Series: Hudson Valley #3
Published by Gallery on 05/23/2017
Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….
Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.
It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.
Alice Clayton is one of my favorite authors. Her romantic comedies have great banter, are laugh-out-loud funny, and still bring the sweet and the heat. (Side note: The Sweet and The Heat sounds like a good band name.)
Buns mostly fit that bill, but missed the mark in the second half. It started off great, I loved the premise and the tension between between the two main characters, Archie and Clara. I love a book where the love interests hate each other in the beginning. It really helps build it up until it boils over as passion. But once they realized that they liked each other, it started to go downhill for me.
They seemed to go relatively slowly from hate to like and then really fast from like to love. It didn’t make sense at all to me; I just didn’t feel how they got there. And once that tension was gone, I didn’t really get their chemistry at all.
I also felt like the climax of the book was forced. It seemed like a lot of unnecessary drama and it was really rushed. I got the vibe that Clayton had a lot of fun writing the first half of the book, and then wanted to get the second half over with as quickly as possible.
Now, all of this is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the book. I did. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I’m used to enjoying an Alice Clayton novel. The sex actually seemed kind of minimal compared to what I’m used to from her. Not that I need that to drive a story, just an observation. Overall, it was pretty light and fluffy and ultimately an enjoyable read, just not one that I’d recommend putting at the top of your TBR.