My rating: 4.75 stars for Niall and Ruby, the newest addition to the BEAUTIFULS series (and the WILD SEASONS too!).
Straight off the bat: These chicks amaze me. Addictive read. Had trouble putting the book down. Lost hours of sleep just to get that extra chapter in. The way Christina & Lauren write is so real (i.e. NOT stuffy, overdone, cheesy romance novel lingo). Their writing is always fresh, funny, sexy and new. They are well into their writing career with 7 novels (an 8th one on the way) and 4 novellas and I have yet to see the dreaded copy/paste effect where the author uses the same characters or stories but with different names and settings. All of their stories have a very different flavor to them and their characters are very well thought out. This book captivated me, had me fanning myself (OMG! The scene in the hotel room, with his recorder!!! *FAINTS*) and smiling big and stupid. Smart, erotic, heartfelt and funny.
Standalone novel but part of the world of the BEAUTIFULS and WILD SEASONS. Niall Stella is Max Stella's brother (from BEAUTIFUL STRANGER). Ruby is Lola's roommate from THE WILD SEASONS series. What a wonderful (and completely plausible!) way to intertwine the two series. This book can be read separately from the other series but why settle for just one lusty book boyfriend when you can have 6?
My heart holds a soft spot for Max (BEAUTIFUL STRANGER) and Will (BEAUTIFUL PLAYER), and they will forever be my ultimate favorite male characters from Christina Lauren but it doesn't mean that I can't really, really, really - stops for air - really, love their other male characters.
So where'd the 0.25 star go to? Well, there may, perhaps, on occasion, maybe have been some very minor repetitive inner dialog with Niall but his sexyness made up for it... Hey Niall, let me take care of those insecurities for you... uh-huh! :D