13 December 2014

Mai Tai'd Up by Alice Clayton

Looking for the perfect mix of smart, sexy, and sassy? Mai Tai’d Up continues New York Times bestselling author Alice Clayton’s Cocktail series, which began with Wallbanger and continued with Rusty Nailed and Screwdrivered.

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.
What I have adored about every single Alice Clayton book I have read is that they are just truly funny.  The characters are witty, some of the scenes are over-the-top hilarious and basically, they just bring a smile to your face.  This book was most definitely not an exception to that rule.  I laughed by damn butt off. 
Chloe is 24 and has just realized that she cannot allow herself to float along in life anymore.  She has to have a passion and make her life better for herself so she has a chance at true happiness.  Unfortunately, this involves taking off to her Dad’s ranch in Monterey on the day of her made in country club heaven wedding to Charles Preston Sappington.  She just can’t marry him, so she doesn’t.  Now, she’s fallen into making one of her dreams come true by opening up a pit bull rescue, with the help of the local (and extremely hot veterinarian).  Unfortunately for her (and most fortunately for her sex life) Lucas Campbell is the local vet and he’s funny and great looking and they hit it off from the get go.  Neither wants a serious relationship, but the attraction between them is too good for either to deny.  Can they throw caution to the wind and act on the attraction without getting their hearts involved?
I’ll start of by saying that I was supremely entertained by this book.  My complaint is that as far as plot goes, I wasn’t too terribly surprised with how it turned out, but it sure was fun getting there.  Alice Clayton has a very original voice and is able to turn what can be a mundane store into an extraordinary one.  I laughed so hard at so many points in this book!  One more teeny, tiny complaint…the lack of sex.  For a book that drips with sexual innuendos, there just wasn’t enough bangin’ for this broad.  But, the buildup between Chloe and Lucas is pretty fantastic! I just really found myself thinking that I wanted them to get it on, like, yesterday.
Overall though, this was a very cute, very funny and somewhat touching story about two people and some dogs that I think is well worth the read.  The characters are great and actually believable, the antics are entertaining and if you love dogs, you’ll be a total sucker not only for Lucas but for some of the canine friends we meet in these pages.  4 stars.
I don’t recall being as sad while reading the previous books in this series as I was at times while reading Mai Tai’d Up. Nor do I remember being as frustrated with one of the characters’ parents as I was with Chloe’s mother. But as with all of the books from the Cocktail series thus far, Ms. Clayton managed to take me on one heck of a journey as Chloe tries to find Chloe and what it is that she needs to make life meaningful for her and not her mother or her fiancé.

After bailing on her wedding the day of (and blaming it on the doughnuts … LMAO), Chloe leaves her “perfect” life behind and goes to Monterey to decide what she wants to do with her life because she knows the path she was on, wasn’t working. What she finds is Lucas, a sexy vet who also happens to be a Ginger – her personal kryptonite. As Chloe embarks upon establishing a pit bull rescue & adoption center on her father’s family ranch, she finds herself working closely with Lucas and a friendship begins to form. When they share war wounds as to why they’re both single, she learns that Lucas’s fiancée left him at the altar. Because this was too close to what happened between her and her fiancé, she only tells him that they called off the wedding shortly before the ceremony and yep, that lie came back to bite her on the a$$ much later in the book. But before that unfortunate scene, I got to fall in love with Lucas right alongside of Chloe, for whom I developed a girl crush. Their courtship was sweet and romantic and full of laughs and if you read the book you’ll understand my choice of the word courtship.

I absolutely loved Mai Tai’d Up from beginning to end, devouring it in one sitting. Even when my heart was breaking for Chloe and Lucas, I was compelled to turn the page to see what happened next. I loved that we got to catch up with Clark and Viv from Screwdrivered, which was easy enough to do as Clark is Chloe’s cousin and they had a sibling-like relationship during parts of their youth. I loved it when Chloe finally stood up to her mother. I loved that Chloe found such happiness with the pit bull rescue. And I love, Love, LOVED the final scene of the epilogue because it left me with a huge grin on my face and a stitch in my side from laughing so hard. I cannot wait to see what you grace us with next in this series Ms. Clayton. 


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