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 traveling, 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?
There are so many things that I love about Alice’s writing, besides the fact that I’ve been reading her work for years. She makes me laugh out loud, not many authors can do that. She makes me giggle at her female characters, roll my eyes at myself, and swoon over her male characters.
Carolina would have to be one of my favorite female characters of hers, because she has my dream job. She is the head interior designer at a small but profitable firm in San Francisco. She also a seriously hot boyfriend Simon, who is a very talented photographer that travels the world, and sometimes she gets to go with him. And then there’s Clive. The funniest cat ever. What more could she want, right?
If there would be a moral to this story, and I say this loosely, because Alice’s stories definitely aren’t about morals. LOL
*cue one of many seriously smokin’ love scenes*
I pulled back then took him in again, hard. Using my hands I caressed him, alternating my touch so he never knew quite where I was coming from, using my tongue and mouth to tease and tempt him, coaxing the sweetest dirty words out of that sent-from-heaven mouth of his. That mouth that I knew would exact the same sweetest dirty revenge all over my body.
I loved him this way, loved that I could make him this insane. But just before he got too far gone, he pulled me up his body and took my panties off before I could say, “Hey, those are my panties.”
See that there? She gets you going, then throws in the funny, right at the end. Love. It. So much more real. What was I talking about? Oh right, back to the moral of this story.
Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. Caroline always wondered if she would want to have a design business of her own, and gets the chance to experience it, while her boss takes a really long honeymoon, leaving Caroline in charge of her business and her boss’ home. Simon decides to take a break from traveling to stay in town for much longer than Caroline is used to, and takes on his own renovation/design project. Add to the mix their friends who used to date, are now fighting, every time they turn around.
What surprised me the most is that I have had the very same thoughts about trying to have it ALL, and what that really means.
*cue mental/emotional breakdown in pouring rain*
“You went to one reunion and partied with the apostles, and suddenly, poof! You quit your job….And f*cking James Brown called me a decorator! Again! And his wife’s name is Krissy, and she’s got a bun in the oven and I bet their f*cking nursery is just precious, so I told him you f*ck me on the counter and–“
“Stop. Just stop.” Simon grabbed my hands in his and held them down at my sides.
“How the hell can I ever be enough? How can I ever be the wife and the mother that your mother was? How can I ever make a home for you as wonderful as the one that you grew up in? How can I be designer of the century and still have time to bake pies?” I wailed, letting out the sheer terror that had been bottled up for months.
Note to self, don’t keep things inside, and hope that the man will understand and take it all in stride. Just a thought…
I absolutely loved this book, even more than the first book, which rarely happens for me. There is more depth in this one, maybe because we know what the characters went through to get to this point, and it is more sweet and funny.
One more thing. Close your eyes and imagine the hottest guy that you will ever see. Now imagine him wearing a tool belt. Just a tool belt, and nothing else. *fanning self* Yeah. You should definitely read this book.
I am also giving the book 5 best-nooking-ever stars and put it on my favorite and top-shelf-fantastic-reads shelf on Goodreads.
***Netgalley and the publisher provided an ARC for this review, but that did not influence my review. Excerpts are from that copy.***