One More Round
by Alice Clayton
Book 4.6 in the Cocktail Series
Simon and Caroline have it all.
A gorgeous restored Victorian house in Sausalito, flourishing careers, an eternal spark for each other, and a cat with more attitude than is legal in the state of California.
So what’s plaguing the couple of the century? They’ve got everything anyone could wish for, except...a family.
After several close calls, Simon and Caroline are coming to terms with the idea that being parents might not be in the cards for them. They’ve been married several years, and they’re realizing it may just be the two of them, forever. Which is okay, right?
Caroline’s career has taken an intriguing turn, Simon is working more than ever, they’re fresh from a trip across the pond to see their besties Jillian and Benjamin - things are falling into place, without a baby rattle.
But just when you think your life is set, the universe gives you a...twist.
Come back in for one more round with Simon and Caroline.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Contemporary Romance Sweet
TRIGGER WARNING: Miscarriage and traumatic birth
One More Round by Alice Clayton is the second novella in the Cocktail series, and once again centers around Simon and Caroline, a few years into their marriage. They have the dream life - a beautiful, restored Victorian house, successful careers, wonderful friends and get to top it off by travelling the world. There is one thing that they don't have though - a family. After several miscarriages, and no medical reason why she can't carry a pregnancy to term, Simon and Caroline have decided to stop trying, and be happy that they have each other. Until life throws in them a major twist.
This novella was much more emotional than I thought it would be. The Cocktail series has been fun and quirky to this point, and while it still maintains that element, it's also incredibly emotional. So many women have had the misfortune of going through miscarriages, and it's interesting that Alice Clayton has this happen to Caroline and Simon. It's not that I don't appreciate the storyline - I totally do. While incredibly difficult and sad, its nice to see that not everything is rainbows and flowers, and yes, many couples go through this. It just seems a bit out of place with the rest of the series. I could chalk it up to all these characters growing up, and with growing up, comes life throwing obstacles your way.
It was also relatable in SOME aspects. I have fortunately never gone through a miscarriage. I do, however, have two conditions that make getting pregnant difficult. So when I got pregnant the first time, I was shocked. And just when I got comfortable with the idea - WHAM! It's twins. Caroline and Simon's shock of multiples was funny, yet sweet, because it was much the same way with my now husband and me. The "What are we going to do?" feeling. I was brought back to my own memory, in doctors office, me being amazing at seeing a bouncing fetus on the screen, when off to the side, Ryan was - well, he wasn't breathing, because he saw the other one that I didn't. Much like Simon is the one who hears a third heartbeat. But add their happiness and shock that they are going to be parents, but the traumatic birth where Caroline almost dies - One More Round is one hell of an emotional novella.
I love that we get updates on the other couples in the series. Neil and Sophia are married and have two kids (and that's all for them) kids. Mimi and Ryan, who got together wanting kids, discover that they both love their lives together and their jobs, and decide to not have kids. Viv and Clark from Screwdrivered, are about to have child number FIVE, and are blissfully happy, but still bicker in the way we love. And Chloe and Lucas (Mai Tai'd Up) are still together, a year later, with no plans to marry. They just love and enjoy one another. And yes, the house is still a 50's time capsule.
If you loved the Cocktail series, you will enjoy this short read - but I warn you - tears will be shed.
Simon hugging Caroline when her voice broke a bit wondering if their good news would stay good news.
Simon passing out when they heard the third heartbeat
Caroline's story to Simon
Caroline surviving and them having three healthy sons.
Simon: "They freeze. Why would I lie to you?"
Caroline: "You told me everyone would be wearing wooden shoes."
Caroline: "And you told me everyone ate raw herring for breakfast, along with a side of chocolate milk."
I replied, and the tilt turned into a wicked smile.
Caroline: "Which was a terrible combination, by the way."
Simon: "Technically you are the cooked herring, not raw."
Caroline: "That's the sword you're falling on? It was still awful."
Simon: "New Year's Day, or I rent a blimp to fly over the city with the words I knocked up Caroline stretched across the side."
Guy; "Way to go, man."
a guy said from across the aisle, giving him the congrats chin lift.
Simon: "Thanks, man!"
Simon turned back to me, wide grin spread across his face.
I laughed and nodded.
Caroline: "Okay, come back down here, please. Now you get to come in my nook."
Simon: "Pretty sure that's how we got into this mess."
Caroline: "Look how cute you are. You made a funny."
Caroline: "So let me tell you a little story, and let's see if we can get you feeling better."
Simon: "A story? Caroline, please."
Caroline: "I'm literally carrying a litter right now. Don't fuck with me."
Simon: "Should a mother-to-be say such things?"
Caroline: "This mother says fuck."
Check out the rest of the Cocktail series below