The last in a series of ten books and novellas, Beautiful serves as a standalone-ish contemporary romance from writing duo Christina Lauren, as well as providing visits with the five other couples in the group and wrapping all the threads up with a bow. Usually landing on the erotic end of the romance spectrum, Beautiful was pretty tame by Lauren standards, but still in keeping with the authors’ style.
Pippa is visiting Boston to see her best friend, Ruby, and take a two-week road trip with Ruby and her husband, plus another couple. Having walked in on him tupping someone else, Pippa just broke up with her boyfriend and needs a change of scene. Relaxed and fun, she has a drunken blither with a buttoned-up stranger on the plane from London and he just happens to be coming along on the road trip as well.
Jensen, brother of my favourite Beautiful series character, Hanna, had a disappointing first marriage and immersed himself since in working towards partnership in a law firm*. He agrees to come on the trip before realising that the colourful woman whom he feigned sleep to avoid on the plane is coming with them. Things move along predictably from there. He’s formal. She’s a free spirit. He’s bland, she’s colourful. They’re made for each other. It’s all over pretty quickly.
Rather than seeking a new romance for Christina Lauren, I really was more interested in the following up with the other characters and my favourites, Will and Hanna, are heavily featured. Jens and Pippa’s story is perfunctory, but decent. Christina Lauren has continued to get better with each outing and the improvement from Beautiful Bastard to this last entry has been consistent and appreciable; moreover, the sheen of dude-bro sexism that plagued the men’s interactions earlier in the series is gone.
- Beautiful Bastard
- Beautiful Bitch
- Beautiful Stranger
- Beautiful Bombshell
- Beautiful Player
- Beautiful Beginning
- Beautiful Beloved
- Beautiful Secret
- Beautiful Boss
- Beautiful – presented herewith
*One of the elements of the fantasy lifestyles of the characters in the series I like is that while they get dream jobs easily and have gobs of disposable income, they do work really long hours.