(Beautiful Bastard #1)
Release: February 12, 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.
Anyone who knows me as a reader knows that #1 - I hardcore prefer paranormal over contemporary and #2 - I don't really enjoy erotic romance. Well, #1 is always going to be my preference, but after starting the Beautiful Bastard series I can't really say #2 anymore! Beautiful Bastard was sexy, fast paced, and has terrific characters.
In Beautiful Bastard we meet Bennett Ryan, the bastard in question, and his intern Chloe Mills. Their story is told in alternating POVs that give readers insights into how each character feels. Their situation goes from office coworkers that don't care for each other to hot and heavy office sex prettttttttyy quickly. This is always one of my complaints about this type of story but I guess its just a trope of the genre I have to roll with. After that initial sexual encounter Bennett and Chloe develop an obsession with having sex with each other. The twist? They still can't stand each other! I felt like this was the aspect of this book I enjoyed the most. Bennett and Chloe are having some dirty, steamy romps and they still can't help trading verbal barbs before, during, and after.
"I had never felt this way. And I had never expected to feel this way about him. I wanted to slap him, and then pull him up by his shirt and lick his neck."
“If only he would keep his mouth shut, he'd be perfect. A piece of duct tape would do the trick. I had some in my desk that I'd occasionally pull out and fondle, hoping someday I could put it to good use.”
The author manages to keep up the heavy sexual tension between Bennett and Chloe even after they've been having sex for weeks. Their constant back and forth kept up the pace of the story and made things interesting even when it started becoming clear that this relationship was turning into more than just sex. Seeing the change in Bennett, albeit against his own will, as he started to realize his true feelings for her just drew me more into him as a character. He managed to maintain his "bastardness" while also showing a softer side.
“You have very Grace Kelly-like tendencies about you. I hear Grace Kelly had a filthy mouth too," he added.
"You love my filthy mouth."
"True. But I like it better when its full," he said, meaningful smirk in place.
"You know, if you would shut up once in a while you'd be damn near perfect."
"But I'd be a silent panty ripper, which I think is a lot creepier than the angry-boss panty ripper.”
Oh yes. The panty ripping. The panty ripping. I found this to be QUITE hot and sexy. All of Bennett's growling and ripping of Chloe's various panties and lingerie...WHEW!
All in all, this was a naughty romance with tons of sex that just got better and better. Bennett and Chloe were hot, tantalizing, funny, sweet, and steamy. I absolutely adored these two characters and this book made me curious what other contemporary erotic romances I might be missing out on. But for now, I'm on to book two!
Notes on the narrator: This first one was narrated only by Grace Grant. I know that the remainder of the audios for this series add a male voice but honestly Grace Grant did a phenomenal job. She expressed Bennett's snark and growliness perfectly. In fact, I often forgot this wasn't dually narrated! If you're thinking of trying out this series I would highly recommend it on audio. It added a whole other layer that I think would have been missing if I read the story in print.
Recommended for fans of: erotica, sassy women and bastard guys who fall for them, office romance, and panty ripping stairwell sex.