Lorelei “Lola” Castle started creating her comic, Razor Fish, soon after her mother left her and her father, when Lola was 12. Now, her comic has been optioned for movie and she’s thrilled and nervous, but it’s not as exciting as she thought it would be. Actually, it’s kind of stressful: she’s supposed to be writing the sequel to Razor Fish, consulting on the movie, and she’s starting a new romantic relationship with her best friend Oliver (!!!). Problem is, she can’t stop thinking about Oliver, and now she’s missing deadlines; she knows something’s got to give. But does she give up Oliver, when her feelings for him are so intense, or the comics, which have been her life’s dream?
Oliver Lore is a sexy Australian who owns a comic book shop called Downtown Graffick. He’s also Lola’s ex-husband and current best friend. Lola and Oliver were married shortly after they met in a quickie Vegas wedding, along with their best friends (Mia and Ansel from Sweet Filthy Boy, and Harlow and Finn from Dirty Rowdy Thing). Unlike the other couples, though, Lola and Oliver didn’t consummate their marriage before getting a quickie divorce. Instead, they spent the evening walking and talking, and getting to know each other. He really likes her, and has always wanted more, so when their friendship takes a romantic turn, Oliver feels like his life is falling into place.
When Lola’s stress becomes Oliver’s misery, they both wonder if they’ll ever be able to go back to friendship, let alone more.
I loved Dark Wild Night. Loved it. Oliver and Lola had a wonderful friendship and the slow burn into a romantic relationship was charming and sexy and agonizingly seductive. They were both shy and afraid to put themselves out there, and when they finally did, it was too much and it hurt to read. I love when a book makes me feel things right along with the characters, and Dark Wild Night made my heart hurt. But it also made my heart sing, and for that reason I’m going to say that it’s easily my favorite book by Christina Lauren.
Aside from the relationship, one of my favorite things about the writing was the way they describe how Lola thinks of herself as if she’s a character in a comic book; it added a facet to her personality that I feel made her more relatable. She appears so confident, then to read what’s really going on inside her head made me feel like I was getting a complete view of Lola’s character.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a great story without conflict, and Austin, the producer, is a grade-A jerkface. He wants to change the story and Lola’s battles with Austin make the story progress from “things are great” to “trouble in paradise”. It’s a believable conflict and it doesn’t involve a love triangle. Oliver is such a great beta-hero, trying to be supportive but also refusing to give up on “Loliver”.
If you enjoy the “friends to lovers” trope, geeky heroes or heroines (or both together!), and a slow build-up to great romance, definitely grab Dark Wild Night. Fans of compulsively readable authors like Elle Kennedy, Samantha Young, and Sophie Jordan will probably enjoy Dark Wild Night.
This is book 3 in a series but I think you could read it as a stand-alone without too much confusion about the previous characters.