Sunday, February 15, 2015

Title:       Wallbanger [Cocktail, book 01]
Author:   Alice Clayton
Rating:   ★★★

It was Valentine's Night, and I just wanted to find a sweet and lighthearted romance because I switched from watching Big Hero 6 to the Black Swan, and I needed something to make me feel good before sleeping. After much searching, I discovered Wallbanger, and the reviews kept praising it so I read it at 11pm.

I went to sleep at 3am, because apparently Simon can do that to you -- you know, keep you up all night.

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...

Wallbanger is both a mixture of love at first sight and hate you/love you tropes, although I find that it suited the latter better. The transition from hate to like to friendship to something infinitely more real was so well done that I believed in their romance, and that Caroline was the real deal for Simon.

I was expecting--from the title alone--that Wallbanger was going to be a raunchy novel with no sense to it at all. Oh gosh, it was way beyond just the sex scenes, from the innuendos to the established friendship between the two, to the sizzling tension and revelation of the characters, whom I grew to like and wished I was friends with. You know the type of fun friends you just want to be crazy with and could trust to have your back. I also admired that these women had their thing going on and they knew it. They knew they were pretty and desirable and they didn't shy away from compliments. They accepted compliments gracefully, and I liked that. No simpering misses or false modesty here, which is uncommon in chick lit/women's fiction.

Simon was this alpha who had a soft side and huge love for baked breads, while Caroline was a strong female protagonist whose life was going along well enough, except for the fact that she had gone without the O for months. So of course, with her wall frequently banged on by Simon's sexcapades with different women, she was more than curious as to how this man who can make a woman meeeooow looked like. Hello, hot alpha fantasy with the stubble and six pack and the V. Don't forget the V.

An additional endearing character here was Clive, Caroline's alpha tom, who was such a character. He had his own surprising POV by the end of the book, and his insight was delightful. I couldn't help but laugh at his sentiments on Purina. Poor guy.

Wallbanger was the perfect light and funny book I was looking for, although I feel that the ending was too drawn out and exaggerated Simon's endurance. But if you're looking for a good romance  to make you laugh or swoon (yes, some slight swooning was involved especially in Spain), I'd definitely recommend this for you.

Happy Valentine's Day :)