Sunday 20 September 2015

#CBR7 Book 95: "Dark Wild Night" by Christina Lauren

Page count: 352 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Lorelei "Lola" Castle and Oliver Lore got married in Las Vegas, as did their friends Ansel and Mia and Finn and Harlow. While their friends were busy getting physical all over their hotel suites, Lola and Oliver walked for hours along the strip talking, not even holding hands. By the time Lola plucked up the courage to ask if they should get their own hotel room, Oliver had concluded that Lola wasn't a one night stand kind of a girl, and rejected the offer as kindly as possible. They got an annullment, then became the very best of friends, as Oliver opened a comic book shop in San Diego just as Lola's first comic book "Razor Fish" hit the market and became a huge success.

With the other two drunken impulse marriages having become a very real thing and their friends a tight-knit group, it's obvious to absolutely everyone, including Oliver's employee not-Joe (I'm assuming his real name will be revealed at some point) that Oliver and Lola are absolutely gaga for one another. When Lola's bestselling comic book is optioned for a three part megabudget action franchise and Oliver is the first person she tells, not one of the two women she's known since primary school, she starts to realise that he's become a bit more than just her best bud.

Lola's terrified that her wierd obsessive working habits are going to be off putting to Oliver, as it has been to guys she's dated in the past. Her mother left Lola and her father after Lola's dad came back from Afghanistan with PTSD, which has left Lola with some pretty deep-seated abandoment issues. As long as Oliver is firmly in the friend category, she won't have to be so worried about losing him.

Oliver, of course, has no intention of going anywhere at all. Having spent months patiently and calmly observing Lola in all aspects of her life, he knows her every habit and is mad about her anyway. All he wants is a chance to take care of her and love her the way she deserves. He's not about to let her handle smarmy Hollywood writers and executives on her own. While he's worried about their friendship changing, he also can't keep his feelings secret any longer.

The previous two romances in this series were extremely quick and satisfying reads and I love the friendship that has been set up between all the different characters. When I realised that the third book would feature geeks; (very physically attractive people, but geeks nonetheless) a tall, dark, handsome Australian who runs a comic shop and pretty, independent comic book creator, plus it was a friends to lovers story, I was all aflutter. My expectations were already pretty high, after having devoured the first two books a couple of weeks ago. So I'm glad I discovered these books when I did. At least I didn't have a super long wait ahead of me.

My expectations, while very high, were pretty much all met. My only niggle with this book, which is keeping it from a full five stars is that Lola acts really very stupidly for parts of the book. Oliver is pretty much the perfect guy and while she has a lot of issues, she should have come to her senses sooner and not tortured him so much. Apart from that, I loved it. The supporting cast are all great, the story entertaining, the unresolved sexual tension in the first half of the book is extremely well done, proloning the moment when the protagonists actually take the plunge and do it already.

The next book isn't out until February 2016, but I'm figuring it must be about Lola's roommate London, who is the only currently single female in the group. I suspect I'll be reading the Beautiful Bastard series as well to tide me over, as these women write really compulsively readable romance.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read.

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