Thursday, June 20, 2013

Audiobook Review: Beautiful Stranger by Chrisina Lauren

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (Gallery Books)
  • Publication date: 5/28/2013
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Read by: Grace Grant and Jonathan R. Cole
  • Length: 8 hours and 6 minutes
  • Source: Digital audiobook provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | Audible | B&N | The Book Depository | Simon & Schuster

A charming British Playboy. A girl determined to finally live. And a secret liaison revealed in all too vivid color. Book two in the NYT Bestselling series.

Escaping a cheating ex, finance whiz Sara Dillon's moved to New York City and is looking for excitement without a lot of strings attached. So meeting the irresistible, sexy Brit at a dance club should have meant nothing more than a night's fun. But the manner--and speed--with which he melts her inhibitions turns him from a one-time hookup and into her Beautiful Stranger.

The whole city knows Max Stella loves women, not that he's ever found one he particularly wants to keep around. Despite pulling in plenty with his Wall Street bad boy charm, it's not until Sara--and the wild photos she lets him take of her--that he starts wondering if there's someone for him outside of the bedroom.

Hooking up in places where anybody could catch them, the only thing scarier for Sara than getting caught in public is having Max get too close in private.

My Thoughts

After listening to and enjoying Beautiful Bastard, I was really looking forward to this one. What I really like about companion novels it that you get the story of new characters (or ones that were in the previous book, but you don't know much about), but still get other characters you already know in the story too. I really enjoyed the first book, but I think that I liked this one even more. I just really liked Sara and Max's story and how it all goes. I liked that he was a nice guy and not a total ass like Bennett was. In fact, Sara is the one who is a little off putting, but she has a good reason to be. This was fun and sexy book!!

I really liked Sara. She has just left her longtime partner and moved to New York to work. She is reluctant to be with anyone after he cheated on her repeatedly and she wants a fresh start. She doesn't want to be the good housewife type. She wants to be spontaneous and be in control. What better way to do that then to have a fling in a night club with a stranger right?! I knew I was going to really like Sara right away after this. (not that I condone sex with strangers in nightclubs) Her inner dialogue was really great. Outwardly, she comes across as confident and knows what she's doing, but inside she is wondering WTF she is actually doing since this is so unlike her. As she and Max continue with their sex only arrangement, she realizes that she wants more than that, but doesn't know if he does. She really grew as a character to me as she slowly let the past be the past and was able to let her walls down and try to let Max in.

Max was someone who I thought would be the sexy playboy, but he actually wasn't. No, he may not be innocent, but he was really great with Sara. It has been a long time since he has been in love, and he's reluctant to let anyone in either, but when he is with Sara he can't help but want to be with her. More than just the sex, he genuinely does care about her. He never came across as a player to me. His intentions always seemed really clear. I do see how Sara wouldn't quite see it, but it was pretty obvious to me. He was never anything but awesome to her. I easily fell for Max.

The romance was sexy!! Off the charts hot. They have this thing about having sex in places that are public or easy to get caught. That's more really Sara's wants ten his though. She sets the rules that they only get together once a week, somewhere public, for sex only. No dates, no beds, nothing that makes it seem like more than it is. Except they both are falling for each other and this arrangement starts to be hard. I really liked how they did get to know each other though. It seems totally backward how they do it, but still, I thought that it was believable how they really fall for each other.

This book has plenty of sexy times in it, but it also has a great story. I really loved getting to know Sara and Max and why they are both trying to stay away from a relationship. And the narrators I thought were fantastic. At first I was a bit thrown off by the dual narration, but it did grow on me. Grace Grant was great as Sara and she was able to really made her seem real. Jonathan R. Cole I thought was great for Max too. I loved his accent and he was pleasant to listen to. Great story, great characters, and fabulous narration!! I really enjoyed this.

* A copy of this audiobook was provided by the publisher for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.


  1. I still need to read the first one. I've heard good things and I'm glad you liked them.

  2. I haven't read the first one but like you I like the companion type series.

  3. I have not read this series, but it's always good when the second book we end up loving more, makes it worth waiting for <3

  4. I like that this one kind of throws the gender roles out the window and the girl was the tough one! We need to start seeing more of that because I am sick of trying to fall for assholes, but I will always appreciate a strong woman. hahaha look at me being sexist! I want to read this series if just for the covers alone, I love the white and the pop of color on them!

  5. I'm glad to hear that this companion worked for you even better than the first book did, Amy.
    Sarah must be a really fearless girl if she can have sex with a stranger she meets at a bar.
    I love it when a character surprises me and turns out to be nothing like I expected him to be like.
    Fab review, Amy!

  6. I think this series looks great! I bought both books in this series, and can't wait to read them. I've tried audiobooks, but can't get in to them. I love your review, and this book sounds awesome! I love how a sex only arrangement grows in to something more, and the characters get to know and fall for each other! Excellent Review friend!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  7. I haven't read this series and I don't think I plan too. Seeing fan fiction turn into something published and strange. Glad you enjoyed the book.

  8. Yay! I love finding new audiobook recommendations. Good narrators definitely make the book even that much better. Great review! :)

  9. I've been hearing fantastic things about this one, I'm really glad you liked it! Sara and Max sound like fantastic characters and like they make a fantastic couple, so I'm really happy you liked them!! Sara sounds super tough, and I've always heard of those friends-with-benefits stories where it starts off like that but then it ends up like real love. The public places thing also sounds like it would be really suspenseful in that weird way because nobody wants to be walked in on in the middle of sex lol.

    Fantastic review, Amy!

  10. My bookclub friends liked this even more than BB. AND, I've heard some good details about the sex in public! I'm hoping to read or listen to these soon, since I already have BB on audio.
    Great review, Amy!

  11. I still need to read Beautiful Bastard. It's nice to read about the good guy once in awhile instead of the bad asses, lol. Oh, and sex in public places? Lol, sounds interesting. Great review babe!

    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island


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