Thursday, September 11, 2014

Review: Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton

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?

4 screwed stars 

Review by Natasha Gentile

Meet Vivian Franklin, who is by day, Viv Franklin, who 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.

So right away I connected with Viv, not because I design software but because I’m a romance novel junkie. Her mother is ready to get her married off, so she sets her up on blind dates; blind dates that instead of being into these guys she’s thinking about her new romance novel waiting for her at home.  I mean since when do we go for the guys our mothers pick out?

My type and my mother’s type were as different as tuna fish and a curling iron.  I liked a bad boy, and had enjoyed some a time or two.  I preferred them a bit rough, tough looking.  Messy Hair? Yes, please.  Artistic?  Yes, Please-musician, painter, performance artist, what have you.
My mother’s type was everyone’s type: good provider, steady, accomplished, smart, sociable at parties, and enough sperm to breed a Catholic guilt into the next generation several times over.

What’s a hopeless romantic to do?

When she gets a phone call in the middle of the night informing her that a) her dead great Aunt Maude is dead and B) she’s left you her house in Mendocino, California, on the beach and, oh, the house comes with a ranch. Her head starts to twist and turn, she’s going to move to California and live in the house.

So now I stood at the curb at the airport, surrounded by suitcases and duffel bags, ready to head west.  I had a new romance novel downloaded to my Kindle for the five-hour flight, and a bubbling excitement at the embarking on my very own adventure, just like the ones in my favorite books.
Bring it.
I’m pretty sure that in my romance novels, the heroine always arrives at her new destination fresh and unwrinkled, smelling of gardenias and excitement.  I arrived at San Francisco International Airport with swollen ankles and a T-shirt covered in marinara sauce from an in-flight argument with a chicken parm..I smelled like recycled airplane air.  I was exhausted and cranky from staying up late with the last-minute packing, and annoyingly horny due to my marathon read of Lions of Endearment.

Bring on some excitement. Bring on the romance. Bring on the cowboys. I mean every ranch has them; it’s the number one reason to live on a ranch- the cowboys, is it not?  If I had a ranch I would have more cowboys than horses.  I mean they have the shirts saying “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”; it would just be helping out society, right?

Meet Cowboy Hank.

I saw a distant rider on a black horse on the pristine beach below, which curved as far as the eye could see.  My toes curled in up in joy.  He splashed through the surf, galloping through the waves.  Hurtling down crooked, winding steps, down, down, toward the beach.  I forgot my brick shoe, I forgot my ripped jeans, I forgot everything but…the rider.
And as he galloped closer, his features were revealed.  And by feature, I mean he wore not a stitch of clothing upon his mighty chest.  Long, strong legs wrapped around the powerful black stallion, which snorted and tossed its head into the sea spray.  Legs wrapped around the luckiest denim ever sewn led my eyes up, up, up to the most chiseled chest and abs cut into his golden wet skin by the hand of sweet merciful God himself.  Arms? His arms were like pythons, his hands holding the barest of reins, preferring to guide his horse with a gentle nudge and prod.  And speaking of a nudge and prod.  His manhood was apparent even through his jeans.

I mean seriously- you get a house on the beach and a ranch and get a cowboy!!!  Life is so not fair sometimes, because I swear if that were me I would probably be inheriting a cowboy from the 70’s, with a checkered shirt and sweat stains under the pits…It’s so not fair.  So this must be her romance novel coming to life. But romance novels always come with a twist.  So what’s the twist you ask? That twist is none other than her geeky librarian Clark.

Brown Hair.  Brown eyes behind dusty –looking eye glasses.  White button-down tweed jacket with…elbow patches?  He was tall, carried a briefcase, and looked exactly like tom, dick and harry.  I could handle this.  Hell, I’d just defeated an entire legion of heads. 

So this is a no brainer right, she’s obviously going for the cowboy, Hank.  Clark with his tweed jackets and dusty glasses, he’s the nerd guy in the book that you don’t even pay attention to, isn’t he? He’s just thrown in there, except then he’s clashing with her, he’s pissing her off, he’s making her giggle. He’s so not what you thought about wanting right, but isn’t that always how it is.  Don’t you always get attracted to the things you know you’re going to hate at the beginning?

Well, I’m only human.  And a human who is living in her own romance novel, remember?  The house, the ocean, the cowboy?  There’s your passion.  Adventure.  Purpose.  Intrigue. Wonder.

So in the end, who does she get to help her screw something in?  Or better yet who holds the screwdriver to her screw-the hot cowboy Han, or the nerdy guy Clark? It’s pretty clear who she should be with, but in romance novels, nothing is ever clear!

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