The classic Shakespearean comedy involves mistaken identities and the complications that ensue, usually ending up with the right people getting together and ending happily. It’s a theme that’s been used for romantic comedies for centuries, and it’s about time the trope was updated for the modern world. My Favorite Half-Night Stand, by Christina Lauren, is a modern and clever use of the old mistaken identity plot.
As with this year’s hit book, The Kiss Quotient, the main character here is a woman who has very little experience with the whole dating/romance scene. Millie is a scientist, “one of the guys”, who’s much better at dealing with research into serial killers than at finding men who interest her romantically. She’s a professor at Santa Barbara and hangs out with four other professors, all male, and all equally clueless about dating. When the group gets invited to a university function that turns out to be — horrors! — black tie, they decide they’re all going to bring a “plus one”, even if they have to find their dates through online dating services.
However, once they make the pact but before she actually starts the online dating process, Millie finds herself involved in a sexy half night stand with one of the other professors in the group, Reid. The two of them are surprised at how much they enjoyed themselves, but they’re determined to remain just friends.
The online dating process for her is pretty gruesome. While her male colleagues get all kinds of interesting women responding to their listings, all Millie gets are creepy people and obscene pictures. So she creates a different identity for the dating app: Catherine, who can be all the things Millie is not, including vulnerable and open.
You’ve already guessed, I’m sure, who finds the profile for “Catherine” and starts corresponding with her: Reid, who knows the real life Millie but would never guess that she’s the same person he’s been connecting with online (if you’re picturing The Shop Around the Corner or You’ve Got Mail, you’re thinking along the right lines).
Does Millie manage to come clean with Reid? Does she figure out how to reconcile her real world and her online selves? Is there a happy ever after? Do you need to read something light and charming with all that’s going on in the world? Read My Favorite Half-Night Stand and find out the answers.