Thursday, September 10, 2015

Dark Wild Nights (Wild Seasons #3) By: Christina Lauren

I would like to start off by saying thank you so much to Gallery Books for sending me an ARC for review. Ya'll are always so generous about sending me stuff and I cant tell you enough how much I appreciate it. If I could send hugs through the computer I would :D

I absolutely love the Wild Seasons series and was so excited when this book showed up in the mail. I may have even stalked the UPS guy just a bit (no not really... ok seriously, maybe just a tad. Nothing creepy though ;) )
That UPS deliveries app is the worst thing they could have given someone like me lol. I literally checked it like 4 times a day till my package was delivered, and even then I wasn't really for sure it was this book or not. If you look at my Instagram I'm sure you can see I was practically worshiping the book as I read it (Once again, no not really. There were just a ton of pics of it because it's so pretty and I am a terrible bragger hehe)

Hope you enjoy my review, and be sure to pick up a copy of Dark Wild Night when it hits shelves September 15th :)

Lola and Oliver like to congratulate themselves on having the good sense not to consummate their drunken Las Vegas marriage. If they’d doubled-down on that mistake, their Just Friends situation might not be half as great as it is now.

…Or so goes the official line.

In reality, Lola’s wanted Oliver since day one—and over time has only fallen harder for his sexy Aussie accent and easygoing ability to take her as she comes. More at home in her studio than in baring herself to people, Lola’s instinctive comfort around Oliver nearly seems too good to be true. So why ruin a good thing?

Even as geek girls fawn over him, Oliver can’t get his mind off what he didn’t do with Lola when he had the chance. He knows what he wants with her now…and it’s far outside the friend zone. When Lola’s graphic novel starts getting national acclaim—and is then fast-tracked for a major motion picture—Oliver steps up to be there for her whenever she needs him. After all, she’s not the kind of girl who likes all that attention, but maybe she’s the kind who’ll eventually like him.

Sometimes seeing what’s right in front of us takes a great leap of faith. And sometimes a dark wild night in Vegas isn’t just the end of a day, but the beginning of a bright new life…

I cannot tell you enough how much I truly love this series. It took me a while to really get into Christina and Lauren's books. More out of time reasons. I get very little time to read books just for pleasure these days now that my blog has kinda taken off, and until Beautiful Secret came out a few months ago I really wasn't even interested. Don't get me wrong, I have an Audible account I can listen to books on, and I finished Beautiful Bastard a little over a year ago on it. I loved Bennett and Chloe's story but just never pursued much more after that. (God what was I thinking... Because if I would have just kept going I would have been introduced to Will from Beautiful Player so much sooner. He's my favorite hehe) Anyways Beautiful Secret was coming out and it sort of sparked my interest again in the books and Gallery was nice enough to send me out a copy.

At this point I was frantically trying to play catch up because I was so ready to dive in. I wanted to read it all and in 3 days I had finished both Stranger and Player on Audible.

And don't even ask how one listens to an audio that fast (let alone 2) because I'm pretty sure those 3 days were a blur of hot British guys and science nerds. I'm not even sure I slept much in that time. I remember house/dog sitting and vaguely remember a whole lot of driving for work that week too. But I was determined to get them read, or listened to in this case, and I did it.

So that was what I considered my real dive into these books, and from there I was finally introduced to the amazing series I'm supposed to be talking about in this review. It took me about 5 days to finish the first 2 books, and about 4 to finish DWN after an even quicker reread of Sweet Filthy Boy and Dirty Rowdy Thing. I'm a pretty fast reader but I also had to juggle reading with going to a book signing for... you ready?... CHRISTINA LAUREN!! and JAY CROWNOVER!! (Needed to add her in there too hehe) Which was a pretty awesome experience. All three authors were so sweet and put up with my mile high stack of books and goodies to have signed. And I have to say I had a great time getting to talk with them (There are perks to being the last in line at a signing)
So going to that was well worth putting a hold on my reading.

So I guess I should really dive into this review for real now...

Like I've said, I really loved this book.

Lola and Oliver were the two characters through pretty much the whole series so far that were the... I guess, sensible ones?? They didn't sleep with each other in Vegas like their friends and have even become best of friends sense the fateful trip and short lived drunken marriage. So finally seeing them drop all the barriers and really explore their feelings for each other was a nice change.

I really wanted to focus on Oliver in this one, because I love my book guys, and was waiting quite impatiently for his story. But sadly after not only listening to C and L's thoughts about the book and reading it for myself I realize that this book is more about Lola. So in a very un-Kayla like way I'm going to start with Oliver and work my way to Lola *gasp!! (I know, I know. Something must be wrong with me if I'm not ending a review gushing about a guy. I just feel like Lola should be my focus in this book, and that means saving her for last)

So Oliver...

He has actually been the one guy out of the three in this series so far I have found myself wondering about the most. Call it an attraction to the Australian accent, or the adorable geeky thing he has going on, but I have just always wanted to know more about him. He is the character that all the other guys go to when they need advice or really need a butt kicking in the right direction. So getting to see him deal with those kinds of situations was quite different. He hides so well behind his amazing poker face and finally seeing what was really going on inside that pretty head of his was interesting. Oliver is so much more passionate than I ever thought he would be. And so open and upfront (ok, that part wasn't really a surprise). So when he finally makes a move on Lola I was not expecting the intensity of it. but oh gosh talk about heart melting sweetness. I was pretty much a pile of goo in parts of this book hehe.

I think something else that I like about Oliver was we get to see a breaking point with him. I know ya'll have to be going what? Crazy lady you are seriously nuts for liking that in a man. But I think it's an important part. Oliver never seems to let things bother him, and yet we see this strong man finally throw his hands up and say enough. And I can't blame him. I think it shows Oliver's personality the best. It shows he isn't the perfect, I can deal with anything kinda guy. That he has feelings and has a past maybe similar to Lola's in the fact that his childhood may have not been the best. That was actually something that really didn't sit right with me on this, we kinda get told a bit of his back story, but not enough to really know what happened. And I would seriously like to know more about his past (C and L, if you read this, please! I'm begging. Give me more. I want to know about him!!!) 

Some things I really do love about this guy though is his too cute geekyness. I mean it is not every day a hot guy with a bit of a nerd side pops up in books. I love the description I picture in my head when I think of him. And no lie the hot geeks are my weakness hehe. But it isn't just his looks. It's the fact that Oliver is so so smart and works hard for what he wants. He has a passion for something, and he made something from that passion I.E. Downtown Graffick, his newly opened comic book store. Not only did he make his dream come true, but he was successful at it. And makes sure that it will be a place everyone wants to go to and even hang out at. I love the spark I see in him and I love how much he cares about those he loves. He literally is the guy that will go miles to make you see reason, and to point you in the right direction. He's loyal and humble, and just a good guy all around. 
Please someone find me a real life version to go run away with and have a billion tiny geeky Australian babies with ;)

Well, on to Lola now I guess.

I must say she is too adorable. I loved getting a look into her complicated head. we get to really see how her creativity blossoms, even in regular day situations. One of my favorite things about her POV were the little panels she created in her head to understand situations. When something made a particular emotion rise to the surface (love, fear, nervousness, confusion, etc...) she would imagine a panel like in one of her books. It was her way to process what was happening. Just like when she created Razor Fish. And I really liked that about her. It was nice to see how she was picturing situations (even if they were on the more fictional side of how something would play out)

But let me tell you there were a couple times I just wanted to pull that NCIS head smack Gibbs always does, to this girl. she was so clueless sometimes and of course me being the weirdo I am was about to start yelling at my book like she could really hear me lol. I guess you could say she was naive, but I think more it was that she is so clueless to the fact that someone could care about her and she could feel the same for them back without either of them running from the situation only after a short period of time. Oliver is an intense bloke and when he lays everything out I think it becomes a bit overwhelming. I liked it though in a twisted way. I think it made her seem more human to feel so scared to rush into the romance thing. Now granted in the time line of the books, Lola and Oliver have been dancing around this attraction thing for almost a year, but I think her worry of being so consumed by someone so fast is normal. And let's face it, in a world where romance books push the extreme of a trait and the boundaries of relationships and timelines, I really appreciate a character not fitting that mold. Not that Oliver particularly fits the mold either, but ya'll know what I mean hehe.

And on a plus side I do have to say the ending is good. Lola finally gets out of Gibbs head smacking territory and I quite enjoyed how things play out. I don't want to give to much away, but I mean what kinda romance doesn't end things on a good note? So really you can't be surprised at all I am happy with her at the end of this.

It may sound odd but I really first got into the NA genera I had a hard time reading these continuous series like Wild Seasons. I would read book 1, fall in love with the characters, and then start book 2 not knowing it was about other characters. And that would lead to me only getting about a chapter in before moving on to something else because all I wanted were the original characters. But over the past few years I've come to realize I actually prefer this style. Every now and then I get stuck and have to put some space between the books in the series, but I always wind up coming back. It happened with the Beautiful books, Kristen Proby's With Me In Seattle series, Jay Crownover's Marked Men series, Cora Carmack's Rusk University series, and even JLA's Wait for You series. All big amazing series that follow the same group throughout them but focus on different leads each book. I mean I look at my story about the Beautiful series earlier. I waited a year. A Year!!!! And yet when I went back to read/ listen to them later on, I blew through all the books within a few weeks, or in that case days. 

The point to all that? 
When I picked up this series, both books 1 and 2 were already out. And I went straight from one to the other. No year long pauses or anything. I loved how easy it was to flow from each. I never missed the old characters, and enjoyed seeing how they grew, even if just as background characters. And I have to say I really do enjoy that C and L write the books that way. I don't feel like I'm really missing anything, and still get this new angle to the original story line in each of the books.  Plus the writing between these 2 ladies is amazing. They bring so much humor, spice, and balance to their books. If you tried to ask me who wrote what I would never even be able to tell you. I mean I didn't even realize they were a they until I restarted the Beautiful series. How shocked was I when I looked them up to find a them instead of a who. But I think having the experience of two people can add so much more to a book. Everyone experiences different things in life and having double the experience makes for very exciting stories. But I seriously have to say how much I respect both of you on being able to mesh your ideas and writing into one coherent book. I write in my free time and I have a hard time just in my own head much less having someone else in on that process. So this long freaking paragraph pretty much is just me telling all of you ho much I enjoyed the writing style of this book. How I love the different POV's and characters stories.

So I have another character I kinda want to touch on because he may just be my absolute favorite from the entire series. 

And that would be Not-Joe. He is seriously one of the funniest characters I have ever seen. I mean talk about an oddball, the guy is a complete mystery to almost everyone. I feel like though, that in the past 2 books he's been in we learn a little more about him. There are just little clues hidden in the books, and if anyone should get a book I want it to be him. I want a look into that twisted hazy head of his. He is the guy that most of the time is doing crazy things and also stoned out of his mind most of the time. But we see these glimpses of this super smart, quite observant man on occasion and it leaves me wondering what exactly his deal is. 

He is a fun character though and just adds this goofy quality and insight when things got intense or awkward. 

This book is just has so many things in it that I loved, and I really enjoyed reading it. I am sad to see it finished though, at least until the next book is out. I'm interested in London's story and seeing what happens between her and Luke. 

I totally suggest that all of ya'll go out and either start this series or pick up this book as soon as it's out. It really is a great set of books and I think all you NA loving fiends will like it ;)

I give Dark Wild Night:  *****5 Stars*****