Mai Tai'd Up
By Alice Clayton
Released: December 2nd, 2014
Mai Tai’d Up is the final installment in Alice Clayton’s Cocktail series, aside from a novella that recently came out earlier in the month. I know, we can all start crying right now. Luckily for us, though, Clayton ended on a strong note.
The book opens with Chloe Patterson (cousin to Clark Barrow, who was a main character in Screwdrivered, the third book), who will be marrying the man of her dreams, Charles, in just a few days. Well, more like the man of her mother’s dreams. Ever since she was a child, she has done her best to please her mother, which means she was constantly applying and winning beauty contests as well as volunteering for groups that her mother supports. She’s a bit of a socialite and Chloe does her best to live up to her expectations. But on the day of her wedding, Chloe realizes that she will never be able to marry Charles, as she doesn’t love him. Reacting to a split second decision, she runs out on her marriage, leaves for Monterey, and goes to her father’s old family ranch. While there, she decides to open up a rescue center of abused pit bulls, called “Our Gang.” In the course of building it and getting it started, she meets a charming – and incredibly hot – veterinarian, Lucas Campbell. And it just so happens that Lucas was left at the alter on his wedding day. Oh, boy.
Both Chloe and Lucas agree that their relationship will remain friendly, as they don’t want to get involved so soon after their bad break-ups. But their hearts have different plans. Between rescuing abused dogs, paddle boarding, and county festivals, they grow closer than they ever anticipated. But Chloe doesn’t know how to tell Lucas that she was guilty of leaving her husband. What will become of the man she’s fallen for when he learns the truth? With a few Mai Tais, the truth might come out – and it’s more than either of them can take.
God, I love Alice Clayton. If any of you have read my previous review of Screwdrivered, you’re probably tired of hearing me praise her. But all of her romances deserve all the praise they get. Just the like previous installments in this series, there is fun, humor, and heart galore. It was especially nice seeing Chloe grow up and learn that she doesn’t need her mother’s approval for everything and that she doesn’t need to feel guilty about following her own dreams. Chloe was probably one of the “weaker” heroines that Clayton had written, but it just made the fact that she grew into herself all the more satisfying at the end of the novel.
Lucas was adorable, too. In this book, unlike the previous two romances, their attraction is instant. With Caroline and Vivian, they fought tooth and nail with their boyfriends – oftentimes resulting in snarky comments and unintended dirty jokes – but the chemistry between Lucas and Chloe made this novel particularly enjoyable. The reader almost squees when they finally kiss for the first time. And the first romance scene? Adorably cute and incredibly sexy. Clayton knows how to hit all the right notes when it comes to humorous and steamy scenes.
So, this is another homerun for me and I absolutely loved the book. I think my favorite will always be Screwdrivered (because, I mean, come on – hot librarian?), but this was definitely a page-turner, too. Do yourself a favor and check out Alice!