Updated: Aug 21
by Alice Clayton
Published by Gallery Books
Book 3 in the Cocktail Series
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?
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Contemporary Romance Fun and HOT
Screwdrivered is the third book in the Cocktail Series by Alice Clayton, and centers are 29 year old Viv, an intelligent, successful woman, with a rebellious side that shows with her tattoos and piercings. Viv craves one thing, something that has alluded her: real, true, love. So when she gets a phone call in the middle of the night, finding out her great aunt has passed on, and left her a big house and ranch across the country, she jumps at the chance. After all, all the romance books she has read starts off with something like this - why can't she get a happy ending? The house isn't how she remembers, but that's okay. Nothing some elbow grease, and renovations can't fix. Plus she has a hot cowboy that takes care of her animals for her, and she plans to woo him into being her romance hero. What she isn't counting on - Clark - the librarian/archivist/town historian who puts his foot down on the changes Viv wants to make to the historical house. With his tweed, and elbow patches, and his old fashioned ways, he is the total opposite of Viv, and a huge pain in her ass. Which romance is she living - the hard to crack cowboy who falls for the wild new girl in town, or the enemies to lovers, where two opposites find their way to one another?
Oh. My. God. I loved this book. Once again, Alice Clayton manages to write a simple, yet steamy romance, that will have you curling your toes as you read it. I kid you not - the sexual tension in this book is AMAZING. The chemistry between Clark and Viv is delicious. And this is way too much information, but as I was reading the climax of this book - ahem - I couldn't wait to jump my own husband. I love a good enemies to lovers trope, and Screwdrivered is just that. The writing style was a fun change up as well. With Simon and Caroline, Alice had this quirky, fun style that added so much to the story. And we still get that with Viv's story, but it isn't a copy and paste situation, which is what I was afraid of. Nope, Viv's got her own vibe. I love that we get an MC that is obsessed with romance novels, and often daydreams that she is immersed in the story. It adds a new element of fun to Alice's writing.
If you were worried you wouldn't like this book because it isn't Simon and Caroline - don't worry. I promise you will love this book. Funny, quirky, and sexy as hell, Screwdrivered will entertain you from the first page to the last.
Viv flirting with Clark just to get him all flustered.
The epic argument over the balustrade
Poor Clark getting his nose punched accidently by Vivian
Viv explaining what the Drake equation was and Clark letting out a little whimper.
Viv calling Clark when she was stuck in the porch, and her happiness over catching the bat.
Clark and Viv's phone calls when she is in Philadelphia
Love that he smells like Irish Spring. Same soap my husband uses <3
Viv getting jealous at the bar
Clark coming to make sure the tarp was holding during the storm, and Viv falling in love with Clark in that moment
THE BALUSTRADE OH MY GOD
"I've got this." Damn right you do.
Viv: "Dick? Can I call you Dick?"
Richard: "Actually, I'd prefer Rickard, but -"
Viv: "Dick, I'm going to stop you right here. This was a mistake."
He looked crestfallen.
Richard: "Darn it all, I knew I should have ordered the chicken fingers. This berretta cheese is a little too exotic for my taste too. Let me see if I can get our waitress and -"
Viv: "It's not the cheese, it's not the restaurant, it's not even you, Dick. It's me. I should never have let my mother talk me into this."
Richard: "Your mother is terrific. Great assets."
Viv: "No more asset talk. I want to be romance; I want to be swept away - I want something special, rare, passionate, out of the ordinary! I want someone who will sweep everything off the table, throw me across it, and ravage me to within an inch of my life. Can you do that, Dick?"
I slammed down the rest of my Scotch, meeting his eyes in challenge.
Richard: "Passionate? Out of the ordinary?"
He gulped, pulling at his tie. Then a strange look came over his face.
Richard: "You mean like, in the butt?"
he whispered, with an exaggerated wink.
Oh. My. God.
Viv: "It's Viv. And if I decide to rip off my front porch, I'll make sure to call you first, huh?"
Clark: "I'm not too comfortable with that phrase. Restoration work has to be slow and methodical. Patient."
I leaned one hand on the car behind him, bringing me a bit closer. It was fun making this guy blush.
Caroline: "I don't know. Sometimes fast and hard and furious has its place - know what I mean, Clark?"
Cue blush. Also cue eye sparkle.
Viv: "What the hell is a balus - Whatever you called it?"
Clark: "A balustrade, Vivian, is the row of individually carved spindles and the bannister they're connected to. Which you want to casually throw out like a load of kindling -"
Viv: "I did not say I wanted to throw it out; just that it needed some work so that I don't go tumbling down ass first some night when I'm throwing out buckets of rainwater pouring through the sieve masquerading as a roof! All I suggested was that perhaps replacing the old pieces with something newer might make thing a bit more safe and -"
Clark: "You can't replace a balustrade like that! They literally don't make them like they used to. You think you can just waltz into a Home Depot and pick up a balustrade that -"
Viv: "If you say balustrade one more time, I will slap you right in your very own balustrade!"
Clark: "That doesn't even make sense!"
Viv: "This burger is so good, it's stupid. I thought California was supposed to be full of vegans sprinkling sprouts on everything."
John: "That's at the restaurant across the street. You detox there, you come here when you want real food."
Viv: "I love you."
I said, stroking my burger like a kitten.
John: "Me or the cheeseburger?"
Viv; "I can no longer separate the two."
Viv: "Would you care for some coffee?"
His mouth hung open in midrant. I leaned in, pushed his chin up and closed his mouth, then turned for the kitchen.
Viv: "Follow me, Clark. I hope you like it strong."
Clark: "Like you wouldn't believe."
Viv: "It's falling apart. It's rickety, it's unsafe, and it gave me a splinter the other day! See?" I shoved my hand under Clark's nose, and his eyes grew big. Perhaps because last time I was so close to his face, I'd drawn blood.
Clark: "I hardly think that a splinter is a reason to tear down the entire balustrade. But I am sorry about your splinter."
Clark: "You've got five older brothers?"
Clark: "And they're all back in Philadelphia?"
Viv: "Yeah. Why?"
Clark: "No reason."
Clark: "One would think it unwise, Vivian, knowing the condition of this rotten wood, to traipse about so carelessly."
Viv: "One would think that after getting punched in the nose one would be unwise to provoke me."
Clark: "You're the one stuck in the porch. You sure you want to pick a fight with me right now?"
Viv: "Okay, fine. No fight picking. But do something, Clark."
Clark: "I'm waiting for the magic word."
Viv: "Um, now?"
Clark: "Come on."
Jessica: "Where's the happy ending?"
Viv: "Mmm, the happy ending."
I sighed, licking my fork.
Jessica: "You're disgusting."
Viv: "Horny. There's a difference."
Clark: "Do I sound like I'm kidding?"
Viv: "To be fair, I've never heard you kidding. Who knows what you sound like?"
Clark: "You've never heard me do a number of things, Vivian. You have no idea what I might sound like."
Clark: "What did you just do? You sound different."
Viv: "I just turned around in bed, I had my feet up against the wall before."
Clark: "And now?"
Viv: "I'm lying the right way."