With the Wild Seasons series, the writing team known as Christina Lauren is hitting its stride. Stronger than the Beautiful series, each of these books features one of three childhood friends who have just finished university and are figuring out where their lives will go next. When a weekend in Vegas turns into three impulsive marriages, Mia, Harlow, and Lola react differently by staying married, getting it on then getting it annulled, and getting started on the annulment immediately. Lauren’s fun female friendships are included here, as well as the delicious men they write so well. As erotic romance, the Wild Series does not shy away from sex, but they strike a good balance with the sincere emotion necessary to make the stories work. As with the Beautiful Series, each couple has bedroom predilections that feature heavily in their sex life.
Sweet Filthy Boy (Ansel/Mia)
Mia spots Ansel across a crowded room and is instantly smitten, as is he. She had been on track for a dancing career before a terrible car accident, and having graduated with her Bachelors’ degree is staring down an MBA program she doesn’t want to attend, but has been cowed into by her domineering father. Her last hurrah weekend turns into a summer in Paris when she marries Ansel on impulse when their friends marry each other as well. “Half Adonis, half puppy,” and French, Ansel is absolutely adorable. Fun and impulsive, he encourages Mia to be with him for the summer; in fact, she made him promise not to get an annulment when they got married which he remembers, but she does not. A sensible woman, if a little lost, Mia rejects the suggestion of a summer in Paris before coming to her senses and showing up at the airport before the flight. They have a wonderful time, even if he is working constantly, until Ansel makes a big mess of things. Luckily, stupidity can be fixed with apologies and lessons learned, so these two crazy kids work things out.
Ansel was my favourite of the heroes, but this was not the best book in the series. Mia and Ansel’s courtship includes evenings of roleplay, but, while fun, they could have used more regular relationship building time. Sweet Filthy Boy is still very much a recommended read, as is the whole series, including my anticipated purchases of the entries that haven’t been published yet.
Dirty Rowdy Thing (Finn/Harlow)
This book as B and some light D, but neither S, nor M. Frankly, I found the love scenes boring. I get it. There was rope. They both like it. Moving on.
Finn and Harlow married impulsively just like their friends, but after enjoying their wedding night, they sensibly divorced. There followed one more weekend together on Vancouver Island (when Finn resides) before Finn makes a trip to San Diego (Harlow’s stomping grounds) for business purposes. They reconnect at a party and find that they really enjoy each other. As with their friends Mia and Ansel (who pop up on the regular), they each have some information that should have been shared sooner rather than later and this causes the schism that leads to their inevitable reconciliation.
Dirty Rowdy Thing features great banter and Harlow is a take-no-prisoners pip.
Dark Wild Night (Oliver/Lola)
I’d say that Lola and Oliver are they sensible ones of the group of friends, but everyone is pretty grounded. Let’s say they are the quiet ones, stalwart and self-contained with a private wild edge. Oliver is Australian, Lola American, but, unlike their counterparts, they live in the same city.
Oliver is the protector type – gentleman on the streets, wild man between the sheets – as well as the quintessential sexy nerd. He’s tall, he’s handsome and fit, he has floppy hair, he wears glasses, and he has just opened a comic book store. That sound you just heard is the sigh of a thousand fangirls finding their perfect romance hero. Sorry ladies, he’s taken. Oliver may have married Lola on a dare, but he started to fall for her immediately thereafter, so when Dark Wild Night opens, he is an absolute goner. She is oblivious to his affections, but not immune to his charms. Lola is very caught up in having her first graphic novel not only being published, but optioned for a movie as well. She’s flustered and overwhelmed and, in the way that life has of throwing everything at one all at once, this is when she decides to act on her Oliver crush. Things move fast and she gets overwhelmed, leading to a very awkward situation. Breaking up with your best friend and within a tight-knit circle of friends is the opposite of fun. Don’t worry, sweet, steady, surprisingly-loud-in-the-sack Oliver will help her figure things out as she finds the balance she needs.
I have pre-ordered the next Wild Seasons book Wicked Sexy Liar.
Sidebar: What is with all the slapping, bruising, and biting during coitus in these books? Do the authors realise how HARD one has to hit, squeeze, or bite to leave marks hours later? Ouch. Also, why does everyone have to SCREAM in ecstasy and do so loudly enough they can be heard from a great distance? What is up with that? We GET it. They are having sex, really hot, intense, mind-blowing sex. Pipe down.