My Favorite Half-Night Stand
By Christina Lauren
Read by Shayna Thibodeaux and Deacon Lee
Published: Simon & Schuster/Gallery (Dec 4, 2018)
Category: Adult (Contemporary Romance)
Length: 400 pages
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
By the New York Times bestselling author who “hilariously depicts modern dating” (Us Weekly), My Favorite Half-Night Stand is a laugh-out-loud romp through online dating and its many, many fails.
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 spent 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.
Perfect for fans of Roxanne and She’s the Man, Christina Lauren’s latest romantic comedy is full of mistaken identities, hijinks, and a classic love story with a modern twist. Funny and fresh, you’ll want to swipe right on My Favorite Half-Night Stand. http://christinalaurenbooks.com/books/my-favorite-half-night-stand/
Sometimes it seems that to be the main female character in a book, one or two of your parents must have died. It’s very rare, in my experience, to read a book where the family is intact and happy. Sometimes it seems gratuitous, but here Lauren offers the circumstance of Millie’s mother’s resulting in her need to be responsible for her little sister, and her father’s emotional absence restricting her ability to share emotionally or otherwise. Because her emotional reticence is central to the story, this big issue in her early life is not out of scale for causation. It works.
What is a little hard to believe is how stupid about relationships, attraction, and friendship these brilliant academics, particularly Millie, are. Well, some of them sound as if they are “nerdy scientists who haven’t very much experience with relationships, but, like I said above, Millie’s reasons are deep seated. She also has had a bad relationship and that has put her even more off opening herself up.
As you see in the blurb, on a dating website, Millie has an emotionally open alter ego that matches he up with Reid. When he doesn’t realize it’s her, she’s insulted. But, going back to her lack of sharing, how is he to know?
There’s also the attraction but worry about any romance making it weird. Of course it would, the first rule of steamy contemporary romance is that neither friends with benefits, nor sex without string will work as a relationship model. SEX changes things. I don’t know if it is based in our prehistory or if it is societal conditioning without a biological advantage, or if it is just a literary device, but unless you didn’t get the social conditioning or that gene, it is not going to work in that book!
There’s a lot of “He’s talking to the other woman but she’s me!” angst which after the first time, feels a little like filler.
Millie also has Reid’s friends as her friends — she’s just one of the guys. They treat her no differently; although they do notice that she reveals very little. What a turnaround: guys who want to talk about stuff! This group of friends neet several times a week and often spend evenings playing board games.
The story is steamy but it’s respectful, and not sleazy.
The narrators do a reasonable job with their respective characters. They sounded plausible for their character’s social posiition, and education Their voices are not at all annoying and it never felt I was being read to.
I listened to the book twice and I actually enjoyed it more the second time. That’s pretty rare, and it says a lot about the story having been written well, even with its few flaws.