Book Review: Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

I’d heard good things, but I waited until I was coming off a heavier read to enjoy this one, since people said it was funny. The premise seemed strange, at least for purposes of a meet-cute, but it ended up being really awesome and, as promised, hilarious.

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One-Sentence Synopsis
A woman on an orgasm hiatus is annoyed by her neighbor’s loud, wall-shaking sexual antics, not expecting that giving him a piece of her mind one night would lead to a strange friendship…and then something more. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

80% Satisfaction Rate
Having just moved into a new apartment, Caroline is happy with her life. She has a cat who doesn’t like men but seems to adore her, she loves her living space and her friends and her job. The only thing she doesn’t enjoy is the fact that a bad experience with an ex has left her unable to have an orgasm, even a self-induced one, and it’s put a damper on her sex life.

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Being Neighborly
If her lack of fulfillment weren’t already frustrating, her apartment walls are super thin, so she can hear the nightly activities of her neighbor Simon, who rotates through a “harem” of three different women, each with their own sexual quirks that Caroline identifies them by. At first, it’s amusing, but when Caroline can’t sleep because of all the noise, she snaps one night and goes over to Simon’s apartment to yell at him. What she didn’t expect was that from that moment, he was going to figure into her dreams and that coincidentally, their lives were going to intertwine through their friends.

I Am Woman
Caroline is cute and quirky, and when I first started reading, I thought she might be a little too cute and quirky. I know people hate the Mary Sue term, but part of me was cautious that she might be that type of character. She quickly became an easily likable character. I liked that she was comfortable with herself and referred to herself as hot. The girl had self esteem, even though she wasn’t in denial about her sexual issues.

How One Handles Their O
And that was another thing I thought was well done and not usually talked about in this genre: sexual dysfunction. While Caroline wasn’t assaulted, her bad sex experience did cause a psychological bump her in her sexuality, and I think this is something that doesn’t get talked about as much as it should. Being that sex is so intimate and important, there are a lot of things that can go wrong and trigger weird reactions. No, she didn’t treat the experience like a rape, and she knew it was consensual. But afterwards, she was rightly angry about it and obviously didn’t want to be confronted with her ex-again.

Simon Says
As for Simon, it took me a little while to get my head around the fact that the main love interest was going to be introduced via sex with women other than the heroine. I’m not prudish about this, and I’ve read many books where something like this is the case, but I don’t know…it just seemed strange in this setting. Once again though, first impressions dissolved once the story got going, and Simon’s development and the way he fell for Caroline was sweet.

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Minor Players
I loved the subplots as well, minor as they were. The relationships of their friends were funny, especially the role Caroline and Simon played in those mini-dramas. I also loved the cat, who, as strange as it sounds, is enticed by the meowing of one of Simon’s lovers. I know, it sounds weird, but it’s actually really funny in the context of this story.

Quirky Novel, Quirky Writing
The dialogue and banter is funny, and I enjoyed that even though most of the book is told from Caroline’s point of view, a few chapters take a bit of a different twist. There are chapters made up of nothing but texts between the various characters, a chapter where we read the various thoughts of four different people in a car, and even a chapter from the cat’s point of view.

The Romance Factor
There is so much foreplay in this book. Simon and Caroline go from enemies to friends, then friends to lovers, and every time they got cozy, I had that inner conflict of wanting them to do something and wanting them to hold out longer. I loved the evolution of their relationship and the way that Caroline’s orgasm issues affected how she saw things. Also, Simon turns out to be incredibly sweet, and though Caroline falls in love with him, she still seems happy to hold on to her independence. 4/5

The Steam Factor
The original scenes with Simon and the other women were more funny than they were steamy, but the sexual tension between him and Caroline definitely adds a high dose of buildup. When they do finally break through the tension (if you know what I’m saying), it’s hot, it’s a relief, and it goes on for a really long time. Even during the sexy times, there is still that humor that the book as whole has, and it makes those scenes just as fun. 4/5

Final Thoughts
This one kept me up late. I even tried to go to sleep and couldn’t because I wanted to see what happened next. I love the author’s voice and I enjoyed the characters and can’t wait to read more of this series, as well as more by Alice Clayton.

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