by Alice Clayton
Published by Omnific Publishing
Book 1 in the Cocktail Series
The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she's gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor's nocturnal adventures.
Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy's athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly...
In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight...
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Contemporary Romance Very funny & Sweet
Wallbanger is the first book in Alice Clayton's Cocktail series, and centers around Caroline, a twenty-something year old, successful interior designer, who has recently moved into her boss's swanky apartment. It's perfect - except in the middle of the night, when Alice's neighbor seems to be most active. After multiple nights of listening to her neighbor literally bang his bed into her wall, and the interesting quirks of the parade of women he brings home, she has enough, and she pounds on his door ... forgetting she went to bed in a pink nightie. When she meets Simon, their chemistry is electric, and the sexual tension thick enough to cut with a knife. Caroline seems to have met her match in Simon, but with her self-imposed dating hiatus, and Simon's wallbanging ways, can these two neighbors see eye to eye long enough to see what is right in front of them?
So Wallbanger has been on my tbr for over a year now, and in an effort to work away at the never ending tbr, and not give in to #booktok recommendations all the time, I decided to give it a whirl. The cover, and title make you think that this is all sex, but it's delightfully balanced. It's not unique or anything. It's the whole neighbor trope, and it follows a pretty standard romance arc. The writing, however, is original. Stella's inner thoughts are often weird, ridiculous, and hilarious. There is a fun chapter where its all random thoughts of everyone in a car after an awkward event that had me cackling. The writing is incredibly descriptive, yet simple. As I was reading, I was able to "see" it all playing out in my head like a movie - which doesn't happen all the time for me.
The characters are okay. I mean, I didn't hate them. While reading, I found them enjoyable. I just don't feel the need to reread this story, or declare a character a favorite. But these characters are fun, if a bit ridiculous. Caroline especially is quirky. Her friends are kinda meh. If I had to declare a favorite, Simon probably would be it, as he is kind of the whole character package. Sweet, smart, funny, and sexy. And of course Clive, Caroline's equally quirky cat. He even gets his own chapter. Yeah. I know. The. Cat. Gets. A. Chapter. Don't worry, it's short, and it's at the end. And it's pretty cute.
If you are looking for a contemporary romance that will have you literally laughing out loud, and enough sexual tension that when the sex happens (and when it happens, IT HAPPENS A LOT), it makes your toes literally curl, you will enjoy Wallbanger. With it's quirky characters, and fun, engaging, imaginative writing style, I guarantee you will love it.
Caroline confronting Simon about the very loud sex
Caroline and the girls, and Simon and the boys, having a pounding contest on the wall
Caroline and Simon seeing each other at Jillian's party
Simon playing music through the wall
Caroline and Simon's texts.
Caroline and Simon making apple pie
Simon and Caroline watching The Exorcist, and being so freaking out, they "nooked"
Caroline and Simon's toast to each other
Make out in the hot tub
Simon getting Caroline a sweater from Ireland
The whole trip to Spain.
Simon coming home early to find out why Caroline faked it
THE I LOVE YOUS
The dirty talk involving baking had me crying from laughter
I slapped myself in the face and forced my mind to think of something besides the manwhore I was currently sharing a wall with. Inane things. Innocuous things.
Puppy dogs ... doggy style.
Ice cream cones ... licking his cone and two scoops.
Children's games ... damn, did I want to do whatever Simon Says ...
Okay enough! Now you aren't even trying.
Sophia: "So has he been wall banging at all this week?"
Caroline: "Relatively quiet, actually. Either he really listened to me and is being neighborly, or his dick finally broke off in one of them and he's sought medical attention."
Caroline: "Fucking Wallbanger."
His grin slid off as well as he played place-the-face for a moment.
Simon: "Fucking Pink Nightie Girl."
Simon: "Hmmm ... Well, good night, Caroline. Truce is still on, right?"
Caroline: "Truce is still on, unless you do something to make me mad again."
Simon: "Oh, count on that. And Caroline? Speaking of thin walls?"
The smirk reappeared and he said
Simon: "Sweet dreams."
He thumped the wall one more time, winked, and went inside.
Huh. Sweet dreams and thin walls. Sweet dreams and thin walls ...
Mother of pearl. He'd heard me.
Simon: "Truce still on?"
Caroline: "I don't know, what does Simon say?"
Simon: "Oh, Simon says, hell yes. It's on!"
Caroline: "What a disaster!"
Simon: "Could have been worse. You could have had to deal with this after only three hours' sleep, and being woken up by some woman screaming at the top of her lungs."
I arched one eyebrow, and he recanted.
Caroline: "Okay, bad example since that scenario is something you're familiar with."
Simon: You never answered my question.
Caroline: About whether I'm fucking anyone?
Simon: Jesus, you're crass. But yes, friends can ask that, can't they?
Caroline: Yes they can.
Caroline: You're kind of a pain in the ass. You know this, right?
Simon: Tell me. Don't get shy on me now.
Caroline: As it happens, no. I'm not.
I heard a thud from next door, and then a slight but constant banging on the wall.
Caroline: What the hell are you doing? Is that you're head?
Simon: You're killing me, Nightie Girl.
Simon: "So, what are you gonna do with that?"
Caroline: "With this?"
I asked, leaning over the board, and perhaps arching my back a little as I did.
Caroline: "I'm gonna roll this crust out. See, like this?"
I teased again, thrusting the pin back and forth over the dough, making sure I arched my back each time and the forward action pushed my girls together.
Simon: "Oh my."
Caroline: "You gonna be okay over there, big guy? This is just the top crust, I still need to work on my bottom."
His hands clutched at the edge of the counter.
Simon: "Apples. Apples. Gonna peel me some apples."
Caroline: "Let me just get you the peeler."
I said, coming up behind him and pressing myself against him as I curled around his side to grab the vegetable peeler from the other sink. This was fun.
Simon: "Peeling apples, just peeling apples. Didn't feel your boobs. No, no, not me."
He looked around for a dishtowel, and I turned to look for the one I knew I'd left out. I'd already started for it on the counter when I felt two very strong and very specifically placed hands on my ass.
Caroline: "Um, hi?"
Caroline: "Explain yourself, please."
Simon: "You told me to find something to clean my hands with."
he stuttered, trying hard not to laugh as he gave each cheek a little squeeze.
Caroline: "And you took that to mean my ass?"
I laughed back and turned to face him, removing his hands with my own.
Simon: "What can I say? I take liberties with my neighbors."
Caroline: Prepare yourself, I'm taking bread out of the oven.
Simon: Don't tease me, woman ... zucchini?
Caroline: Cranberry orange. Mmmm...
Simon: No woman has ever done breakfast bread foreplay the way you do.
Caroline: Ha! When are you coming?
Simon: Can't. Drive. Straight.
Caroline: Can we have one conversation where you're not twelve?
Simon: Sorry, I'll be there in 30.
Caroline: Perfect, that will give me time to frost my buns.
Simon: Pardon me?
Caroline: Oh, I didn't tell you? I also made cinnamon rolls.
Simon: Be there in 25.
Caroline: "Here's your damn bread."
Simon: "What the hell? Don't throw this. What if you bruised it?"
he cried, gently stroking the foil-wrapped loaf.
Caroline: "I worry about you, Simon. I really do."
I laughed, watching him struggle to open the end of the wrapper.
Caroline: "You want me to cut you a piece - okay, or you could just do that."
I frowned as he took a giant bite out of the end.
Simon: "Thif if mine, righ?"
Caroline: "How do you function in normal society?"
I asked, shaking my head as he took another monster bite. He just smiled and continued, eating the entire loaf in less than five minutes.
Caroline: "You're going to be so sick tonight. That's meant to be eaten piece by piece, not ingested whole." His only response was to burp loudly and pat his tummy. I couldn't help but laugh.
Caroline: "You're one twisted man, Simon."
Simon: "You're still intrigued though, aren't you?"
He grinned, turning the blue eyes loose on me.
My panties actually disintegrated.
Caroline: "Oddly, yes."
I admitted, feeling my face flame again.
Simon: "I know."
He smirked, and we drove on. He winked, pulling a bottle
Simon: "I thought we could make some Wallbangers."
Caroline: "Now isn't that interesting. I was thinking the same thing."
I countered, pulling an identical bottle from my duffle.
Simon: "I knew you were dying to get me inside you, Caroline."
Caroline: "Please, you would make up a drink and call it Pink Nightie just to have me in your mouth - and don't even try to lie."
Simon: "Is that an invitation? Cuz I'm a hell of a bartender."
Caroline: "I've no doubt."
Caroline: "Why did you kiss me that night at the party?"
Once he realized I was driving this bus, he responded by pressing his hips into mine, bringing us closer together than we'd ever been.
Simon: "Why did you kiss me?
Caroline: "Because I had to. Why did you kiss me?"
Simon: "Because I had to."
he said, the smirk returning.
Luckily, I didn't see the smirk for too long. Because I'd finally discovered the secret of the ages.
How do you make a Wallbanger stop smirking? You kiss him.
You're such a pussy, Parker ... Jesus, Caroline - she's a fucking keeper ... Wait a minute. What the hell? Are you really entertaining the idea of a ... gulp ... relationship? And why the fuck did I actually think the word "gulp"? That was a little dramatic, Parker.
Simon: "I'm sorry I didn't play music for you this week. I'm sorry that I ... well, let's just say I'm sorry for a lot of things."
Simon: "Can I ask you something?"
Caroline: "No, I don't have any zucchini bread."
Caroline: I'm baking pumpkin bread.
Simon: It's a good thing I'm at a gas station right now and not driving or I would have a hard time keeping the car on the road...
Caroline: Right, the baking gets you worked up, doesn't it?
Simon: You have no idea.
Caroline: So I probably shouldn't tell you I smell like cinnamon and ginger right now?
Caroline: My raisins are soaking in brandy this very minute.
Simon: That's it ...
Caroline: "She said something curious."
Simon: "Oh yeah? What's that?"
Caroline: "She told me that I was, and I quote, 'quite lovely.'"
Simon: "Did she now?"
He laughed, easing back into comfortable.
Caroline: "Yes, and the thing of it is, she said it like she was agreeing with something someone else had already said. Now, I'm not a girl who fishes for compliments, but it would seem, Simon, that you were talking sweet about me."
I smiled, knowing my face was breaking into a pink glow.
I'd started for the bedroom when I heard a soft knocking at the door. I walked back to unlock and open the door, without looking through the peephole. I had a strong feeling I knew who was on the other side.
There he stood, phone cradled to his ear, holding his duffel bag and smiling a big, toothy grin.
Simon: "I told her you were lovely, but the truth is, you're more than lovely."
he said, bowing his head toward mine and bringing his face within inches of my own.
I know my grin matched his.
Simon: "You're exquisite." Caroline: "Can I make a suggestion?"
Simon: "Is it a lewd suggestion?"
Caroline: "Surprisingly no. Can we please turn on the GPS? I'd like to make it there before I have to leave in a few days."
Simon: "Caroline, only pussies use GPS."
Caroline: "Well, this pussy is dying for some dinner, and a shower, and a bed, and to get rid of this jet lag. So unless you want to see me reenact It Happened One Night, Spanish version, turn on the GPS, Simon."
I grabbed him by the North Face and pulled him down to me.
Caroline: "Did that sound harsh?"
I whispered, giving him the tiniest of kisses on the chin.
Simon: "Yes, I'm terrified of you now."
Caroline: "Does this mean GPS?"
Simon: "It means GPS."
Caroline: "Am I breathing?"
Simon: "You flail. I snore. Whatever will we do about this?"
He smiled happily, still half asleep.
Caroline: "Ear plugs and shin guards?"
Simon: "Yep, that's sexy. We can suit up before bed each night."
Simon: "A word, please, before you leave me - what did you say? Hanging free on the kitchen floor?" Caroline: "Yes, dear?"
Simon: "So, using the base-rounding point of reference we've applied to this week, I'd say we just skipped ahead a few dates, yes?"
Caroline: "I should say so."
Simon: "Then I think it's only fair to warn you ... tomorrow night? Your last night in Spain?"
Simon: "I'm gonna try to steal home."
Caroline: "Silly Simon, it's not stealing if I wave you in."
Simon: "I'll be home for a few weeks, and then I'm headed down south for a bit."
Caroline: "Down south? As in LA?"
Simon: "No, a bit more south."
Caroline: "San Diego?"
Caroline: "Stanford educated, right? Where are you going?"
Simon: "I knew with you, it would be an all or nothing kind of thing."
Simon: "All, Caroline. I need all of you. That night? Would have been great, but too soon. Now we're here. Where I can take my time with you."
Caroline: "I'm really glad we waited."
Simon: "Me too."
Caroline: "But I really don't think I can wait any longer."
Simon: "Thank God." Caroline: "How did you know?"
Simon: "Come on, sometimes guys know."
Caroline: "No, really. How did you know?"
He kissed my nose gently.
Simon: "Because all of a sudden, you weren't my Caroline."
Simon: "I'm a bit jetlagged, so a quick recap, if I could. One, you seem to have lost your orgasm, yes?" Caroline: "Yes."
Simon: "Two, brioche is really hard to make, yes?"
Simon: "And three, you think you love me?"
Simon: "You think or you know?"
Caroline: "I know."
Simon: "Well, now. That's something to consider, isn't it? You really have no idea, do you?"
Caroline: "No idea about what?"
Simon: "How thoroughly you own me, Nightie Girl. And I know I love you enough to want you to have your happy ending." Simon: "Do you have any idea how much fun we're going to have?"
Caroline: "What are you up to?"
Simon: "An O has been lost, and I'm a sucker for a challenge."
Simon: "Is any of that bread I threw on the floor ... well ..."
Simon: "Is any of it zucchini?"
Caroline: "Yes, Simon, there's zucchini bread."
Silence once again, but for the water.
Simon: "I didn't think I could love you more, but I really kind of do."
Caroline: "Is that the soap? Don't slip on the soap."
Simon: "I won't slip on the soap."
Caroline: "I don't want you to slip. Be careful."
Simon: "I won't slip on the soap. Now turn back around and be quiet."
Caroline: "Quiet? Not possible, not when you ... mmm ... and then when you ... ooohhh ... and then when you - ow, that hurt, Simon. You okay back there?"
Simon: "I slipped on the soap."
Simon: "Don't test me, Naughty Girl. I will dirty talk you right off this island."
Caroline: "Mmm, Simon, can't you just see me? Bent over, little apron with nothing underneath, rolling pin in hand, and a bowl full of apples?"
Simon: "Apples? Oh boy, I love apples."
Check out the rest of the Cocktail series below