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PJV Quickie: Reading a book by Alice Clayton is like having a gabfest with your besties – hanging out with your girls, plenty of  laughs, and dishing about sex and how much your significant other makes you crazy… and makes you crazy *wink*.  It was so much fun to dive back into the world Ms. Clayton has created in her Cocktail series!

I received this book for free from Provided by Publicist in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton #Review

Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton

Series: Cocktail #2
Published by Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster on June 24, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: Provided by Publicist
Also by this author: Wallbanger, Nuts,
4 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!

Review: I don’t know why, but I didn’t realize Rusty Nailed was a continuation of Simon and Caroline’s story in Wallbanger (Cocktails #1 – my review here)… I thought it was going to feature their friends.  Don’t get me wrong though, I loved it!  So many times the author finishes a couple’s story and then that’s it – their story is done.  But Rusty Nailed gives us a look at the journey to Simon and Caroline’s HEA:  There are a few bumps and some lack of communication (don’t worry – it’s not a “Big Misunderstanding” trope, I promise) but reading these two grow and change was exciting (Caroline’s job), sweet (Simon’s assessment of his life goals), funny, and oh-so-sexy.  I like that we get to see how they’re going to handle things as a couple and that cements their HEA for me.

Caroline has more responsibilities at work, and Simon has a life-altering visit to his home-town, resulting in him taking fewer jobs and being around like an old retired guy.  You’d think that would be boring, but I assure you, it’s not – it was actually quite endearing and may have elicited a few “awwws” once I realized what was going on.  I like him even more than I did at the end of Wallbanger.

I’m pleased to say Alice Clayton does not suffer from “2nd Book Slump”; Rusty Nailed was like coming home to old friends and catching up on all the gossip that you missed while you were gone. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book, Screwdrivered, which features a different couple.

Recommendations: Fans of humorous Contemporary romance will adore this series (I think Rusty Nailed could work as a stand-alone but you get so much more if you start with Wallbanger).  If you like Penny Reid’s Knitting in the City series, or Emma Chase’s Tangled series, I’d suggest giving Alice Clayton a try.

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