Blog Tour and Reviews: Rusty Nailed: Alice Clayton

Rusty Nailed (Cocktail #2)
Alice Clayton
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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!

All of the couples from Wallbanger are back! Simon (Wallbanger) and Caroline (Pink Nightie Girl), Jillian and Benjamin, Mimi and Ryan, and Sophia and Neil. Oh yeah and a certain crazy cat, Clive is also back in all of his kitty glory. One couple is getting married, one engaged, one playing house, and one no longer on speaking terms. 

Simon and Caroline are trying to find a balance in their relationship due to their crazy work schedules. They are still in love, sexually charged, and connected, but also dealing with distance, some miscommunication, and unclear future plans. There is a lot going in in their lives to deal with. But they are really a couple and trying to navigate their ever changing world together.

Simon is still oh so sexy, charming, hot, and swoony. And Caroline is strong, sassy, funny, but a bit overwhelmed. Together they have a witty, flirty rapport and tons of sexual chemistry. But they are also very much in love and are not afraid to show it anymore. He makes sure she does not have to wait too long for O's anymore either. But their lives together are going  through some major changes. Simon, the guy who always ran away to foreign lands to avoid his lack of a family is getting his first taste of what a home feels like again. And Caroline is just trying to get used to juggling such a full plate. It seems like one of them is always left behind, while the other one is busier. They have to figure out how to balance their careers, each other, their social lives, and projects they take on. Wallbanger and pink Nightie Girl are continuing to mature and grow. 

But as things continue to change and pressures build, will they grow closer or further apart?

Their friends are also a big part of this story. Neil and Sophie: Oh how the Soap Opera turns. It is the good, the bad and the ugly. But it is also fun at times and frustrating at others. And we also get to to see the progression of Jillian and Benjamin and Mimi and Ryan's relationships. I love how this group is so close. They do provide support and are truly like a family, but  are not afraid to tease each other and call each other out when necessary. And Clive the cat. Who can forget the coolest cat ever? Yes, he is even has a significant role in the story. 

This was another fun, flirty, humorous, fast paced book by Alice Clayton. She never fails to surprise me with comical situations, witty dialogue, and crazy characters. Getting back with these characters was amusing, comfortable, entertaining, and I really enjoyed spending more time with them.  It was not quite as feisty as the first one for obvious reasons, but I also liked the sweeter, more realistic components to their growing relationship as well. I had a smile on my face for most of the story (except for the times I got frustrated and wanted to smack someone). But I could not help getting sucked back into their world and was engaged throughout. 

We were also introduced to a new bad ass, sassy chick named Viv who is an old friend of Simon's. She will be the subject of the next book in this series Screwdrivered. Hopefully we will get glimpses of Simon and Caroline in her story as well. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Simon and Caroline wade through a relationship that takes some juggling. Because of Simon’s heavy traveling schedule, they have developed a routine despite not always being in the same time zone. A chance at house-sitting outside the city, and increase in responsibility for Caroline at work, and Simon canceling several photo shoots changes the dynamic of their balanced relationship, making waves Caroline didn’t anticipate having to navigate. 

I went back and forth between being excited for the changes Simon and Caroline were making and facing, and worried that they weren’t talking about what was bothering each of them. Granted, if they had talked right away, parts of the conflict would have been negated, but boy did they take on a lot of changes in a short amount of time! 

The conflicts Simon and Caroline face were great examples of the things couples must face in order to make a relationship work. They each have their coping mechanisms - both the ones that work and the ones that only add to the conflict. While the relationship was smoother in the beginning of Rusty Nailed than it was early in Wallbanger, the chemistry, tension, and mix of emotions continued their story perfectly. 

This set of friends still cracks me up. What are the chances that three best friends would end up dating another set of three best friends? The group had nearly as much drama as Simon and Caroline themselves. While Mimi and Ryan are engaged and happy as can be, Neil and Sophia are on the outs. When they aren’t avoiding each other, they are trying to make the other jealous by bringing hotter, smarter, better dates to each group get-together. Any scene the two of them were in together became a challenge to see if they would behave or steal the show, and they often stole the scene. 

As in Wallbanger, the humor comes through at times subtly, at times loud and clear. I love the addition of Clive’s antics, adding to the scenes as only a cat can do. Alice Clayton has figured out the perfect mix of humor to make the jokes feel authentic and true to life without being over the top or corny. 

This was such a great glimpse into the changes relationships take over time. While Simon and Caroline are the main narrators, and the story is theirs, there are so many relationships woven through their tale it is clear they do not exist in a bubble.

I've got to say, I loved Simon and Caroline in Wallbanger, and loved seeing them again here, but I am really excited for Viv, introduced here as an old friend of Simon, and the antics that I'm sure she will find in Screwdrivered, the next novel in the series. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Wallbanger (Cocktail#1)
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Kim's 4.5 star review

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...

Last Call (Cocktail #1.5)
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Expected Jan. 6, 2015

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.

Screwdrivered( Cocktail #3)
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Expected Sept. 2, 2014
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 designs software programs. 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?

Mai Tai'd Up (Cocktail #4)
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Expected Dec. 2, 2014
Looking for the perfect mix of smart, sexy, and sassy? Mai Tai’d Up continues USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton’s Cocktail series, which began with Wallbanger and continued with Rusty Nailed and Screwdrivered.

Eligible bachelor Lucas Campbell is very available, but very picky. A veterinarian in Monterey, California, his life is perfect: he works, he sails, he loves the ocean and the mountains—so why rock the boat? Then Miss Chloe Patterson comes along.

Chloe has the body of a supermodel, the mouth of a sailor, and the fashion sense of teenage guy in 1990s Seattle. A former Miss California, she walked away from a cushy life, bought an old ranch outside Monterey, and turned it into Our Gang, a sanctuary for rescued and abandoned pit bulls. A woman who’s clearly not afraid of dog poop, she enjoys rehabilitating her “warrior angels.”

Local gossip reports that she ditched her fiancé the night before their wedding (true), and that she moved up north to start a new life (also true). She didn’t want to be tied down (true), but she wouldn’t mind being tied up—especially by that hot vet she’s seen around town a few times (true, true, and have-you-seen-his-butt?-true).

But is Chloe ready to date again? And is Lucas ready to take on not only Chloe, but forty pit bulls? One moonlit sail, two bottles of wine, and a few sailor knots might just do the trick.

Complete list of all purchase links and info on all of Alice Clayton's available works
Alice Clayton

Alice Clayton is a novelist with an unholy love for her KitchenAid mixer. Making her home in St Louis, she enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up afterwards, and is trying desperately to get her long time boyfriend to make her an honest woman. Hi sweetie!!

After working for years in the cosmetics industry as a makeup artist, esthetician, and national educator for a major cosmetics company, Alice picked up a pen (read laptop) for the first time at 33 to begin a new career, writer. Combining her love of storytelling with a sense of silly, she was shocked and awed to be nominated for a Goodreads Author award in 2010 for her debut novels, The Redhead Series.

Alice has penned three novels, The Unidentified Redhead,The Redhead Revealed, and coming soon in November 2012, Wallbanger. She thinks you should purchase them immediately. She’s not kidding, not even a little bit. Everyone needs some comedic erotica in their lives. She is hard at work on the third book in The Redhead Series, set to release in Spring of 2013, continuing the saucy and sexual escapades of everyone’s favorite couple, Jack and Grace.

Additionally, Alice loves spending time with her besties on Not Your Mother's Podcast, make sure you check them out at notyourmotherspodcast.com or over on iTunes. 3 women rushing towards their forties still acting like teenagers. A saucy little mix of sex, love, relationships, pop cultural, celebrity gossip and All Things Jake Ryan.

Alice enjoys pickles, Bloody Mary’s, 8 hours of sleep, and a good pounding.

Finally Alice would also like all her readers and listeners to help her convince Mt. Alice that the only other thing that would make her truly happy is finally bringing home a Bernese Mountain Dog. She is totally serious. And done talking about herself in the third person...


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