such a tease if you were being properly fucked.”Who did he think he was? And why the hell did it turn me on so much that he was right? I had never had sex anywhere but on a bed, and it never felt like this.“I’ve had better,” I taunted.
Afterwards Chloe is mortified, and angry at herself, and Bennett (who she left unsatisfied because Chloe is kind of my hero) is pretty sure he’s screwed for schtupping his intern at the office. They both are all internally “that is NOT going to happen again. Nope definitely not. No more hot sex…” even though Bennett has been taking lunch breaks with his office door locked and getting off thinking of her for months. The next day they try to ignore each other and act as if nobody has seen anybody naked, until Chloe presents Bennett with a sales receipt. For clothing. Made on the company card. She tries to drop that bomb and flee but Bennett catches up with her in the stairwell:
“Some bastard tore my blouse.” She shrugged her shoulders and then leaned closer to me and whispered, “And my panties.”
What just happened? Did I just fuck my boss on the stairs? I gasped and my hands flew over my mouth. Did I order him to? Oh, Jesus. What the hell was wrong with me?
I can not stress enough how well written the doing it is in Beautiful Bastard, and for this being the duo’s first novel together I’m extra impressed. I really wanted to just include every passage in its entirety for your reading pleasure but have shown some restraint:
On his knees behind me, he grabbed my ass and pressed his teeth into the flesh, eliciting a sharp gasp from me before he stood back up.Holy hell, how does he know to do these things to me?“Did you like that?” His fingers pressed and pulled at my breasts. “Being bitten on the ass?”“Maybe.”“You’re such a filthy fucking girl.”
Your heart is pounding. Tell me how fucking good this feels.”Instinctively, I relaxed when I looked up at his cocky grin. Did he know I needed some reminder of who we’d been less than a day ago? “You’re doing that talking thing again. Stop”His smile widened. “You love my talking. You especially love it when it coincides with my dick being in you.”I rolled my eyes. “What gave that away? The orgasms? The way I ask you for it? Good sleuthing.”
Chloe and Bennett’s banter during all of this is top-notch, and we did start getting that thaw as the couple realized that maybe what they were doing was more than just the sex. When emotions start getting involved everything gets trickier and Chloe has to decide how much this affair is going to affect her career and how much she’s willing to sacrifice for Bennett. She has been working towards her MBA, working with the Ryan’s with her goal in mind for years, and its rightfully important to her that no one thinks she slept her way to the top. She doesn’t want any favors and she doesn’t want Bennett to treat her any different in the board room, even if he has been inside her in there.
The emotional heft to this very hot book is perfect, the characters and their falling apart and coming back together were realistic and gave me the feels. We’d recommend this book to anyone who has ever had a crush on their hot boss, anyone who secretly loves angry sex, and anyone who loves a sweet HEA and sassy banter.