Blog Tour: Mai Tai'd Up: Alice Clayton

Mai Tai'd Up (Cocktail #4)
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Released 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.

Graphics from Author's Facebook page

We met Chloe Patterson in Screwdrivered as she is Clark's cousin. The former beauty queen and soon to be trophy wife who decided to leave her picture perfect life and fiance' and take off to Monterey, California and start over. She decided she is going to live by her own rules and start a new chapter in her life. First step is to move into her Dad's old ranch house and second step is to start a shelter for abused pit bulls.

Town vet Lucas Campbell is sexy, funny, and sweet. But he's recently been through a difficult break up that totally changed his life. In fact, he and Chloe have a lot in common. Her secret coincides with his worst nightmare, so she is  not forthcoming with all of the details of her past.

So these two begin not only working together for the shelter, but also spending time together. Friends. Rebounds. But oh, so attracted to each other. They fill each others nights and weekends, but not their beds. And they are also on a ticking timeline due to Lucas'  already set future plans. 

There is a ton of sexual tension between Chloe and Lucas. They had excellent chemistry together, but it built first as a friendship with common interests. They really complemented, challenged, and supported each other

But Chloe's big omission/lie could be the one thing a gun-shy Lucas won't be able to handle.

This one was fast, fun, flirty, and sweet. I loved the background of the time warp throwback ranch house in Monterey and the dog rescue. I adored both Lucas and Chloe. They were totally likable and both had a  good sense of humor. They both had past issues and were skittish, but that is why I could deal with the build up of sexual tension and their connection and friendship first. They both needed their own time to heal and find their own feet before they could think of more than a rebound.

There are visits from Chloe's cousin Clark and his fiance' Viv (Screwdrivered) and Lucas' cousin Sophia and her boyfriend Neil (WallbangerRusty Nailed). There's some family dynamics and ex issues, secrets and lies adding drama. There were some other funny side characters especially the wardrobe challenged Marge and hippie mentor Lou. And some other antagonists that just made me want to grit my teeth. 

It was all told in Chloe's point of view, but enough of Lucas' personality shone through that I connected with him as well. This was the perfect enjoyable and engaging read with fun, likable characters and not too much angst and it had Alice Clayton's trademark humor. But there were a few tense and heart stopping moments as well. I had just come of a highly dramatic read and this was just exactly what I needed to laugh, smile, and swoon. 

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

Chloe Patterson is a pageant queen, dutiful daughter, engaged to be married to a man her mother nearly handpicked for her. When she realizes she is not happy in the life her mother has planned for her, she runs away from her life in San Diego and heads to the family ranch. 

Lucas Campbell grew up in Monterey and is poised to take over his father’s veterinary practice when it’s time for his dad to retire. Until then, he works alongside his dad, and has deep roots in the town and family business. Returning from an overseas volunteer opportunity, he is healing from his own broken heart. 

I love the build up between them. Having both recently had long term relationships end, it makes sense that an attraction between them would build slowly. A few well timed interruptions (or poorly timed, depending on your perspective) keep them from acting on the attraction that continues to build. The slow pace felt right given the rebound potential in their relationship.

There was as much focus on Chloe figuring out who she was and what she wanted out of her life as their was focus on the relationship building between the couple. The relationship takes its time to develop as each character figures out what they want, keeping it from feeling impulsive or rebound, but containing no less heat than if they had moved faster. 

As things heat up, secrets are withheld that kept me waiting for the big reveal and the upheaval that would occur as a result. Though I saw it coming, the fallout hurt not less than if it had taken me by surprise. 

The side characters were fun and feisty, except for the ones who were supposed to be antagonistic. The receptionist/matchmaker at the vet’s office was a hilarious touch, as the coordinator of the rescue that Chloe works for was a fun encouraging personality for her to encounter at just the right moment. 

Mai Tai’d Up was everything I was hoping for from the next installment of the Cocktail series from Alice Clayton. It was fun, cute, and entertaining with low angst and a great build up of the attraction between Chloe and Lucas.

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...

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!

Last Call (Cocktail #2.5)
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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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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?

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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