Series: The Cocktail Series #1
Published by Gallery Books on February 14, 2013
Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a Kitchen Aid mixer to die for, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O. Adding insult to O-less, she also has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Every moan, spank, and—was that a meow?—punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has—yep, you guessed it—no O. Enter Simon Parker. When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has…well…mixed results. Because with walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick. A delicious mix of silly and steamy, this is an irresistible tale of exasperation at first sight.
I read this book in a single afternoon. I made lunch and dinner with one hand. I ignored my phone and didn’t even look at the door when letting me dogs out in the yard. I ignored the outside world entirely because I honestly could not put this book down.
Caroline is feisty and full of snark. Simon is confident, charming, and oh-so-delightfully cocky. Their encounters begin with a standoff in the hallway over their shared bedroom wall and Simon’s not-so-quiet sexcapades with his harem of women that are literally shaking paintings off Caroline’s wall. A mutual acquaintance forces Caroline and Simon to call a truce to their war-of-the-wall, thus setting up what I think is one of the finest examples of friends-turned-lovers romance I’ve read in a very long time.
The dialogue is snappy, witty, and had me laughing out loud for much of the afternoon. And you could cut the amount of unresolved sexual tension between Caroline and Simon with a knife. (Seriously, there was so much build-up that by the time they finally got together, it was almost anti-climactic.)
Now, I will say that there are a few scenes towards the 75-80% mark that fall flat, particularly the chapter where the characters are coming back from Tahoe and the POV jumps around and around into each character’s head. This was disappointing as the characters’ thoughts were quite juvenile and frankly the whole thing just seemed like filler. Actually, the whole trip to Tahoe could’ve been cut significantly.
But in the end, this was still a delightful afternoon read. It’s light and fun with a great big dose of spot-on humor. Pick this up if you’re looking for a book with wicked, innuendo-laced banter and sizzling comedic romance.