I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren
This contemporary romance was published by Gallery Books on October 29, 2013 and has 432 pages.
Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.
Other books by this author include Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger, Sweet Filthy Boy
Third in the Beautiful Bastard romance series based in New York City and revolving around three friends. The couple focus is on Hanna Bergstrom and Will Sumner.
I do like that this starts off as friends. And not friends-with-benefits. Simply friends as they meet to run, to talk, to get to know each other as adults. Then there’s that sense of freedom with Hanna’s not having a verbal filter. It’s part of what attracts Will to her.
“You’ve always been so obviously sexual and open about it. You’re this hot, player guy who doesn’t apologize for enjoying women. I mean, if I noticed that about you when I was twelve, it was obvious. Sex is natural. It’s what our bodies do. I like that you are who you are.”
Of course, she only likes it so far…cliché much? I did enjoy how Lauren handled the clichéd perceptions of men easily distracted by talk of sex, the thought of sex, the possibilities of sex, LOL. It was so perfect with our unfiltered Hanna!
It’s an interesting twist on the usual with Hanna playing hard-to-get, although it does break down somewhat with all the silly miscommunication and past history perceptions. Although, it is a truism: men pursue what they can’t have. Keep it in mind, ladies.
Lauren switches between Hanna’s and Will’s perspectives, and it’s a treat to see inside their heads. There are some switches where I wasn’t sure who was speaking, and it was due to Will having the girl worries about how Hanna feels and if she’d be interested in a monogamous relationship.
It’s a warm and cozy with the getting-to-know-you part, even if it did seem a trifle long-winded. But it’s a real-life story with Will having lunch with his friends. Planning his running. The teasing Will gets from Bennett and Max. Hanna’s confusion over dating. And I love how Hanna expresses herself to Will as she realizes what’s happening: “I didn’t feel lost in him the way I get lost in you.” There’s something so poetic in their exchanges when they’re being honest with each other.
It’s exercise, frank talks about sex, that no on Will’s rib, LOL, the bad puns, and yeah, a bit too much of Hanna acting like a teenager. But then again, it’s that real-life portrayal, as we all have that insecurity inside us.
It’s sweet, a wonderful affirmation of love, and definitely one of the stories I’d like to re-read.
The family is worried that Hanna isn’t getting out — as Hanna remarks to herself: “…how to be more socially slutty”. And Jensen picks the right person to push Hanna out of her laboratory: the fantasy she’s dreamed for so long.
Hanna “Ziggs” Bergstrom is a nerd obsessed with her work in the lab. Jensen is her concerned oldest brother who can’t resist micro-meddling; Liv is her older sister who made out with Will when they were younger!; Niels is the middle child, a quiet one; Eric was the wild child; and, Helena. Dad (Johan) is also a scientist.
Will Sumner was the hot object of Hanna’s teen fantasies when he interned with her father; he still is. Today, he’s a venture capitalist working with Max. Bennett Ryan (Beautiful Bastard, 1) and Max Stella (Beautiful Stranger, 2) are his best friends.
Bennett is planning his wedding to Chloe Mills, and Sara Dillon is with Max. George Mercer is Sara’s gay assistant.
Kitty and Kristy are Will’s regular hook-ups. Dylan Nakamura wants to date Hanna.
The Cover and Title
The cover makes me think of a sketchy black-and-white celluloid with its torso shot from Will’s nose to his thighs as he sits, somewhat slumped, and his striped button-down sleeves rolled up above his elbows. I can’t decide if he’s hairy or shadowed??
The title is so very Will, for he’s a Beautiful Player.