The second in this series I have reviewed, I found this installment much more to my liking, with a very clever plot twist and inclusions that helped to fuel and push the story forward with humor, light and imagination. Alice Clayton returns to bring Screwdrivered, a clever pun on the DIY elements as well as a cocktail, and introduces us to Viv, a software designer who really lives for her romance obsession, particularly historical in genre. I could instantly empathize with Viv’s obsession: my obsession with historic romance notwithstanding. Viv is clever, determined, and wild-child notwithstanding, a touch obsessive.
Again, Clayton uses some really clever casting and insets, with Viv breaking into ‘retro-feeling romance novel speak’ when we are treated to her interior monologues, and the bleed-through from imagination to real life with increasing frequency is hilariously depicted. The love ‘triangle’ that Viv has between Hank the cowboy and Clark the librarian who also is a bit of an historical nazi when it comes to renovations and changes Viv wants to make on the cottage. The dialogue and needs that each character fits in their interactions with her are clever – while she is rather blind to the whole “who fits best for the long term” aspect of their relationships.
Narration in this is again provided by Heather Smith, and while I was not a huge fan of the repeated pauses (some pregnant – with twins and no explanation from text or intention that I could see) and a touch of over-arching emotion added, there was a marked improvement from my first encounter with her work. The characters are voiced with distinction, and she managed to keep all of the characters straight (a trick, as this brought characters from the earlier books as well as new voices just for this story).
I’m not sure what I was looking for in this title – what I got was a cleverly plotted and paced romantic comedy that is a bit slow to grow, but when it gathers steam is full on to the finish. Fans of Clayton’s work will certainly like this story, and fans of the ‘old school’ romance stories will get a kick out of Viv’s obsessions and interior monologues
Stars: Overall: 4 Naration: 3 Story: 4
Author: Alice Clayton
Narrator: Heather Smith
Published by: Gallery Books, SimonandSchuster.com/Audio
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 16 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound
Readers back for a third round of the bestselling Cocktail series will enjoy a madcap romantic comedy about bodice ripping and chest heaving, fiery passion and love everlasting. Plus a dash of paperwork filing and horseshi—wait, what?
By day, Viv Franklin designs software programs. By night, Vivian’s a secret romance-novel junkie who longs for a knight in shining armor, or a cowboy on a wild stallion, or a strapping firefighter to sweep her off her feet. And she gets to wear the bodice—don’t forget the bodice.
When a phone call brings news that she’s inherited a beautiful old home in Mendocino, California from a long-forgotten aunt, she moves her entire life across the country to embark on what she sees as a great, romance-novel-worthy adventure. But romance novels always have a twist, don’t they?
There’s a cowboy, one that ignites her loins. Because Cowboy Hank is totally loin-ignition worthy. But there’s also a librarian, Clark Barrow. And he calls her Vivian. Can tweed jackets and elbow patches compete with chaps and spurs? You bet your sweet cow pie.
In Screwdrivered, Alice Clayton pits Superman against Clark in a hilarious and hot battle that delights a swooning Viv/Vivian.
Also within this book, an answer to the question of the ages: Why ride a cowboy when you can ride a librarian?
A copy of this title was provided via for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.