Total Star Rating: 3.75 Stars
The duo team that makes up the pen name Christina Lauren have created a story that is everything a contemporary romance should be: absolutely hilarious, touching, and a little bit sexy, all with a fun and interesting take on the way of online dating in these strange modern times!
What It’s About:
My Favorite Half-Night Stand is about Millie and Reid, two best friends who are both professors at UC-Santa Barbara. They’re part a small group of friends that are all younger college instructors, but Millie and Reid have been close friends for longer than any of them. As they’re sitting down at one of their usual game nights, Millie suddenly sees Reid in a new light and realizes her feelings may be more than just platonic. Was it the massive amount of wine talking? Possibly, but it leads to a great result on both their ends, and suddenly the title of the story comes into play.
After having the a surprising non-awkward morning after, Reid and Millie both agree that maybe they’re just better off as just friends, but of course, soon after the group decides to try a dating app so they can all score dates to a formal work function that’s coming up soon. After an unsuccessful first profile, Millie makes a secret second profile with an alternate ego, “Catherine.” To add to it, she coincidentally matches with Reid, but Millie is surprised at how open they both become while chatting on their dating app, despite him still not knowing it’s actually her…
What I Liked:
- The Characters! The authors create such vivid characters that have so many realistic quirks that add so much depth to them that it feels like you’ve known them forever and that you are a part of the gang whenever they get together. They’re dialogue is so on point, I can’t even, and wish I had their ability to be as funny and genuine as it comes across in their books.
- The Role Reversal! It was interesting to see a woman being the emotionally guarded character of a romance; usually they’re the more open about their feelings while the guy is shut off, masculinity in jeopardy and all that… But it really made Reid a much more likeable character
- The Social Commentary on Internet Dating! This story excellently showcases the joy and horror of trying to find someone special on the internet to start a relationship with. They pretty much nailed it on the head with the profiles and what it’s like to have that rando slide into their dm’s. In my (thankfully) brief time with apps like Tinder and Grindr, I’d seen how there’s all these unspoken rules it seemed you had to follow, like how long was a good time to wait to respond, what to talk about, how to say it, the funny/awkward/creepy moments when someone was REALLY persistent to come over to give a BJ—especially from a profile with no pictures, just a name and age—and the joy of being blocked because I’m “too boring”…maybe that’s true, but seeing it from a message from a stranger doesn’t help. Case in point, dating apps weren’t for me. I’ll stick to the old fashioned way of meeting someone, thank you very much.
What I Didn’t Like:
- A Lying, Sneaky Catfisher Who Lies…Millie keeps her true identity on her profile from Reid, so of course, it begins to spiral out of control. She digs herself deeper into the lies and deceit and it builds more and more as time passes until it’s almost impossible to for her not to tell someone. Unconventionally, two of the other guys in their friend group to help her figure out what to do. They do tell her multiple times to just tell Reid the truth, but the fact that they still helped her keep the secret was some seriously shady stuff to do, especially since they were Reid’s inner circle of friends… Imagine the betrayal of discovering your closest friends conspiring against you like that? Reid deserved way better than that.
It wasn’t my favorite title of the author’s, but still enjoyed it nonetheless. If you’re a fan of their work, it’s a great addition to read! It’s an easy, lighthearted story that’s either a hit or miss for contemporary romance readers. It has a great take on the wonders of internet dating, but reminds us that romance can still be discovered live and in-person!
Thanks for Reading!
— Nick Goodsell