22 June 2015

Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

Hey everyone,

I hang my head in shame for not posting at all over the last 2 weeks, honestly didn’t expect the new course to take up quite so much of my time! Now hopefully though things will be business as usual and the regular schedule will be maintained because I missed blogging. Today I want to talk about Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren (aka the writing duo Christina and Lauren). Now I am aware that this book has a very loyal following and thousands and thousands of reviews, so rather than doing a regular run-down of my thoughts on the book I want to focus on a particular scene from the novel that I found troubling.

The book:

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office. 

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win each other.

My thoughts:

As in typical in New Adult or angsty contemporary romances the hero and heroine fight. The bicker, they flirt, they rile each other, they tear each others clothes off, they agonise over there feelings and the cycle repeats itself until the eventual HEA. I have absolutely no issue with books of that nature, when written well they can be extremely enjoyable and provide a lot of entertainment. What I do have issues with is domestic abuse and in my opinion this book contained domestic violence between the hero and heroine.

“The rage was coursing through me so strongly that before I could stop myself, I stepped forward and slapped him hard across the face. The sound cracked through the empty garage. With a shocked and furious stare, he reached up and touched the spot where I had struck him”.

Now imagine if the roles had been reversed and the hero had slapped the heroine. Having the man on the receiving end of the slap doesn’t change anything. It is still abuse. It is still wrong. It is still unnecessary in the context of the novel. No matter how angry you get physical violence is never the answer in a relationship.

The reason I reiterate the point is before reading Beautiful Bastard I had read numerous reviews, I’d seen various posts on Tumblr, pictures on Instagram and tweets on Twitter praises this book. Not one mentioned it contained physical violence or even eluded to it. Although I love the romance community I am ashamed that a book containing physical violence has over 4 * on Goodreads, 4 1/2 * on Amazon and is apparently being turned into a film?! How is that possible?

Fifty Shades of Grey, also a piece of fan fiction turned into a book, also a contemporary erotic romance that has been turned into a film and also a book that contains dubious sexual consent has been debated until the cows come home. Is Christian Grey an overprotective but ultimately redeemable character or he just a egoistical power-mad whip wielder? Does Anna has a genuine curiosity and interest in the BDSM world or will she just do anything to make Christian?

Now I am aware that Beautiful Bastard isn’t quite as infamous or well-read as Fifty Shades of Grey but my point stands I research this book before buying and before reading yet someone the fact that the heroine physically assaults the hero is never mentioned. Whether this a larger reflection on how society views domestic abuse or a more specific reflection how the romance community and the gender bias it contains views domestic abuse I’m not sure. Perhaps it is both.

Yet it needs to stop now. I wouldn’t recommend a book where the hero physically attacks the heroine and I won’t recommend Beautiful Bastard for the exact same reason. If after reading this post you still want to read Beautiful Bastard the choice is yours, after all we all like different things and although I personally didn’t enjoy Beautiful Bastard it doesn’t mean others won’t. At least you know what you’re getting into.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!