Release Day Review: Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton

Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton

Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton
Series: Cocktail #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: June 24th 2014
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Gallery Books) in exchange for an honest review

In this sequel to Wallbanger, fan favorites Caroline Reynolds and Simon Parker negotiate the rollercoaster of their new relationship while house-sitting in Sausalito.

Playing house was never so much fun—or so confusing. With her boss on an extended 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. And with Simon, her hotshot photographer boyfriend, gallivanting all over the world for his job, the couple is heavy-duty into “absence makes the heart grow fonder” mode. No complaints about the great reunion sex, though!

Then a trip back east to his childhood home has Simon questioning his nomadic lifestyle. He decides to be home more. A lot more. And he wants Caroline home more, too. Though their friends’ romantic lives provide plenty of welcome distraction, eventually Caroline and Simon have to sort out their relationship. Sure, more togetherness is a good thing—but does less traveling and working have to mean the other extreme? Apple pie and picket fences? With this second book in the Cocktail series, USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton delivers another delicious, frothy confection of a book, shaking up her characters, stirring in laugh-out-loud humor, and serving sizzling romance straight up!

In case you didn’t know, I’m in love with Caroline and Simon. Like, seriously IN LOVE. I fell so hard for their story in Wallbanger, and I was desperate for more about them. And thank goodness Alice Clayton wrote Rusty Nailed!! I pretty much devoured Rusty Nailed in one sitting. I seriously don’t think I could ever get tired of reading about Simon or Caroline.

Rusty Nailed is a continuation of Simon and Caroline’s story from Wallbanger, so RN definitely should NOT be read as a standalone. Simon and Caroline have been together for a year, and life is… well, pretty great for them.

After a year, he could still bring me to my knees in seconds with one touch, one kiss, one look.

They still have sexy times, they still have those hilarious, sweet moments. Simon is off traveling the world most of the time because of his work as a photographer, but Caroline’s okay with that as she’s working hard at her job as an interior designer. The two of them have reached the point in their relationship where there’s not much angst or drama. I loved seeing how even though Simon is away many times throughout the year, the second he comes home, it’s like he and Caroline have never been apart. Simon is seriously the sweetest, and the two of them still have such a great chemistry with each other.

When you were in a long-distance relationship, of course you made the most of the time you were together. But sometimes, it was the unexpected that really made the difference. The unexpected emotions you were hit with when you saw that face, looked into those eyes, felt those lips. The unexpected reminder of why you fell in love with this person could hit you so powerfully. And this was that time.

We have Caroline and Simon’s friends’ stories entwined in the book too, which I was so happy about! Mimi and Ryan are engaged, Sophia and Neil have broken up (whaaat?), and Caroline’s boss Jillian is getting married. I love Caroline and Simon, don’t get me wrong, but their friends are so freaking hilarious!!! Caroline and Simon are funny enough, but add in the antics of their friends, and you have the laugh-out-loud humor that is an Alice Clayton classic.

So things are cruising along nicely for Caroline and Simon… until Caroline’s boss heads off on her honeymoon, leaving Caroline in charge of an entire business. Caroline has to work long-ass hours to keep the business running, but on the bright side, her boss left her in charge of a beautiful home to “house-sit” with Simon. Yeah, “house-sit”, as in have crazy monkey sex all over the place. 😉

Another aspect I loved about the book was how much more serious both Simon and Caroline were about their relationship. Simon is a very light-hearted guy–he’s sweet, funny, charming, and it’s enough to make us forget that he was orphaned at eighteen when his parents died. But in Rusty Nailed, we finally get to see the more vulnerable side to Simon–he finally opens up more about his past and his parents. Which only served to make me fall even more head-over-heels in love with this man.

But with Caroline getting more and more stressed over her temporary new job, and Simon getting contemplative about his and Caroline’s relationship, life’s not all sunshine and rainbows anymore. Caroline barely has any time to spend with Simon, and Simon is home a lot more now that he’s not taking many jobs.

Being half of a “we” is sometimes hard.

The two of them have to deal with what it means to be in a steady relationship, and it was so great to see Simon and Caroline discover that together. The two of them could not be more perfect for each other, so I was rooting for them all the way. They have their bumps along the road (i.e. some arguments, but nothing that a little lovin’ can’t solve 😉 ) but when the going gets tough, these two don’t get going. They stay with each other, hash it out with each other, and do what real couples do–they talk (and have sex. Of course).

“I adore you, and I want a home. Again. With you.”~Simon

I have to say though, I didn’t love Rusty Nailed as much as Wallbanger. Did I expect to? Maybe… but just because I didn’t love this book as much as I did Wallbanger doesn’t mean I love Caroline and Simon any less. Pink Nightie Girl and Wallbanger for the win! The book did move too slow in some parts, where some communication could have easily solved everything, and Caroline was being too stubborn for too long. But still, how could I not love a book about Simon and Caroline? I really enjoyed reading more of their lives past Wallbanger–I was laughing and swooning the whole time reading. I can’t ever get enough of these two!

4 hearts

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

More Buy Links:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iTunes

Reading Order: Cocktail series

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton
Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton Mai Tai'd Up by Alice Clayton Last Call by Alice Clayton

#1 ~ Wallbanger: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Rusty Nailed: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Screwdrivered: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Mai Tai’d Up: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Last Call: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

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