Mai Tai'd Up
by Alice Clayton
Published by Gallery Books
Book 4 in the Cocktail Series
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.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Contemporary Romance Very funny & Sweet
Mai Tai'd Up is the fourth novel in Alice Clayton's Cocktail series, and centers around Chloe, a former beauty queen, who has fled her wedding. In an effort to put some distance between the life she fled, she moves 400 miles away to stay in her Dad's summer home. It doesn't take long for her to figure out what she wants to do with her life - help animals. So she decides to open up a sanctuary for pit bulls. Lucas, the local veterinarian, can't help being drawn to the beautiful, kind hearted Chloe. But with both of them coming out of complicated long term relationships, and their feelings for one another, neither one wants to chance it being a rebound. But with some Mai Tai's, a beautiful autumn night, and Frank Sinatra's voice in the air, will these two finally succumb to the feelings that are between them?
OKAY, before I get into the book, I need to tell you that the synopsis on the back of the book is incredibly misleading. Even the cover is misleading. There is no bondage. So if you are going into this book thinking it's going to be kinkier than other books in the series - it's not. I get what was trying to be done. Playing with Mai Tai, but I hate it a book is being peddled as something it's not.
THE BOOK is actually pretty great though. It's a refreshing, captivating romance, that has you swooning from the moment Lucas and Chloe lock eyes in a mirror at a bar. It even brings a lot of awareness to the sad stigma pit bulls have against them, and the horrific things that happen to these dogs. The characters are interesting, and I love the automatic attraction and chemistry between the two. The whole retro vibe, stemming from Chloe's house, was an extra element of whimsy to this romance, making it feel fresh. My only issue with the book was its predictability. But honestly, most romances ARE predictable, so I can't fault Alice Clayton on that.
If you love the other books in the Wallbanger series, or you just love a sweet, steamy romance between two kind hearted characters, I totally recommend Mai Tai'd Up. And it comes with a side of adorable pit bulls!
Chloe shoving another doughnut in her mouth to spite her mother
I don't want to marry Charles Preston Sappington
Her dad giving her beer before
Lucas and Chloe officially meeting and shaking hands their entire conversation.
Lucas discovering Chloe's pudding hoard
Chloe's memory of Clark (Screwdrivered) passing out from excitement on the Jurassic Park ride at Universal.
Lucas and Chloe pretending that they hooked up to blow Marge's mind
Clark and Viv visiting, and having dinner with Chloe and Lucas
Lucas bring Chloe fireworks, and they finally kiss
Chloe and Lucas FINALLY hooking up, and Chloe showing how worked up she was when she swore
Airport security helping Chloe talk to Lucas
Lucas coming back early, and forgiving her
What I could see now was that nothing about our relationship was "Holy Mary mother of God." It was smooth and beautiful and covered in swirls of yummy on the outside, but the inside was fat free and full of air and nothing. And if I was going to have a life of air and nothing, I'd at least like a big fat dick to bounce on.
Mother: "What a charming vocabulary you seen to have developed all of a sudden."
Chloe: "For God's sake, Mother, its 2014. This isn't some Edith Wharton novel. No one wears white gloves anymore, no one send calling cards, and women fucking swear!"
Chloe: "Thanks for making the meeting with Dr. Campbell happen this morning."
Marge: "Which Dr. Campbell are you referring to?"
I raised an eyebrow.
Chloe: "The father, of course."
Marge: "And the son?"
she asked, raising her own eyebrow. Oh boy.
Chloe: "You're a little bit wicked, aren't you, Marge?"
Marge: "Only a little bit?"
she asked, and I laughed out loud. This woman was a trip.
Marge: "What perfect timing. Lucas just got back after being away for a while. If you need someone to show you around town, I'm sure he'd be more than happy to -"
Chloe: "No no no, Marge, I'm going to stop you right there. I'm not interested in dating anyone right now. I just got here, and I'm dealing with some stuff -"
Marge: "Everyone's dealing with some stuff, darlin'. Sometimes it's just nice to deal with it while looking at a gorgeous hunk of a man."
Lucas: "Oh, you have a story too? I bet it isn't as bad as mine."
Well, fudge. Now I was intrigued.
Chloe: "Oh, mine's pretty bad."
Lucas: "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours?"
Chloe: "You think I'm just going to whip out my sad talk to see if it's as big as yours?"
Lucas: "Yes, that's the idea."
Lucas: "Pretty and practical. You're lethal, you know that?"
My breath caught as I looked up at him through my lashes, peeking at the cute in front of me.
Lucas: "You're blushing."
Chloe: "Let me blush while I make breakfast."
Lucas: 'What was his name?"
Chloe: "Charles. Charles Preston Sappington."
Chloe: "Yuck? You don't even know anything about him!"
Lucas: "Rick guy, right?"
Lucas: "Country club? Well connected? Shirt never untucked?"
Chloe: "Yes. Yes."
I said, then thought for a moment.
I admitted to the last with a sheepish grin.
Lucas: "I stand by my yuck. Yuck to Chuck."
Chloe: "Who was never untucked."
Chloe: "The best Monterey has to offer? What are you, working for the tourism board?"
Lucas: "Yes, exactly that. So throw all your cares away and enjoy Monterey."
he said, game show voice style.
Chloe: "Well now, that's just creepy. What are we doing?"
Lucas: "It's a surprise, but you'll get wet, so wear a bathing suit, please."
Chloe: "A bathing suit?"
Lucas: "Notice I said please. Something really skimpy and preferably see through."
Lucas: "Kidding. Not kidding."
Lucas: "Okay, suit is a definite, skimpy is optional."
Lucas: "If you don't want to do this, that's totally okay with me. We'll hang on the beach, maybe take a drive - we can do whatever you want to do."
Chloe: "I want to do this."
Lucas: "Great! Let's get suited up."
Chloe: "But if we see one mother-fudging fin, you're the sacrificial seal."
Lucas: "Hold it about midshaft now. Once you're standing up, you'll want to grip the end."
Chloe: "Midshaft. Grip the end. I see what you're doing there."
Lucas: "You're the one with the dirty mind, Chloe - I'm just trying to show you how to stay on top."
he said with a wink.
Lucas: "I've got soda in the cooler."
Seeing it, I scrambled over the truck bed, losing my towel in the process. And as I leaned in to grab the soda, I realized I had very nearly hit him in the head with my bum.
Chloe: "You want something to drink?"
Lucas: "Sure. Whatever. And feel free to take your time. Take a look at every soda in there. Twice, if you want."
I swung wide and made sure to knock him in the head with the object of his affection on my way back to my seat.
Lucas: "There were originally a dozen, but they were rather demanding."
Chloe: "The donut holes were demanding?"
Lucas: "That I eat them, yes."
Chloe: "Well, donut holes'll do that from time to time."
I took the opportunity to pinch Viv's arm.
Chloe: "Hey, I see what you're doing - knock it off."
Viv: "First, I can't believe you just pinched a pregnant woman. Second, I can't believe you are