AN UPTIGHT BRITISH EXECUTIVE. AN ADVENTUROUS AMERICAN NEWBIE. A SEXY INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL IN THE MAKING.
New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Christina Lauren’s Beautiful and Wild Seasons series hook up in Beautiful Secret for an erotic intercontinental romp that celebrates the best of both worlds!
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?
All the guys from the Beautiful series have had strong dominant personalities, so it was kind of refreshing to meet Niall, confident in the boardroom, but completely reserved when it comes to anything regarding emotions and intimacy. Ruby was the more determined and controlling person in this slow building romance, and was patient with Niall as he figured out what he wanted both in a relationship and the bedroom.
I really loved Niall! He’s recently divorced from his high school sweetheart and he didn’t get that chance to play the field. She was his first everything and in the end, his marriage was not very adventurous, well, quite boring really. When Ruby came into his life, I could see the shift in his personality; he slowly opened up and did things that were outside of his comfort zone. He was able to explore a female body and do things that he only dreamed of doing.
Ruby… I liked her in the Wild Seasons series and was happy to see her get her own book! She has had a crush on Niall since she began working at Richardson-Corbett and knows so much about Niall, which almost puts her into stalker territory. Some may think it’s a bit disturbing, but Niall is simply amazed that someone would even show interest in him. Ruby is a very forward person and tends to speak what is on her mind, which made some very interesting conversations!!
The relationship between Niall and Ruby built gradually throughout this book. It began with secret looks, flirting and dirty conversations before things picked up. There were some sizzling moment and Niall’s recording – let me just say OMG!! – and the passion between these two exploded. Not everything was smooth sailing however, and I enjoyed how well the author’s wove this particular element together.
Beautiful Secret was a beautiful read I loved being immersed back in this world. I LOVED how the other characters from the series made appearances too, interfering and gently pushing Niall and Ruby together. Each book in this series has caught me by surprise, and I have loved watching each character find love. Christina Lauren are incredible story tellers and I love how they hook me and pull me into their incredible worlds. I am keen to get my hands on anything they write!
Complimentary copy provided by Simon & Schuster Australia in exchange for an honest review.
A silence fell over the table as everyone turned to watch Ruby leave the bar and head upstairs to bed. She had been utterly charming throughout dinner, and the group had groaned in unison when she’d excused herself because of our early morning. I, too, had been quite sad to see her go.
I looked up to see my brother’s smug expression.
“Now that we’re alone,” Will began, “I think we can all agree to drop any pretense that we’re not ruined for civilized conversation, yes?” Each of them nodded in agreement and beside me, his glass now refilled, Will raised his tumbler to take a small swallow of scotch. “I also think we can all agree Bennett will be an important consultant on this case.”
“The conference?” I asked, confused.
“It’s an all-too-common predicament,” Bennett added dryly. “Knockout intern. Boss in denial. I’ll draft up a step-by-step plan of containment.”
I blinked, swallowing thickly as I realized what they meant. “She’s not my intern. I have absolutely no say in her career.” I shook my head, frustrated because it was exactly the wrong thing to say. “I’m not . . . that is to say, she’s not interested. Nor I.”
All four men laughed.
“Niall,” Will said, leaning his elbows on his knees. “She nearly dropped her drink in your lap when George asked if she was interested in anyone.”
“Was going to say the same thing,” Bennett said.
“And something tells me she’d be first to volunteer to clean it up,” Will added.
“Well, maybe that’s because she’s interested in someone who works with us at R-C.”
“Yeah. You.” Max lifted his glass and finished the last of the amber liquid.
“Sincerely,” I said, fighting a smile. “She’s a fantastic girl, but she’s certainly not a romantic option for me.”
Tilting his head, Bennett asked, “What color are her eyes?”
Green, I didn’t say. I shook my head as if I didn’t know.
“What was she wearing?” Will asked.
A blue dress that hit just above her knee, I didn’t say. A delicate gold chain around her neck and a ring on her right ring finger that I had to resist asking her about until George bulldozed in and asked about a boyfriend.
I rolled my eyes, and my brother laughed again, this time pointing his drink at me. “Blokes don’t notice these things unless they’re interested.”
“Or George,” Will added, and George reached over to grab the back of his neck and try to pull him in for a kiss.
“Well, it’s apparent I needn’t think on this any further,”
I said. “You’ve all decided for me.”
“It’s what we do,” Will said, adjusting the skewed collar of his shirt as he settled back into his chair. “It’s a sickness, we know.”
“I thought we’d lost that muscle, honestly,” George said.
“It’s a relief to know we still have it in us. The ladies will be so proud.” Max rapped his knuckles on the table as he made to stand. “Alas, I’d best be off. New routine: Sara gets the baby to sleep; I do the midnight bottle feeding.”
“Finally taking a bottle from you then? Guess you smell like a woman, too,” I said to Max, reminding him of the little dig he’d thrown my way on my last visit.
Max laughed and patted me on the back, and we all stood, a silent agreement in place that we were ready to call it a night. I watched my brother gather his things and say his goodbyes, feeling the same mix of pride and longing for what he was headed home to: a wife, a daughter. A proper home.
“Kiss the girls for me,” I requested as he made his way out of the bar. He waved a hand, retreating, and then disappeared from view.
Yes, there are two of us! Lauren (on the left) and Christina (on the right).
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced nine New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 23+ languages.
Lauren Billings (but everyone calls her Lo) has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and before she made writing her full-time job, would spend her days doing nerdy research-type things wearing a lab coat and goggles. She is silly Mommy to two littles, wife to one mountain biking homebrewing scientist, bestie to a shoe-stealer, and an unabashed lover of YA and romance.
Christina Hobbs (but you’ll always hear Lo call her PQ) used to spend her days in a junior high counseling office surrounded by teenagers. These days you’ll probably find her on tumblr. She is married and absolutely not old enough to be the mom of a 14 year old (right??), thinks she’s the luckiest person in the world to write books with her best friend, and is an unapologetic lover of boy bands and glitter. She also likes to steal Lo’s shoes.
You can follow their shenanigans at:
@lolashoes (Lauren) & @seeCwrite (Christina) on Twitter. On Tumblr! Where we post kissing gifs and writerly stuff and Wattpad for short stories and sneak peeks!
For official information about their books, events, interviews, movie news and more, follow @christinalauren.
Other reviews featuring Christina Lauren
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