Books, General

Beautiful Secret | Review

Title: Beautiful Secret

Author: Christina Lauren

Rating: 4 Stars

Dates read: 05 May 19

Publication date: 14 Apr 2015

Publisher: Gallery Books

Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Description:

When Ruby Miller’s boss announces he’s sending her on an extended business trip to New York City, she’s shocked. As one of the best and brightest young engineers in London, she knows she’s professionally up to the task. The part that’s throwing her is where she’ll be spending a month up close and personal working alongside—and staying in a hotel with—Niall Stella, her firm’s top urban planning executive and The Hottest Man Alive. Despite her ongoing crush, Ruby is certain Niall barely knows she’s alive…until their flirty overnight flight makes him sit up and take notice.

Not one for letting loose and breaking rules, recently divorced Niall would describe himself as hopeless when it comes to women. But even he knows outgoing California-girl Ruby is a breath of fresh air. Once she makes it her mission to help the sexy Brit loosen his tie, there’s no turning back. Thousands of miles from London, it’s easy for the lovers to play pretend. But when the trip is over, will the relationship they’ve built up fall down?

This is the only book in the series that is centralised around characters that don’t live in New York, or aren’t from America (both of them). The first time I read this book I was really disappointed and put off by that fact, but in re-reading this is one of my preferred story’s in this series. The story is a tale as old as time, intern/assistant/lower level employee falls for the boss and battles the stigma, feelings, and repercussions that happen as a result of the liaison.

Niall was introduced in an earlier novella, and as he was close to his family and attractively brilliant with a baby, I pretty much liked him immediately. He is laser focused and clearly both intelligent and attractive, but does not seem interested in delving back into the dating pool. This aloofness and uncertainty mixes perfectly with Ruby’s reticence at outwardly talking about her feelings towards him, and is a really good summary of his past life and loves that we experience later in the book. Despite being older than her, their are elements of his relationship approaches that show a level of naivety that can only come from someone who married their first love young and were stung by said relationship.

Ruby is, well, not my favourite character in the series but still a firecracker. She is talented at her job but fairly rubbish and holding her feelings together in front of her boss. She is intelligent, and I like that she both knows it and wants to use it to further her education and working life. She knows how important her role and references are, and fights for her position, and at times knows that exploring the relationship could be the romantic advancement she wants but a working detriment that she can’t afford.

The pair are flawed, like all these characters are, but it feels different with these. Reading it slightly older made me understand the sacrifices and battles that the characters were going through while they began to fall for each other, and understanding how they fitted together with previous loves and current friendships/family relationships was fascinating.

For once, this book was not quite as focused on the sex as previous instalments. Christina Lauren are gifted enough authors that the books don’t have to just be smut with story, but, they do write sex scenes quite well too. In this book, I like that the male character is shown to be the more hesitant and less experienced characters. It didn’t affect the dynamic or quality, but it showed a different style in writing such scenes. The authors also focused on scenes of female pleasure and emotional battles within the sexual arena that were refreshing to explore.

I’m not 100% sure about how these characters will fit into the continuing story arc considering that the majority of their story, and their future lives, are based in the UK. I feel like this book was an outlier, and while I enjoyed it, I don’t think these characters will be too much of a loss. It feels a little like a one shot.

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