Friday, January 23, 2015

Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton

Cocktail #2
Caroline and Simon are just living life. He is still a globe trotting photographer and she is working for Jillian, who is planning a wedding to Benjamin. Simon is the best man and Caroline is a bridesmaid.
Jillian gives Caroline a big job to get a bid on - a hotel refurbish in Sausalito. She works like crazy on it and wins the bid. But Simon is bummed because she is not readily available when he is in town.
The wedding comes along and Caroline finds out that they intend to take an extended honeymoon. She will be in charge. WHAT!!
Now Caroline's life is going crazy. She works all the time. She did not get to visit her parents on Thanksgiving because she had to work on a design job that was misplaced. But she has managed to take a weekend off to go to Philadelphia with Simon for his 10th high school reunion. Now they were headed into the Christmas season. Caroline is busy running the design firm but Simon cancelled a few jobs. Why?  What is going on with him? Will Caroline be okay with change?

I loved this one.

From the author:
In this sequel to Wallbanger, fan favorites Caroline Reynolds and Simon Parker negotiate the rollercoaster of their new relationship while house-sitting in Sausalito.
Playing house was never so much fun—or so confusing. With her boss on an extended honeymoon, Caroline’s working crazy-long hours to keep the interior design company running—especially since she’s also the lead designer for the renovation of a gorgeous old hotel. And with Simon, her hotshot photographer boyfriend, gallivanting all over the world for his job, the couple is heavy-duty into “absence makes the heart grow fonder” mode. No complaints about the great reunion sex, though!
Then a trip back east to his childhood home has Simon questioning his nomadic lifestyle. He decides to be home more. A lot more. And he wants Caroline home more, too. Though their friends’ romantic lives provide plenty of welcome distraction, eventually Caroline and Simon have to sort out their relationship. Sure, more togetherness is a good thing—but does less traveling and working have to mean the other extreme? Apple pie and picket fences? 
Excerpt:
I let myself in, looking around for Clive but not seeing him. I had an idea where he might be, though. Kicking off my shoes, I padded quietly back to the bedroom, peeking my head around the door.
Tucked into the one corner of the bed I typically allowed him was Simon, still sleeping off his long trip home. Curled into a ball behind Simon’s knees, Clive opened one eye and registered that I was home. He flicked one ear and stretched his back out, tucking himself tighter into his favorite spot.
I whispered, “Hiya, Clive, how’s my sweet—” He cut me off with a quiet but very curt meow. And he gave me a very specific look, letting me know that my boys needed their sleep and I should leave well enough alone. I chuckled to myself as Simon let out a loud snore, then backed away. Clive remained behind Simon’s knees.
Simon’s Knees . . . What a great name for a band.
While the boys slept I did some laundry, I worked on some sketches for the new hotel project, and I baked. Baking centered me, helped me focus and see my way around corners, especially when I was working on something new. Two loaves of zucchini bread later, I was perched on the kitchen island with a colored pencil in my mouth when I heard shuffling.
Simon came into the kitchen, nose first. I caught my breath, almost inhaling my pencil when I saw him in his loose pajama bot- toms, rumpled hair, and sleepy expression. I knew if I pressed my face into the exact center of his chest, he’d smell like Downy and warm boy. Heart, as always, skipped a beat.
“Zucchini?” he asked while sniffing the air, his eyes still at half-mast but scanning for bread. His eyes weren’t the only thing at half-mast . . .
“Zucchini,” I affirmed, nodding my head.
A slow grin crept across his face; nothing could make him hap- pier than homemade bread. Well, almost nothing.
“You want some?” I asked.
He walked toward me, and the bread behind me, with a deter- mined look on his face. “You’re kidding, right?” he asked, uncrossing my legs so he could stand between them. “I always want some.”
“Are we still talking about zucchini bread?” I asked, as his hands dug into my hips. Sliding me closer to the edge suddenly, he pressed a wet kiss below my ear.
“I’m hungry, yes,” he whispered, in a voice that instantly told my thighs to part. “And the zucchini bread can wait.”
I moaned. I mean, of course I moaned.

ebook248 pages
Published June 24th 2014 by Gallery Books (first published June 1st 2014)

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