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Shygirl: Reading After Midnight

I will read anything I can get my hands on. Seriously.

 Most books I read are reviewed for Harlequin Junkie, but I'll have an occasional independent or author requested review that I'll post.

Currently reading

Nine of Stars: A Wildlands Novel
Laura Bickle
Primal Heat: A Paranormal Shapeshifter Werejaguar Romance (The Shadow Shifters)
A.C. Arthur

Max. Stella. Yum!

Beautiful Stranger - Christina Lauren
In Beautiful Stranger (Beautiful Bastard #2) by Christina Lauren, Businessman Max Stella hasn't been tempted to settle down with one woman since his younger days back in England. The paparazzi in New York City love to cast him as a playboy, which might be a bit true, but his real focus is on his venture capital firm growing exponentially. Seeing the stunning Sara Dillon in a club and having the wildest time of his life with their exhibitionism, Max can't get her out of his head. Sara's offer of a no strings attached arrangement sounds brilliant. Until Max realizes too late just how taken with her he has become.
 
'I'd never felt such a tormenting mix of protectiveness, worship, and a binding need to completely own someone so physically. She was so beautiful, so bloody trusting--all fucking mine.'
 
Moving to New York City was the best decision Sara has ever made. Well, aside from ditching her cheating long-time boyfriend. Determined to start over again and forget the last six years of her life, Sara whoops it up with her best friends Chloe and Julia on the town. When a beautiful stranger, a gigantic British heartthrob, offers her a night of bliss, Sara throws caution to the wind. Thus, a new part of herself is revealed. She can be wild and young, setting the parameters of her time with Max. But once Sara finds out her emotions are tangled up with the physical, she might not have the strength to let her sexy Brit go.
 
"Women don't always want to be treated like we're delicate, or rare, or somehow more precious. We want to be wanted. We want sex to be just as raw as you do."
 
Beautiful Stranger kept a smile on my face for the entire three-hundred-and-forty-two pages of Max and Sara's romance. Just when I thought the sex couldn't get any hotter and the dialogue any dirtier, authors Christina Lauren turned up the volume.
 
She wore a short red wrap dress and it had come undone a bit at the top. I understood the feeling. I gazed down at her left breast, the black lace of her bra peeking out. "Nice to see you," I told her cleavage. "I've had a day. Can I bury my face in you?"
 
I was absolutely charmed by this novel. I had thoroughly enjoyed Chloe and Bennett's escapades in Beautiful Bastard and Beautiful Bitch, but I think I've fallen even harder for Max and Sara. There was just something so freeing in watching them be so daring with their exhibitionism and then of course falling head over heels in love. Thank goodness we still got all of the raunchy oh-so-good sexy-talk I've come to expect from a Christina Lauren book. And the love scenes? They were plentiful and ridiculously well written. Seriously...this book should come with a warning that it may spontaneously combust!
 
I think my favorite thing about this story, aside from the hot sexy-time scenes and fabulous characters, was the amount of personal growth both Max and Sara had. Their romance truly did feel like a personal journey they both took, finding out who they really were and what they wanted out of a relationship. I loved watching Max realize how confounded Sara made him and how much she had crept into his heart. He was an absolute charmer (with a filthy mouth!) who wrapped me right around his finger as he pursued Sara. And it was wonderful to see Sara embrace her newfound wild side while she also figured out that not every guy was a slimeball like her ex.
 
If you're looking for an erotic romance that is hot as hell but still has substance to the storyline, I highly recommend Beautiful Stranger. I hope you get as swept away by Max and Sara's love story as I did.