Released: June 24, 2014
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Gallery Books
Reviewed by Sarah
On the flap: 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!
This story begins with one of the best written prologues I’ve come across. It starts soon after they being their relationship and gives us snippets of their first year together. It moves us seamlessly to the current time where we get to take a deeper look at their connection. As you remember Caroline is very independent and driven, while Simon is a globetrotting photographer who at one time had a harem of women. At first glance, they seem to have settled well into their relationship. He still travels often which gives Caroline the space she needs. Then when he’s home, they go into their relationship bubble and focus entirely on each other.
As the months progress, various factors start to change how they relate to each other. Caroline wins a huge project at work but also takes on the responsibilities of Jillian while she’s away on her honeymoon. Simon begins to open up about his past and more specifically his deceased parents and hometown. After attending his reunion, he proceeds to turn down jobs to stay at home more. Caroline takes this as a sign of something being both wrong and annoying. She bottles everything up, expecting herself to be able to shoulder all the additional responsibilities and handle them with grace just as Jillian has always done.
For a majority of the story, I kept preparing myself for the other shoe to drop on their happiness. Sure they had stressors and tension but I was ready for something huge perhaps a death, some cheating, something. I never got that something big. What I did get was a realistic look into a relationship where people have to grow and adapt or it will never work. This story is full of laughs, drama, friends, a missing O, and Clive. Yes, the loveably grouchy kitty is back and to not disappoint, he once again gets a chapter.
This story is much like Wallbanger just a little less. It’s one I couldn’t put down and really just leaves me wanting more.
Rating: 4.5 stars
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I have a large appetite for books with pensive alpha males. I tend to lean towards erotica and contemporary romance. I am completely addicted to my Kindle and feel naked when it’s not with me. If you have any recommendations, feel free to email them. I’m a single-ish woman with two crazy dogs. I also love football and basketball. Living in Oklahoma City, my teams are the Thunder and Sooners.