Eligible bachelor Lucas Campbell is very available, but very picky. A veterinarian in Monterey, California, his life is perfect: he works, he sails, he loves the ocean and the mountains—so why rock the boat? Then Miss Chloe Patterson comes along.
Chloe has the body of a supermodel, the mouth of a sailor, and the fashion sense of teenage guy in 1990s Seattle. A former Miss California, she walked away from a cushy life, bought an old ranch outside Monterey, and turned it into Our Gang, a sanctuary for rescued and abandoned pit bulls. A woman who’s clearly not afraid of dog poop, she enjoys rehabilitating her “warrior angels.”
Local gossip reports that she ditched her fiancé the night before their wedding (true), and that she moved up north to start a new life (also true). She didn’t want to be tied down (true), but she wouldn’t mind being tied up—especially by that hot vet she’s seen around town a few times (true, true, and have-you-seen-his-butt?-true).
But is Chloe ready to date again? And is Lucas ready to take on not only Chloe, but forty pit bulls? One moonlit sail, two bottles of wine, and a few sailor knots might just do the trick.
If you judged the Cocktail series by their covers you would think the series is on the very naughty side. But honesty it’s not. Sure there’s hot moments but for the most part the couples in each book get to know each other before they hit the sheets.
In MAI TAI’D UP Chloe gets cold feet on her wedding day and runs out. She finds herself 400+ miles away from home and all she knows starting a new life in a small town where she meets the very sexy veterinarian, Lucas. But Chloe and Lucas are both getting over bad break ups and do their best to keep their relationship at the ‘just friend’ stage even though there is some serious chemistry and sexual tension between them.
Over the course of MAI TAI’D UP Chloe and Lucas become very close friends and they can no longer fight their attraction to each other. But it’s not a clean HEA they have a huge road block after they get together. But don’t worry they work things out and get that HEA.
I really enjoyed MAI TAI’D UP by Alice Clayton. Readers could easily start with any book in Cocktail series but if you do you should read WALLBANGER thenRUSTY NAILED in that order because those two novels focus on the same couple. MAI TAI’D UP can easily be enjoyed as a stand alone but I highly recommend the whole series. Each novel includes a look at some of the other couples but nothing too in-depth where you would be lost.
One thing that bugged me and kept taking me out of the story was the heavy references to The Rat Pack. Maybe I’m wrong but what 24-year-old knows so much about The Rat Pack and listen to their music? I found it a little unbelievable. I was having flashbacks to the dude on Clueless.
I think I’ve only used the tear jerker icon once or twice before on a review. This time I used it for reasons surrounding not so much the couple or their romance but because of a very sad scene involving a rescue dog so if that’s a hot button for you, you’ve been warned.
Heather Smith is the perfect narrator for the Cocktail series. She makes Alice Clayton’s funny and quirky characters pop. I truly believe that Smith’s narration adds a star to my ratings on these books.