Author: Alice Clayton
Alice Clayton has written a slightly different version of friends to lovers in Wallbanger, this one is more antagonists to friends to lovers. It fluctuated between highly amusing and utterly aggravating. I laughed at loud, and I REALLY wanted to slap the lead character.I liked the story and I think it showed a lot of promise but it fell a little short for me.
The writing was witty and engaging for the most part and the storyline was one that was quite easy to fall in love with. My biggest issues with the book are character based.
Caroline is an interior designer in San Francisco who has just sublet the apartment of her boss/close friend Jillian. It’s a beautiful apartment, and rent controlled. She has been single for quite some time and her last encounter was of the one-night stand variety and it was extremely memorable – for all the wrong reasons. She has a successful career that she loves, a couple of fabulous best friends who are also currently single and things are going fabulously – except for the very MAJOR issue of her lost orgasm.
The last unfortunately unforgettable encounter Caroline had saw her orgasm run away and hide, it hasn’t been able to be coaxed out of hiding in months – even with the most erotic of fantasies starring George Clooney and Matt Damon Caroline hasn’t been able to bring her orgasm back. She speaks to it as if it’s a real tangent being, also her Heart, Nerves and Brain. I found this extremely irritating. I can’t even imagine a real woman talking to her orgasm over breakfast, or her body parts. What I will give Clayton though is the fact that Caroline refers to her female parts as Lower Caroline or her hoohah which is terminology that I could read without the cringe factor, even if I did read it over and over. There are so many terms available and many of those used just make my skin crawl or I find to be a complete turn off, the pussy was also referenced and the way that was done generally made me giggle because of the way it was done.
There is a lot of angsty heartbreak poured out of Caroline about her missing orgasm and it really grated on my nerves. She discussed it with her friends and steered away from meeting new men because of its absence. Like there was no possibility of a fulfilling love-life or happily ever after if there was no orgasm. It all just completely annoyed me. There were times I wanted to grab her and shake her and tell her that if she would just chill out and relax, not focus so much on the orgasm then maybe she would be able to let go and have one, and that life does not revolve around orgasms.
During a lovely sleep on the first night in her new apartment Caroline is rudely awoken by a bang on her wall, and then a series of bangs and a falling painting. It takes her a while to realise where these sounds are coming from and then the accompanying voices. This goes on for a number of nights until Caroline can’t take it anymore so she storms across the hall in her pink nightie and bashes on the door to give her neighbour a piece of her mind. The two have heated words because quite rightly he believes what goes on in his apartment is his business – even if Caroline can hear everything.
The pair then meet again at Jillian’s housewarming and get off to a rocky start when they each discover they have been nicknamed and discussed between friends. In a slightly cliched move the friends pair up and start dating so Wallbanger and Pink Nightie Girl call an uneasy truce. The truce leads to a budding friendship, the pair spend quite a bit of time together as neighbours quite often do. The chemistry is palpable but they don’t act on it, they get to know one another and build a rapport and a friendship. They are easy in one another’s company and the banter between them is amusing and flirty, always suggestive but never taking that last step.
Simon seems to have his hands full with the parade of women through his bedroom and Caroline could never become part of a harem, when it comes to men she doesn’t like to share. With too so completely different people is there any way that something can come of this chemistry or is it doomed before it begins?
For much of the book the only action is that coming through the wall or Caroline trying to coax back the illustrious orgasm. That’s is certainly made up for in the last 30 or so pages.
Simon is not the manwhore he is perceived as with his harem parading through the apartment. He is a photographer who travels a lot, he is passionate about his job and about baked goods. He has been through a bit in life and it has all helped to shape the man he is today and the lifestyle choices he makes.
The other major player in this narrative is Clive, Caroline’s cat, who has been beautifully anthropomorphised. He has real character and sometimes I think Caroline takes this a little too far, actually thinking he has spoken or given advice but it can not be denied that this cat has personality and is a definite character in his own right. He was amusing and protective and added another level to the humour and my enjoyment of this book – even if I’m not a cat person.
I enjoyed the story and the writing style so would definitely give Clayton another read even if this one did fall a little short for me.