Book Review: Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Stranger

Posted June 25, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

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.

Book Review: Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Stranger

Beautiful Stranger


Christina Lauren

erotic romance that was published by Gallery Books on April 16, 2013 and has 345 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Player, Sweet Filthy Boy, Dating You / Hating You

Second in the Beautiful Bastard erotic romance series. The couple focus is on Sara Dillon and Max Stella, and the series has moved to New York City.

My Take

It’s another fun story from Lauren, although it’s not as dominating as Beautiful Bastard, 1. I love that Sara had the guts to step outside her comfort zone and then to leave Max hanging. It’s such a switch from the usual in which the man does the slam-bang-thank you before he heads out the door, LOL. And she continues this out-the-door routine in the deal she makes with Max. One that drives him mad.

Part of me thinks “oh how convenient that these two found each other, shared the same kinks”, but then that’s how it can work in real life. Not often, but it can happen, so I can’t complain. Readers complain often about insta-love and how convenient it is for certain events to occur in a story. In some cases, their complaints are fair. Those insta-love moments that make no sense, that occur without reason. The serendipity of two people happening to meet. Only, writers also create back stories for their characters, so these serendipitous moments are simply a part of a person’s (the character’s) ongoing life. It just happens that we readers also happen to catch a glimpse into their life at that time.

No, I’m not saying this is a case of insta-love; it’s more a case of oh-my-god love that develops: slowly for Sara because she’s fighting it, putting all kinds of limitations on it, and rather quickly for Max because, I think, he’s so surprised and excited to meet someone as fascinating as Sara. …I think it’s the kink that speeds it up for both.

LOL, Max certainly creates some exciting scenarios for their meet-ups.

What an amazing jerk Andy was…throwing her clothes out the door of her own house! Where does someone get that kind of arrogance…’cause I could sure use a bit…!

Damn it, the one stupid note in this story is when Max gets careless and his carryon gets stolen. With all those pictures on his SD card. No, that’s not the stupid part. What’s stupid is Sara’s reaction to it. With two minds working together, couldn’t the authors come up with something better than this extreme reaction of Sara’s?

The Story

Sara has finally come to her senses about her two-timing boyfriend and she’s changing everything about her life, starting with taking up this new job with Ryan Media.

Her life really changes that night out with the girls, celebrating her newfound freedom when she encounters a beautiful stranger at the club, and her life changes forever.

The Characters

Sara Dillon is Chloe’s best friend and the new Director of Finance, grateful to have the opportunity to start her life over. George is her NYC assistant. Andy is the jerk of an ex-boyfriend, ragging on Sara about everything.

Max Stella has a well-deserved rep as a playboy and is one of Bennett’s best friends. He’s part of a very successful venture capital company, Stella and Sumner, with his friends, Will Sumner and James Marshall. Cecily is an ex-lover who went a bit cuckoo. Richie, Derek, and Robbie are some of his mates on his rugby team.

Chloe Mills and Bennett Ryan are getting married and setting up a new branch of Ryan Media Group in New York City (see Beautiful Bastard). Henry Ryan is Bennett’s father and the head of Ryan Media. Julia is best friends with Sara and Chloe.

Johnny French owns several clubs including Silver; Beat Snap, a cabaret in Brooklyn; and, Red Moon, a sex club for voyeurs.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a black-and-white photo from mid-ear to hips of a man ready to relax after a hard day’s work, a jacket slung over one shoulder, tie loosened, the cufflink’d, striped shirt with a glass of whiskey in hand. The title is spattered and battered in a bright blue.

The title is Max, for he is a Beautiful Stranger.