Series Review – Cocktail Series by Alice Clayton

Book Review - Cocktail Series

Wallbanger, Rusty Nailed, Screwdrivered and Mai Tai’d Up (Cocktail #1, #2, #3 and #4)

Author: Alice Clayton

Publication: November 27th 2012, June 24th 2014, September 2nd 2014 and December 2nd 2014

Publisher: Gallery Books

Format: Kindle Edition 314 pages, ebook 248 pages, ebook 256 pages and Kindle Edition 273 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read: February 2016

Alice ClaytonGoodreads

Wallbanger Cover

Wallbanger

5 Stars

Synopsis
The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly…

Critically
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
hilarious, fun, quirky, sweet, entertaining, real, honest, includes a slow burn romance and a witty cat, fanfiction turned book but you can’t tell unless I tell you (which I just did)

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
hilarious, fast paced, detailed, descriptive, realistic, honest, sometimes dramatic, predictable

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
Caroline is a bit crazy but really sweet and quite funny. She’s really passionate about her friends and her life and her opinions which makes for great entertainment. She’s really determined to stick to her guns and it’s quite fun to see how she changes and develops throughout the book.
Simon is super funny and really sarcastic. He gave back to whatever Caroline threw at him which made for hilarious banter between the two. He’s really sexy and smart and passionate and so totally adorable. He has an outstanding personality and is also quite open and honest with Caroline.
I also really enjoyed the side characters introduced in this first book as well as their little plot line, it was really quirky.

Rusty Nailed Cover

Rusty Nailed

4 Stars

Synopsis
Playing house was never so much fun—or so confusing. With her boss on an extended 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. And with Simon, her hotshot photographer boyfriend, gallivanting all over the world for his job, the couple is heavy-duty into “absence makes the heart grow fonder” mode. No complaints about the great reunion sex, though!
Then a trip back east to his childhood home has Simon questioning his nomadic lifestyle. He decides to be home more. A lot more. And he wants Caroline home more, too. Though their friends’ romantic lives provide plenty of welcome distraction, eventually Caroline and Simon have to sort out their relationship. Sure, more togetherness is a good thing—but does less traveling and working have to mean the other extreme? Apple pie and picket fences? With this second book in the Cocktail series, USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton delivers another delicious, frothy confection of a book, shaking up her characters, stirring in laugh-out-loud humor, and serving sizzling romance straight up!

Critically
Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
funny, realistic, some drama, kind of boring at some points, a lot of day to day descriptions, includes work, relationships, a wedding, growing up and adjusting

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
hilarious, kind of lagging, detailed, descriptive, realistic, honest, a bit dramatic in parts, not as engaging when connected to the plot

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I love these two even if I wasn’t as invested in this part of their story.
Caroline is stressed and dramatic and has the tendency to bottle things up which was a little annoying but made sense to her character. But she’s still sweet and caring and funny and I love her development throughout this book.
Simon is so cute! He’s sweet and open and honest. He really opens up in this book and shares his vulnerability which if you didn’t know, is quite attractive in a man. He’s also really decisive and smart and I love him.
Also, quick note: Clive is my baby. I adore him

Screwdrivered Cover

Screwdrivered

5 Stars

Synopsis
By day, Viv Franklin designs software programs. 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?

Critically
Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
hilarious, entertaining, a bit predictable, lots of day to day descriptions, heaps of sexual tension, sweet, realistic, honest

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
hilarious, fast paced, detailed, descriptive, some cheesy sections, realistic, adjustment to accommodate the new POV

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
The characters from this book completely won me over and became my favorites of the whole series!
Vivian is amazing. She has such a contrasting personality. She’s spunky and stubborn and really smart. But at the same time, she’s a huge romantic and loves cheesy things and is sometimes completely overly dramatic. She’s also kind of clueless but it’s really endearing, and I love her!
Then we have two different male protagonists who are totally and completely different from each other. There is a slight prejudice on this slight love triangle but it makes a lot of sense and also makes the plot incredibly entertaining. Everything about this book is amazing.

Mai Tai'd Up Cover

Mai Tai’d Up

4 Stars

Synopsis
The gossip mill in the seaside community of Monterey is churning about Chloe Patterson, the newcomer who is starting a sanctuary for rescued pit bulls. It’s rumored that she’s a former beauty queen (true) who ditched her fiancé the morning of their wedding (also true). And that while she’s not looking for a new man, the good-looking local veterinarian has his eye on her. Absolutely, positively true.
When Lucas Campbell isn’t at the family veterinary clinic, he’s paddle boarding in Monterey Bay. Recently single, he’s definitely not in the market for a new relationship, but he still can’t resist taking a second, third, and fourth look at the recent arrival of Miss Golden State.
Neither Lucas nor Chloe has any interest in being tied down. Being tied up, however—now there’s a thought. But are a few Mai Tais, a moonlit night, and the music of Frank Sinatra enough to allow them both to forget their past? Let’s hope Ol’ Blue Eyes knows what he’s doing.
Mix one part tiki, one part kinky, and a splash of old black magic matchmaking, and it’s time to be . . . Mai Tai’d Up.

Critically
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
funny, entertaining, honest, heartwarming, sweet, real, unexpected in some things, really coincidental in others, but super cute

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
funny, fast paced, easy to read, descriptive, detailed, cheesy, unexpected, realistic, adjustment to accommodate the new POV

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, some new characters are introduced in this book and I quite liked them (not as much as Vivian though).
Chloe is our protagonist and we meet her briefly in the third book. She’s a bit naive but has really great intentions. She’s been submissive and kind of quiet her whole life but she’s now determined to stick it out on her own. She’s kind, honest and sweet and I liked her character development.
Then we have Lucas WHO IS A GINGER! I’ve talked about my obsession with redheads before but I’d just like to reiterate it here because LUCAS IS A REDHEAD! Anyway, he’s also charming and sweet and protective. He’s been burned and hurt before so he’s cautious about certain things which I appreciated.
I loved seeing some of the older characters from the earlier books show up in this one, made it feel like the series went full circle.

Emotionally

 This is one of my favorite adult contemporary series ever. It’s so entertaining and funny and I was completely enthralled with it.

The first book is amazing! If you didn’t know, this one is a Twilight fanfiction which has been worked over and published. This is the way that needs to be done. The plot is absolutely hilarious. We follow Caroline who has recently moved to a new apartment. To her surprise, she discovers that she can hear her neighbor having banging sex (literally) with three different girls in three days. That synopsis seem really strange and weird and boring maybe but it’s amazing! The execution of the author brings out so much more than just that. There’s a lot of focus on the romance obviously. I love how slow it is. The main characters start of as a kind of enemies, they’re brought together by mutual friends but don’t really get along. Slowly but surely, they get closer and closer and I love those kinds of developments where it’s not a connection right away, it builds over time. But besides that, there is also some focus on being happy with yourself and with choosing what you love and what fits you the best instead of what you’ve always believed you wanted. That was a side plot that I really enjoyed and found super entertaining too. It’s real and honest and the romance is beautiful. Loved it so much. Caroline is a little crazy but lovable. She’s slightly obsessed with a peculiar problem she has and on fixing it and she has quite a quirky personality. Her metal dialogue is funny and entertaining. She’s really sweet and honest and passionate. I really enjoyed her development. Simon is super sexy and just plain adorable. I loved him and how he treated Caroline. All the side characters were funny and entertaining. I really enjoyed to see their stories and how all their relationships grew. Amazing start to this series.

The second book was good. I really liked it but it was a little underwhelming compared to the awesomeness of the first book. The plot is real, but a little bit too much. We follow Caroline again, who thanks to her boss’ wedding and extended honeymoon, is in charge of the design firm where she works at. On top of that, after a trip back to his home, Simon suddenly wants to settle down and buy a house, which kind of throws Caroline for a loop. This one was super funny, just like the first book but it’s definitely a lot more serious. Our couple is dealing with a lot of grown up problems and decisions as well as trying to find their groove while growing together and moving forward. While not as fun or entertaining as the first book’s premise, I appreciate that the author took the time to show the struggles of a real relationship. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows and how it is when you’re trying to adjust to being a constant duo. Caroline is just plain awesome, but he anxiety level is so high in this book, she’s like extra crazy and dramatic. I liked that she wanted to keep her independence but I didn’t like how she kept her feelings bottled up, she spent too long doing that and it got a little annoying. Simon was quite patient and sweet which I loved. He’s just a great guy and I really loved his dedication to Caroline and their relationship. The side plot about the side characters brought a lot of comic relief and it was really entertaining. Last thing,  my little Clive broke my heart!

The third book is my favorite one in the whole series! Which is actually kind of surprising because I was a little apprehensive when I started it. The plot is entertaining. We follow Vivian, one of Simon’s best friends, as she suddenly inherits her great-aunts house all the way across the country from her family, in Mendocino, CA. Convinced her life is now a romance novel come to life, she makes it her mission to get herself a man, but things don’t turn out like she thought. As always with this author, the plot is totally hilarious and entertaining. We’re in a new place with a whole bunch of new characters that are really interesting and complex. It was a little bit predictable. There’s a mild love triangle and you definitely know who gonna end up the winner in the end but it’s so much fun to see the main character be a bit clueless and slowly get her shit together. It’s really hilarious to see her attempt to create what she thinks she wants and be carefully turned off by that idea. Viv is awesome. She’s really spunky and sassy so while similar to Caroline is somethings, you can tell their differences in this mental chatter. She’s rough around the edges and really stubborn which makes for amazing and funny banter between the main characters. But she also has a very fangirl side to her, the girl who’s obsessed with romance and romance novels Harlequin style and who only wants to have that kind of experience for herself. All the side characters are pretty great in this one, I love how we got to know each one better little by little. The love interests are total opposites and I love one more than the other (obviously) but they were both really intriguing and entertaining. I just loved this book so much, I’m totally obsessed with it.

This fourth book was really enjoyable but it didn’t blow me away like the third book did. I liked the characters but it wasn’t as exciting. The plot is unexpected. We follow Chloe, whom we meet very briefly in the third book, when she makes the decision to back out of her wedding the day of. To escape from the backlash, she goes to stay at her father’s vacation house in Monterrey and takes a chance on some of her dreams. I enjoyed how the plot moved at a slower pace to accommodate Chloe’s life but it also skipped the more unnecessary little details. She took control of her life and started to work on building a dog rescue and the process was interesting and very informative. I loved to see her enthusiasm for her new job and it was really cute. I thought the romance flowed in a very unexpected way. Both main characters had very similar backgrounds when it came to past relationships and they were both feeling each other but were also conscious of not wanting to have a rebound sort of entanglement that would ruin any real future they could have. That turned into a slow burn kind of development because it made them friends first and slowly built up their feelings for each other. There’s a very important play on a cliche that’s used a lot in books and movies and it didn’t turn out the way you usually see it happening which is quite awesome in my opinion. I liked Chloe as a character but wasn’t crazy about her. She was too naive and soft spoken in my opinion. I wanted her to have more spark and sass but it wasn’t her style. But I really enjoyed her character development and how she became more decisive. Lucas is quite adorable and HE’S A GINGER! I was kind of annoyed with some of his actions toward the end but they are totally understandable considering his past. All the side characters that were introduced were great (except for one but you’ll see when you read it) and I was really entertained by them. It was great to see some of the old cast of characters back again and it felt like the whole series came full circle.

So that’s it for this review! Bless you for getting to the end. If you haven’t read this series yet, you should definitely check it out. There is also a novella after the fourth book that unites all the different couples in the series and it’s so bittersweet and definitely worth the read as well. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!

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10 thoughts on “Series Review – Cocktail Series by Alice Clayton

  1. […] This is one of the more popular books that has been published. I’ve had a lot of blogger friends who’ve read it or are reading this series and the majority are surprised that this was a Twilight fanfiction. I think that’s because the characters in this book’s personalities are so different from Bella and Edward are which is what I meant when I said that the possibilities are endless. I see fanfiction as a way to hone in your writing craft, let your imagination run wild and get some free constructive criticism before delving into the harsh world of publishing and professional reviewers because it’s a lot tougher out there in them streets than what you think. Check out my review for the series here. […]

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  2. I’ve only read Maid Tai’d Up, but I really want to read Wallbanger, it sounds hilarious and Caroline is also an interior designer, so you know, that’s another silly reason of mine haha

    Liked by 1 person

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