Friday, June 27, 2014

Rusty Nailed, by Alice Clayton

Rusty Nailed picks up the story of Caroline and Simon, the hilariously sexy couple from Wallbanger. The first part of the book jumps quickly through snippets of their combined life for nine months– still neighbors, still a couple, still hilarious and fun. While the story starts to move a bit slow, it’s really an insight into the lives of two busy people trying to merge into a couple. 

He’s still trotting all over the globe doing his photography thing, and she’s just been asked to take over a larger role at her work as her boss, Jillian, is getting married and going on an extended honeymoon. 

“I gazed out of the window of my new office, realizing that with the bigger office came not only bigger responsibilities, but bigger headaches…I was frazzled, freaked, and fucked.” 

As Caroline takes on a major design project in Sausalito, life gets complex. Jillian has asked her to not only take over the office, but house-sit while she is gone. The couple finds they’re splitting their time on both sides of the bay, in their own apartments, together in either his or hers, and now, in the fabulous home of a friend. A trip back to Simon’s hometown for his high school reunion gives some insight into his past, and makes him not so distant. 

Seems like his trip home, seeing old friends and his old home makes Simon think of different times. While playing house, it appears that Simon has a bit of a shift in perspective, and stops taking jobs. He’s home more – and making Caroline freak out! 

“he was…around. And the thing was, I wasn’t.”

Caroline is working non-stop. She’s tired, stressed, and not telling Simon anything about it. She’s having some adjustment issues as well. 

 “Okay, I’m going to say the thing you’re not supposed to say. I’d be glad when I had the bed to myself again. I hate to say it, but sometimes I slept better when he was on the road. But you’re not supposed to say that, right?”

Oh how I can relate! For over a decade, my man has worked an evening shift, and half of the year, weekends. I had my own time. I hogged the bed until he got in it. Now he works days – and is home every night. Every single night. Talk about adjustment! I feel ya, Caroline! 

Their friends, Mimi and Ryan, and Sophia and Neil are still around and add to the hijinks. At times the story seemed to focus on the break-up of Sophia and Neil, but it didn’t overshadow the awesomeness of Caroline and Simon. Plus, Sophia delivers the best string of curse words known to man. I absolutely laughed out loud at her rants! The dialogue is sharp as ever, and again, the focus on couple-hood, boundaries, and trust comes through while dealing with their friends drama. 

And of course, Clive is there. I hate cats but that little shit is awesome! I’m so excited that there are more books coming in this series. While the next one focuses on Simon’s high school friend, I hope to see more of all of these people that I’ve come to love. 

Alice Clayton’s writing is honest, funny, and smart. I fell in love with Wallbanger – at first because I could relate to the late night noise coming from the upstairs apartment while I was living in Berkeley (although, said neighbor was nowhere as sexy as Simon!), but after, because she makes me laugh. She makes me long for the city by the bay. How I miss living in SF. While she mixes up some of the local landmarks (The Claremont is in the Berkeley hills, not Sausalito) and I have to believe this is intentional as so many other aspects of the locale are spot on so, she’s forgiven for this :)

And yes Alice, I do agree:
“A bowl of Pho on a chilly evening was the best thing ever” 

Check out her other works on Amazon:

and Barnes and Noble:

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