Friday, September 28, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren

Title: Sweet Filthy Boy
Author: Christina Lauren
Series? Yes, the first in a companion series named Wild Seasons.
Pages: 385
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: I read Sweet Filthy Boy on Scribd!

One-night stands are supposed to be with someone convenient, or wickedly persuasive, or regrettable. They aren’t supposed to be with someone like him.

But after a crazy Vegas weekend celebrating her college graduation—and terrified of the future path she knows is a cop-out—Mia Holland makes the wildest decision of her life: follow Ansel Guillaume—her sweet, filthy fling—to France for the summer and just…play.

When feelings begin to develop behind the provocative roles they take on, and their temporary masquerade adventures begin to feel real, Mia will have to decide if she belongs in the life she left because it was all wrong, or in the strange new one that seems worlds away.

Honestly, is this a book blog anymore or just a Christina Lauren fan page? If you have been subscribed for a least a month or two, you might have noticed that I am flying through Christina Lauren's back list. After reading Beautiful Player, I was going to jump into Beautiful Stranger, but I noticed that the published date between the books was about a year, not the usual handful of months. So I checked CL's goodreads page and figured out what the writing duo published after Beautiful Player, and it was Sweet Filthy Boy! Knowing that authors love to tie in their series, my assumption that there is crossover between the Beautiful series and the Wild Seasons series was correct (a character in the last book of Wild Seasons is featured in the last book in the Beautiful series). So instead of continuing with the Beautiful series, I jumped ship and read Sweet Filthy Boy, which is less cringe-worthy than the title suggests. 

Sweet Filthy Boy follows our protagonist, Mia. In the beginning of the novel (not a spoiler, in synopsis), she drunkenly marries a French man named Ansel in Las Vegas. Instead of getting an annulment the next day, Mia and Ansel decide to get married. Soon thereafter, Mia decides to move to Paris for the summer before she enrolls at BU to pursue her graduate degree for business. Mia is in a new city, with a new husband who is practically stranger, and she is very much a "fish out of water" as she tries to carve out a niche for in in France and questions her future in the US. 

Like my other past experiences with Christina Lauren books, I devoured Sweet Filthy Boy. At first, I thought this book would be a little stupid, simply because of the title. I mean, seriously, who decided on that title? It definitely makes me cringe. Besides the point, Sweet Filthy Boy had more depth than I was anticipating. After a tragic accident as a teenager, Mia's initial professional dreams are impossible. I loved reading about Mia finding another purpose, going back to her passion, and also gaining confidence, whether with herself, familial relationships, or romantic relationships. I found Mia's growth hopeful and empowering, and for that reason alone, would recommend reading Sweet Filthy Boy. 

Outside of Mia's character growth, we also have her romantic and sexual relationship with Ansel. Ansel isn't my favorite male love interest. There wasn't anything wrong with him, but I didn't find him too great whenever his work was brought up (which was brought up a lot). There were times when he was so high strung, and I just wanted the dude to take a breather! Christina Lauren wrote his stress so well that I was getting stressed out just reading about his constant work days! The sex scenes, like always, were so well written! There is such focus on pleasure for both parties, consent, and not being ashamed about kinks and fetishes. The sex scenes aren't there just because it's a romance novel and there's some unspoken quota, but serves as a way to develop the characters and provide examples of healthy sexual relations. 

My one critique is that the conflict was obvious. I saw it coming from a mile away, and wish that Christina Lauren was a bit more subtle with their foreshadowing. Maybe it's because I have also read a large amount of romance novels in a short amount of time, but Sweet Filthy Boy was formulaic. When reading, I already had a sense of what was going to happen and when. 

With that, I give Sweet Filthy Boy
4 out of 5 Flowers!

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