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.

Goodreads Review: Accidentally in Love by Laura Drewry

In some of the podcasts I’ve been listening to, book reviewers talk about spacing their reading and reviews so that they read and review closer to the release date. If I get a book from NetGalley, I want to read it right away, because there was a reason I requested it in the first place. As for reviewing, I have been publishing closer to the release date, but I think I’ll start publishing ON the release date so that people who are interested in the book can buy it if they want to. If you want to buy the book, feel free to follow the link to my Goodreads page and access purchase sites from there. I admit it. I’m a lazy blogger. Someday maybe I’ll get crazy creative. In the meantime, go read this book!¬†

Accidentally in Love (Friends First, #3)Accidentally in Love by Laura Drewry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.

After a bad experience involving her stalker ex and heroin, Elli hates cops. So every chance she gets, she snarks and prods at one of the local constables, Brett, making sure he knows that even though they happen to hang with the same circle of friends, she has no interest in talking to him. But when her license is suspended and her creepy ex shows back up in town, circumstances mean she has to spend a lot more time with him since he becomes both her driving instructor and her fake boyfriend/protector.

This book kept me up way past my bedtime. I couldn’t put it down. I’d requested it because it looked cute, but cute is only one of the words to describe it. This story got me in all the feels. All. Of. Them.

The enemies-to-friends trope is often done with flat out hatred between characters, but it took a slightly different twist here. Elli just hates cops in general and Brett doesn’t really hate her at all. In fact, he kind of admires her, even knowing he has no chance. The development between them is a slow burn. The author paces the plots well, including the stalking of Elli by her ex, and how that plays into the relationship between her and Brett.

These two characters are so great. Elli played the damsel in distress, but only with regards to her crazy ex, the only thing that really seemed to scare her (understandably so). Brett was one of my favorite types of heroes: quiet, shy, unsure of himself at times, but an overall nice guy who just wants to make sure people are safe, especially those he cares about. He’s so sweet! These two characters play off each other perfectly and have an absolutely awesome chemistry. The dialogue between the two characters (and between them and secondary characters) is clever and funny and real.

The Romance Factor is 5/5 because I had so many “aww” moments and heart feels it made for a super fun read (hence being up way late to finish this one). The Sex Factor is at about a 2/5, but I’m adding in a Sensual Factor and giving it a 5/5. Basically, there is very little sex in this book, because with Brett being a constable and involved in an investigation involving Elli, he doesn’t want to do anything that could mess up getting her ex arrested, so other than a few kisses (and they are hot kisses), he keeps his hands to himself through most of the book (I suppose the Foreplay Factor could also be listed as a 5/5).

When sexy times happen, they’re not super dirty, so readers who really aren’t into the steamy stuff will enjoy this one. However, there is a very high degree of sensuality, and when Elli and Brett do anything together, you feel their connection and the romance between them and it made me want to melt into a puddle of happy goo.

I absolutely loved this book and recommend it to anyone who loves a good small-town, shy guy mystery.

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