5+++++ REVIEW: Screwdrivered by, Alice Clayton

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Book 3 in Alice Clayton’s Cocktail Series

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Book 1 – Wallbanger

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Book 2 – Rusty Nailed

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Synopsis:

Readers back for a third round of the bestselling Cocktail series will enjoy a madcap romantic comedy about bodice ripping and chest heaving, fiery passion and love everlasting. Plus a dash of paperwork filing and horseshi—wait, what?

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?

~ Review ~

Oh Ms. Clayton – you’ve outdone yourself this time. Vivian Franklin is a ball of pent up energy DESPERATE for an adventure that will change her life. So when she gets a strange phone call in the middle of the night that her Great Aunt Maude has passed and left her everything – she jumps at the chance to head out west to California to take a look at the amazing beach house she remember’s from her childhood. It’s not just the inheritance – but she has the sense that this might be just the adventure she’s been craving for so long.

Her mother – desperate to get her girl married off and pregnant sets up on blind dates, and bless poor Viv she goes…. not in the sense that she’s hopeful, but it seems easier than denying her mother.

“My type and my mother’s type were as different as tuna fish and a curling iron. I liked a bad boy, and had enjoyed some a time or two. I preferred them a bit rough, tough looking. Messy hair? Yes, please. Artistic? Yes, please- musician, painter, performance artist, what have you. My mother’s type: good, provider, steady, accomplished, smart, sociable at parties, and enough sperm to breed Catholic guilt into the nest generation several times over.”

Viv is short – covered in tattoo’s and a few piercings and has the personality to match – she’s foul mouthed and pretty much the best character I’ve read in a very long time – you want to hang out with this chick and banter back and forth over pizza and beer.

Viv shocked her parents and ran off to Europe in the hopes that her artistic dreams would flourish – and she lived the life she had been daydreaming about for sooooo long –

“My. Parents. Were. Livid. I. Was. On. An. Adventure.”

“Lived in that way you can only live in your early twenties, when nothing truly epic has happened yet, and it’s time to just dance.”

There has never been a sentence written with more honesty than that – you can feel Viv’s need for another adventure – so when she packs up for a unknown length of time to head out to California to check out Aunt Maude’s house, she’s leaving with a hopeful heart and a very open mind.

Viv also has a vice for smutty romance novels (don’t we all?) and is hopeful that her night in shining armor, cowboy – pirate – what have you, will sweep her off of her feet and they’ll live happily ever after. And you must understand, with as much smut as she’s read, she’s putting him up on that romance Fabio pedestal and she’s hoping California is the place to find him. So when she finally arrives at the house in Mendocino, and goes exploring down the beach – she see’s her fantasy – a vision on horseback with no shirt and tight jeans heading her way – their interaction? Not the fantasy she had in mind….

“Those perfect lips parted and he said – “Hey, Lady, this beach is private property. Get the hell outta here.” He spun his horse and galloped away. But as a parting gift his horse crapped on the beach.”

“All great romance novels had a conflict to overcome right? Granted, they rarely started with horseshit, but I’d adapt.”

You can see clearly – why I love this girl.

The house isn’t exactly how she remembered it and has suffered in the wake of her Great Aunt’s eccentricities….. to say the least. She’s was a bit of a hoarder, and a scary one at that. Cans of Beanie Weenies stacked in the kitchen and scary porcelain dolls all over the house – and hidden throughout. And as she starts realizing the house needs a lot more work that she’d hoped, in comes Clark – the town’s librarian – and historian. And he informers her that she will not be able to make any changes to the Historic home without his approval. Que the western standoff  music –

These two – argue and argue and argue over any and all changes Viv has in mind for the home – and all the while, she’s still trying her best to seduce Hank, the farm hand cowboy of her dreams. But with every chance she gets – her feminine wiles back fire at every moment –

“I tried to contain my excitement. I tipped the beer bottle back to take a sip, sneezed suddenly, and poured it on the side of my face instead. Aw yeah.”

“Patience, Viv. Peal that onion. Reveal the layers. Anyone with a chest like that is worth waiting for. Worth sneezing for.”

A girl after my own heart – I understand your pain Viv.

Because no matter how sexy we try to make ourselves, or how confident we are (or pretend to be) there is a klutz in all of us – and that just makes me love her even more. Aw yeah!

We get a little glimpse of Simon & Caroline – which, I myself miss the SHIT out of. But Simon, Viv’s friend from high school comes to the rescue with Caroline, his interior designer girlfriend to help Viv restore the house to it’s better days – all the while, trying to keep Mr. Librarian happy.

Clark – what is there to say about Clark? I get the feeling he’s a little Indiana Jonesish and though he is a bit reserved, you get the feeling underneath that tweed coat with elbow patches – there’s a man of true smut romance potential –

The innuendo – ohhhhhhhhhhhhh the innuendo – Clayton always gives great innuendo, and as Viv and Clark get to know each other better, things start to heat up in the most deliciously tense way – frustrating and swoony….. it makes you long for those nights on the phone when you first got to know your significant other. When the sound of their voice when things got juicy gave you goosebumps…. that feeling you only wish you could bottle up and save for a time when it’s disappeared…..  Alice Clayton gave it – and she gave it good.

I read this book – start to finish and am now fairly awake after a quad shot white mocha.

Is the book hangover worth it? Aw, yeah.

~ Favorite Quotes ~

“He turned, leaning against the door, one arm over his head. Beef. To the motherfucking.Cake.”

“She on the crack? I asked her fiance, who laughed out loud.”

“Viv! Come on!” Hank called, baking away toward the barn and beckoning me with one finger.”
(Very Johnny Castle – don’t you think? Swooooooon!)

“No really – listen. I believe in signs, and that things are meant to be, I truly do. But try and be open to anything, okay? It doesn’t always have to be so hard. Sometimes falling in love just means turning around and seeing what’s right in front of you.” “You should be writing for Hallmark.” “Fuck you, Viv – this shit is gold I’m giving you. Gold.”

“With words designed to seduce, incinerate, and level, I ordered, “Turn around, please.” Aw yeah.”

“mother-loving balustrade.”

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