Cover for the 2013 first edition
|Publisher||Simon & Schuster|
Published in English
|February 12, 2013|
|Followed by||Beautiful Stranger|
Beautiful Bastard is an erotic romance novel by Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings under the singular pen name of Christina Lauren. The book was originally published online as a Twilight fan fiction entitled The Office, with Simon & Schuster purchasing the publishing rights to the series.
The book was followed by three sequels (Beautiful Stranger, Beautiful Player, and Beautiful Secret), as well as three novellas (Beautiful Bitch, Beautiful Bombshell, and Beautiful Beginning).
Beautiful Bastard follows Chloe Mills, a hardworking intern and MBA student that works underneath her demanding yet attractive boss Bennett Ryan. The two are constantly at odds with each other, a tense relationship that begins the first time the two meet. Bennett is drawn to Chloe, but acts terse towards her. She is independent and strong-willed and the first person to really stand up to him. Their relationship comes to a head one night when the two stay late for an impromptu practice speech on an account she is working on. The speech quickly turns into a sexual encounter, the first of many the pair has within the office building. Despite vows from each of them that the affair will not continue, Bennett and Chloe keep running into each other in places such as a La Perla lingerie store. Chloe is concerned over the nature of the relationship, afraid that it will jeopardize her future career if her sexual relationship with Bennett gets out. Meanwhile Bennett finds himself growing more possessive of Chloe, especially after his mother attempts to fix her up with Joel Cignoli, a family friend. The relationship finally comes to a head when Chloe has to leave to care for her father after he discovers a tumor in his stomach, which prompts Bennett to realize that his feelings for Chloe are more than sexual and that he can't fully operate without her. When she returns the two go to a convention in San Diego, where they continue their affair. After Bennett is forced to remain behind in the hotel room due to food poisoning, Chloe is left to handle an important presentation with a client, which she aces. Her emotional high from the last few days is shattered, however, when she overhears Bennett supposedly taking the credit for her successful presentation. This prompts her to break up with Bennett and submit her resignation from the company, which devastates Bennett. Chloe manages to gain another job at a different corporation for her student project, but at the official presentation to the school board she is met by Bennett, who confesses his love for her. She then presents two portfolios for her student project, much to the delight of the school board. The book ends with Chloe and Bennett reconciling and resuming their relationship.
Hobbs originally began working on the story in 2009 under the title of The Office. The Office was well received online but was removed by Hobbs due to her perceiving the story's popularity as "a bit overwhelming". Hobbs began writing with Billings in 2010 and after noticing the story's rise in popularity after the publishing of Fifty Shades of Grey, decided to re-write and publish the story as Beautiful Bastard. Hobbs and Billings have stated that they have extensively re-worked the story line of The Office, claiming that only 20% of the original book remains in Beautiful Bastard.
The Office has been credited by a University of Utah professor as "[paving] the way for 'Fifty Shades' and a thousand other imitators. It turned fan-fiction's 'porn without plot' into 'porn as plot,'".
On February 11, 2013 it was announced that Constantin Film had acquired the rights to Beautiful Bastard with the intention of turning it into a feature film. Jeremy Bolt was confirmed as producer for the film. Stephanie Sanditz has been hired by Constantin Film to write the movie adaptation of Beautiful Bastard.
Beautiful Bastard was a finalist for Best Romance of 2013 at the Goodreads Choice Awards.
RT Book Reviews gave Beautiful Bastard three stars, saying that while the book "is filled with plenty of hot sex and sizzling tension between boss Bennett and employee Chloe", the alternating viewpoints "proves distracting rather than providing depth" and that "the level at which this couple loathes each other for the majority of the story makes the hasty resolution hard to believe".
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- Busis, Hilary. "The 'Fifty Shades' bump: More 'Twilight' fanficion is being turned into novels". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
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- "The Next '50 Shades Of Grey'? 'Beautiful Bastard' Gets Movie Deal". IB Times. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- "Erotic Novel 'Beautiful Bastard' Getting Movie at Constantin Film (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- "Exclusive! Stephanie Sanditz Tapped As Screenwriter for ‘Beautiful Bastard’ Movie". Beautiful Bastard Film. Retrieved 10 July 2013.
- "Review: Beautiful Bastard". RT Book Reviews. Retrieved 15 February 2013.