By A.C. Rose
For Romance at Random
The Beautiful series has become iconic in this new era of erotic romance. It is all thanks Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings, who, blended together, form the writing team known as Christina Lauren. Self-proclaimed besties, partners, soul mates, and twin-brains they write young adult and adult fiction. The Wild Seasons Series, as well as Sublime, are among their other published books.
Christina is a former junior high school counselor. Lauren, known by intimates as Lo, has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and was a researcher. These days they are both full time writers, with nine New York Times best-selling books under their belts, and a penchant for writing stories about super-hot men who fall hard for sassy, sexy, smart, and strong women.
In the Beautiful series, this dynamic duo has brought us rich characters that not only pair up for crazy hot romance and sizzling sex, but who share camaraderie and deep friendship that makes readers keep coming back to see them all again from book to book.
Lucky for us, the latest in the series, BEAUTIFUL SECRET, is available this week. We chatted with Christina Lauren about our favorite characters and their new book.
A.C. Rose: Bennett Ryan, Max Stella, and Will Sumner have become iconic fictional alpha males. What do you think makes them stand out and gives them staying power with fans?
Christina Lauren: Thank you so much! One of the things we work to cultivate is a range of male characters who are strong and ambitious, capable and competent, but who—above all—are supportive of the women in their lives. Bennett wants Chloe to conquer the world, Max wants Sara to embrace her quiet strength—whether that’s kicking ass in the corporate universe, or at home with little Annabel—and Will wants Hanna to take the science world by storm, while still embracing every curiosity she has. There’s also something to be said that these alpha males fell for women who are smart (if not smarter) and strong (if not stronger) than they are. There are no damsels in distress for our Beautiful men, and we think that really resonates with readers who are juggling thirty different things every day and want to see themselves in the books they’re reading.
Erotic tension sizzles between the three duos in the series. What are some of the most memorable things reader’s shared about why they fell in love with all your characters in the Beautiful series?
One of our favorite stories came from a reader who had never run a day in her life, but became inspired by Beautiful Player, where Will coached Hanna into marathon-shape. This reader wanted to run a marathon and as she read the book, she trained, imagining Will was there at her side. Will is so supportive of Hanna in Player, and even when there’s a question of whether or not she’ll end up with him romantically, he follows through on his promise and is there with her every step of the way, cheering her on. This reader ran her first marathon after reading the book, and both of us were really emotional when she told us about it, and the degree of triumph she felt.