Release Day Post and Reviews: Screwdrivered: Alice Clayton

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?

Screwdrivered introduces us to a whole new cast of characters. Yes, Vivian was introduced in Rusty Nailed, but it was a brief, minimal introduction. Screwdrivered takes that little taste and makes it a full blown buffet. Bad boys? Good guys? Mixed emotions? This story has it all. 

Viv Franklin inherits an old house from an eccentric aunt she hasn’t see or heard from in years (and didn’t even know was dead). An impulsive move across the country puts Viv smack dab in the middle of one of the romance novels she secretly loves. 

Viv was such a study in contrasts. She is a great mix with a hard, strong exterior and a soft, romantic heart. Having five older brothers, she is used to standing up for herself, wrestling for herself, and working hard for what she wants. She put aside her love of art to follow in the family tradition of working with computers, though she made her own mark by developing her own software rather than joining the family business like her brothers. I loved her independent nature, and her adventurous streak that allowed her to travel across the country on a whim, thus sparking the whole story.

Sometimes falling in love just means turning around and seeing what’s right in front of you.

When she arrives at Seaside House, once she is able to look past the piles of random clutter and junk her aunt had amassed, she is dumbstruck by the hulking cowboy who visits daily to tend to the horses and chickens. 

Hank is all man, walks around the barn shirtless from the time he steps out of his truck to the time he finishes caring for the animals. It is especially humorous to watch the otherwise confident Viv become tongue-tied each time she is in close proximity to him.

But there is also the quiet, unassuming librarian who gets under her skin with his ability to frustrate her and direct her restoration efforts. They are quick to argue about the house and it’s characteristics, but they also develop an interesting friendship that comes out of late night phone calls about the house.

Uprooting her life from Philadelphia to Mendocino meant Viv had to develop an entirely new support system and friendships. Jessica, a local waitress, quickly fills the role of nosey townsperson and new best friend. Her insights into other characters and her assistance at the house were both invaluable to Viv and humorous to readers. 

When Viv goes on the prowl, her internal monologue shifts into a romance novel style narration. Each time it happened, I couldn’t help but grin as it showed a completely different side of the determined, spunky Viv.

During the planning of the renovations, Viv enlists the help of Caroline and Simon, who in turn bring Mimi and Ryan with them to visit. It was fun to see these four again, and the easy friendship that picks up between Caroline and Viv is especially fun as it plays out during the course of the story. 

Screwdrivered kept me entertained from start to finish. The brief introduction to Viv we got in Rusty Nailed was a great glimpse into what we were in-store for with Vivian Franklin, but her story in it’s entirety reminded me of both the best parts of what I loved reading Wallbanger, and something else entirely unique. I spent much of my reading time with a grin on my face, or straight up laughing. And when I wasn’t reading? I was trying to figure out how to sneak some extra time with the story. This was a fun, grin-inducing read. 

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

Viv Franklin is ready for a new adventure. When she was younger, she was the adventurous type and traveled and lived in Paris. But recently she has been back home in Philadelphia and runs her own software company similar to her Dad and brothers. But currently her only adventure seems to be her different appearance with her short hair, tats, piercings and combat boots, the horrible blind dates her mother sends her on,  and daydreaming about her secret obsession of romance novels. She knows that someday she will find her hero just like in her books.
But when she inherits a house from an eccentric aunt  in Mendocino, California, she decides that it is indeed adventure calling. So she heads across the country. What she finds is not quite what she remembered or expected, but she can work with it...a historical home, the beach, a quaint town, and a cowboy...

She's living out her own romance novel now. The hot cowboy Hank is the obvious hero. He's sexy, built, and looks stunning on top of a horse. But while settling into the new town she meets new friends and one librarian/archivist/head of the historical society, Clark Barrow. He's polished, orderly, and wears glasses, ties, and tweed. He is not the typical romance hero at all. She and Clark do not initially see eye to eye. They easily get a rise out of each other and begin with an adversarial relationship that eventually turns to a collaborative friendship.

But as her new life continues and she focuses on the future, who is the real hero of her love story?

Viv was hilarious. She was sassy, strong and opinionated. I enjoyed her sense of humor and how she liked to shock people. Her appearance alone did that. But I also enjoyed the verbal sparring and witty rapport especially with Clark since he was so buttoned up and she liked to ruffle his feathers. She hated when people bested her. And despised her lack of ability to control herself around the half naked cowboy running around. Her reactions to and descriptions of some of the the crazy contents of Seaside Cottage left by her aunt had me laughing. 

Clark was a total anti-hero. He was nerdy, uptight, awkward, and controlled. But he was also cute, nicely built, intense, sweet and thoughtful. He would only call her by her full name Vivian. And sometimes he showed a side to him that only Vivian got a glimpse of. He had strong reactions to her that apparently took him out of his usual comfort zone. But he also seemed lost and confused by her most of the time. 

Cowboy Hank...he was that man that belongs on the cover of the romance novel shirtless riding horseback with his rock hard abs and pecs glistening in the sun. He turned Viv into a babbling mess whenever he was near. He was a little resistant, stand offish, and obviously a challenge to try to get to the real guy underneath. But any seasoned romance novel reader knows heroes are supposed to be stoic and need to have their layers peeled back to get to the real prize.

So which challenge is she going to take? Will she decide to ride a cowboy or go unconventional and ride a librarian?

It was feisty, humorous, sweet, and fun. It was told Viv's point of view so we got all of her unfiltered thoughts, but had to guess at the guys' true feelings at times. The relationship aspect moved a bit slow and did not really get resolved until late in the book, but I was okay with the extended build up. It was fun to visit with her friends Simon and Caroline and their friends Mimi and Ryan (Wallbanger and Rusty Nailed). I also liked her new friends Jessica and John and the whole quaint town of Mondecino. We briefly saw Clark's cousin, Chloe and she will be the subject of the next book Mai Tai'd Up. 

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.

Rusty Nailed (Cocktail #2)

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!

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 worked in the cosmetics industry for over a decade before picking up a pen (read laptop). She enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up, and finally convinced her long-time boyfriend to marry her. Now, about that Bernese Mountain dog


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