I've loved romance novels since...like forever. I read across most subgenres of romance. I also write fantasy/paranormal and new adult romance.
This is the fourth book in Christina Lauren's Wild Seasons series. I've read the first three (in order!) and was looking forward to this one. The hero, Luke, is the high school sweetheart and ex-boyfriend of Mia, the heroine from book #1 (Sweet Filthy Boy). I don't remember if Luke had any dialogue in the first book, or if his scenes with Mia were mostly told in flashback. Either way, I remember him as a bit of a let-down.
The heroine of this story is London who is roommates with Lola (heroine from book #3) and tangentially friends with Mia. Whew. Clear as mud? Essentially, we have a heroine who faces breaking girl code to be with the hero. That conflict was interesting.
The other big(ger) point of conflict between Luke and London was that Luke is a player, I think London refers to him as a manwhore. All she wants from him when they first meet--and she has no idea he's Mia's ex--is a one night stand. But, for some reason, Luke wants more. London also had an ex who cheated on her, so she has trust issues with guys.
What worked for me: I liked Luke and London as a couple. My favorite scenes were when it was just the two of them. I also liked that London respected Mia enough to call her and tell her about Luke. It was so assertive. (Go, London!) I also liked Luke, mostly. He was a well-developed character. He had to work to woo London. For so much of the book, he wants more and she absolutely doesn't. That tension was strong. The sex scenes were trademark Christina Lauren--strong, slightly kinky, and a great metaphor for where the couple is in their relationship.
There's also a long explanation for how to surf. As a midwesterner trapped in the middle of a continent, I appreciated this level of detail. At least I can imagine surfing in a more accurate way. ;)
What didn't work for me: there's a lot of navel-gazing. The level of angst didn't match up with the amount of navel-gazing. Harlow's (heroine from book #2) control over whether London felt like she could date Luke wasn't my favorite, although it was consistent with her overbearing character. And, hey, I like Harlow, but London gave her way too much power.
Also, there's sort-of a misunderstanding about Luke's phone. (***Mild spoiler alert***) One conversation about the phone could have helped so much. But, no.
And, I'm side-eyeing the fact that Mia, Harlow, Lola, and Luke were all besties since elementary school. I mean, I guess? But not only were they besties with him, he was portrayed as The Perfect Boyfriend. This was unnecessary and over the top. I'm all in for the reformed rake trope. Luke didn't need to be that perfect. (For example, he would perform weekly errands in high school for his group of female friends. Sweet, but too much.)
One more thing: while the title works for the continuity of the series, I still can't figure out why it was given to this book. I have no idea who the wicked sexy liar is, not that it matters.
This New Adult series has an escapist quality to it, which is nice. There's sun, sand, waves (London is a surfer), and warm southern California days and nights. I wanted a little bit more out of the twists and turns of Luke and London getting to their HEA, but it was sweet (and cute!) when they worked it all out.