Rusty Nailed (Cocktail series)
Gallery / June 24, 2014 / $15.00 print, $7.99 digital
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?
Alice Clayton's Cocktail series starts with a bang…and a moan. When Caroline “Pink Nighty Girl” first met Simon “Wallbanger” Parker, sparks flew…angry sparks flew. Simon and his harem of girlfriends were keeping Caroline up night after night banging on their adjoining bedroom wall. Sleepless nights are bad enough, but when pictures started falling on her head, it was Caroline’s turn to do the banging—on Simon’s front door.
The first thing I saw was blue. Blue sweater, blue eyes. Blue. Beautiful blue. Then I saw red as I recognized who belonged to the blue.
“Fucking Wallbanger,” I hissed, frozen on the spot.
His grin slid off as well as he played place-the-face for a moment.
“Fucking Pink Nightie Girl,” he finally concluded. He grimaced.
We stared, seething as the air literally turned electric between us, snapping and crackling.
While their initial meeting was anything but pleasant, a friendship grew between the commitment-phobic Simon, and the O-less Caroline. A friendship that would come to mean a great deal to both of them. The turning point of their relationship didn’t occur until Simon broke ties with his friends-with-benefits harem and opened up the possibility of a real relationship with Caroline.
I knew that he wanted nothing more than to stay in, veg out on the couch, and sleep with his girlfriend.
I still get goose bumps when I ponder this. I’m Simon’s girlfriend. He was once the Harem Master, and now I’m his girlfriend.
In Rusty Nailed, Clayton shows us that a good relationship can be all about sex, love and…baked goods? Simon might have been attracted to his hot, nightie wearing neighbor, but her love of baking and his weakness for homemade bread made her irresistible to him. We learn through her that there is nothing truer than the old saying “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Caroline and Simon enjoy plenty of naked time, but they spend as much of that naked time in the kitchen as they do in the bedroom.
But when my globe-trotting Wallbanger’s home, he’s home. Home with me, either in my apartment or his. Home with me for the dinners out with Jillian and Benjamin, or playing poker with the other two couples that made up our best friends. Home with me, in my bed or his, my kitchen or his, on my counter or his—home.
They spend as much of their sexcapades surrounded by brown sugar and flour as they do pillows and sheets, and when things get cooking between them, it is gets hotter than Caroline’s 350 degree oven.
He unraveled me, threw me over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry and slapped my bottom.
He then ate an entire load of zucchini bread with his pants around his ankles while he leaned on the counter, resting his head on my bottom.
“So remind me to never stop baking for you,” I said fifteen minutes later, when I was finally allowed to put my pants back on and start cleaning up the kitchen.
“Would that ever happen?” Simon looked stricken. At the thought that I might stop baking, or perhaps because he’d just eaten an entire loaf of bread?
In fact, food plays a major part in their relationship, whether it is cheesesteaks in Philly or slurping Pho in Vietnam, food and sex are the two strongest connections in their relationship. Instead of expensive perfume, Caroline would be better off wearing a sprinkle of cinnamon for her man.
He stopped as he rounded the corner to the kitchen. Perched on the counter, wearing an apron, a grin, and six-inch heels, was moi. Holding an apple pie on my lap.
I hopped down from the counter and turned around. Oh yeah, I was wearing the apron, and only the apron. And the shoes—don’t forget the shoes.
“Caroline. Wow,” he managed.
I grinned bigger. “I have pie.”
“You sure do.”
“Silly boy, I baked for you. Your very own hot apple pie. All you have to do is come over here and get it.” I broke off a piece of the crust and dragged it through the cinnamon sugar goo dripping down the side. Would he want pie or me first?
Caroline and Simon are finally banging on the same wall, but it now it seems to be mostly on the kitchen wall. For fun, sex and strudel, make sure to spend some time with these wallbangers.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton, available June 24, 2014:
Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com. Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.