My Definitive Ranking of Christina Lauren Books

The first book I read in 2018 was Autoboyography by Christina Lauren. It was the first book I read by the author duo comprised of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings and I was pretty much hooked from there. Thus, I made it my mission to read every single book they published and finally, over a year later, I’ve done it.

To be clear, I’ve only done books that have been published. Thus, I did not read their WattPad story, A Little Crazy, though I plan to at some point. Instead, I read all 26 of their books that are currently available to me (one was a digital ARC).

For clarity, I will be ranking the books from my least favorite up to my number one pick. Please feel free to agree or disagree with my choices in the comments. Let’s begin!

Sublime

sublime.jpgTo be fair, ghost stories aren’t typically my cup of tea anyway so I think that was part of the issue with Sublime for me. I just didn’t really connect with either of the characters and I also didn’t really get it. By that I mean, the logistics of one of the characters being a ghost didn’t really work for me. Thus, Sublime is unfortunately coming in last.

Beautiful Bastard

beautiful bastard.jpgI know, I know! This is the OG CLo novel. How can it be so low? The answer is simple, I don’t really like Chloe and Bennett. Plus, I’ll admit that while I enjoy erotica this one was just a little too much for me. I’d say almost every chapter had a sex scene, and I’m pretty sure at one point I legit said to my book, “Alright you two, calm down.”

Dark Wild Night

dark wild night.jpgHonestly, a major part of the issue for me was that I listened to the audiobooks for this series and the narrator for the woman was exactly the same for the first three books. Thus, by the time I got to Lola it was hard for me to separate her from Mia and Harlow. Moreover, her relationship with Oliver just didn’t do it for me, which is saying something because typically if Steve West narrates it it’s already five stars in my book.

Beautiful Beginning

beautiful beginning.jpgI think I partially disliked this novella because Chloe and Bennett’s anxiety about their wedding low key gave me anxiety so this was just a no for me. There were some cute moments though.

Beautiful Bitch

beautiful bitch.jpgChloe and Bennett are back at it again, but I actually enjoyed seeing these two being a full on couple. And the proposal was hilarious. That cuteness made me rank this one a little higher.

Dirty Rowdy Thing

dirty rowdy thing.jpgI usually enjoy a hate-to-love story, but Harlow and Finn just didn’t work for me. The romance was fine but I don’t remember feeling like I couldn’t stop listening. I was just kind of meh about them.

Not-Joe Story

not joe.jpgI wasn’t even sure if I should count this one since it’s so incredibly short, but I honestly really enjoyed it so I figured why not. The only reason it’s not higher on this list was because I wanted it to be longer. Also, if you haven’t read this gem you can read it here!

Twice in a Blue Moon

twice in a blue moonI enjoyed this book but I hated how unresolved the ending was. I wanted to see what played out after and it felt like the book just kind of ended. I didn’t feel closure and so when I finished it I didn’t really know what to feel at all. Still, the romance was great and I liked the story inside the story that we got through the movie Tate works on.

The House

the house.jpgI was genuinely surprised by how much I loved this novel. Once again this was a YA suspense, though it was a bit stranger than Sublime, but in a way I liked. Without giving too much away, the house that the male protagonist, Gavin, lives in is possessed and isn’t all that happy when Gavin starts dating Delilah. Strange, but fun.

Wicked Sexy Liar

wicked-sexy-liar-9781476777986_hr.jpgThank goodness for a new female narrator! I truly think that really helped me fall into this novel. I also loved London and Luke’s story. I was fascinated by Luke, even though we didn’t really meet him in the first three books, but getting his side of things was really interesting. And he and London made a great couple.

Roomies

roomies-9781501165832_hr.jpgI think I would’ve enjoyed this novel more if we got Calvin’s point of view as well as Holland’s. Unfortunately, Holland irritated me quite a bit. The romance was really cute though and it had a lot of great humor.

Beautiful Stranger

beautiful-stranger-9781476731537_hr.jpgI loved how Max and Sara’s relationship started. This book was steamy from beginning to end. However, the end made me rank it a little lower. I was kind of surprised by the conflict at the end and Sara’s reaction to it. That kind of ruined it a little for me.

Beautiful Beloved

beautiful-beloved-9781476791654_hr.jpgMax and Sara aren’t my favorite couple of the Beautiful series but they’re pretty close. Thus, it was super cute to see them as new parents and attempt to find a way to still be true to their very kinky selves. Also, the introduction of Niall was *chef’s kiss*.

Beautiful Bombshell

beautiful-bombshell-9781476755090_hr.jpgThis novella was so fun! I honestly love all the characters in the Beautiful series when they’re all together and that’s (almost) what I got with this novella. Plus, the group in Vegas getting into wacky and steamy shenanigans? Brilliant!

Beautiful

beautiful.jpgThis was the perfect end to this series. I absolutely loved that we also got to jump back into the heads of almost all the characters from the series before it came to a close. Low-key would read a YA series about all their kids because I know things would get interesting.

Sweet Filthy Morning After

sweet-filthy-morning-after-9781442382800_hr.jpgIf you’ve never heard of this little novella before it’s probably because it’s strictly in audio form. Luckily for me I stumbled upon it recently and it was amazing! It’s in the POV of Ansel, which we never got in Sweet Filthy Boy and honestly it made me just want to read Sweet Filthy Boy all over again. I love Ansel so much!

Beautiful Secret

beautiful secret.jpgNiall is my favorite book boyfriends! He was so pure and kind and sweet and having Ruby teach him all the ~things~ was so fun to read. I love this couple so much and they worked so well together. I also liked that their conflict made a lot of sense to me and I could totally understand Niall’s mistake.

Sweet Filthy Boy

sweet filthy boy.jpgAs I mentioned, Ansel is the love of my life. He’s French, he’s an eternal optimist, he will marry you and then try to make it work even though you haven’t even know each other 24 hours. He’s amazing. And I also love Mia. She’s been through so much, but she’s so strong.

Beautiful Boss

beautiful-boss-9781501146220_hr.jpgWill and Hanna are hands down my favorite couple in the Beautiful series. First of all, I’m trash for the guy falling for his best friend’s younger sister trope. But also, bonus is that Hanna’s nickname is Ziggy, which is also my nickname, so for a while I got to pretend Will was speaking to me directly, which was swoony. Anyway, I say this all to say this was a cute follow up to their story and I loved it!

Dating You/Hating You

dating-you-hating-you-9781501165818_hr.jpgAs I’ve said, I love a good hate-to-love story and CLo nailed it with this one. Not only was the romance great, but they really handled sexism in the workplace quite well. I might be reaching but it kind of seemed like their answer to the problematic bits of Beautiful Bastard.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand

my favorite half-night standHonestly, the only reason this isn’t higher is because of the catfishing bit. But without it we really wouldn’t have a story so what can you do? I loved this book mainly because I saw a scary amount of myself in Millie. Low-key this book was partially why I finally went back to therapy. So thanks CLo!

Love and Other Words

love-and-other-words-9781501128011_hr.jpgI honestly didn’t really expect CLo to break my heart the way they did with this book, but here we are. This book very much leans more towards literary fiction than romance, so it was a bit different from what I was used to but still very good. The switching between past and present worked so well, and while I did guess some things the twists still surprised me.

Beautiful Player

beautiful-player-9781476751405_hr.jpgI’m pretty sure I already made it clear how much I love Will and Hanna so I won’t reiterate here. Just know this is the best book in the Beautiful series. Period.

The Unhoneymooners

the unhoneymooners 2First, love that this featured a Mexican protagonist and her big Mexican family. Second, I loved pretty much everything about this book. Olive was a great protagonist. She was funny and headstrong. Ethan was also an iconic love interest and I fell for him pretty quick. Also, did someone say hate-to-love romance? I think so!

Autoboyography

autoboyography-9781481481694_hr.jpgMy introduction to Christina Lauren. Of course, it’s high up on the list! If it wasn’t good I wouldn’t be the CLo stan I am today, obviously. Real talk though, CLo handled this book so well. From the way in which Tanner dealt with hiding his bisexuality to Sebastian facing his questions about his own sexuality while being the poster boy for Mormons, this book tackled a lot of issues. And I never felt like CLo missed the mark.

Josh & Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

josh-and-hazels-guide-to-not-dating-9781501165856_hrIf you know me at all you should know I love this book. Pretty sure I’ve never loved a book as much as I love this book. Hazel is me. I am Hazel. Besides the incredible romance here, I can genuinely say that Hazel has changed my outlook on life, specifically my (nonexistent) love life. For the most part, I’m fine with being single, but when I do have those moments where I wonder if I’ll ever meet someone who gets me and will accept me for me I go back to this book. One, because Hazel eventually got her Josh. But more importantly, because Hazel makes it clear she will not be with someone who wants her to change or be someone she’s not. And I feel the exact same way.


So, how did I do? Did I get it totally wrong or completely right? Let me know what your favorite CLo book is below!

Advertisements

ARC Review: Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Synopsis:

twice in a blue moon.jpgSam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound

Review

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from Gallery Books via NetGalley. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on October 22, 2019.*

I went into this novel not really knowing much because at this point if Christina Lauren wrote it I’m going to read it. Period. So I was intrigued to find that we were beginning in the past and that it would not be an alternating past and present type of situation but a lot of past and then a jump to the present. This wasn’t a format I expected but I was into it and it made sense for the plot.

The story is told solely in Tate Jones’ POV. She is the daughter of a big movie star, but when she was a kid her mom left her father and they moved back to her mother’s hometown where they kept Tate’s true identity a secret. Thus, Tate grew up out of the spotlight but she also had to keep this major secret from pretty much everyone in her life.

Enter Sam Brandis. While on vacation in London with her grandmother Tate meets Sam and it’s basically love at first sight. And as one is wont to do when they’re in love (or so I’ve heard) Tate bared her soul to Sam, which included telling him her the truth about her identity. Unfortunately, Sam, along with his grandfather, then left London and Tate’s secret was leaked to the tabloids.

Fast forward to the present and now Tate is a well known actress in her own right. Her relationship with her absentee father is strained at best but Tate is hoping that by working on a movie together that’ll bring them closer. However, what Tate wasn’t expecting was to run into Sam on the set of the film. Now Tate is stuck on location with her father and the guy who sold her secret. What’s a girl to do? Fake it until you make it, amirite?

I really loved this story because it wasn’t black and white. What Sam did to Tate was wrong but it launched her career in a way. Additionally, he of course had his reasons. Whether or not those reasons were valid…well I’ll let you read the book and decide for yourself. The more important question is whether or not Tate is able to forgive him and then trust him.

Obviously, the book dealt a lot with forgiveness and trust, but this wasn’t just through Sam and Tate but also with Tate and her father, which I found really interesting. I also loved learning Sam’s backstory and the movie that Tate was working on was just as interesting as Tate’s own story. The film dealt with racial prejudice and it was really well done. Honestly, I wish it was a real movie. I’d watch it.

But anyway, my point is I enjoyed this book. I wanted a bit more from the ending because it didn’t feel totally resolved to me, but otherwise it was a great read.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. I actually don’t think I’d reread this one, unfortunately.

Stars:

4 stars

Other Reviews
L. M. Durand
Star-Crossed Book Blog
Sapphic Library

ARC Review: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

the unhoneymooners 2Synopsis:

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from Gallery Books via NetGalley. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on May 14, 2019.*

I didn’t think I’d ever love a Christina Lauren book more than I loved Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating but The Unhoneymooners came pretty damn close.

I love a good hate-to-love story so I was already pretty onboard with this book when I read the synopsis. The novel follows Olive who believes she’s cursed with bad luck. While her twin sister, Ami, has a knack for winning things, Olive has always gotten the short end of the stick, until Ami’s wedding. At the reception, everyone gets food poisoning except Olive, who’s allergic to shellfish, and Ethan, Ami’s new brother-in-law, who avoids buffets at all costs. Thus, Ami enlists Olive to take her place on her honeymoon and Ami’s husband, Dane, enlists Ethan to take his and the pair are off, though they both agree they hate each other, to which I say, “Sure Jan.”

Naturally, the pair start their vacation on a rocky start but when Olive runs into her new boss at the hotel and tells him she’s there with her “new husband” Ethan and Olive have to place nice to keep up the charade, and then continue playing nice when they then run into Ethan’s ex, until suddenly they’re not playing anymore.

I loved these two. Their easy banter was hilarious and I loved how they messed with each other, especially when they called each other the wrong names. Their chemistry was there even when they “hated” each other and it was so fun seeing them figure out what was so obvious. Additionally, I loved that their romance wasn’t the major plot of this book. Besides a terrible misunderstanding, there was another major factor involved in why Ethan and Olive didn’t get together and when that’s revealed it not only affects Ethan and Olive but their siblings as well.

I read this book while on vacation and I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t sleep until I finished it because I needed to know how it would end, and it was totally worth the lost sleep. It was amazing to see Olive grow as a person and also stick to her guns even when it seemed like everything and everyone was working against her. I also loved that Ami and Olive were Mexican and came from this big family filled with cousins because I could totally relate. Their family made this book even more enjoyable and I loved how they went to the end of the Earth and back again for each other.

Overall, I highly recommend picking this book up when it comes out. It’s definitely one of, if not the best Christina Lauren book I’ve ever read (and I’ve read almost all of them!). I’ve already reread this book and I’m sure I’ll do so again before it’s released. It’s a must read!

Borrow or Buy: Buy it!

Stars:

5 stars

Other Reviews
Star-Crossed Book Blog
Gen the Bookworm
L. M. Durand

ARC Review: My Favorite Half-Night Stand

IMG_0132

Synopsis:

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine”and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Gallery Books via NetGalley. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on December 4, 2018.*

Since I haven’t posted in over a month (!!!) you may not be aware that I’m obsessed with Christina Lauren’s books. I started off this year by finishing Autoboyography and I’ve been reading every book by them I can get my hands on since then. It should be no surprise then that when I heard the ARC of their latest novel, My Favorite Half-Night Stand, was available for request on NetGalley I quickly requested it. Lucky for me I got it the very next day, and as I’m wont to do with a CLo novel, I read it in the span of 24 hours. What can I say? I’m hooked!

This novel is told in the dual perspectives of Millie, a closed off criminology professor, and one of her best friends, Reid, a down to earth, fun loving neurology professor (I think? He studies something with the retinas. Science isn’t my thing!). Any who, the pair hook up one night and because Millie doesn’t know how to deal with feelings, they quickly move on, and they, along with their other three best guy friends, decide to use a dating app to try to find dates for this fancy gala.

Except, while Millie can make the perfect profile for her best friends, hers, to put it mildly, sucks. So, when she tries again she ditches “Millie” altogether and creates “Catherine/Cat.” The only problem is she, or rather “Cat,” matches with Reid, and rather than reveal the truth or not go through with the match, Millie decides to spark a conversation and, well, everything kind of spirals out of control from there.

Here’s what I love about this novel: Millie. Just straight up, I love her. I love how well CLo handles Millie’s emotional detachment. As someone who deals with disassociation and lost a parent at a younger age than Millie, I heavily related to her. Hanging out with friends, making people laugh, doing the fun stuff? That’s easy. Talking about the serious topics or things that make me feel like a “downer”? That’s not only hard, it’s downright terrifying, and CLo captured that perfectly.

There were so many points in this novel where I was just like, “Wow Millie is me,” and then, “God, we are such a hot mess!” It’s funny, it’s real, and it’s heartbreaking. I both found myself laughing out loud and then crying. It was quite the ride.

Now here’s what I like about the novel: the romance. As always, CLo knows exactly how to make me fall in love with characters. When we meet Reid and Millie they’ve been friends for years and that familiarity is there from the start, but what CLo does so well is they show us the spark. They let us into that moment where both Reid and Millie have these lightbulbs go off in their heads that are just like, “Wait is my best friend crazy attractive and perfect for me in all the ways?” It was astounding and funny and heartwarming.

But I wanted more. This book is way less steamy than their other books, with the sex scenes fading to black, which isn’t a bad thing. I don’t think you need sex scenes in romance novels for it to work, but I wanted to see those moments that we got overviews of later. I wanted to see the intimate conversations Reid and Millie had in bed together. I wanted to see more of them actually falling in love in person, not just through their online conversations. And I think that’s why at the end of the novel I felt as happy as I always do with a CLo book, but I also didn’t feel satisfied. I just wanted a pinch more, but at the same time I think this book was really Millie’s story, and I’m very satisfied with her arc and growth, and this will always be a book close to my heart for that.

Thus, overall, this still makes it into my top three CLo books. The mental health issues are handled so well, I love the friend group of Reid, Millie, Chris, Alex, and Ed, and this is definitely a book that I would recommend everyone reads.

Borrow or Buy: BUY!

Stars:

4 stars

Other Reviews
Star-Crossed Book Blog
The Page Turner
Novelgossip

ARC Book Review: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

download

Synopsis:

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Gallery Books via NetGalley. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on September 4, 2018.*

On Monday I saw Christina Lauren post about this book on Instagram and asked if there were ARCs. That same day I requested it on Netgally, got the eARC, and then proceeded to stay up until 6 a.m. reading it. Yeah, it was that good. And I have a problem, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, this novel is told in the dual POVs of Josh and Hazel, and I love them both but I might love Hazel just a tiny bit more. She was hilarious. I literally laugh out loud at so many points because of the things she did and said. I also shook my head a few times and said, “Oh Hazel,” but with the same kind of fondness Josh had for her. Hazel’s just the best.

Then we have Josh and my God he definitely tops the book boyfriend list. As Hazel likes to say he’s “the blueprint for Perfect.” First of all, I love that he’s Korean and that his culture was explored in this book. We got to see his Umma (mom) who was constantly cooking food for Josh and his sister, Emily, and then of course also Hazel, who’s also Emily’s best friend. (Side note: All the food descriptions made me hungry and want Korean BBQ) Christina Lauren did a good job exploring Josh’s culture and traditions and I loved getting to see that in this book.

Now, Josh and Hazel together. They were so cute and funny, and I loved that they spent the majority of this book setting each other up on pretty awful double blind dates. The number of times I wanted to jump into the book and yell at them, “Why are you wasting your time? The love of your life is right there!” was a lot. That said, I love a good slow burn and this book totally gave me that and while I always expect a happy ending from Christina Lauren this book still managed to surprise me.

Thus, I must highly recommend this book and I’m truly mad you have to wait until September to read it because ALL I WANT TO DO IS TALK ABOUT IT. Alas, that’s just how this goes. But preorder it so you can get it immediately and we can gush about Josh and Hazel as soon as the book comes out. K, thanks!

Borrow or Buy: BUY!

Stars:

5 stars

Other Reviews

A Quaintrelle in the City