Audio Slave Review and Signed Paperback Giveaway: Beautiful Secret by Christina Lauren

Title: Beautiful Beloved 
          (Beautiful Bastard #4)
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Pub Date: April 2015
Story Rating: 4.5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4.5 Stars

Our thoughts...
Cautious ~ Brave ~ Unrestricted

I really enjoyed Beautiful Secret. I thought the role-reversal with Niall being the one struggling to explore his true self, his wants and needs, and Ruby pushing for more was a refreshing and fun spin on the traditional roles we’ve come to expect. Not all men are insta-alphas and not all women are sexually insecure (enter Niall and Ruby).

I found the pacing of this story to be perfect. The beginning could have easily been stretched out by setting every little thing up. Christina Lauren seem to assume that their readers are quick on the up-take and I appreciate that. We don’t need three chapters of Ruby drooling over an unaware Niall; set the scene and get down to business. And that’s exactly what they do here; they set the scene and then dive right into the meat of things. The characters follow a similar example. Instead of denying everything and artificially beating around the bush about their feelings, needs, and desires, Ruby and Niall push themselves and each other to be open and honest. This allows a greater connection and adds weight to their words and actions. They truly have a beautiful connection and I love how they’re both strong leads, neither falling into the other’s shadow.

The narration is above par, as always with this series. This was my first encounter with Charlotte Penfield and she did a phenomenal job. My only issue with her narration comes down to editing and not her performance. The first chapter had me worried because the track sounds a bit robotic. This is a huge audiobook pet peeve for me but chapter one is the only place I noticed it happening.

Jonathan Cole sounds as lovely as ever. I do truly love the personality Cole evokes from his leading men and Niall comes across very differently than his brother Max. The personality fits the man for sure. My only critique is he doesn’t change accents for characters and sometimes barely changes pitch between the sexes. This can make it hard to realize who is speaking at times. His straight narration would be brilliant if it wasn’t paired with Penfield, who does different voices and accents for each character. The contrast is stark and causes the narration to be a bit disjointed.

Beautiful Secret is one of my favorites in the series (please don’t ask me to choose, though) as well as Ruby and Niall. I loved hearing about how Ruby was slowly undoing the cautious Niall and, at the same time, allowing him to be the Niall he never realized he could be.

Beautiful Secret on Goodreads
Beautiful Secret and audio sample on Amazon

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  1. I'm new to this series but I've heard great things about these books and can't wait to get started!

  2. I'm new. I've read a few excerpts and want to start on these books next!

  3. The series is a lot of fun and very addictive! ~Jenny

  4. I would love to win this! I have all of the books and can't wait to read Beautiful Secret and listen to it on audio! Thanks so much for the chance!

  5. I've read the rest of the series. still need to read this though. Thanks for the chance.
    ---C. Jones

  6. LOOOOOVE this series! Beautiful Player is my favorite. Will and Hannah are hot & hilarious together!

  7. I've read the first 2 books in this series. Loved them.
    --C. Jones

  8. Yes, I have read all of them except this one!!!