Y’all I’m on a serious Christina Lauren binge over here. It started with The Unhoneymooners and then moved to the Wild Seasons series. My latest Christina Lauren read is My Favorite Half-Night Stand, and it didn’t disappoint!
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.
My Favorite Half-Night Stand is more similar to The Unhoneymooners than the Wild Seasons series. It’s more plot-based and focuses more on the characters’ relationships with themselves and those around them than anything else.
I thought Millie was a really funny character. She was sarcastic, reliant upon humor for all uncomfortable situations, and self-aware. She makes mistakes, knows her faults, and actively works to overcome her insecurities. Her shady behavior was frustrating to read because you know it’s going to blow up in her face, but it’s still entertaining to follow all the events that come as consequences of her decisions.
Reid was a pretty unique love interest. I liked that he breaks the stereotypes of a strong masculine figure needing to be emotionally closed off, and I liked that the book focused on some of his personal conflicts in addition to Millie’s drama. Reid’s storyline focuses a lot on the importance of family, which is something I love to read about.
The side characters were a lot of fun, too! The whole dynamic of the group was unique and entertaining. Everyone in the group teaches at UCLA, so we get some nerdy pieces mixed in with the ridiculous antics that any group of friends is bound to get into. It was interesting to see how much the side characters influenced Millie and Reid’s thoughts and actions, and I enjoyed that they each got their own endings and weren’t just pushed to the side when romance came into the picture.
Speaking of the, it romance was cute, though predictable. I’m glad this isn’t a YA book because I don’t think I could have handled the book if the characters didn’t maturely deal with their stupid actions. Definitely no shade to YA, it’s mostly what I read after all, but a lot of YA romances deal more with the “what do I do about these feelings and OMG I’ve made a mess it’s the end of the world” than “the feelings are out there, now where do we go from here?” storylines.
As a true crime fanatic myself, I wish there had been more of that thrown into the book. But I get it, this is a light, don’t have to think to hard about it read. Maybe not the best place for longer discussions on serial killers and their motivations (excuse me while I go watch Forensic Files, brb).
Christina Lauren manages to give us silly yet realistic and mature characters, an entertaining if predictable plot, awkward and endearing situations, and some emotional histories and confrontations. I would recommend this book to fans of Christina Lauren, those looking to get into romance books, and fans of all things dorky and sarcastic.