When three college besties meet three hot guys in Vegas, anything can - and does - happen. Book four in the New York Times Wild Seasons series that began with Sweet Filthy Boy (the Romantic Times book of the year that Sylvia Day called "a sexy, sweet treasure of a story"), Dirty Rowdy Thing, and Dark Wild Night.
For two people ambivalent about dating and love, they sure get naked around each other an awful lot....
London Hughes is very content to surf daily, tend bar, hang out with her group of friends, and slowly orient herself in the years after college. Everything's going great and according to the nonplan. But when a wave knocks her for a loop one morning, then Luke Sutter's flirtatious smile knocks her for another that evening, she veers slightly off course...and into his path. Sure, he's a total player, but the "why not? It's only one night" is a persistent voice in her ear.
For his part, Luke's been on hookup autopilot for so long that he rarely ever pauses to consider what he's doing. But after an amazing time with London, he realizes that he hasn't been moving on from a devastating heartbreak so much as he's been drifting to wherever - and whomever - the current takes him. With London he wants more.
Every relationship involves two people...plus their pasts. And as much as she enjoys her fling with Luke, when London learns about his past - more specifically, who's in it - everything becomes the brand of complicated she strives to avoid. It's up to Luke, then, to change some things in order to try to ensure he's not something she'll outright avoid as well.
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WHAT A JOY... A FEEL GOOD HUMOROUS LOVE STORY
- CAROLYN "I love being swept away by a new romance and thankfully Audible's ever growing Library means I get to indulge myself over and over again"
Narrator problem or a flat story line?
I think that Christina Lauren should keep on writing the books that they are inspired to write whether or not they are follow-ups.
The first Christina Lauren book I listened to was Sweet Filthy Boy. It was such an amazing combination of sexy romance and humor with a good story line. It is still my favorite of all the Christina/Lauren duad's books, although I have really enjoyed many of their others. So I was waiting with great anticipation for Wicked Sexy Liar. All through listening to it I've been doing that internal debate we readers do when an author (s) we love puts out a book we don't love. How do we rate a book we're not liking when we also recognize the skill and creativity that has gone into it?
The story seemed rather flat to me and Luke and London were not particularly interesting as characters. I had really liked the London character in the previous books in this series, so it was disappointing. Luke had been a shadow character, and I do think the authors did a good job of redeeming his character, which had been darkened in the other books (in my opinion). There was a good plot and it was developed well but I ended up being rather bored and impatient, listening simply to finish rather than to enjoy. It just was not up to the standards I've come to expect from Christina Lauren.
That said, I still think the quality of the writing of Wicked Sexy Liar is way beyond that of most romance fiction being written today. There are no stupid misunderstandings, the characters feel real, the situations feel real. So I have to wonder what left me so cold throughout most of the book?
One crucial thing that really detracted from the book for me were the narrators. Christina Lauren's previous books have been read by pros. I was blown away by Shayna Thibideau's voices, especially Ansel's in Sweet Filthy Boy. She was a huge piece of why that book was so fun to listen to. So I have to say that Olivia Song in particular just wasn't good enough for this book. Her voice did have the sort of youthful sound that could have made a good London, but she just doesn't have the maturity or the nuance to even do a good job of all of the emotional changes that London goes through, and her voices of the other characters (many of whom we fans know well by now) are just plain painful to hear. Deacon Lee does a better job, although his voice is not one that is particularly sexy; he did improve through the book and his sex scenes felt more genuine. His non-Luke characters' voices were not great.
So I have to say, once again, that it is crucial to a book that the right narrators are chosen carefully. I can't imagine that Christina Lauren and their publishers don't know this and don't have a choice of the best in the business. So I think it was perhaps a miscasting which can happen to the best of productions. But sadly, this is not a book I will want to listen to again, which is not the case with any other of the Christina Lauren books. Every other one is a fun and easy listen.
I am giving the story 4 stars because I think behind the unfortunate narration is probably at least a 4 star story. I always want to give authors the benefit of the doubt, and I do plan to read the Kindle version to see if I find it to be better appreciated that way.
- Hope "I love well-written books in virtually every genre. Quirky characters delight me, and it breaks my heart when a good plot is badly done."