Audio Slave Review: Beautiful Beloved by Christina Lauren

Title: Beautiful Beloved 
          (Beautiful Bastard #3.6)
Author: Christina Lauren

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Pub Date: February 2015
Story Rating: 4 Stars
Narration Rating: 4 Stars

Our thoughts...

Growth ~ Rediscovery ~ Trust

Beautiful Beloved is quite the quick listen. Clocking in at just under 3 hours it manages to pack a full story into a short package. This story is about Max and Sarah a few months after their daughter is born. Sarah is getting ready to head back to work, Max is feeling sensitive, and both of them are fully ready to become reacquainted with their previous proclivities, if you catch my drift. Throw a baby into the mix and suddenly everything intensifies.

I think it’s fairly safe to say that mothers have the tendency to experience similar “road bumps” after having a baby. There’s insecurity, regaining one’s self, body image issues, etc. The list can be quite extensive. I think a lot of those issues fail to be well-represented in erotica books. It makes sense for the most part. Erotica needs to be sexy; who wants to read about insecurities and the like? I think these experiences are able to be successfully represented in this particular erotica-type book due to the fact that Beautiful Beloved is part of a well-loved, well-rounded series. The reader is used to the characters being full developed and all facets of their lives explored. Why should Sarah’s experience be any different?

On the flip side, we also get to experience the oft forgotten father’s perspective, because although the woman goes through a lot, the man experiences changes as well. Max struggles to separate “Sarah the woman” and “Sarah the mother.” He is afraid of hurting her, sharing her, and pushing her. This effects Sarah’s growth as well as their growth as a couple.

Overall, it was nice to see realistic feelings and situations of the post-baby variety and experience how these two deal with them and fit their old selves into their new world. I think it is an empowering perspective for new moms and dads.

The narration was solid, as one would expect from Grace Grant and Jonathan Cole. I wasn’t particularly too fond of Grant’s Max voice this time around. It came across as stuffy to me. My issue with Jonathan Cole goes more towards whoever did his editing. There are several points where extra takes were clearly spliced in but the sound of his voice in the new takes is so different from the original recording that it almost sounds like a different narrator. His voice is deeper and it sounds like the compression is off. It was distracting but it fortunately only happens about four times.

Beautiful Beloved on Goodreads
Beautiful Beloved and audio sample on Amazon

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