Going into reading this one, I knew that it was originally Twilight fan fiction that was pulled to be published. I’m not gonna lie, I did actually start reading this when it was fan fiction. I didn’t read all of it, but I read part of it. Has Beautiful Bastard been changed a bit from it’s original fan fiction version The Office? Yes! Has it been changed enough that it seems like a new story? Not at all. But that’s not actually a bad thing. While I recognized the story as something that I had read before, it didn’t make me think about Twilight at all. Which is part of what made The Office so popular in the first place.
Hot from the word go, Beautiful Bastard is the story of Bennett and Chloe. Bennett and Chloe are employer and employee respectively. They also sleep together…a lot. They also seem to dislike, or at the very least annoy, one another…a lot. Thus begins our story. Beautiful Bastard dives right in. I mean, right in to the sexual relationship between the two. It almost gives the impression that you are starting the book in the middle of the story. It gives it a bit a disconnected feeling that thankfully disappears as the story progresses.
The story is told in Bennett and Chloe’s alternating view points. Normally, this drives me absolutely insane, but it actually worked for this book and didn’t leave me feeling like I was jumping back and forth from one idea to the other. The differing view points managed to give two different perspectives to the same events, while managing not to feel like a bunch of repetition.
I know a lot of people really like Bennett, but I personally really liked Chloe. I was so happy that she was not one of those doormat female lead characters who wouldn’t say s*** if she had a mouthful. All through the story, she managed to give back just a good as she gave. Was her decision making suspect? Absolutely! But speaking as someone who has worked with University students for the past 10 years, her decision making it pretty common. Bad decisions aside, it was refreshing to read about a female character with a set of cojones for a change.
While Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren may not end up winning the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, it just may end up being your guilty pleasure.