Mai Tai’d Up (Cocktail #4) by Alice ClaytonMai Tai'd Up by Alice Clayton
Published December 2014
Series: Cocktail #4
Genres: Contemporary Romance
four-stars
Format: eBook
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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.

On her wedding day, former beauty pageant Chloe Patterson realizes that her relationship with her fiancé is all just a show, and that she would ultimately end up as an unhappy housewife. With the support of her father, she ditches the groom hours before the wedding and runs of to Monterey, where her family owns a place.

Soon, a friend offers Chloe the opportunity to start a rehabilitation shelter for rescued pit-bulls, which put her directly in contact with town veterinary Lucas Campbell. Lucas is what Chloe calls her “ginger-kryptonite”, and the attraction is certainly mutual. But is Chloe ready for a new relationship and more importantly, what about Lucas, who just got ditched at the altar by his ex?

What I loved about this book:

  • Cute romantic story all wrapped up in a charming Californian setting

What I felt needed improvement:

  • The pace of the book was unbalanced (not much happens until 50%)
  • The romantic development was too hurried and not intricate enough

While I enjoyed the previous book Screwdrivered to the extreme,  I wasn’t as enthusiastic about Mai Tai’d Up because the pace was pretty slow, and not much happens in the first half of the book at all. While Mai Tai’d Up was written in true Alice Clayton style, meaning a funny and light story, with lots of quirky humor and peculiar characters, I felt that the book was missing a deeper intrigue, or at least shouldn’t have come “so easily”.

The romantic development between Lucas and Chloe was too obvious to me. There was no “chase” at all: the attraction was there, and the characters are relentless flirts. The couple clearly has chemistry, but follow the very standard plot of stubbornly-not-seeing-what’s-in-front-of-them. Sure, that was the kind of plot Alice Clayton used in Screwdrivered, but it was done in a much more enticing fashion. And while there were a few unexpected situations towards the end of the book, I still didn’t think it was enough when I very much prefer a story that is a little less obvious and holds just a little more suspense.

However, I liked the character development, because Chloe goes from a very materialistic and shallow lifestyle to making her own choices and actually setting up and running a successful charity. She also starts showing backbone where her overbearing mother is concerned, and that’s her own strength showing. It was nice to have a female heroin actually develop on her own as opposed to with the help of some controlling alpha-male.

And last but not least, the reason I still gave Mai-Tai’d Up 4 stars is because this book is a real feel good novel. It’s cute, romantic, laid-back and just the perfect light read you want the have on a rainy afternoon or even at the beach. The storyline might not be one of the most compelling, but the characters and their little universe will definitely charm your pants off.

Detailed Rating
Storyline
3 Stars
Characters
5 Stars
Writing
5 Stars
All the feels
3 Stars
Overall: four-stars