Series: Cocktail #3
Published by Simon and Schuster
Published on September 2nd, 2014
Genres: Adult Contemporary, Contemporary, Humorous, Romance
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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 is a tough-as-nails software engineer who designs programs and loves hospital corners. 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?
5- “Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian?”- stars
God bless Alice Clayton, she has delivered another fantastically fun read that had me laughing out loud and falling in love all at the same time.
This is book three in the Wallbanger series. It is not a story about Simon and Caroline, or their tight circle of friends, but instead tells us the story of one of the minor characters from book 2, Rusty Nailed I went into this one blind, not even realizing that I’d met the heroine before, without huge expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised! While, in my opinion, not reaching the epics heights of the instant classic that is Wallbanger, I thought this was an absolutely fantastic read, and I couldn’t put it down.
As I said, we met Vivian in Rusty Nailed. She is an old friend of Simon’s, who we met at his high school reunion. She is a great character – she’s a bit of a rebel with piercings, tattoos, and she loves her grunge and combat boots. And her badass exterior contradicts wonderfully with her personality. She’s a computer whizz and is ordered and precise, yet she has a great sense of adventure, a lot of sass and a whimsically romantic side. She is totally addicted to romance novels, which sees her frequently daydreaming hilariously cheesy love scenes, and dreaming of finding her true love – actually, her first love.
Her life takes an interesting twist when she inherits a cliff-top, seaside cottage, with attached ranch, from her great aunt, and seeing this as the opportunity to live the life of the romance heroines that she reads about, she leaves Philadelphia, her family, and a rather lackluster life, behind to head across the country to a small, coastal Californian town to take on a whole new adventure.
“I was about to be starring in my very own romance novel.”
She finds the house she has inherited is in a state of complete shambles and needs major renovations, but the one bright spark in her new life is Hank, the sexy, constantly-shirtless cowboy who comes to tend to the animals on her land. As Viv so eloquently puts it – “Beef. To the motherfucking. Cake.” He is the perfect man to fulfill her romantic fantasies… although he doesn’t seem overly interested.
And then there is Clark. “ Historian. Archivist. Librarian”, Clark is the tweed-wearing director of the local historical society, and causes no end of headaches for Viv as they battle over what she can and cannot do to her house. Viv takes great pleasure in getting a rise out of the seemingly straight-laced Clark, and he seems a little overly attentive to the new girl in town, and watching the two of them together is freaking hilarious as they argue and banter, all with an underlying tension that had bouncing up and down with anticipation over all that is to come.
Did I arch my back when his gazes finally made it to my chest? Of course I did. And was rewarded with a nostril flare, the equivalent of a facial boner.
Introducing some great locals, and adding in Simon and Caroline (and her interior design skills) for a visit, and the stage is set for a great read as Viv bumbles her way to love, providing us with some brilliant insights alone the way.
The actual romance isn’t exactly prominent (with the exception of what goes on inside Viv’s head), but there is definitely a slow build up going on in the background and I still enjoyed every minute of the story.
I thought Hank’s part of the story was hilarious. The guy is a big pile of arrogant, sexy brainlessness, and Viv is totally smitten with him, turning into a big pile of stupid whenever he’s around. And the way she latches on to her romantic dreams and gets completely carried away with it was so freaking funny!
He opened his mouth to speak, finally initiating conversation with me!
The man was a poet. I had no words. Strike that, I had one.
He grinned at me, and I swear on all that is holy a sunbeam broke through the clouds and shone directly on him, highlighting the planes of his exquisite face and letting me know that beauty had a name, and its name was Hank.
But it was Clark getting me (and eventually Viv) all hot and flustered. I loved their developing friendship, and the slow burn into something deeper. He is such a great guy, and while Daytime Clark was great and I loved their interactions and banter, the introduction of Nighttime Clark and his dark and sultry voice during their late night phone calls just made things better. And when the banter turns dirty, it gets even hotter!
“Did you just spit something?” he asked, sounding curious and amused … “Never would have pegged you as a spitter, Vivian.”
Eyes suddenly wide, I sat straight up, almost levitating from the bed, then rallied. “Only when it’s something not worth swallowing.”
Hello line, I believe I just crossed over you. I distinctly heard Clark choke on a sip of what I assumed was his Scotch.
I loved this book! I laughed out loud so many times, and I even though I would have loved to have seen more time with Viv and Clark together, I was happy with how it all ended up, and the sexy time (when it eventually comes – hehehe), is worth the wait. Holy hotness! The straight-laced librarian has a dirty mouth and some very hot moves. Balustrade… mmmmmm!
There was one thing that bothered me – View Spoiler »I am annoyed that Viv remained hooked on Hank for as long as she did. She knew she was attracted to Clark, yet she still pushed things with the cowboy, and even kissed him! Of course, that ended up being the trigger that made her realize that the man she wanted was right in front of her all along, but I would have preferred her to come to that conclusion on her own « Hide Spoiler. But it all works out, and it wasn’t enough to lessen my love of the story.
Another fantastic read from the brilliant Ms Clayton. I finished this book hugging my kindle with a huge cheesy grin on my face. Can’t wait for more.