REVIEW: Beautiful by Christina Lauren
SYNOPSIS: Featuring the entire BEAUTIFUL series cast for one final hurrah!
A FREE-SPIRITED GIRL IN NEED OF A BREAK. A MAN WEIGHED DOWN BY RESPONSIBILITY. A ROAD TRIP VACATION WHERE ALL BETS ARE OFF.
OH, AND A LOT OF WINE.
After walking in on her boyfriend shagging another girl in their place, Pippa Bay Cox ditches London for the States to go on a drunken road trip with Ruby Miller and some of her Beautiful friends.
Scaling the career ladder is the default way to deal with heartbreak—and to just deal—for Jensen Bergstrom. Absolutely buried by his drive and workload, he rarely takes time for himself. But when his sister Hanna convinces him to join the gang on a two-week wine tour, he has a rare moment of cutting loose. Of course, it’s only once he’s committed that he realizes the strange girl he met briefly on the plane is coming along, too. She might be too much for him…or he might realize his life has become too small and needs her to make it bigger, crazier.
With this circle of friends there’s always something going on: from Chloe and Sara’s unexpected personality swaps to Will’s new domestic side to Bennett’s text message barrage and George’s own happily-ever-after. In short, their adventures in love, friendship, and hilarity are nothing short of Beautiful.
SERIES: Beautiful Bastard #5
GENRE: Contemporary, Romance, 18+
RATING: ★★★★☆ / 4 wine filled & fun stars!
REVIEW: I first came upon the author Christina Lauren (actually a nom de plume for writing duo Christina Hobbs & Lauren Billings) with the first book in this series back in 2013. At the time, I hadn't read anything like it. Fast, sharp, hot & heavy, with snappy dialogue and hilarious encounters. It was a naughty chick-lit dream. And so the series, and other series by the duo too, continued in the same spirit. There have been some ups and downs, with Hanna & Will (book 3) being my favorite, and Ruby & Niall (book 4) being my least. Still it's always an entertaining read when I dive into one of these books.
Beautiful is the proclaimed last book in this series and I'm a little sad. While each one follows a different set of resistant soul-mates, the other characters are always flitting around in the background and helping the story progress. It's sad to see them all go, I'm not ready to say good-bye. But with Christina Lauren's penchant for doing novelettes I'm holding out serious hope for some sort of 10 year reunion book or something of the sort!
Okay, on to the immediate story. I enjoyed Beautiful so much! I think that Pippa and Jensen may just be the most relatable characters out of all the books. Pippa is a little crazy and constantly "putting her foot in it" and Jensen is a workaholic who needs to loosen up. They're perfectly matched and have the best push-and-pull dynamic. It made for very entertaining reading.
Tiny spoiler from the very beginning of the book (although I just looked and it's mentioned in the synopsis, so never mind): They meet as strangers on a plane. I LOVE this type of meet-cute. It never goes well and the results are always hilarious (please also see Sophie Kinsella's Can You Keep a Secret?). It is seriously one of my favorite chick-lit plot devices, so it's safe to say that this book started off spectacularly for me and if you think anything like I do, then you'll love it.
Our couple goes on a relaxing road trip with two previous couples; Will and Hanna & Ruby and Niall. The rest of the cast make appearances at the beginning and end. Now it's time to add in a lot of wine, along with a big surprise and some subterfuge, a bit of singing and yoga, stir it all together and it equals one crazy East Coast tour. As with the previous books, this one is funny, sassy, sexy, and layered with soul searching. It was everything I expected and hoped it to be, written in classic Christina Lauren style, and a fitting addition to the BB series.
I loved the ending. Everything comes full circle for Pippa and Jensen, as well as the rest of the series' cast of characters. There is a little epilogue for everyone that will hopefully give you the closure you're looking for. And now it's time to say goodbye (although I'm still angling for a reunion book, hint hint wink wink).