Alice Clayton – Rusty Nailed

Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton

Series: Cocktail #2
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

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!

Star_full48Star_full48Star_full48Star_half

Sorry Folks…

Itty bitty mild spoilers:

Settling in. Not settling. Big difference.

I wish I had better news on this one. Alas, the follow-up to the amazing Wallbanger fell short for me…

This is probably my own fault:

When an author as talented as Alice Clayton publishes a book, I think I hold it to a higher standard than I would for a new author. Is it fair to hold authors to my own arbitrary expectations?

Probably not.

I finished this book several days ago and I’ve been hesitating on this review. I LOVED Wallbanger; it was a 5 Star read for me and I’ve recommended it countless times. I adore Alice Clayton; she’s lovely and talented. The truth is, I didn’t HATE this book, but it wasn’t that great either…

I’m going to say the three little words no Book Blogger likes to say: I got bored… I did. I’m not happy about it… The high-points were fantastic, but there was so much that dragged this book down…

It was still enjoyable (even if it failed to meet the hopes I had for it) and fans of the first book will like knowing how Wallbanger & Pink Nightie Girl are faring in their new relationship…

However, all the magic packed into the first book just didn’t quite make it into the sequel…

The majority of the conflict was between Sophia & Neil… Are you having a hard time recalling why you should care about characters named Sophia and Neil when this book is supposed to be about Caroline & Simon?

Me too…

“How much trouble would I get in for stealing the cake knife and castrating him?” she asked, two more women hustling by to get away.
“Lots. Can we talk about this without mentioning castration?”
“Doubtful; right now I want his dick in a hot dog bun.”

I went into this book feeling ‘meh’ about the little side relationships between Caroline’s besties and Simon’s bros (not my terminology, BTW) so the fact that so much of the plot was devoted to them rather than the MC’s was kind of a drag… Sophia broke up with Neil, there’s a lot of will-they-or-won’t-they, and the remaining two couples suffer the fallout of their friends breaking up, taking sides, and plotting to get them back together.

Caroline Reynolds
aka Pink Nightie Girl

Dirty talk is an art. Do it too often, it becomes routine. Never do it, and you’re missing something. Simon did it just right. He was like a perfect bowl of smutty porridge: just right.

Jillian (Caroline’s Boss) ties the knot in this book, and as she takes off on a looooong Honeymoon, she puts Caroline in charge of Jillian Designs. The workload is huge, but so is the opportunity to run a business. Long hours and work stress aren’t so hard to juggle when your boyfriend is an in demand photographer who is rarely home… But for better or worse, Simon IS home. Suddenly he’s home all the time…

Simon Parker
aka Wallbanger

…he was sophisticated but cool. A man about town, a globetrotter, a secret cat whisperer who would sell his soul for an apple pie. And he was mine.

Simon is in his first real relationship and seems to be struggling to figure out what ‘home’ is for him. When an invitation to his 10 year high school reunion takes him to his hometown for the first time since his parents died, he begins to shift perspective. He’s acting strangely – I say this because we only see things from Caroline’s POV so we don’t know WTF Simon is going through – he’s turning down jobs and trips and is staying home…

A lot…
He’s always at home…
Caroline is always at work…
(this is the central problem in THEIR relationship)

There was still a lot to like about this book.
Poor Caroline still talks about her O,
There’s still a ton of great humor,
Simon is still completely adorable,
Quick witted dialogue,
The sex is fabulous,
& Clive is awesome…

Clive

I truly was wise beyond my ears

And of course, little Clive stole the show… His exploits and shenanigans provided the catalyst for one of the only real moments of vocalized emotion between the couple…

So there you have it…
If you loved Wallbanger as much as I did, you probably won’t be swayed from reading this. Even if I had read poor reviews prior to reading, I probably would have downloaded it anyway. If you do read it, let me know what you think 😉

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