In brief: Caroline thought she was doing well with her nice new apartment until she finds out her new neighbour is the loud nocturnal kind. After a confrontation in a pink nightie, life is going to get a lot more complicated…
The good: It’s very funny and also the first in a series.
The not-so-good: A little drawn out in places – will Caroline and Simon EVER get it together?
Why I chose it: Have read many positive reviews online.
Year: 2013 (originally 2012)
Publisher: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster)
Setting: Primarily San Francisco
My rating: 8.5 out of 10
Wallbanger is a book that suddenly appeared on my radar via social media. It seemed that everyone was reading and loving it all at once, including several people whose reviews I respect and regard as my ‘I really should check this out’ reading list. It seemed the perfect thing for a light read; especially as many people commented on how hilarious the book was (in a good way).
Funny, sexy and honest – Wallbanger is an original take on the romance genre, as it’s equally sexy and sweet. It’s also not ashamed to be honest – there’s discussion of orgasms (mainly lack of, in Caroline’s case) and sexual fantasies. Plus it has the longest URST (unresolved sexual tension) I’ve ever read, to the point where I was telling the main characters, ‘just get it on’!
But let me backtrack – I’ve told you this is a romance based novel, but what’s it actually about? Wallbanger is told from the first person point of view of Caroline, interior designer (not decorator!), who has just moved into a fantastic apartment in San Francisco. As she settles into bed on the first night, she’s disrupted by banging from the common wall – somebody (actually, two) are having a good time. The next night, same thing – but different girl (who meows in the throes of passion, to the delight of Caroline’s cat, Clive). And soon after, same banging but yet another girl. At this point, Caroline is frustrated in many ways. Clad in a pink nightie, she confronts her neighbour Simon and christens him ‘Wallbanger’. Later at a party held by her boss, Caroline and her friends come face to face with Simon and his friends. As luck would have it, his friends and her friends pair off, leaving Caroline and Simon to get to know each other. As their friendship develops, so does the heat between them with many near miss moments. Will they ever see the potential for a relationship?
Caroline’s honesty is very refreshing – this is a girl not afraid to spill (think a younger, San Fran Carrie Bradshaw). She laments the loss of her ‘O’ after a short relationship with a local pizza chain owner and she’s desperate to get it back (cue scene involving Jason Bourne and Dr Ross that ends hilariously). Her gal pals Mimi and Sophia are also interesting, choosing the men that they think are ‘their type’, ignoring their heart. Unfortunately, they didn’t distinguish themselves enough in my head for me to separate them out – same thing for Simon’s friends. But that’s okay because the clear stars of this novel are Caroline and Simon. Their banter is witty (often laden with double entendres) but they’re not afraid to talk truthfully as their friendship develops. The ‘will they or won’t they’ became a clear ‘when will they’ about halfway through the book for me. But the when was a bit too dragged out for my liking – it was really frustrating at times! The in-between scenes were laced with wit and humour but some more action would have been nice.
Saying that, I am really looking forward to the next book in the Cocktail series, Rusty Nailed. (It will be released in Australia and the US on 24th June 2014. UK, you’ll need to wait until 3rd July 2014). It continues with Caroline and Simon’s relationship – it will be interesting to see how their romantic relationship continues now Caroline’s O is back and the sexual tension is taken down a notch. I’m sure it will be just as wonderfully honest with the same spiky wit and dialogue.