When news broke that the Christina Lauren, an NYT bestselling author duo comprised of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, were releasing a YA novel (Their newest novel is called Sublime and is YA all the way) that will be available Fall 14.) I was intrigued. For one, I think authors who write in partnership are amazing. How hard is that? It seems like it would be seriously difficult. For two, people were saying some wonderful things on Twitter about the work they’ve already produced. So good things all around.
I wanted to read something by them because the premise of their newest novel seems right up my alley. And when I discovered the duo is famous for erotica I was floored. What a transition! I’m a huge fan of romance and I’m not afraid of some scorching hot love scenes so I thought, ‘why not give their erotica a whirl?’ So I downloaded Beautiful Bastard for free or nearly free.
Not familiar with Beautiful Bastard? Here’s the premise:
A smart intern works for a legit @-hole boss who happens to be very good looking.
This story has an interesting origin. More interesting than ‘I dreamed this one night and just started writing.’ These ladies, as I understand it, met and published their stories on a erotica site. They got reader feedback and turned a short, erotic fiction into a huge publishing deal. That’s cool.
But back to Beautiful Bastard.
Lust drips from this story like hot wax from a candle. It’s not un-fun. It’s fun some of the time. There’s enough panty-ripping love scenes to last a life time. But that’s about all there is to this book.
It’s sex for the sake of sex. And I know, you’re thinking ‘duh, that’s the point!’ But that’s just not good enough for me. There is a plot and there is tension at times, but the believability factor is missing. There is no reason why the ‘smart’ intern should like this guy. NONE. At least none that are presented to the reader PRIOR to the sex. Maybe it’s the lack of emotion, but there is something about this story that made my suspension of disbelief as flaccid as…well…you know. I actually got bored with the sex there was just that much of it. I found myself thinking – what else can these two people do?
I think I finally get what agents and editors are talking about when they say “The sex in erotica has to mean something” – it has to be a tool or catalyst. It has to move the plot forward. There needs to be a relationship – not necessarily the lovey-dovey-buy-me-flowers kind of relationship but the characters need to grow and change. I just didn’t see believable growth in Beautiful Bastard.
So although this was a hot, steamy romp of a read I didn’t really love it. You might. In fact, if you are looking for a hot, steamy romp you probably will like this book.
You can buy it here: Amazon
My lack of love for this book isn’t going to turn me off the writer duo for good. I’ll definitely check out their future efforts – but maybe just not in erotica. It might not be my thing.
Did you read Beautiful Bastard, or anything else from Christina Lauren? What did you think?