Title: “Rusty Nailed” (Cocktail #2)
Author: Alice Clayton
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 24th June, 2014.
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!
Complimentary copy provided by the author/publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
by Miss Clayton: it had been such a long time since I had read a book that could make me laugh until I cried, yet at the same time make me swoon into a puddle of mush. I also remember feeling, when I first learned that a second book about Caroline and Simon would be out, a bit apprehensive, because even though I really adored this book couple, I was unsure whether or not it was necessary. I mean, would a second book be just as good as the first one? I suppose many readers feel that way about their favorite authors, and I am not afraid to admit it.
Nevertheless, I confess that I have been really looking forward to getting my hands on “Rusty Nailed”, and now that I have finished reading it, I have a massive book hangover! Because yes, I really loved it! My earlier concerns were very much unfounded, and I hope my love for this book couple will shine through in my review.
The story begins with us learning how Caroline and Simon manage their long-distance relationship – it is not an easy feat, of course, but they are young, and they manage pretty well. Obviously, they miss each other when they are apart, but that is as it should be, and Caroline, for one, actually prefers having some alone time every once in a while (something I can really relate to, because I am the same way). Caroline is feeling some pressure, though, because her boss, Jillian, is off to her honeymoon soon, thus putting Caroline in charge of running the firm on a daily basis, and if you are a 27-year-old designer who has never held such a position, I have a feeling that you would be pretty scared out of your mind about it! But that is what life is about: taking chances, both personally and professionally, and Caroline knows and understands this.
Obviously, the support from Simon and her friends, Mimi and Sophia, help, but as time passes, Caroline starts to question if she really wants to the boss of everything? What if the expectations from her surroundings are too high? And what happens when Simon throws her for a loop, completely surprising her with his decisions about his own future?
As usual, my review will be completely spoiler free, so you will have to read the book if you want to know the answers to these questions.
I really enjoyed getting to know Caroline more in this second book: she is still a bit nutty (but that is a good thing), feisty and just a tad bit dramatic. Again, this is a good thing. The fact that she gets more and more snarky and stressed out as the months pass actually makes her feel very realistic to me, because it just goes to show that even though we may wantto handle everything – we also have to realize that that is just not always possible. Furthermore, the feelings of resentment and insecurity about her relationship with Simon come across as believable and even just to me.
I loved getting to know more about Simon this time, and he shows a great deal of emotional growth, in my opinion. Oh, he is still very much the same sexy, adorable Wallbanger as always, with a deviously delicious mind, but he, too, has to face his demons. Mainly his past and the fact that he has not been back to his hometown since he graduated from high school.
Ultimately, both Caroline and Simon have a lot of growing up to do in this second part of their story – but apart from becoming more mature, they also have to acknowledge that it is more than acceptable not having all the answers all the time. That even though their relationship progresses in a certain pattern, they are more than allowed to have fun and simply wing it – and, in the end, they will both have to face the importance of communicating with each other.
Apart from enjoying the main love story, it is also fantastic being back with the whole gang again – well, minus one. I absolutely love both Mimi and Sophia, and yes, a lot of the drama in this book is because of them. (No spoilers, I promise.) They provide some pretty laugh-out-loud moments, of course, and you just wish that they were real persons. Clive the cat is also back and he delivers his own kind of entertainment – he would not be Clive if he did not.
Now, I have to say that I am one of those book nerds who actually like a bit of a slow build-up to the big, dramatic finale: I enjoy taking my time with getting to know the characters in the books that I read, truly getting inside their heads, and once I feel comfortable with them – please, by all means, surprise me and blow my mind! What I love about this book, in particular, is the fact that every scene, every emotion, is described in great detail even though the pace is rather fast – and I have to confess that Miss Clayton has made me laugh until tears ran down my face again. She has a certain way with words that just gets to me, whether they are funny, sexy or sad, and that is part of the reason for my high rating. The issues Miss Clayton confronts through Caroline’s words and actions are very honest, scary, and just plain real.
So to sum up: if you want a fun, sexy (and steamy) romance, but one which also addresses many real-life problems, I heartily recommend “Rusty Nailed”. My eyes were glued to the pages until the very last one, and I was thoroughly satisfied when I reached the ending. There are plenty of tender moments between Caroline and Simon, the cast of secondary characters is perfect, and I just feel that if you loved “Wallbanger”, you will not be disappointed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(from Goodreads Author Profile)
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…