Tag Archives: Wild Seasons

New Adult Romances

I’m not sure I had heard of the New Adult subsection of the romance genre this time last year, but I have embraced it wholeheartedly.

Based on what constitutes a grown up in different historical periods, this list by default includes only contemporary settings and is somewhat subjective. The novels often feature folks who are in university, have just finished university, or are athletes.

Recommended books are in bold, reviewed books are linked.

Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years Series – Recommended, except where noted.
The Year We Fell Down (Hartley/Corey) – start with this, buy the set
The Year We Hid Away (Bridger/Scarlet)
Blonde Date novella (Andy/Katie) CLASSIC
The Understatement of the Year (Graham/Rikker) – LGBTQ
The Shameless Hour (Rafe/Bella)
The Fifteenth Minute (DJ/Lianne) – skip this one, seriously

Kristen Callihan’s Game On Series:
The Hook Up (Drew/Anna)
The Friend Zone (Gray/Ivy)
The Game Plan (Ethan/Fiona) – wonderful

Christina Lauren’s Wild Seasons Series:
Sweet Filthy Boy (Ansel/Mia)
Dirty Rowdy Thing (Finn/Harlow)
Dark Wild Night (Oliver/Lola)
Wicked Sexy Liar (Luke/London) – best of the series
A Not-Joe Not-So-Short Short (Not-Joe/Perry)

Elle Kennedy’s Off Campus Series:
The Deal (Garrett/Hannah)
The Mistake (Logan/Grace)
The Score (Dean/Allie)
The Goal (Tuck/Sabrina)

Everyone else, series or no:
Banner, Darryl Dog Tags (Brandon/Jesse)
Bowen, Sarina and Elle Kennedy Him (Wes/Jamie)
Bowen, Sarina and Elle Kennedy Us (Wes/Jamie) 
Butler, Eden Thin Love (Kona/Keira) – 1st DNF of 2017
Falkner, Tammy Tall, Tatted, and Tempting (Logan/Kit)
Falkner, Tammy Smart, Sexy, and Secretive (Logan/Emily)
Grace, Aria More Than Friends (Ryan/Zach) – LGBTQ
Harber, Cristin Sweet Girl (Cash/Nicola)
Ivy, Alyssa Rose The Hazards of Skinny Dipping (Reed/Juliet)
Lyons, Kathy Two Week Seduction (John/Alea)
March, Meghan Beneath This Mask (Simon/Charlie)
Milan, Courtney Trade Me (Blake/Tina)
Milan, Courtney Hold Me (Jay/Maria) LGBTQ
Roberts, Holly S. Play: New Adult Sports Romance (Killian/Rebecca)
Schurig, Rachel Ransom (Daltrey/Daisy)
Ward, Tracy Rookie Mistake  (Trey/Sloane)

LGBT romance recommendations, including New Adults, can be found here.

As always, recommendations are welcome.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

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Christina Lauren’s Catalogue

Themes: In Christina’s Lauren’s world, the person who lets you be your true self and calls you on your bullshit is your best match.

The Wild Seasons Series:
Sweet Filthy Boy – liked it
Dirty Rowdy Thing – really liked it, the sex was distracting
Dark Wild Night – good
Wicked Sexy Liarfantastic, my favourite of the group and their books
A Not-Joe Not-So-Short Short – for completists only

The Beautiful Series:
Beautiful Bastard – lots of ihateyou sex
Beautiful Bitch – more ihateyou sex
Beautiful Stranger – surprisingly romantic exhibitionists
Beautiful Bombshell – ihateyou sex bachelor and bachelorette parties
Beautiful Player – A Rake Is Reformed by a Girl with No Filter – GUILTY PLEASURE
Beautiful Beginning -ihate you sex, we’re getting married
Beautiful Beloved – exhibitionists getting back on track after having a baby
Beautiful Secret – quiet guys need love, too
Beautiful Boss – Meh.
Beautiful – only makes sense if read as a series finale

Dating You/Hating You – very good
Roomies – It’s $8 and the story doesn’t appeal to me.
Autoboyography – two dudes, will likely buy it

The Wild Seasons Series: Wicked Sexy Liar and A Not-Joe Not-So-Short Short by Christina Lauren

Finally, a Christina Lauren couple that doesn’t scream the house down in the throes of passion. Quiet people need love, too.

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In the first three books of the new adult romance Wild Seasons series, each of a trio of close friends made impulsive marriages on a graduation trip to Las Vegas. The aftermath of each of these choices was the basis for Mia, Harlow, and Lola’s novels. Book four brings Lola’s surfer roommate, London, to the fore and pairs her with Mia’s ex-boyfriend, Luke. I have enjoyed the Wild Seasons series and I think Wicked Sexy Liar may be my favourite. It struck the right balance of romance, sex – which is important given that Christina Lauren writes novels billed erotic – and character development.

Luke Sutter is a protector-type in rake’s clothing. He has been playing the field, sowing his oats, and tapping everything in sight for the past few years. A legal intern about to undertake law school, he’s 23 years old and out for fun. In Mia’s book, Sweet Filthy Boy, he was portrayed as a total player who had broken her heart. Of course, his heart was broken, too, and while he has created the impression that he handled it well by seeing a succession of women, he hasn’t been in a relationship since the “Great Breakup of 2010”. As the one with Mia lasted about 7 years, the reader quickly realises he has good boyfriend potential once he decides to grow up.

London has completed university with a degree in graphic design. Rather than toil for peanuts and build a clientele, she is taking some time to figure out what she wants to do as she surfs by day and tends bar by night. When Luke approaches her and they have a one night stand, he is smitten, but she is wary of the delicious man in front of her.

I have railed against the plot I call “The Pig Becomes a Person“, but that is not the case here. Instead of being some louche douchecanoe waiting for a magical transformative female to attach himself to, Luke has proven that he is capable of a steady and healthy relationship, he just needs to climb out of the hole he has dug himself into. Often, those heroes who have been chasing any and all willing females, but have never met The One and don’t change until they do. Luke had and lost his One and Lauren does a really good job of his slow recognition that he has turned into a skeevy guy who needs to do some rearranging with his life. Convincing London of this takes a while. She sees him as a potential boff buddy, but nothing more and, after a distasteful public encounter, not even that. She also struggles with her obligation to her circle of friends. It felt realistic within the heightened reality of a new adult romance. Liking both of them, and the sister who gives Luke endless sh*t about his life, Wicked Sexy Liar made for a relaxing, romantic read.

A Not-Joe Not-So-Short Short after the jump

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The Wild Seasons Series: Sweet Filthy Boy, Dirty Rowdy Thing, and Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren

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.

Reviews of Christina Lauren’s Beautiful Series can be found here and here. A complete list of Christina Lauren’s catalogue can be found here.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.