Release Day Review: Last Call by Alice Clayton

Last Call by Alice Clayton

Last Call by Alice Clayton
Series: Cocktail #4.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 6th 2015
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Gallery Books) in exchange for an honest review

From New York Times & USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton, known for her “deliciously addictive” (The Book Vixen) novels, this Cocktail series novella reunites readers with Caroline and Simon from the wildly successful Wallbanger.

Simon and Caroline are back for another round of baking, banging, and big life changes. Settling in, but never settling down, Caroline has finally struck a balance between the professional and the personal. As one of the top interior designers in San Francisco, she travels all over Northern California between nook time with Simon.

Perpetual globetrotter Simon has cut his frequent flyer miles in half over the last year, preferring to balance his professional and personal life, as well.

The next step in their lives seems preordained—toasts, veils, and the aisle of rose petals. But when an accident on a photo shoot in Southeast Asia brings Caroline the most terrifying phone call she could ever imagine, she has to ask whether “till death do us part” is a more realistic prospect than faces most couples.

It’s been a grand adventure, and Caroline and Simon wouldn’t go out without the best surprise ending ever. One part sexy, one part laughter, a dash of exotic locales, and one pink nightie, mixed with passion, and you’ve got Last Call. Served with a side of Clive.

A starry night.
A lady in white.
A shoe full of fright.
This is the beginning of the end of this love story.

I adooore Simon and Caroline. Ever since reading and falling in love with Wallbanger, I couldn’t get enough of them – they have become two of my all-time favorite characters! So it’s a bittersweet ending with Last Call. I’m incredibly sad to say goodbye to Caroline and Simon, but I finished this book with a huge smile on my face. Last Call is such a satisfying, heartwarming ending for Caroline and Simon – I’m so happy with how things ended for them!

Simon and Caroline’s friends are moving on to new phases in their lives – weddings, babies, etc. But Caroline seems a bit daunted by it all. She knows she and Simon are IT for each other, but she doesn’t want to force anything just because her friends are getting hitched or having children. Caroline and Simon are happy the way they are, and when the time is right, marriage, children, and the works will happen for them. All in good time…

“You realize you own me, don’t you, Nightie Girl?”

Oh how I’ve missed Simon and his hot and sexy self! I love Simon, and I fell in love all over again with him in Last Call. He continuously shows his love for Caroline – he and his words just melt my heart. The way Simon and Caroline are together never ceases to amaze me. They are equal parts fun and sexy and they are simply adorable together!

Some scary, unfortunate things do happen, but never fear, Caroline and Simon are the kind of couple that can get through anything as long as they have each other. I loved reading about these two again, as well as getting glimpses of Vivian and Clark and Chloe and Lucas! All the characters are together and funnier than ever.

Last Call is a novella, so I devoured this book so quickly everything was nearly a blur. I do wish the book was fleshed out a bit more and hadn’t tied up so quickly. Nonetheless, Alice Clayton did such a wonderful job bringing Caroline and Simon back to life and ending their story on a heartwarming note.

“You’re really going to want to hold on for this one, Nightie Girl.”

4 hearts
lacey

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

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

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Release Day Review: Mai Tai’d Up by Alice Clayton

Mai Tai'd Up by Alice Clayton

Mai Tai’d Up by Alice Clayton
Series: Cocktail #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: December 2nd 2014
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Gallery Books) in exchange for an honest review

Looking for the perfect mix of smart, sexy, and sassy? Mai Tai’d Up continues New York Times bestselling author Alice Clayton’s Cocktail series, which began with Wallbanger and continued with Rusty Nailed and Screwdrivered.

The gossip mill in the seaside community of Monterey is churning about Chloe Patterson, the newcomer who is starting a sanctuary for rescued pit bulls. It’s rumored that she’s a former beauty queen (true) who ditched her fiancé the morning of their wedding (also true). And that while she’s not looking for a new man, the good-looking local veterinarian has his eye on her. Absolutely, positively true.

When Lucas Campbell isn’t at the family veterinary clinic, he’s paddle boarding in Monterey Bay. Recently single, he’s definitely not in the market for a new relationship, but he still can’t resist taking a second, third, and fourth look at the recent arrival of Miss Golden State.

Neither Lucas nor Chloe has any interest in being tied down. Being tied up, however—now there’s a thought. But are a few Mai Tais, a moonlit night, and the music of Frank Sinatra enough to allow them both to forget their past? Let’s hope Ol’ Blue Eyes knows what he’s doing.

Mix one part tiki, one part kinky, and a splash of old black magic matchmaking, and it’s time to be . . . Mai Tai’d Up.

If you like your romances with a side of funny, Alice Clayton is definitely an author to read! While Mai Tai’d Up is my least favorite of the Cocktail series, it has Alice Clayton’s classic humor as well as heart-warming characters you grow to care for. If you’re a fan of the series, you don’t want to miss this latest installment!

Chloe Patterson is a former beauty queen who ditches her own wedding. She hasn’t been happy in a while, and she knows that going through that wedding will be the worst decision of her life. She wants to find true romance and passion, so she grows some balls, packs her bags, and moves to her father’s old house in Monterey.

What I could see now was that nothing about our relationship was “Holy Mary mother of God.” It was smooth and beautiful and covered in swirls of yummy on the outside, but the inside was fat-free and full of air and nothing. And if I was going to have a life of air and nothing, I’d at least like a big fat dick to bounce on.

Chloe is hilarious! A little dirty, but a total sweetheart. I totally admired how she took charge of her life and decided to make a change. She moves to Monterey in order to work with rescue dogs, which is honestly the sweetest thing ever! And it certainly helps that the local veterinarian there is a hottie. 😉

Lucas is the hot, ginger vet who has just gotten out of his own relationship. Neither Lucas nor Chloe want to go back to being in a relationship, so a hilarious, chemistry-filled friendship blooms. And there’s some serious chemistry between them that’s hard to ignore. I really enjoyed the way Alice Clayton portrayed their changing relationship. And you know that with her books, when the main characters get together, it’s explosive!

Had it really been so long that I’d been without contact like this? Was I just skin-drunk?
Nah. I was Lucas drunk. He was the perfect cocktail.

I was a bit disappointed with the romance – I just didn’t feel a connection between Chloe and Lucas, and the romance wasn’t fleshed out well enough for me. One moment the romance would be moving too slow, and then the next, it would move too fast. What I liked were the characters individually, and so what saved this book was Chloe herself. I loved the animal shelter aspect of this book and how she built it on her own merits. And have I mentioned how adorably hilarious and sassy Chloe is? Even though the romance wasn’t all that great, Chloe was still a heroine I really enjoyed reading about.

3.5 hearts
lacey

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

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

Cover Reveal + Excerpt: Last Call by Alice Clayton

I’m sooooo excited to share the cover of Last Call by Alice Clayton!! This is going to be Simon and Caroline’s novella and I can’t WAIT for it to release! Simon and Caroline are the. best!

Last Call by Alice Clayton

Last Call by Alice Clayton
Series: Cocktail #2.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 6th 2015
Add to Goodreads

From New York Times & USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton, known for her “deliciously addictive” (The Book Vixen) novels, this Cocktail series novella reunites readers with Caroline and Simon from the wildly successful Wallbanger.

Simon and Caroline are back for another round of baking, banging, and big life changes. Settling in, but never settling down, Caroline has finally struck a balance between the professional and the personal. As one of the top interior designers in San Francisco, she travels all over Northern California between nook time with Simon.

Perpetual globetrotter Simon has cut his frequent flyer miles in half over the last year, preferring to balance his professional and personal life, as well.

The next step in their lives seems preordained—toasts, veils, and the aisle of rose petals. But when an accident on a photo shoot in Southeast Asia brings Caroline the most terrifying phone call she could ever imagine, she has to ask whether “till death do us part” is a more realistic prospect than faces most couples.

It’s been a grand adventure, and Caroline and Simon wouldn’t go out without the best surprise ending ever. One part sexy, one part laughter, a dash of exotic locales, and one pink nightie, mixed with passion, and you’ve got Last Call. Served with a side of Clive.

Preorder:
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • BAM • iTunes

Now here’s an excerpt from Last Call! ❤

excerpt

“Sexy.” Kiss. “Impossibly sexy.” Kiss. Kiss. “Ludicrously sexy.” Kiss. Grope. Grope.

“Ludicrously sexy?” I asked, my eyes fluttering shut as his fingertips danced inside the edge of my bra.

“It’s a word.”

“So is howfastcanyoubenotsodressed?”

“That’s . . . let’s see . . . one, two, three—”

“You’re counting?”

“—four, five—”

“Simon?”

“Hmm?”

“You should stop the counting and go back to touching.”

“Oh. Babe. I’m getting back to it.”

And he really just was. His hands were sure, specific, practiced on my body. We’d been together long enough to know what each other liked, and what each other loved. The night before was full of love and passion. Tonight? Would be full of frantic, frenzied, crazy stupid, straight-up fucking.

Reading Order: Cocktail series

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

#1 ~ Wallbanger: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Rusty Nailed: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2.5 ~ Last Call: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Jan. 6, 2015)
#3 ~ Screwdrivered: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Mai Tai’d Up: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads (Dec. 2, 2014)

Early Review: Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton

Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton

Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton
Series: Cocktail #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Gallery Books) in exchange for an honest review

Readers back for a third round of the bestselling Cocktail series will enjoy a madcap romantic comedy about bodice ripping and chest heaving, fiery passion and love everlasting. Plus a dash of paperwork filing and horseshi—wait, what?

By day, Viv Franklin is a tough-as-nails software engineer who designs programs and loves hospital corners. By night, Vivian’s a secret romance-novel junkie who longs for a knight in shining armor, or a cowboy on a wild stallion, or a strapping firefighter to sweep her off her feet. And she gets to wear the bodice—don’t forget the bodice.

When a phone call brings news that she’s inherited a beautiful old home in Mendocino, California from a long-forgotten aunt, she moves her entire life across the country to embark on what she sees as a great, romance-novel-worthy adventure. But romance novels always have a twist, don’t they?

There’s a cowboy, one that ignites her loins. Because Cowboy Hank is totally loin-ignition worthy. But there’s also a librarian, Clark Barrow. And he calls her Vivian. Can tweed jackets and elbow patches compete with chaps and spurs? You bet your sweet cow pie.

In Screwdrivered, Alice Clayton pits Superman against Clark in a hilarious and hot battle that delights a swooning Viv/Vivian. Also within this book, an answer to the question of the ages: Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian?

Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian?

Holy hot dirty talkin’ librarians!

I loooove Alice Clayton. She is one of my favorite go-to authors, because I never fail to enjoy her books, and they always make me laugh so hard. Plus, she wrote the gem that is Wallbanger, one of my FAVORITE books ever, which I’ve reread countless times, so what’s not to love about Alice Clayton?

This latest book in the Cocktail series is another fabulous, delightful read from this author. Though I didn’t love Screwdrivered as much as the previous two books (I honestly don’t think anyone can match up to Simon and Caroline), I still loved Alice Clayton’s classic humor and writing. Fans of Wallbanger definitely shouldn’t miss this next installment of the series!

Our heroine, Viv Franklin, was first introduced as a friend of Simon’s from high school in Rusty Nailed. She’s an adorable heroine—she’s sassy and feisty, a total girly girl, a complete computer geek, and daydreams all the time about starring in her own raunchy romance novel. She’ll literally drift off and imagine a hunky man sweeping her off her feet and ravishing her—after all, that’s not so much to ask, right? But unfortunately for Viv, she hasn’t quite found THE ONE who’ll satisfy all her dirty romance book cravings.

So Viv is pretty bored with her life. That is, until a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes, and she gets the chance to move across the country to Mendocino, California. (Guess who else lives in California? SIMON AND CAROLINE!)

It’s there at her aunt’s home that she inherited that Viv meets the hot cowboy Hank….

“I see by your buckle your name’s Hunk. I mean, Hunk. I mean, fuck, Hank. Crap.”

So yeah… Viv becomes a total dork around Hunk Hank, and he basically doesn’t give her the time of day.

But then… when Viv decides to remodel her aunt’s home, she meets the town librarian, Clark Barrow, who is very much like all those boring men Viv tried dating. Right? Well, not exactly. While Hunk Hank fires up Viv’s loins, Clark fires her up in different ways…

“Impossible woman,” he muttered, straightening his tie and picking up the picture that had brought him here the first place.
“Impossible woman,” I mimicked in a tone I hadn’t used since third grade. I accompanied it with a face I also hadn’t made since the third grade. Honestly.

Clark and Vic DO NOT get along, which makes their romance all the better. I went from laughing at their banter (which is just SO GOOD) to wanting them to just freaking kiss already!! It takes a while for Viv to realize that a certain librarian may be more than she first thought he was, and that she might be falling for him.

“Hiya, Clark,” I said, slowly straightening and turning to lean against my car. I smiled as I saw his gaze drop down to my legs, as it often did, and slowly rise up my body. I don’t know if all librarians ogled the way this one did, but he had it down to an art form. He took his time, leaving no curve unseen. Did I arch my back when his gaze finally made it to my chest? Of course I did. And was rewarded with a nostril flare, the equivalent of a facial boner.

Screwdrivered is a very slow paced book. I honestly wished it was much faster paced, but I trusted Alice Clayton not to disappoint me when the time came for Viv and Clark go be together. Viv had to first rediscover herself before she could form any real relationship. And I loved that this book was about self-discovery as well as a love story (an adorably hilarious one at that).

And Clark!! Oh my word, I don’t think I’ve ever found a librarian so attractive before! Clark definitely made me swoon and sigh. He’s cute, awkward, quirky, funny, and just a plain ole good man, and I adored him.

Screwdrivered was just an adorably fun book to read. I was smiling the whole way through. That’s what I love about Alice Clayton’s books—they never fail to make me smile! And I definitely recommend Viv’s story for those who want to have a good time while reading.

4 hearts
lacey

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

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

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
lacey

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