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on April 14th 2015
Narrator: Charlotte Penfield, Jonathan Cole
Purchase links: Amazon, Audible
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Source: Simon & Schuster
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?
We received this book/audiobook for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the book or the content of our review.
Vivian’s Review: 4,5 stars
Number of times I’ve fallen in love with a Beautiful man…4 times, and counting. (Bennett, Max, Will, and NOW Niall Stella).
Beautiful Secret is book number 4 in the Beautiful series and was a HIGHLY ANTICIPATED book for me! I was introduced to the Beautiful series, like most readers were, with a certain power couple: Bennett and Chloe (from book 1 Beautiful Bastard), but my true obsession and love for the series came after reading book 2 in the Beautiful Stranger which starred one of my all time favorite book boyfriends, Max Stella. He was my sexy and kinky Brit that I bloody loved! So you can about imagine how THRILLED I was to hear that Christina Lauren was planning to write a book about Max’s baby brother Niall!
In book 3.6 Beautiful Beloved, we get our first glimpse of this loving gentle giant of a character that is SO MUCH different than his big brother…but in a good way! He is reserved and quiet, but there’s something about him that demands you pay attention to his every move and don’t blink otherwise you might miss something important underneath. Oh and the way he cuddles with Annabel in Beautiful Beloved! *swoon worthy*
In Beautiful Secret, Niall Stella is coming out of an 11 yr marriage that was predictable and cold. Throughout his marriage to Portia, he seemed to become a shell of himself and became closed off. When the marriage ended, it wasn’t a “please, let’s try to work this out” it was more of a “Cheers. See you around” kind of a split. They just simply went their separate ways. So now, Niall has to figure out who he is again and the prospect of trying to figure out what he wants out of life now is daunting, so he finds himself stepping right back into his normal routine and doesn’t move past the “pre-divorced Niall”.
In enters Ruby Miller! Ruby moved to London and is doing an internship at Richardson-Corbett in London. This is coincidently the same company that Niall Stella works at. She is this spunky, fun, talkative girl who has had a crush on Niall Stella since she laid eyes on him 6 months ago. All of a sudden, she is asked to take her bosses place and accompany Mr.Stella to New York for 4 weeks. This is a blessing for Ruby and a curse because when it comes to Niall Stella, she gets completely tongue tied and becomes a mute around him. Thankfully after some awkward and quite comical situations, the two begin to develop a “rhythm” of sorts and the quirky and lovable Ruby is back “to play”.
Reading the day to day interactions between these two was BLOODY BRILLANT! One word: FOREPLAY. *smirk* There seems to be a bit of a “role reversal” in this book. Typically, in most “romantic/erotica” books (at least in the ones I read) the male is “the teacher”, “the Dominate”, “the one with experience”, but not so much in this book. Niall is very much the learner in Beautiful Secret. I am in NO WAY saying that Ruby is a “Dom” or someone that sleeps around, but it was refreshing to read a book about a female “showing the man the ways” without being too aggressive. Niall is in a sense “a virgin” because he has only been with his ex-wife Portia. And with Portia, it all seemed very obligatory. She seemed to only have sex with him because she had to so he wouldn’t stray, so the prospect of having any type of sexual encounter outside or “love” or marriage was new territory to him. He thought he had true love with his wife and that clearly didn’t end so well, so how can he know how to navigate a relationship outside of love, if he didn’t know what true love really was. With Portia being his only guide of reference, he doesn’t know how to judge his own ideas and thoughts about what it should be like to be with a woman, so he is hesitant with EVERYTHING that has to do with women.
Ruby is SO the perfect woman for Niall to find after his divorce! Her willingness to go slow for him and let him go at his own pace is so ideal. She helps breakdown their physical relationship to its fundamentals: go back to how you would do things if you were younger and it was your first time doing those specific things with someone. In doing so, Ruby showed Niall how to be completely open and willing to learn and willing to let go at times! Niall seems to not ever trust his own instincts and Ruby proves to him that he can and he should.
Don’t let me forget about my other beautiful men in my life 😉 Bennett, Will and Max make a cameo in Beautiful Secret! *HAPPY DANCE* Their scenes were just perfect! The playful jabs and banter that us readers have grown accustomed to with the men is back in full force and is HILARIOUS! I could probably read a book with just the men in it because they are funny as hell and…well…quite frankly; they are just sexy to listen to 😉 The scenes with Max helped give more insight into who Niall was and is: the “before Portia, fun Niall”, the “married, shell of a man Niall” and the “after Portia, trying to find himself Niall”. As a reader, you are able to get these insights throughout the book just from reading Niall’s POV, but it is always good to have it confirmed once in a while.
Number of times Christina Lauren has left me craving more?…TOO MANY TIMES TO COUNT! I WANT MORE! Please give me more!?! In true Christina Lauren style, they leave us blissfully happy in the end of the book, but leave us slightly open! I am curious to see where they take us next with Ruby and Niall…because let’s be real, there will be more to their story 😉
Number of stars given to Beautiful Secret… 4,5!
Angy’s review: 4 stars
Christina and Lauren did it again. They gave us another beautiful man to love and lust non stop. Niall is Max’s youngest brother, and despite their physical resemblance, they have very different personalities. Niall is old fashion, posh, stiff, and very neurotic. He thinks everything thoroughly. He’s a planner in his profession and also in his life, but after his marriage ended in a divorce, his whole life was reduced to work, work and more work. Ruby, our newest beautiful woman in the series, is a young, carefree and happy engineer who works in the company where Niall is VP. She’s had a huge crush on Niall since the first time she saw him. When they go to work on a project in New York City, they start having an affair that within the weeks in NYC turns into something more meaningful. How will a chatty girl fit with the most quiet guy in all Britain? How will Ruby make Niall forget about his old fashion ways?
I loved that Ruby was an engineer – because I’m an engineer – I loved her counts of “Number of times Niaill Stella…”. I loved how she handled things with Niall at the ending of this book. But there were a lot of things I didn’t like about her, such as her stalkerish tendencies and the choice she made before the angst begins in the book *ugh*, I just couldn’t believe it *shakes head*.
I loved the neurotic way of Niall’s thinking. I loved how he was with his brother and his family, and I loved how much he tried to be a dirty talker, and he did it very well *smirk*, considering how stiff he was. I loved when he said “darling” to Ruby *sigh*. And just like with Ruby, there were a lot of things I didn’t like about him. There’s a saying here in Colombia: “Pajazo mental” (Mental jerk-off), he was lying to himself, thinking that what he was doing with Ruby was like a teenagers play, but it wasn’t at all. Ruby understood how deeply they were connecting, but Niall didn’t, or he did, but he didn’t want to accept it. *shakes head*
I really loved the parts with the other Beautiful Men: Max, Bennett *sigh* and Will. They were amazing, and funny, and sexy, and perfect *triple sigh*, as always. And, OMG, George was there too, I think that he deserves a book, or at least a novella. He is a great character and he’s so funny! Did I say Bennett was there too? No? Well, Bennett was there and I was so damn happy about it because Bennett is my man *sigh*. I just love my Beautiful Bastard.
I really enjoyed this book. Great read and I can’t wait for the audiobook. I really hope Niall and Ruby get a novella because I need to know more about how their relationship goes after their HEA.
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