Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Make it a Double: Wallbanger and Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton

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Wallbanger (Cocktail #1)
   by: Alice Clayton

Publication Date: Nov. 27, 2012
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: Gifted by CeCe!
Page Count: 303 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4/5 stars

The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she's gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor's nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy's athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly...

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight...

I cannot even believe I waited so long to read this! All of my friends on GR really liked this one and gave it great reviews, but I just never got a chance to read it! I had already read Mai Tai'd Up, which is a companion novel to the series following a different set of characters. I really enjoyed Clayton's writing style and the witty, fun banter between them. I knew Wallbanger would have the same flair, so I went in expecting a fun, sweet, hilarious read.... and that's what I got!
I love Simon and Caroline. They might very well be my new favorite Adult Contemporary couple. Everything about them is so unconventional and I just loved it. I wasn't sure I would because I have this irrational jealousy when the main characters are with other people. Simon isn't just banging against the wall with one woman- he has a harem! Between Spanx, Purina, and Giggles, it's no wonder Caroline can't get any sleep! When enough is enough and Caroline finally confronts her wallbanging neighbor? It is a meeting of EPIC proportions. Not only is her neighbor gorgeous, but he is built like some Adonis who clearly has plenty of stamina. *wink* Needless to say, the meeting doesn't go very well thus beginning the battle of Wallbanger vs Pink Nightie Girl. (Yeah, Caroline forgot to throw on clothes before heading next door!)
Of course as luck would have it, Caroline and Simon end up crossing paths once again at their mutual friends' party. While their best friends are taking interest in one another, Caroline and Simon remain behind their battle lines. I really enjoyed the amount of time Caroline and Simon's friends got in this book. They have their own bit of drama and fun, so watching that unfold was also really great.
What I really liked about Simon and Caroline is that they actually became friends first. They get to know one another and become comfortable in their own skin with each other. Sure, there's serious sexual tension there, but it's very much a slow burn that doesn't ignite until later in the book. Which actually brings me to my one issue with this book. It was too long. I felt there was a lot that could have been cut, without majorly impacting the story as a whole. I loved seeing their relationship develop and grow, but when you start to lose that excited anticipation, you know you've probably done enough. I appreciate Simon not wanting to jump right into a relationship, as he's never really had one before. His harem worked for him, not getting emotionally attached, but that doesn't mean he didn't care about those women. Working as a photographer, Simon is constantly traveling and really doesn't have time to put down roots. Caroline, while desperately missing her 'O', is happy with her new job and is embracing her career lifestyle.
When Caroline and Simon finally take the plunge, it's exactly as you assumed it would be: sexy, smart, and hilarious. Caroline lamenting her long lost 'O' is beyond hilarious so naturally when her and Simon find it again it was a go big or go home kind of scene. They end up working so well together because of how well they knew each other before and it's a big step for both of them, after not actively seeking a relationship for so long. When it's right, it's right. Caroline and Simon might not have gone into this whole thing looking for love, but they found it anyway and they are content to let everything play out the way it's supposed to with a lot of craziness and laughter thrown in the mix!
I can't NOT mention Clive. Freaking. Awesome. And I hate cats. But I love that one. He seriously adds to the humor of this book and I love what Clayton did what the epilogue! EPIC.
Rusty Nailed (Cocktail #2)
   by: Alice Clayton

Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: Purchased
Page Count: 223 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

In this sequel to Wallbanger, the second book in the Cocktail series, fan favorites Caroline and Simon negotiate the rollercoaster of their new relationship while house-sitting in San Francisco.

Playing house was never so much fun—or so confusing. With her boss on her honeymoon, Caroline’s working crazy long hours to keep the interior design company running—especially since she’s also the lead designer for the renovation of a gorgeous old hotel on Sausalito. So with her hotshot photographer boyfriend gallivanting all over the world for his job, she and Simon are heavy-duty into “absence makes the heart grow fonder” mode. Neither has any complaints about the great reunion sex, though! Then Simon decides he’s tired of so much travelling, and he’s suddenly home more. A lot more. And wanting Caroline home more, too. Though their friends’ romantic lives provide plenty of welcome distraction, eventually Caroline and Simon have to sort their relationship out. Neither wants “out of sight, out of mind,” but can they create their own happy mid-ground cliché?

USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton delivers another delicious, frothy cocktail of a book, shaking up her characters, stirring in laugh-out-loud humor, and serving sizzling romance straight up!

I always thought Wallbanger would be a stand alone romance, but when I heard Clayton was making it a series, I was both nervous and excited at the same time. Usually another book in the series means our main characters will have some kind of conflict to overcome and I was happy with how Wallbanger ended.
Thankfully, Clayton didn't throw our characters into emotional turmoil and leave me feeling bereft and heartbroken for my them. Instead, she did a great job of showing us what happens AFTER the happily ever after. Simon and Caroline are total work-a-holics, which works for them. They love their time together, the sex is still rocking, and they get to do what they love at the same time. They live for the moment and there's no pressure of moving forward or thinking about the future.
Caroline likes her alone time. She loves being with Simon, but she also likes having time apart too. I get that, I do. But gosh if Simon were my man... I don't think I'd want him gone as much as he is for his job. So when he starts cutting back his trips to stay home, she starts to feel overwhelmed. Having taken on more responsibilities at work, she really begins to run herself ragged. While she is excited to do this, her stress level also increases. Naturally, she bottles things up inside and doesn't communicate with Simon like she should.
I have to say, I found myself most irritated with Neil and Sophia. There was no shortage of drama for those two! They acted quite immaturely when it came to what happened, and while I am Team Girls for this one, enough was enough. I much preferred Simon and Caroline hanging out with Mimi and Ryan because it was just more mellow and relaxed. I'm all for a little drama and humor, but I felt Neil and Sophia took it to extremes.
My silver lining? Simon. I just love that man so incredibly much. He is so patient with Caroline and what used to be his normal isn't working anymore. He loves Caroline and he wants to spend time with her. Jet setting around the world isn't holding the same appeal as it once did. I think he immersed himself into his job because he really didn't have anyone to come home to. Having lost his parents at a young age, Simon has never really connected to anyone on the level that he has Caroline, so I thought it was sweet of him to spend more time with her, helping her house sit for Jillian and Benjamin.
I'm really happy with how the book played out though. Simon and Caroline realize that their lives are changing and that a relationship takes work. They both love one another something fierce, so I love all their moments together. We really get to know Simon more in this book and Caroline is there for him when he needs her silent strength the most.
While I may not have enjoyed Rusty Nailed quite as much as Wallbanger, I was still glad to spend more time with Simon, Caroline, and Clive (the cat!). I did feel there were times when the book fell a little flat because there was more day to day life included and not as many stand out moments. Clayton did a great job of writing a real romance that is fun, sexy, AND hilarious all at the same time!

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  1. I so need to get started on these! I have both of them, now I just need to make time to read them. Great reviews!

  2. AH! Wallbanger! I remember that one, such a fun and funny read! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D

    Lovely reviews!

  3. Wallbanger is awesome! Caroline drove me crazy in the second book....ugh!

  4. Even though Rusty Nailed wasn't as good, I'm so glad you loved Wallbanger so much! It sounds brilliantly sexy and hilarious and I NEED to check it out for myself

  5. Aha, I have not jumped on this ship yet. I'm glad you enjoyed them though!


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