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Beautiful Bastard #1

Beautiful Bastard

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Romance (2013)
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.

Originally only available online as The Office by tby789 — and garnering over 2 million reads on fanfiction sites — Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release.

271 pages, ebook

First published February 12, 2013

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About the author

Christina Lauren

101 books67k followers
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/best friends Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced nineteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

We don't respond to private messages here, so please contact us via twitter (@seeCwrite for Christina and @LolaShoes for Lauren) or our site. Thank you!!

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 11,879 reviews
Profile Image for Blacky *Romance Addict*.
465 reviews6,257 followers
March 25, 2015
OK, Where do I start with this one?

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First, I won't be rating this book. I simply don't know how to do it. It's totally and utterly ridiculous  photo 798186.gif but I still laughed like crazy through most of it  photo 355146.gif The sad part is, those scenes weren't funny  photo 798186.gif

I don't know what's worse, the writing or the story. Well, since the story is non-existent, I guess the writing wins  photo 798186.gif

The dialogues between them... Oh Lord...
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I cried actual tears by how much I was laughing XD I'm kind of sorry this was an ARC and I'm not allowed to post any quotes, but BOY, I'm tempted! Some were brilliantly stupid!
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The main guy is THE BOSS, he does everything like the boss, he's a total bastard and they hate each other.
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The heroine is an intern. They fight a lot. The rest of the time they just f*ck like rabbits.
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Back to the story... I guess the story is to show how many times a couple can f*ck in a book without them actually having a conversation.
Chemistry is non-existent. Absolutely. In the first scene between them they somehow manage to f*ck and it goes on and on and on...
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His obsession with her panties..
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The ending was overly sentimental and sweet and I just wanted to get it over with
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So, even though I found this absolutely ridiculous, I still had a great time laughing at almost everything in the book  photo 725785.gif It didn't kill me dead, it made my evening  photo biggestgrin.gif
And the question is, how to rate something stupid that you enjoyed reading?
You don't. At least I won't. So I'll just leave a review thank you very much :D

Oh, all through the book it was constantly reminded that he's her boss and there were a lot of scenes in the company, and I just couldn't get this song out of my head! It works great with the hero mwahahahahahahahahahahahah


And V... Thanks for this gem :D
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*ARC courtesy by Gallery Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

Profile Image for Colleen Hoover.
Author 103 books657k followers
May 25, 2016
Thoughts before reading this book: "I wonder what this book is about?"

Thoughts while reading this book: "Holy hell, Batman!"

Thoughts after reading this book: "#J@$QIOFAIFJDSLK%$UQ#*"

* This review was not paid for nor endorsed by the authors. In fact, they'd probably rather it not exist at all.
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,954 followers
September 7, 2016
Adult review for erotic content.

Hoo boy. This is going to be one rambling review. Prepare yourselves because we're going in.

1.5 stars. Do I lead off with the fan-fiction talk? Okay, sure. Let's go back to the beginning. I think that I might have had this book confused with something else when I requested it. Anyway, it turns out that Beautiful Bastard is fan-fiction (Twilight FF, no less...yet I'd heard this was actually one of the early ones - pre FSOG, I think?). This story was originally titled The Office. Yes, a lot of people have made comments about the t.v. show (I prefer the U.S. version, don't hate me!). Let's get real though...I think I would have rather read a sexy fan-fiction about the show. COME ON, you know this could have been gold!

Alas, there was no sexy time with Dwight, Jim, or Pam.

So what are my thoughts about fan-fiction? I understand why some people feel like no one should profit off of taking another person's characters or world and embellishing upon them. It doesn't really bother me personally, as long as it's made known who the original author is. But again, I understand why some people find it to be morally wrong, even if this doesn't really set me off. I tend to see red more so when I feel like a book has blatantly ripped off another book and it's NOT labeled as fan-fiction, because then the original author is NOT getting credit for creating the world.

But anyway, back to this book. Instead of sexy t.v. fan-fiction, we get repetitive, boring, office sex with this book's version of Edward and Bella doing the "how many pairs of underwear can we ruin?" dance.

He kept all of her underwear in a drawer. Am I the only one who is now picturing serious funk smell in that office?
Oh, also, I felt her up in an elevator and was hoarding her shredded panties in a drawer. Creeper.

Bennett, recognizing the problem is the first step. Congratulations.

It's good to know that I'll never fail to run out of 'love is a drug' references in cheesy romance/erotica. Ever. If I'd known that I'd still be doing this a year later I would have kept a list, because it's now at the point where I laugh myself silly any time it comes up.
But I also knew I couldn't stop. I had turned into a junkie, living for my next fix.

It satiated the hunger I felt at that moment, but like a junkie I found myself consumed by the need for more as soon as it ended.

I craved her like a drug, and this feeling consumed my every waking thought.

The drama was pointless. He'd stalk her, she'd get angry (or slap him in the face), and they'd have makeup sex. Rinse, repeat. For about 25 more times. THIS is not a story. THIS is not a story. THIS is NOT a story. Hey, I'm more than okay with PWP (porn without plot) erotica, but if we're gonna go that route, either the story needs to be about half the length (a quickie just to get you going), or it has to be written by an author who writes the best damn sex you've ever read, to the point where you forget to look for a story. Unfortunately, the sex wasn't THAT good. Sure, it was hot, but a lot of the scenes were very similar.

Btw...ripping buttons off shirts is such a "throw everything off the desk" type of 80's plot device. I was already bored after about the second panty rip, but they're ripping buttons too? Woo hoo? Am I supposed to be excited by this? I'd rather just see the guy slam the chick into the wall if he needs to have her that bad. Ruining clothes is only hot the first time it happens. Then it's just like some cheesy frat guy crushing a beer can on his head because he can.

Good to know that Bennett has his own inner goddess. He had a 'small voice' inside of his head telling him that he might never get enough of Chloe. I wonder if his inner goddess also does backflips.

He also smirked a lot. Where have I seen this before? Oh right, this came before FSOG. Even still...3 smirks per book - max.

So why the extra half star? I loooooooved the dirty talk near the end. If there was one shining moment about this book, it was that the dirty talk was seriously hot during the last couple of sexual encounters.

Eh, you win some and you lose some. Thankfully, this was a fast read. I don't need to waste too much thought on wishing for my lost time back.

This book provided from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Vishous.
489 reviews559 followers
December 9, 2012
*ARC courtesy by Gallery Books via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

oh yeah... i'm starting this baby right now!


this is me before starting this

this is me while reading this




I honestly did not expect this! Really! I mean..... REALLY?!?!?!

ok let me just say something in the beginning! This book is UNRATABLE!!!!

Honestly in the beginning i wanted to give it 5 stars only because i can't remember when was the last time I actually cried from all the laughing while reading a book! And 5 stars does mean amazing and by that it was amazing!

But for the love of God! After some time of reading such a ridiculous dialogue between main characters, or should I say lack of normal conversation, i honestly wanted to go to the nearest store and buy myself a gun and a bullet with my name on it!


The sad part is, actually it is also very funny, that this book is not written to be funny! This book is written to arouse and get you horny and crazy for the main male character ladies! OMG REALLY?!?!?!?! HAHAHA OK THEN....

The only thing that happens in this book is sex!
Either they did it or they were thinking about doing it...


Don't get me wrong I am all for sex part but this was simply ridiculous! I was crying from all the laughing while reading their lines during the sex! And don't let me just start with the lack of chemistry and connection between them! All they ever do is hump each other! I mean come on! GIVE ME SOME PLOT! AT LEAST A TINY BIT...

The story is about this BOSS AND HIS INTERN...
i think i said it all with only that....

In the end I really could not wait to finish this.... only so i could stop reading it and get over with it....

I know lots of you ladies can't wait to read this book, hell even I was anticipating it, but seriously .... i am simply at loss of words...

I'm not sorry I read it because, i will repeat myself, --------> I was laughing all the time!
Profile Image for S.C. Stephens.
Author 39 books17k followers
July 25, 2013
Ahhhhh! I have been waiting for this book for so long! I am so excited!!!

My official blurb for this book:

"The perfect blend of sex, sass and heart, Beautiful Bastard is a steamy battle of wills that will get your blood pumping!"

-- S.C. Stephens, bestselling author of Thoughtless
Profile Image for Rose.
1,872 reviews1,055 followers
January 7, 2013
Initial reaction: In a word: No. Just no. This is going to be the second of two long reviews I pen this year that explain the myriad of problems that plague a work on a number of levels. "Beautiful Bastard" had many, and I don't know how it left the cutting room floor without anyone seeing them or for some readers not to be angry or upset (I was very much the latter) at some of the content this book has. There's much to cover, so I'll let my full review expound upon it further.

Full review:

When I started penning this particular review, I thought about going on an extended tangent about why being a P2P (or pulled to publish) fanfic can actually underscore a book's impact in terms of the actual writing process. Since fanfiction is based on already created characters, settings, worldbuilding and the like, if you try to just substitute the names and don't build the work from the ground up (and I mean the ENTIRE work - provided you didn't already do it as you were going along), it's going to underscore the story you're trying to offer, because people aren't going to know what you're discussing or have a foot to step onto the platform of your work. It's a template, not the full package.

That long expansion - explaining the ins and outs of fanfiction, my thoughts about it, my role in writing it personally, the rise of P2P fanfics in publishing and its problematic trending, among other things, is still saved in one of the versions of this review I penned in Microsoft Word. I thought about it and at one point, I wanted to pull it, but I decided - no, people should hear it, so I'm going to post that alongside my review on "Beautiful Bastard." Hope you guys will bear with me as I kind of go through the motions on that, and then expound with my thoughts on this work. *bows*

Oh, as far as the song that came to mind as I was penning this review: "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" - Robert Palmer's version. (Cherelle did the original.)


I may take a number of tangents that explain the personal investments that I have in the topics I’m covering surrounding “Beautiful Bastard.” I do it only to better illustrate from where my perspective of the work comes and why I have many of the sentiments that I do when it comes to the content and the overarching work in itself. So with that in mind, I hope this review still gives you guys a clear cut viewpoint of the novel and why I may have some of the particular perspectives I do of the work.

Let’s start this review with an open conversation about fanfiction. Some readers that might go through my reviews may not know anything about what fanfic entails. And particularly they may not see the objections to what appears to be a new work coming out that was once formerly Twilight fanfiction. I’ve seen people comment about “Beautiful Bastard” in that they say “Why are people comparing this to Twilight? This has nothing to do with Twilight. I don’t understand why people are making the comparison.”

I’m going to try to explain it on a base level and hope I’m clear cut about it. Fanfiction, in general, is a measure of collective writings that people do for a number of reasons based on an already released artistic work in the wider community. They’re stories that the writers in the “fandom” if you will, pen about the characters in “what if” scenarios that serve as jumping points from the original stories or set of stories they were derived from. You have people who write fanfiction about Star Wars, Stargate or a number of different movies. You may have people writing fanfiction about games like in the Final Fantasy franchise or the Mass Effect series. You may have people who write fanfiction about animated series like those in the Disney or Nickelodeon franchises, or popular TV shows like Supernatural or Glee. You can even see fanfics where people have written “what-if” scenarios about works of fiction – like classics such as Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” or Bronte’s “Jane Eyre.” Believe it or not, there are actually fanfics that are written about actual historical figures or popular figures in media, but that’s a whole other conversation to be had.

When these fics are penned, people often choose to share them in online communities for the other members of the fandom to partake.

The way I view fanfiction, personally, is that it’s an exercise in creativity, and those in the respective communities partake in it just as a measure of fun. For a number of years, personally, I wasn’t always aware of what fanfiction entailed, particularly after reading a number of fics that were thinly disguised examples of Mary Sue writing. But I’d actually written fanfiction for a number of years without even realizing it – the way I termed it was thinking “If I were a writer of a certain TV series or movie or novel I enjoyed, what directions would I take that particular story or those characters? What could I do with that?” It was a way of prompting my freewriting measures. Once I did discover more of the ins and outs of fanfiction writing and the various fandoms, I think that opened up measures where I explored the communities, even partook in it myself. So when I say that I embrace the fanfiction community – readers and writers alike – I really do. I’ve written and am writing in it even now in considerations, though considerably speaking, I don’t write in some of the larger fanbases, and I write for a more general audience (mostly kids/teens or those who are young at heart and like nostalgia).

But there’s a slippery slope to be had about fanfic writing in general, some of these rules are explicit, others aren’t. There are some writers/artists/media partakers that do not allow people to write fanfic about their work in any public spectrum, for various reasons. For another, there’s the knowledge that whatever story one pens in a specific fandom community – if allowed, regardless if the story is original in that it came from the writer’s mind’s eye – it’s based on a work where the characters, locales, existing story and other copyrighted measures that already exist with respect to that work belong to its original creators. Fanfic writers do not write for the sake of commercial gain based on the copyrighted work or to take profits away from the people who originally created the work. Most who are in the community are respectful of that. This is one of the reasons why, when penning and sharing a fanfic not in the public domain, people in the community put a disclaimer in front of their work saying something akin to “The characters, locales, and other respective copyrights of belong to the original owners and creators.” And a fanfic writer may go on to say what aspects of the individual work belong to them (i.e. the actual story/plot, original characters, made up locales, etc.)

I could go on about the ins and outs of fanfic writing and fandom, but that would take a book or two in itself. (It makes me wish there were someone with the guts to write a good non-fiction book about the comprehensive history of fanfiction writing, examine with a close eye what makes the fandoms unique and takes an eye to the positive as well as negative dimensions).

You might be wondering, “Okay, Rose, why are you telling me all of this and what does this have to do with ‘Beautiful Bastard’?

“Beautiful Bastard” was originally a Twilight fanfic (meaning the work created by Stephenie Meyer) called "The Office", penned by two writers and shared on the web. It initially gained its respective popularity that way and got picked up by the publisher, who wanted the authors to rework it. The original character names used in this story were Bella and Edward, and the Cullen family was featured in this “mature” reimage of two office workers who frequently butt heads and engage in sexy times together. One could say that “Beautiful Bastard” is one in a long line of up and coming stories that were once fanfiction but altered and marketed as “original” fiction, when really they were what many of us term as “pulled to publish” or P2P fanfiction.

Now I could technically go into the moral boundaries that this work crosses as a P2P fanfic work with respect to publishing and profit, but I’m actually not going to do that in the spectrum of this review. (That’s a whole other ballgame.) What I will discuss is why this story, in itself a P2P fanfic, can’t stand on its own legs as a strong work considered on its own measure, let alone some of the offenses this book makes as a romantic read. The long and short of what I want to say is that just because you can write a fanfic doesn't mean you can sustain a book by doing the whole substituting names and trying to rework details because that's not going to do the story justice.

I hate saying this because I know that each writer has their own unique style and coloring with respect to the writing that they do, but there’s no nice way of me saying that the writing in this is...not good. It never should’ve left the editing floor without significant developmental and structural changes, in addition to editing. What makes it even worse for consideration is that this comes from two writers who worked on this thing. TWO.

Chloe is a masters degree candidate working her way up the corporate ladder under a very demanding boss. Many people consider her boss – Bennett Ryan, a “beautiful bastard” – demanding, perfectionist, possessive, misogynistic (I wouldn’t argue that at all), among other terms. The two don’t hit it off very well when it comes to their working relationship, but they have an unexplainable need to possess each other and frequently engage in sexy times while also putting each other down. Ultimately they have a coming of terms where they realize they can’t deny the attraction they have for each other and that the relationship is built on need, so they go through a number of ups and downs until reaching the point where they recognize it. The story’s told between the perspectives of Chloe and Ben, and they aren’t exactly the most amicable couple.

I can deal with unlikable characters. I can deal with sexual tension, power struggles and bold put downs. I can even deal with the rough play by play that comes with some descriptions and depictions of sex. Those are elements that can *potentially* be worked into a good story. But the key to making those elements work is that you have to DEVELOP them. You can’t skimp them to cede to other elements (in this case, the sex). Otherwise, it’s not going to work.

I’m not going to do comparisons right off the bat, just what this book managed to convey on my first read of it. First thing was that I had a hard time remembering the characters. Not just their names, but actually who they were. You could substitute any name for Chloe and Ben and you would still get the very cookie cutter characters that were in this book. Even with the several mentions of Chloe trying to work her way up with being in the business and having a masters degree - I couldn't relate to her. And I certainly couldn't relate to or find any attraction to Ben. (More on that later.)

The sexual tension in this novel was very manufactured, it just wasn't done well. Usually, when you have two characters that have sexual tension, there's a palpable power struggle with a level that goes beyond just the surface reasons (higher position versus lower position in terms of working environment). And usually the sexual tension really comes out naturally from two characters who have a much greater depth than the two protagonists of "Beautiful Bastard."

There weren’t very many (if any) palpable stakes to be had in this story. The side characters were forgettable. The sex scenes - to me - were dry and repetitive. Lots of panty ripping, lots of casual throws of “bastard” and “bitch” and “whore.” Lots of male blaming female for turning him on. Lots of female not wanting (but still wanting) to be turned on. After a while, you get desensitized to the whole thing - it's just not sexy. I didn't feel for these characters, I didn't think they were mature or sexy - I thought they were stupid. That brand of stupid and the descriptions this book gave me more than enough reasons for my blood to boil.

Seriously, if you start a chapter talking about how one character left the other character looking like he was "molested" in a romance novel, right after a sex scene, there's a problem there. (I'm going to leave that for you to consider as food for thought. I was going to take the time to address it, but seriously this was one of the scenarios that nearly made me consider DNFing this, among many. And this review would be twice as long if I did.)

If you have a male love interest putting down the female character for turning him on and wearing a certain dress when the implications are referring to the woman's virginity (and basically putting her down in ever other way possible) - there's a problem.

I just...how on the ever loving earth is Ben even considered a sexy hero? He's not just a jerk, there's no dimensions to him other than thinking "sex, sex, sex" then "bitch, tease, whore" and a stream of other put downs. He profiles any man that might be interested in Chloe. There was even a time he criticized a guy for crying "like a baby when he took a baseball to the shin in tenth grade."

Dude, have you ever been hit by a baseball to the shins? It HURTS. Don't knock it, 'cause it could happen to you - I don't care how old you are. Happened to me. The guy who hit the ball was so mortified, like "ZOMG! I am so sorry! D:" I wanted to give him a hug, even when I felt like I needed a hug. And he was at least a foot taller than me.

The word "respect" doesn't even enter his thinking for quite some time, though there are tiny, thread-thin glimpses where we're supposed to see that he upset Chloe. He thinks, even as a coming to terms towards the end of the novel, he has to have her - like she's a possession. There's a point where he realizes that she deserves to have her work recognized, but even then, there are implications in that scene that he really doesn't "learn" anything about what it means to respect. And the message is mostly lost because there's no real depth to his coming to terms anyway. Argh.

And if that isn't enough to consider, there are certain turns of phrases that make it obvious that its referring to "Twilight." Chuckling darkly, anyone? (Yes, that's in "Beautiful Bastard" too. If you don't believe me about its link to Twilight, check out charlieissocoollike's reading of Twilight on Youtube, he does "chuckling darkly" pretty well.") Or how about Ben not knowing whether he feels angry or not? Really? How can you NOT KNOW when you're angry about something, or not knowing a certain emotion? I can understand certain works like a girl being born without a fear gene, or a robot who starts to become human, but how does this relate to a domineering executive? Sense this does not make.

Chloe is equally frustrating because she - on one hand, knocks down a lot of the things that Ben does, but is also shown to reverse course and find him sexy after some really sketchy terms.

I really couldn't get a good handle on Edward's Ben's family. They felt so generic in their drawing, and the whole scenario with them being there was mostly about Chloe being a part of the picture, so they didn't have any flesh to pinch from.

Oh, and where is this story supposed to be taking place? As in what country, what setting, how long of a time span in certain places? (Sometimes it was drawn, other times it was a bit shaky except for the immediate place.) It's hard to tell because you don't get any of those shaping details in this story. It isn't enough that we hear these vague details about a report or a presentation that needs to be done and that there's no substance to the actual work environment these two are supposed to be working in or home environment or even the places where they talk or engage in sexy times.

Setting/environment is just as important to draw as any other part of a story - characters, plot, thematic, etc. The problem is, like pretty much all the major points of what compose a story, these dimensions felt vague or were missing entirely.

I could go on, but I want to spare the last part of my review talking about the comparisons to the original fanfic (unfortunately I can't delve into it as much as I want to already given the length of this review). I actually read "The Office" after reading "Beautiful Bastard" to serve as a comparison. Turns out they did take out a lot and changed it up in certain areas. I can't really give a certain percentage. Mostly quite a few shaping scenes (I definitely noticed that the scene where the heroine's overslept and cursing up a storm at the beginning was taken out, as were some other shaping and dialogue scenes.) To say it was any better from the omissions and changes, though? Was it more refined, tailored to a more mature audience? Not really. If anything, it was like the fanfic, but I would argue that "Beautiful Bastard's" narrative felt more empty because it was specifically a P2P fanfic that relied so much on the already pre-drawn characters, alongside other details. When you take that element out, it fell faster than a shaky Jenga stack.

It doesn't do any good just to tailor or substitute in a story. Examine it from the ground up. If anything, for those writing fanfiction, it's a process that's supposed to help you learn to give an eye to those elements, so that you can, when you are actually writing YOUR OWN WORK, you can look and say "Hmm, what do you I need to pay attention to in order to make this more vivid, more resonant, to connect with the reader and have them sharing the experience?" Examine the characters, look at their situations, shape their personalities, go into the individual elements that make the story - not just through substitutions or putting things in here and there and taking out willy nilly. People will notice, a reader will notice. This wasn't really reworked, it was just tailored, and that tailoring missed the mark by quite a scale, among other problematic elements that existed in BOTH WORKS. It's not just that people don't realize just how unethical it is to publish P2P fanfics on the level of the publishing and monetary ends, it shortchanges the storytelling process too if you think about just the measure of "substitution", because there are people who aren't taking the lens to the essential story elements and realizing that those elements need the proper focus.

In the end, I recommend giving this a pass - whether you've read the fanfic or haven't. I wish I could have my time back from reading it, because it really didn't engage me, it wasn't sexy, and I couldn't even be bothered with caring for its troublesome, paper-thin, stereotypical, lackluster characters. There's better offerings out there in the erotic and romance genres. This isn't one of them.

Overall score: 0.5/5

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher Gallery Books.
Profile Image for MischaS_.
785 reviews1,342 followers
April 17, 2019
Well, what to say? The beginning was amazing; we just jumped into the story right away. Really great. But in the middle of the book, it started to be a bit boring, still the same without any change. Anyway, it was still a pleasurable story.
If I had to choose, Bennett was better. I'd liked him because he wasn't perfect. He was a bastard. Which is a sort of the point of this story I guess?

However, my main problem is that this SCREAMS Twilight fan fiction. Did it start as Twilight fiction or something?
Profile Image for chan ☆.
1,051 reviews49.1k followers
August 18, 2021
it's a good thing i'm not uncomfortable listening to sex scenes on audiobook because that's pretty much all this book had going on.

which isn't necessarily terrible. i'd argue that this book might be better than some of christina lauren's recent and forgettable romcoms. but i'm also not going to act like this was memorable or that the characters had any traits beyond being hot and employed.

if you're looking for something smutty and very very low stakes to read on the beach, this was kind of fun. kind of.
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,439 reviews78.1k followers
April 16, 2018
Well, I feel like I'm an unpopular opinion on this one. It seems everyone felt strongly about this story, whether they loved or hated it, and I was somewhere in the middle. The first chapter was exciting and bold, but then things felt repetitive and stale until the 50% mark. Finally, the story picks up and I read the second half in a single sitting. While I ended up enjoying the story, I think my main issue was that I had trouble connecting with Bennett and Chloe; we don't get any characterization until so far into the story that I had to question multiple times whether I cared. I am, however, really excited to continue on with the series once I found out that Beautiful Stranger features Chloe's co-worker Sara, as I connected more with her. Middle of the road for me but I can see why so many people love this!

Buddy Read with Sam @ Clues and Reviews!
Profile Image for Elizabeth (Liz).
611 reviews393 followers
January 8, 2013
1 Star

I can't be a person who doesn't tell the truth about a book, about my experience reading a particular story. I just can't be that person. If I love a book, you *know* it. I don't hesitate to get effusive with my praise and love and sickening adoration;-) If I don't like a book, I try my best to not be a total raving witch about it, and I hope that comes across when people read my reviews. This review is going to sound harsh, but...I really don't know any other way to say what I feel needs to be said. I've written and rewritten this review multiple times, and, I'm sorry, but this is what I've got.

I went into this with the very best of intentions and expectations, even after some less than stellar reviews on Goodreads. I thought, you know, it's a matter of taste and preference. This sounds like my kind of story, so I'm gonna go for it! One of my favorite authors loved this story in its original form, and, well, that was good enough for me. I was so excited to receive this and start reading!

I tried. Truly, I did. So, when all is said and done, what do I think? I honestly cannot comprehend what originally drew so many people to this story online that a major publishing house felt compelled to pull it, pretty it up a bit, and spend the money to have it published. There is absolutely no snark or nastiness intended by that comment. Truthfully, I'm completely and totally baffled.

I understand sex is a draw. It attracts people in droves. I get it. I've been one of those people on more than one occasion. The opportunity to read Beautiful Bastard is case in point. But, I have read FAR better, far sexier, far more sensual (for that matter, far more filthy) sex scenes than what is offered up here. There was nothing original in that regard. In fact, I knew I was in trouble with this story, when, by 4% in, Kindle page 17, without knowing ANYTHING about either character, without having even the most minimal physical description of the two, with barely any conversation passing between the two up to this point, THEY HAD SEX FOR THE FIRST OF UMPTEEN TIMES!!! For God's sake, it was like a bad porno! Is that what's doing it for people now? Is that the big draw here??

So, then, I thought, what else draws me to a story? You can tell, at this point, I was still trying desperately to find some reason, any reason, this story originally attracted so many people that it *had to be* published. So, I considered what other characteristics I've enjoyed about the stories I've read and loved (or, even just tolerated). Chemistry, emotion, character growth, great dialog, humor...I love all of these things. NOT ONE OF THEM WAS ANYWHERE TO BE FOUND IN THIS STORY!! Not an ounce. Not one iota. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Lord help me, but there was absolutely *NOTHING* but the most boring sex interrupted by bouts of incredibly childish, annoying and tedious bickering between the two! Quite literally, that. is. all. there. was.

I am disappointed, in the extreme. Frankly, I don't know that I've ever felt this disappointed in a book, on several levels. Some days I have to wonder about the state of the publishing industry. I guess this is just one of those days. This review is obviously only my opinion, which I am entitled to. As I said when I began, I do not enjoy being harsh and overly critical. I *loathe* feeling the need to give a review like this. But, I'm also committed to giving my full and honest opinion. In this case, *my* honest opinion is that there was nothing here that deserved to be published, and, if there was, it certainly could have benefited from a good editor and the investment of even a little bit of time.

**ARC courtesy of Gallery Books via NetGalley
Profile Image for Ceilidh.
233 reviews568 followers
December 5, 2012
I have come to a very important conclusion that has been a while in the making. It may be a controversial opinion amongst some but I stand by it. It is impossible for a writer to take their fan-fiction and make it “original”. You’d think this would be a relatively sensible conclusion to come to, and yet we are now in an age where pulled-to-publish fan-fiction, mainly that of the Twilight brand, has become the new normal. Of course, we’ve got “Fifty Shades of Grey” to blame for this, but it’s not the sole culprit. From “Gabriel’s Inferno” to about 80% of Omnific and TWCS’s output, these works are filling up the best-seller lists and leaving the traditional publishers scrambling for the profits.

What is interesting about “Beautiful Bastard” is that it was purchased by the publisher in its original form. It didn’t go through an indie publisher, it wasn’t self-published, it didn’t go through any of the “alterations” EL James put “Master of the Universe” through before publication. The publisher saw a fan-fiction, paid for it and put the writers to work fixing it up a bit. I’ve skimmed through a PDF of the original fan-fiction and can confirm that the work has gone through some editing, certainly more than the search-and-replace hack-job “50 Shades” went through. However, once again, I find myself disappointed with the state of publishing. The truth is that the work just isn’t good enough and that is partly because of its previous fan-fiction state.

If you’re a romance reader, or even if you’re just a casual fan of the occasional rom-com, you’ll recognise this plot and set-up pretty well. You could join the dots from a mile away: snarky but hard working assistant begins an affair with the beautiful but dickish boss that starts out as letting off steam and turns to undying love. There’s nothing wrong with a derivative plot-line if it’s executed well. The big problem here is that it’s delivered in a manner as pedestrian as the story itself. The big problem most P2P work suffers from is the inability to fix the pacing. Fan-fiction is serial in manner, intended to be read on a chapter by chapter basis. While the authors of “Beautiful Bastard” have at least offered the reader the courtesy of some reworking of the “original” material, the pacing issues remain unresolved. While the book is readable enough, in terms of pacing, it’s weirdly erratic. The book starts quickly and rushed, things happen quickly without much explanation and the time-scale is a little confusing. Whether this is down to the editing job or just the general quality of the writing, I don’t know.

While the sex scenes are mostly quite good (although I wasn’t a fan of all the underwear ripping, particularly given how much La Perla pants cost), certainly a lot better than anything else in P2P right now, the relationship between our Bella and Edward stand-ins, Chloe and Bennett, suffers from fan-fic syndrome. There is very little characterisation of both characters, and their relationship moves quickly and predictably. Once again, fan-fic syndrome strikes. Here’s one of the main reasons I just cannot get on board with P2P, particularly on a creative level. When you write fan-fiction, you take characters that already exist and you use them as you please. Your story may be close to the original material, or it may be completely AU in every way imaginable, but you have been provided with the foundations. You didn’t write those characters, someone else did. Even if they only bear the smallest of similarities to the original source material when compared with each other, your audience come with the previous knowledge of those characters and fill in your gaps themselves. Here, the gaps to make it “original” haven’t been filled in. The pair may not be Bella and Edward, but they’re stock romance characters in every other way.

(The one thing that did make me smile was the appearance of a background character called Ed, whose colleagues were called Daniel and Sam, which officially makes me Britain's dullest woman. And if you can figure out why that made me smile, you can join me in dull geek land!)

There are a few good lines, and I’m relieved that the story avoids most of the irritating clichés expected of the genre (no blushing virginal heroine, no domestic abuse masquerading as kink, no soap-opera style back-story), there’s just nothing here that rises above stock category romance, and I like stock category romance. However, I don’t know many romance authors in that genre who got a 6 figure for something I can essentially find on Ellora’s Cave for a couple of pounds, if that. If you’re in the mood for a category romance, I suggest you read an original one. If you’re intrigued by this story, get the original fan-fiction PDF from Google. Honestly, this really isn’t worth the time and money that’s been spent on it.


I received my ARC from Edelweiss. I did not receive any payment or compensation to write this review. I am not paid for my reviews, and I do not set out to destroy lives or careers with my reviews. If I had that level of power, I wouldn’t be living at home and writing book reviews in my pyjamas at midnight!
Profile Image for Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads.
686 reviews13.5k followers
November 13, 2020

Well...well...well, this turned out to be a really good book. I have to say I’m surprised. It started out roughly and crazy to say the least and my first thoughts were ...


There’s no denying it’s really hot and steamy but I felt somehow disconnected from the story in the beginning. I’m not sure what it was; the way the plot unfolded so quickly was just strange. Mr. Ryan and Chloe start out in the beginning of the book H.A.T.I.N.G each other. I mean they literally want to beat each other to death; it’s actually quite comical. Bennett (aka. Mr. Ryan) is a complete ass with no redeeming qualities. He’s just a FLAT OUT JERK. He treats Chloe with complete disrespect. She pretty much takes his crap but doesn't take it without putting a little sass into her step. She knows exactly how to push his buttons, finding ways to piss him off or irritate him if she can and doing it sweetly. These two are completely crazy in the beginning. The insanity begins when he makes a move on her in the conference room one evening he’s asked her to work late, and the next thing you know they're literally screwing like crazy and holy crap was it


I mean WOWOWOWOWOW… so flipping good. I don’t think I've ever read a book with this much sex in it. They do it everywhere and can’t keep their hands off each other. Mr. Ryan thinks that screwing Chloe once will help him get her out of his system BUT he is sorely wrong. One taste of her starts this crazy induced love saga that goes on and on and on and on **I’m sure you get my point**!! The sexual tension and constant bickering between them was funny and the sex; did I mention the sex?!! Because Oh.F*cking.My was it amazing.

Ok so I'm getting off track with this review....So they do it in the conference room and then they both kind of freak out. They try to stay away from each other and can't and then the sex (EVERYWHERE) lands up turning into more than what they thought it was. It becomes a little more personal and the pure unadulterated lust lands up causing them to have some sort of feelings towards each other and .... sigh...


It's just so good.

Chloe's character is very strong willed and hard working. Her attitude and go getter personality had me immediately loving her. I loved that not only was she a strong willed woman but also a MONSTER in the bedroom. She was sexy and delicious and free spirited. Always getting what she wanted from the sexual experience and not afraid to ask for what she needed. She was dominant and very, very sexy.

Mr. Ryan is .... well.....D*MN, I have no words!!! The man is a dirty talker which is the mark of a sexy man in my book. Not only is he GORGEOUS, he's rich and charismatic. YES, he can be an ass but eventually that dissipates leaving behind a man that is truly swoonworthy. He stole my heart!

I know there have been some mixed feelings on this book and that the reviews are all over the place. Some people hate it, some love it. I personally was able to connect with the characters within the first thirty percent of the book and I was able to experience them falling in love with each other which in-turn let me fall in love with them and the plot line. I always try to remember when I’m reading that this is not real life. This is purely fantasy and fun and FICTION and so based on that I had no problems with it. The writing in my opinion was stellar.

Overall I think this is a great read if you’re looking for something very steamy and light hearted. There’s no denying that the pages ooze sex, sizzle and steam and the characters in my opinion are funny, sweet and very sexy. This is a page turner and I highly recommend it to those looking for a fast, fun and scorching read.


“You realize early in life that beauty is only skin-deep and, ugly goes straight to the bone”

“So here were the facts: I felt possessive of her. Not in a romantic sort of way, but in a "hit her over the head, drag her off by the hair, and f*ck her" way. Like she was my toy and I was keeping the other boys in the sandbox from playing with her. How sick was that? If she ever heard me admit to that, she would cut off my balls and feed them to me."

“I could f*cking consume you,” I whispered, pulling back enough to glance up at her expression” (seriously....some of the thing’s he says are **shakes head and closes eyes** ...sigh...no words)

“I was starting to see that this wasn't just sex, and it wasn't something just working out of my system. Sex was just the fastest route to the deeper possession that I needed. I was falling in love with her, and falling to fast and hard to easily find any footing.”

I received an ARC via NetGalley for an honest review
Profile Image for Merary.
232 reviews197 followers
February 4, 2013
NOTE: Apparently, some people weren't able to view the review correctly (the .gifs). If the problem still persists, please let me know.

WARNING: This review includes content that is not appropriate for those sensible to sexual situations. Read it at your own risk.

Okay, I didn't mean that literally. Ew.

Okay, what's with the trend of pulling fanfiction, publishing it, and pass it off as something original? First Cassandra Clare, then E.L. James and suddenly, an explosion of mindless knockoffs attack the publishing industry with their literary-herpes infection.
Just like herpes, there's no cure but it is treatable. Unfortunately, no one wants to do anything about that. So it will keep spreading and spreading until it completely dominates the publishing industry and aspiring writers with ORIGINAL fiction will be rejected and be kicked off to the streets.
The simple thought of that sickens me.

Beautiful Bastard was originally a fanfic called The Office by tby789. It was perhaps the most famous (Not as famous as Wide Awake, though) Twilight fanfic on the Internet. According to the front (this thing isn't even trying to hide that it was plagiarized!), the fanfic was view 2 million times. That's actually very impressive. And then, the writers became money-hungry and PUBLISHED this with changed names. I haven't read the fanfic yet, but apparently nothing much was altered to publish.
Fucking plagiarism.

The story is about Isabella Swan and Edward Cullen--Oops, my bad!--Chloe Mills and Bennett Ryan. Chloe works as an intern for Ryan, one of the most successful businessman. And here's the catch: He is a bastard. A beautiful bastard.
The book starts with Chloe complaining (and at the same time fawning over) about Bennett's assholeness. But, OMG! He is hot! Like it matters!
If the story could have ended right there, the story would have made more sense. Unfortunately, it was extended WAAAY too much and the plot became repetitive and boring.
Emphasis on BORING. But, more on that later.

I got to admit, the sex scenes were better written that FSoG, but they were still worth a few eye-rolls. Their dialogue is just so . . . I don't know. They said the most cliched things in a sex scene. Or if they are not cliched, then they are just way over the top. That actually reminds me of a Harry Potter fanfic I once read last year where Harry goes to Hermione's room to confess his love to her, and she kisses him passionately once he gets there. The kicker was that Hermione kept screaming: "TAKE MY VIRGINITY, HARRY!" Now that's over the top and ridiculous. Talking about over the top and ridiculous, here's an example from Beautiful Bastard:

"My nipples hardened, and I clenched my jaw in response. Traitor nipples.

Did that make you wet? Did that make your temperature rise and your body orgasm into submission? No? Told you so.
Oh, but there's more:

He growled, fingers tightening. It occurred to me I might bruise, and for a sick moment I hoped I did.

I'll just leave it there and make of that what you will.

After the sex, we get into Bennett's head. Asshole isn't even a strong enough word to describe him. He's fucked up in every single way.
First, I'm going to show you some of his fuckery:

"Say it. You want to come, Miss Mills? Answer me or I'll stop and make you suck me off instead."

I'm still trying wonder how is this sexy.

Brain: a mess. Dick: Hard.
Well, hard again.

He's such a dog in heat.

One of my recurring fantasies was of taking all the damned pins out of her hair before I grabbed a handful and fucked her.
God, she pissed me off.

He is so dreamy, y'all.

"I want you to watch. And tomorrow when you're sore, I want you to remember who did it to you."

I didn't know Christian Grey was a guest star.

So here were the facts: I felt possessive of her. Not in a romantic sort of way, but in "hit over the head, drag her off by the hair, and fuck her" way.

At least you're honest. It doesn't change the fact you're a piece of shit.

Joe, who was basically a good guy, but who wanted to take her away from me. The image was enough to make me push into her more forcefully.

Because Chloe is your property and she deserves to be punished over something that isn't your business. Right.

And here's probably the worst of all:
Music was being piped through overhead speakers, and I was glad I wouldn't have to worry about keeping my voice down as I strangled her.

In context or not, this is not okay at all.

Her strangled sound made me smile,

Fuck you.

He is a control-freak, annoying, and a fucking pig. Bennett actually blames Chloe for not being able to keep his dick in his pants. HE BLAMES HER FOR HIS OWN ACTIONS. If that doesn't scream unfortunate implications, then I don't know what does. In fact, Bennett called Chloe a "tease" because she happened to wear a dress he liked. Only because it made her look virginal.

The white dress was the bane of existence, my heaven and hell wrapped in one delicious package.

Dude, is just a dress. If you want it so badly, then why don't you just wear it? Huh. That could have been a very interesting twist. Heh, heh, heh.
And did I mention he blames her for his dog in heat tendencies?

She did this to torment me, she had to.

Because all she ever wants to do to you is to incite you. Uh-huh.

"I have the power? You're the one who pressed into my dick in the elevator. You're the one doing this to me."

Actually, YOU were the one who got on top of her! Apparently, it is never your fault!!

"You know, I think you wear those things to tease me."

Because Chloe NEVER dresses for herself. If she wants to look good one day, it's because she wants to incite you.

This one really pissed me off.

"You make me feel cocky. It's the way you react that makes me feel like a fucking god."

You want to know what the BEST part about him is? Do you? Are you sure? Okay, Bennett fantasizes about . . . wait for it . . . watching Chloe sleep.
Huh? HUH?

And this is proof that the authors didn't altered their fanfic that much.

Well, now I told you anything you needed to know about Bennett Ryan, I think I'm done now.

Oh, my! How could I ever forget Bennett's obsession with panties? After every sex scene, Bennett rips Chloe's panties off and he keeps them in a case. HE KEEPS THEM FOR SOME REASON! It is never explained why he loves ripped panties but I'm going to bet that he does it to smell where her pussy has been. Either way, it's insanely weird.

And what do I think about Chloe? I actually don't hate Chloe, but I do think she has the worst taste in men. Sometimes she is an idiot. Besides that, she's average. Meh.

That got your attention? Good. Beautiful Bastard has a lot of sex. A lot. The protagonists have angry sex in every single chapter. I don't mind sex. Specially the angry, kinky ones. Nice. But, you know what I do mind? Character development and chemistry. Bennett and Chloe have none of that. The only thing they do is argue,have SEXSEXSEXSEX, insult each other and keep panties in a case. Rinse and repeat. Ah, you did it again, insta-lust. And we are supposed to believe that they end up falling in love. That's so laughable.
Here's what Chloe and Bennett did for the entire novel

And here's the short version that applies to every (almost) chapter:

Poor genitals.

Like I said before, I don't mind the sex. That doesn't mean that I want to read about bland protagonists who have nothing in common.
This is pretty much Beautiful Bastard in a nutshell:

Okay, then they have this useless drama. Bennett treats her like crap behind her back, she got mad, she quit, got another job, two months pass (they fell in love in one month), they miss each other, they get back together.

I wasted a month of my life trying to finish this plotless, repetitive, boring piece of crap. I think this beats The Host as the most boring book I'd ever read.

It started funny, then it went downhill at the 35% mark. I hate it when I have to force myself to finish a book. UGH.
I hate plagiarism, I hate that being ordered around is considered sexy, and I hate lack of plots!
By the way, here's a life lesson that Beautiful Bastard taught: Sleeping on top of a bed signifies love unlike other places.
The End.

I am so glad I am fucking done.


Enjoy this .gif of Sharon Stone going commando. Because I didn't know what else to add. I'm miserable.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.8k followers
January 21, 2013

3.5 stars

"…how I hated her, how much I craved her…"

I feel like I have to run and hide after I say this but, in all honesty, I was a lot less “wow-ed” by this book than I was expecting to be.

It wasn’t bad at all, I just really didn’t feel anything for it or the characters. I mean, okay, maybe a LITTLE, obviously, I mean I did care for the characters, but nothing that made the story ‘stay’ with me or make me overly attached to them.

I’m still giving the book a 3.5 – 4 star rating because while nothing jumped out at me that I just fell in love with, it also wasn’t bad either and nothing ever rang any of my alarm bells, it just didn’t really make my heart race… which I usually want.

I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for this book and I guess I can honestly say that I can truly understand both the really low and the really high ratings… I mean, I guess its about your mood of the moment maybe?

It was basically a light-hearted (but not funny) enemies-to-lovers story that centered largely around the sexual escapades of a boss and his intern.

I guess to describe it, its the story of Chloe who is working towards her MBA while being the assistant to Bennet Ryan – a “womanizing, arrogant, pigheaded asshat who assumed everyone around him was an idiot.” … in other words: a Beautiful Bastard.

Despite their intense physical attraction, they have an strongly antagonistic relationship at first…. until one day, the UST* snaps and (around 5% into the book) they pretty much just break down and have angry sex in the board room. Then in the stairwell. Then in the elevator. A fitting room. The backseat of a car. Two bathrooms. Almost a shower. And then about 10+ times in bed…. In case you were wondering, this book has a LOT of sex in it. I mean a lot. Its not kinky, just very very frequent and often very very angry. Did I say a lot yet? … hmmm, maybeeeee, honestly, even too much at times? Or possibly a better way to say it would be too much, too soon?

But about half way through, emotions start to seep into their relationship – or, rather, positive and more romantic emotions and basically, the more they gave into their bodies, the more their hearts slowly began to catch up with the program and they began to fall for each other.

“He looked so different – still my asshole boss, but also someone else now: a man, in my bed, looking like he was ready for round… Four? Five? I couldn’t keep track.”

“Tell me what you want.” My voice is rough with need. “Tell me the things you want me to do to you.”
“I don’t know,” she whispered into my mouth. “I just want to see you come apart.”

Chloe and Bennet had a highly dysfunctional relationship… but one that kinda worked for them. I mean, they spent the first half of the book pretty much hating each other and trying to fuck each other out of their systems which, consequently, disconnected me a little from strongly “feeling” for them because THEY weren’t really feeling it yet. You know?

“So here were the facts: I felt possessive of her. Not in a romantic sort of way, but in a “hit her over the head, drag her off by the hair, and fuck her” way. Like she was my toy and I was keeping the other boys in the sandbox from playing with her. How sick was that? If she ever heard me admit to that, she would cut off my balls and feed them to me.”

It was nice that the story was told in alternating POVs though and that we got to see the man behind the bastard so to speak. It helped soften the way I felt towards him, understanding his frustrations with Chloe that made him act the way he did. That being said, I did really like that Chloe was a smart and sassy heroine who pretty much just threw all his asshatery back in his face so there was no ‘doormat’ syndrome going on here :P

There were cute moments, some sassy banter, a lot of lust-hate-sex-lust-hate-sex… and some things I couldn’t help but laugh at (like Bennet hoarding all her torn up panties in his drawer *shakes head* LOL)… but I felt a little disconnected from the story. It took a long time (really right up until the VERY end) for them to actually be in a real relationship together and I guess I just usually want more actual romance in my reads.

I feel like I would have gladly traded in some of the sex scenes for more character development I mean, neither of them really ‘grew’ much as people (except to stop hating each other) and neither of them had damaged pasts or had anything in their past that was a mystery or affected their lives in any way… the story has no twists or anything, its really just a straight up enemies-to-lovers story. I guess I would have liked to know WHY Bennet was so mean to her – I mean, yeah, it was sort of explained but I would have wanted a bit of a deeper reason for that degree of asshatery.

There is a happy ending (no cliffhanger) but I did feel it was rushed and abrupt. They kind of solved their problem and then the book was just over. I feel like I really could have used an epilogue.

But… at the same time, I know I’m griping a lot but it really wasn’t a bad read. It just won’t be making my favorites pile and didn’t leave a lasting impression on me or really ever touch my heart emotionally.

However, I read it in one sitting (about 4 hours) and did enjoy my read so, all in all, I am glad I read it… I just won’t be doing a reread.

3.5 - 4 stars

*UST = Unresolved Sexual Tension

Release date: Feb 12.

Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,574 reviews33.9k followers
June 8, 2013
2.5 - 3 stars

Pretty standard romance/erotica. But jeez, the idea of all that LaPerla getting ripped every single time annoys the shit out me--especially for sex that doesn't really seem to be worth it.
March 14, 2019
A short summary of this book:

Chloe: Ugh, I hate my boss. But he is handsome...
Bennet: *seduces her in a conference room*
Chloe: He is such an asshole. But I’m so attracted to him...
Bennet: *seduces her in a corridor*
Chloe: He always tears my panties and steals them. But I always buy myself new ones he can tear apart...
Bennet: *seduces her in a changing room*
Chloe: Mhm, maybe he isn’t that bad... I like the feeling of him...
Bennet: *seduces her in a hotel room a lot of times*
Chloe: Mhm... He is kind of sweet...
Bennet: *acts like a territorial Bastard*
Chloe: Damn it, I hate him!


But maybe also love him?

Okay, okay, I need to admit: even though I kind of disliked the book at the start, I started to enjoy it a little bit in the end.
But in my opinion there wasn’t enough plot and too much sex in it (But maybe I’m a prude? 🤓)
For all the readers that loved this book: I’m really happy for you!
That book just wasn’t my type.
Profile Image for ALet.
280 reviews241 followers
May 12, 2019
★ /5

To be honest, I do not know why I read it. This was definitely not my cup of tea.
I didn't like any of the characters, and plot was too weak for this story.
Profile Image for Pam Godwin.
Author 43 books8,939 followers
December 23, 2012
Warning: 75% of this book is graphic erotica. Brain cells could be lost.

What makes up the other 25%?

In-depth revelations about tortured childhoods and abusive exes? Uh..no.

Heart-pounding, bad-guy-slaying action? Definitely not.

Daytime soap-opera office drama? Bingo.

Then why the hell would I rate it five stars? Maybe this reviewer is just a perv who enjoys the boardroom table, cafe bathroom, elevator, parking garage, office desk, anywhere-but-a-bedroom sex. Really, this story is just boners and wet spots on a beautiful-bastard-vs-beautiful-bitch scale, which is still just boners and wet spots.

Amidst all the balls-deep wall banging, I was drawn to the beautiful bitch, Chloe. For all the romances out there gravitating around bombastic billionaires, a rare few offer a heroine who can roar fiercely enough to blow back the leading asshole's perfectly manicured hair. Chloe made this pretentious bastard look like a kitten...a kitten you'll want to stroke and fondle.

Chloe's an unintentional femme fatale and her empowered lip service--while most often over-reactive--might have some women fist pumping the air. While reading, you don't have to suffer an addle-brained heroine, ulcer-inducing jealousy, or soul-bleeding torment. In all the ways a book can torture you, this one doesn't try. It's simply a perverse pleasure. One that is panty-sniffingly creepy, stupefyingly shallow, and boldly sex-charged in a tawdry yet unable-to-put-the-book-down way. Sweet baby Jesus on Christmas, I enjoyed it. What's that say about me?

***ARC by courtesy of Simon & Schuster via Edelweiss in exchange for honest feedback.***
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,447 reviews7,549 followers
July 23, 2018
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

I have no words to describe this horrible thing, so I’ll do what I do best and use pictures . . . .

There’s simply nothing good to say about this whore of a book.

I decided to take a break from Mystic River being that it was Valentine’s Day and maybe a selection that makes a person want to stick their head in the oven wasn’t the best choice if my husband was looking to score. I had downloaded this one a week or so ago when it popped up as a “Recommended To You” option on the porny library’s website. Oh porny librarian, I have some serious disappoint. I can’t believe you won’t order my oft requested stepbrother porns but you spent my hard-earned tax dollars on what I have now discovered started off as yet another Twilight fan fic.

Basically the “story” – and believe me that is a S.T.R.E.T.C.H. because this sumbitch has zero plot is that Chloe is Bennett’s assistant. You get zero, zilch, nada of any type of character building or storyline before these two start banging on like page two. You only know they hate each other. Uhhhhhhhhh. I hate one of my bosses and I sure don’t let him see my underwears to prove how much. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, now that I think about it, those granny drawers might traumatize him pretty good. Also, in case it hasn’t become clear over the past year I’m no longer a prude and have seriously enjoyed the secretary and bossman storyline before . . . .

However, as much of a buzzkill it may be, a plot is a requirement for me when dealing with a flown blown novel (and a series at that – JEEBUS!). You want to publish an Alexa Riley-ish 30 page bangfest? Cool. But not 320 pages of it. Even Dr. Seuss could put forth a better effort than this . . . .

Dear Christina Lauren . . .

It probably goes without saying that my husband got zero play last night. However, after he fed me this as my special Hallmark Holiday meal . . . .

He didn’t want to be in the same room with me anyway.
Profile Image for The BookChick .
1,453 reviews430 followers
January 26, 2013
My Rating:
FAIL: The characteristics of a 1 star book include: the story failed to hold my attention; it didn’t have interesting characters; the storyline was trite or contrived; and/or their was extremely crude behavior/language. I would not never recommend the book to anyone.
Book Description:
An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling. Discover the story that garnered more than two million reads online.

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. Originally only available online as The Office by tby789—and garnering over two million reads on fan fiction sites—Beautiful Bastard has been extensively updated for re-release.

Page Count: 320 pages

Immediate Post-Read Reaction:
SMH...This book was literally porn on paper. No romance. No build up. No story. Just sex...sex...and more sex.

My Thoughts:
This book was provided by Net Galley and Gallery Books for an honest review. Fair warning that this review is going to real, raw, and honest. Brutally so.

There are a few times that you read books that are so epic that they leave you speechless. Beautiful Bastard was such a book. It was epically painful to read and I had to force myself to read to the end. Honestly, the only reason I did finish it was because I committed to complete this review and that required finishing the "story" and I use the word "story" in its loosest sense. Beautiful Bastard was really and truly porn on paper. At 5% into the story Bennett is fingering Chloe in the conference room. *Huh! What?!?!? Did I miss a page or 100?* I was truly speechless. 5% in and BAM! The rest of the story follows in a similar fashion. Bennett and Chloe absolutely loathe one another. "B!tc#" from Bennett and "a$$hole" from Chloe flies fast, furious, and often between the two characters. Yet...yet...they go at it like rabbits at every opportunity. Verbal sparring is their foreplay and they do it often. She is "getting wet" and he is "getting hard" all the time. Did I say all the time? Because I mean...ALL. THE. TIME. Their trysts occur on a conference table, in an elevator, the parking garage, a dressing room...and oh YAY!!!...joy of all joys...finally, a bed.

There is never a moment in the story when I think, "Hmm, these two actually love each other." Oh yeah, they say it and Bennett even gets to the point where he calls Chloe "baby" but I never believe it or feel any love from them because of their actions. At 85% into the story Bennett is still regarding Chloe as a shrew. And he loves her?!?!? Really?!?!? They were petty and juvenile and their relationship was toxic. I regarded them both as sexual masochists.

Chloe is incensed because Bennett offers her an open line of credit at a lingerie store. Oh, did I forget to mention that Bennett has a panty fetish? He likes ripping them off of Chloe. I counted seven times in the story where panty ripping occurred. But, I digress...back to Chloe being incensed *sigh and yawn*. She screams at Bennett, Do you think I'm some kind of whore? And I kid you not, three pages later, this is Chloe: "God, I moaned, wrapping my leg around him and digging my heel into his thigh. This particular tête-à-tête happens in the parking garage. My immediate thought after reading this was: "Hmmm, public sex?!?!? If it moans like a whore and grinds like a whore...it's a whore, right?"

I know that many people took issue with this book because it was first written as fanfic. Honestly, I am one of the rare readers that doesn't have a problem with fanfiction. I regard fanfiction the same way I regard remade films. I can still enjoy them even though they have been done before. Really. The King Kong movie has been remade many different times but each time it was a box office sensation so why can't that be the case with books, right? No...my issue with Beautiful Bastard did not stem from its fanfic origins but from the fact that it was totally pointless. The characters were uninteresting and moronic and the story was the equivalent of watching a porn film. There was no climax to the story at all..it just was! The beginning, middle, and end just fell below flat...except for the sex. Steamy yes. But after the nth time it just became banal.

My apologies to the authors on this review because I can appreciate their writing effort. But, a bunch of sex strung together doth not a story make. I would never read or recommend this story to anyone. Quite the opposite actually. My public service announcement on this one is: "Run away...FAST!

Sadly, this is one of the few books that I can certifiably say that I hated both the characters and the story. And notice that this is book 1 of x. There's more?!?!? *Sigh*

Reading Time: 4.5 Hours

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April 18, 2014

***Calling all ye SMUT FANS***

I have a new book boyfriend to add to my list. Meet Bennet Ryna, a beautiful bastard who will make your panties drop if he doesn't rip them off first! He's cocky, a stud in the bedroom and absolutely divine! What more could a girl ask for then? Did I mention the fact that he's gorgeous too?

I grudgingly admit
One of the few heroines that I loved reading it about. She an alpha female, but she and Ryan make it work! I could harp on about what else I like about her but that's not how I roll lol!

Once again, I need to stress that this book is a SMUT FEST, when the characters in this book feel they feel strongly. So when they're sad, they f*ck, when they're happy, they f*ck, and just for they heck of it they still f*ck!

A little about the story
Chloe, is Bennet's personal assistant they have a weird relationship. They basically hate each other but they when it comes to business they work like a well oiled machine. Until one day... Bennett snaps he's been hiding his lust for Chloe since he first me her, but when she reciprocates they attraction rises to dangerous heights and the sex is positively electric!

And so begins a relationship full of sexual gratification. Heated looks, stolen kisses, and some very delicious groping! These two will have sex wherever they can, if they opportunity makes itself known, then trust me they'll use it!

Intercourse. Penetration. That's what it's all about! I was looking for a smutty read, and that's what I got! I haven't mentioned how funny this book was, it was hilarious and I'm not a huge fan of humour it tends to dim the alphaness (yes, I just made that word up) of the male character. I don't want to read about a comedic alpha male. And trust me Bennett Ryan is most definitely an alpha male!

I'm quite impressed with this series so I will definitely continue the rest!
Profile Image for • Lisa •.
555 reviews1,525 followers
February 20, 2013
HELLO Mr Ryan wink, wink ...

This was not everyone's cup of tea, but I LOVED it.

The start of the book was great -mean boss, hardworking assistant and a boardroom full of chemistry - (literally), nothing grabs me more than a book about two people who dislike each other BUT are unable to resist.

The story did have a predictability factor, but hey ho it's what I signed up for. The book most certainly was a romp FEST, I'm not sure a chapter went by that didn't include some sort of bodily fluid exchange , and yes maybe the authors could have included a bit more story telling, but I enjoyed the book from beginning to end.

So, for some readers you may think this book is ALL about the alpha male, and while this may be partly true it's not the whole picture, this book includes a heroine who knows what she wants and when, and I loved it.

Mr Bennett Ryan, ruthless business man known for his straight forward ways and as the book title suggests, he has been given the label of 'beautiful bastard'. Cleverly through the dual POV the reader is able to see that there is more than meets the eye with this gorgeous hero, and I enjoyed his character thoroughly.


Chloe Mills, what a welcome surprise, sassy, witty and with one liners that put a smile on my face, she is definitely a female heroine that I greatly enjoyed.

All in all this book had my heart racing and brought more than one smile to my face. I found it unputdownable and I was surprised at the mixed reviews.

This book had the 'i cant wait for spare time to read this book again' factor. You won't find anything shocking or different about this read, but if smut loving is your thing then i'm sure you will enjoy. As for moi this was right up my street, definitely my cup of tea and all of that ...

4 stars.
Profile Image for Nissa | Of Pens and Pages Book Blog.
337 reviews995 followers
January 8, 2018
Overall Rating: 4 stars!
Story Rating: 3.5 stars!
Performance Rating: 5 stars!


A genuine hate to love story, and lots of sex in between. Chloe Mills, an intern and MBA student, has been close to the Ryan family since she started working in their company a few year ago. The only one she can't seem to get along with is her current boss, Bennett Ryan, who recently moved back from France. As handsome as he is, she has no desire to ever jump on the Bennett Ryan wagon...until one encounter started their physical relationship. She still hates his guts and she's pretty sure he hates hers, but they can't seem to get enough of what they're doing.

I enjoyed it well enough, but I have to admit this book had too much sex in it that I couldn't really fully see where hate turned into love. And all that panty-ripping. That's gotta hurt, I swear. It's like a reverse wedgie. He literally rips her panties every time they sleep together; it's come to a point that Bennett decided to open a credit line for Chloe at a lingerie store. Still, I don't know why but I'm already attached to this series. So much that I already bought the next books.


I usually don't enjoy an audiobook with only one narrator when a story is told in two POVs, but Grace Grant might be the exception to the rule. I was so into the audiobook that eventually, I forgot it was narrated by one person only. There was enough feeling in each depiction, and the narrator sure knew how to lay on thick the chemistry and sexual tension between herself and... herself. I'm gonna have to look for other audiobooks narrated by her. The pacing was just right and her voice was pleasant to listen to. I'm a pretty satisfied reader.


The story overall is fun, sexy, and easy to listen to. If you're looking for an entertaining and steamy audiobook with a great narrator who manages to wow the listener with her skills in perfectly acting out the two POVs, you'll enjoy listening to Beautiful Bastard.

Tropes: Hate to Love, Office Romance, Forbidden Romance
POV: First Person, Dual POV
Standalone: Yes

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Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,020 reviews12k followers
August 3, 2013
OK! You got me? Where are the hidden cameras? I thought that Ashton was done with Punkd? - I mean, this HAS to be a joke right? Because I am not laughing!

Of all the ridiculous, over-sexed, no-plot having, annoying hero and heroine GAH! just GAH! I am totally and utterly at a loss of words here

This was just plain ol' bad.

Where is the writing here? I get this whole trend of fan fiction being pulled to be published. I take no issue with this. I've read some damn good fan fiction before that deserved to be published. This, however, is a joke. I DNF'd it at 50% in...I couldn't put myself through more. I then got curious and skimmed through until the last page and the ending...

The only thought that kept running through my mind while trying to read this was, seriously? SERIOUSLY?! SERIOUSLY?!!!!

Right then, let's sum up the book in a few words here:

I hate you!
I hate you more! but....

I still hate you!
I still hate you more!
-angry sex-


Happy ending and sunshine and butterflies and rainbows! Bla!

The book sounded promising with a sexy cover and everything, but alas, it just didn't live up to my expectations. Perhaps that was my problem, I set the bar too high. So if you still want to give this book a shot, I say don't expect much, so you won't be as disappointed.

I never read the fan fic version of this book, but I had (wrongly) assumed that for it to be published it had to have been really good, right? RIGHT?! But after wasting my time actually reading this drivel, I can only sum it up with this

Profile Image for Riley.
427 reviews21.1k followers
July 22, 2019
okay. this was SO different from christina lauren's newer works.
the first chapter alone was smuttier than their last 4 books combined.
one thing I have come to expect from CL is really great romance and chemistry between characters. I didn't exactly feel that in this. I would say this is more erotic than romantic. which isn't a bad thing. the sex scenes in this were 10/10 and it makes me wish their newer books were more smutty.
but other than the sexy bits, i didn't really feel a connection with the characters and their relationship. they were pretty basic character cutouts and this followed a very simple plot.

still enjoyable but not my fave.

also since this was originally twilight fan fic, i will say that it is a million times better than other adapted twi-fics i have read
Profile Image for Christy.
3,817 reviews32.4k followers
July 7, 2020
Not sure where to start with this one... It was entertaining and funny, and there were some hot scenes!

We start with Miss. Chloe Mills, an intern getting her MBA. Her boss is Mr. Bennett Ryan. Chloe has worked for Bennett for about 9 months. She has worked for his father's company for much longer than that, and is friendly with the Ryan family. Except for Bennett. They work well together, but they don’t really get a long. Mr. Ryan is seriously good looking, but also an ass.
If only he would keep his mouth shut, he’d be perfect.

The first half of the book is a ton of this....


Followed by even more of this...


and this....


and more of this...


Chloe and Bennett would fight, and screw, and fight, and screw... repeat repeat repeat. I wasn't sure exactly where the story was going during the first 30 or 40%... Luckily, after the first half, I started to really like the characters, especially Bennett. I have a thing for hot jerks and that’s exactly what he was! The dual pov's were great, I loved getting in both of the characters heads. Chloe and Bennett tried to stay away from each other, but they just couldn’t seem to keep their hands off of each other.

I felt possessive over her. Not in a romantic sort of way, but in a ‘hit her over the head, drag her off by the hair and fuck her” way.


Some of the sex scenes were a little ridiculous, the dialouge between the two of them cracked me up. But there were some that were some really hot. And for some reason, the pantie hoarding thing just made me laugh!
“And I tear lingerie” I pushed a curl off his forehead. “And hoard it. Don’t forget the creepy hoarding.”

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, it was a fun ride. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. I wish there was a little more ‘story’ and the ending felt a little rushed, but I was happy there was no cliff hanger! Woohoo! I really liked Bennett so I’m sure I will be reading book 2- as long as there is more Bennett! If you’re looking for a quick, steamy, fun read- This is for you!

This ARC was provided by NetGalley and Gallery Books
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,517 reviews3,772 followers
March 24, 2021
5 Stars (Originally Read 10/16/2013)

3 Stars (Re-Read 12/9/2020)

Overall Opinion: This was one that I was hesitant to re-read because it was on my favorites shelf from back before I wrote reviews. I was probably right with my hesitation. I didn’t hate it or anything, but my likes have changes significantly to where this simply wasn’t enough to be considered a favorite. I am removing it from my list and lowering my rating because I felt like it was too much sex (gasp, I know!), not enough substance, and a really half a$sed ending that left me wanting.

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Chloe and Bennett’s story. Chloe is an intern at Bennett’s fathers business and his mentee. They love to hate one another while a strong sexual tension lies beneath the surface and eventually comes out. They cannot avoid the sexual pull they feel and end up making mistakes repeatedly while still disliking the other and having to work closely. There is some work drama and quite a bit of sexy times...and they get a HFN ending.

Point Of View (POV): This alternated between Chloe and Bennett’s POV.

Overall Pace of Story: Good until the abrupt ending. I never skimmed and I thought it flowed well. This is on the shorter end of how I prefer my books @ 195 pages in my nook app and I feel as though the length could contribute to the feeling that it was rushed and not enough for me.

Instalove: No, they’ve known each other for a while before this book begins.

H (Hero) rating: 4 stars. Bennett. I liked him. He was a jerk, yes. But I also liked how he came to care about the h.

h (heroine) rating: 3.5 stars. Chloe. I liked her but I feel like there was something missing with her that I can’t pinpoint 🤔

Sadness level: Low, no tissues needed

Push/Pull: Yes

Heat level: Hot. They have some hot tension, chemistry, and scenes -- there is a lot and it does seem to take away from the story at times.

Descriptive sex: Yes

OW (Other Woman)/OM (Other Man) drama: Yes

Sex scene with OW or OM: No

Cheating: No

Separation: Yes

Possible Triggers: Yes

Closure: This ends abruptly right after their main conflict was (mostly) resolved. I would call it a HFN ending but I think there is a companion novella that I haven’t read that gives some more closure for this couple. I had way too many unanswered questions and not nearly enough closure for my liking.

Safety: This one should be Safe for most safety gang readers
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