by Jaine Diamond
Published by DreamWarp Publishing
Book 2 in the Players series
It’s forbidden... but that just makes it hotter.
Courteney Clarke is the kind of girl who rock stars like me write songs about.
She’s beautiful, but she's totally off-limits.
Because she’s my best friend’s little sister.
Now she tells me she’s a virgin—and she wants me to be her first.
But she’s just f*cking with me. I know she is.
She just hates me that much.
She knows her brother would freak if I touched her.
And if she plans to keep putting it in my face so I’ll give in… we’re both in a world of trouble.
This is cold war, but I’m not giving in.
Problem is, neither is she.
I know I need to do the right thing here…
But the wrong thing might just be way too filthy to resist.
Filthy Beautiful is the second book in Jaine Diamond's Players series, and centers around Xander, drummer for the Players, and Courteney Clarke, little sister to his best friend Cary. When Courteney starts working for her reclusive brother and living in his house, she didn't know that Xander would be living in the poolhouse. Xander, her brothers best friend, and object of a 4 year crush. She wants him, and she will use every tool in her arsenal to seduce him. Xander can't stop thinking about Courteney - despite her being 10 years younger than him. She is drop dead gorgeous, and sexy as sin. But Cary told him very clearly - stay away - so that is what he plans to do. But Courteney isn't making it easy, and when she tells him she is a virgin, and wants her first time with him, it makes it so much harder. He needs to stay away from her - he can't stay away from her. Will he risk it all for the girl of his dreams?
Filthy Beautiful is your typical brothers best friend romance. I LOVE the brothers best friend trope. The whole forbidden love, secret relationship thing does it for me. For that reason, I liked this book. I didn't love it. I didn't feel any true chemistry between the two of them. Courteney showed her age a little too much, and Xander's jump from lusting to love didn't feel realistic. The worst part of this book was that it suffered the same issue as the last book in this series; it felt unfinished. We don't get anything about the book Courteney was working on, and where her career is headed. We don't find out if Cary forgives Xander. And I know that the last book in the series is centered around Cary, but I don't feel that a conflict in this book, for this couple, should be solved in a different book, when it should be centered around a different couple.
Those problems aside though, this book is hot. Again, brothers best friend is hot. Forbidden love - sexy. And when you combine those tropes with a total playboy, and a woman who makes it known what she wants - the sex was hottttt. But no surprise for me - Jaine Diamond writes great sex scenes.
Filthy Beautiful isn't going to be my favorite of this series, but it does feature some of my favorite tropes. If some of the conflict was resolved, and the relationship between Xander and Courteney was a bit more fleshed out, I think I would have loved it more. If anything, it just ramped up my excitement for Cary's book.
Some hurts were bigger than others, sure. No one died at my high school graduation. But my brother didn’t come to see me graduate, and that hurt more than anything in recent memory. I’d graduated with honors, from the exclusive private school my parents had sent me to and my brother had paid for, and I knew Cary was proud of me.
He just didn’t come. Courteney: “Why are men such gods?”
Angie: “I think they’re just men. The real question is, why do we worship them?” Courteney: “Buzz me up,”
Xander: “Not happening. Go home.”
Courteney: “Don’t hang up!”
she shouted, just as I was about to hang up.
Courteney: “Oh—never mind. I see someone coming through your lobby. Must be a neighbor. Maybe he’ll let me in if I explain how you finger banged me the other day and then—”
Buzzzzzzzz. I left him hanging, sexually—since sex seemed to be the only thing that mattered to him. The same way he’d left me hanging, emotionally, so many times. I hopped down from the stage—to a gasp of delight from the MC. The ladies at table three all dropped their jaws on the table. The crowd craned to watch me make my way between the tables—over to the guy at table twelve. I grabbed an empty chair from a nearby table along the way, dragging it with me, and sat down right next to him.
He smirked at me and looked me over. When his eyes met mine again, I asked him,
Xander: “You gonna let them win?”
I wasn’t exactly accustomed to flirting with dudes, but I was fucking motivated. That look on Courteney’s face as she got up and walked out? It was burned uncomfortably into my brain.
MC: “We’ve got a generous bid of one-hundred-and-twenty-thousand dollars from the lady in red, for a date with Xander—”
The guy next to me raised his paddle.
Guy: “Two-hundred-thousand.” Xander: “What do I do on a date with a dude?”
I asked him. He grinned at me. I was really fucking glad I could provide so much amusement for my friends tonight.
Ashley: “Same thing you do on a date with a chick?”
I glowered at him.
Ashley: “Or not,”
he said, chuckling at my expense.
Danica: “You enjoy the food and drink, and make him feel like he didn’t totally waste his money.”
Xander: “And how do I do that?”
Summer: “You look him in the eye. You listen when he speaks, and laugh at his jokes. And at the end of it, you thank him for a nice time.”
Xander: “Right. I’ll try that.”
I threw back a shot. There were several of them on the table, and everyone had a drink on the go in front of them. Danica shrugged.
Danica: “Women have been doing it for centuries.”
Ash grinned at me and my obvious discomfort. Jessa smiled at me across the table. Brody chuckled. I flopped back on the couch.
Xander: “You’re a dick. You gonna charge me for this now, too?”
Trey: “It’s simple, brother. And I’ll tell you this for free.”
He leaned on his knees and looked me in the eye.
Trey: “Emotional. Virginity. You’ve never been penetrated by cupid’s arrow before. Hurts like a real bitch the first time, doesn’t it?” Courteney: “My brother hides in his cave because everyone lets him. Don’t do that to him. Or to me. If you want me, fight for me.”
I opened my eyes and looked at her. She was watching me, intently.
Courteney: “Do you want me?”
Courteney: “Then fight for me. Show him there’s still something in this world worth fighting for.” Xander: “Someone was gonna fall in love with her. Why can’t it be me?” Xander: “Because at this rate… one day, I’m probably gonna bring you somewhere just like this… somewhere beautiful… and I’m probably gonna do something crazy like ask you to marry me.”
Courteney: “You are?”
I actually hopped a little in his arms, excited. Maybe it should’ve scared me, but it didn’t. At all.
Courteney: “Wait. Crazy?”
He smiled a little.
Xander: “Crazy good, I mean.”
He kinda rolled his eyes and started walking again, pulling me with him by the hand.
Xander: “Well, there’s no way I’m letting anyone else marry you, so. Might as well.” Summer: “Now, if it wouldn’t kill you,”
I said, wrapping my arms around his neck,
Summer: “find some reason to get that guy kicked out.”
I discretely pointed out Blair.
Summer: “Guy with the light-brown hair and the ugly tats. Ten o’clock. But kiss me first? He’s looking.”
Flynn stared at me for a long moment. I was pretty sure he wasn’t gonna do it… But then he leaned in and kissed me. Just barely, though. On the fucking cheek.
Summer: “Wow. You really put your back into that one. I think I came a little bit.”