Beautiful Bastard follows Chloe Mills, a hardworking intern and MBA student that works underneath her demanding, yet attractive, boss Bennett Ryan. The two are constantly at odds with each other; a tense relationship that began from the first time the two met in the office. Bennett is drawn to Chloe, but acts terse towards her.
Their relationship comes to a head one night when Bennett makes Chloe remain behind to give an impromptu practice speech on an account she was working on. The speech quickly turns into a sexual encounter – the first of many that the pair has within the office building. Despite vows from each of them that the affair will not continue, Bennett and Chloe keep running into each other in places such as a La Perla lingerie store.
Chloe is concerned over the nature of the relationship, afraid that it will jeopardize her future career if her sexual relationship with Bennett gets out. Meanwhile, Bennett finds himself growing more possessive and jealous of Chloe, especially after his mother attempts to fix her up with Joel Cignoli, a family friend. The relationship finally comes to a head when Chloe has to leave to care for her father after he discovers a tumor in his stomach, which prompts Bennett to realize that his feelings for Chloe are more than sexual and that he can’t fully operate without her.
When Chloe returns, the two attend a convention in San Diego, where the two continue their torrid affair. After, Bennett is forced to remain behind in the hotel room due to food poisoning. Chloe is left to handle an important presentation with a client, which she aces. Her emotional high from the last few days is shattered, however, when she overhears Bennett supposedly taking the credit for her successful presentation. This prompts her to break up with Bennett and submit her resignation from the company, which devastates Bennett. Chloe manages to gain another job at a different corporation for her student project, but at the official presentation to the school board she is met by Bennett, who confesses his love for her. She then presents two portfolios for her student project, much to the delight of the school board.
The book ends with Chloe and Bennett reconciling and resuming their relationship. And sex. Lots of sex.