Series: Hudson Valley #2
Published by Gallery on 7/12/16
Genres: Romance, Comedy
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton brings her trademark blend of funny and sexy to this second contemporary romance in the brand-new Hudson Valley series!
Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, is...cheese.
Natalie’s favorite part of each week is spending Saturday morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where she indulges her love of all things triple cream. Her favorite booth also indulges her love of all things handsome. Oscar Mendoza, owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery and purveyor of the finest artisanal cheeses the Hudson Valley has to offer, is tall, dark, mysterious, and a bit oblivious. Or so she thinks. But that doesn’t stop Natalie from fantasizing about the size of his, ahem, milk can.
Romance is churning, passion is burning, and something incredible is rising to the top. Could it be...love?
I think I’m in the minority in the fact that Alice’s Redhead series is my favorite, but I think this is one of my favorites since that series and Wallbanger. I was drawn in early and really loved the connection and spark between Natalie and Oscar. They’re hilarious together and they have some serious heat. I loved every moment of the book that they were together.
I did find myself skimming from time to time when the scenes involved Natalie and other periphery characters, but overall it was an enjoyable read. I love Alice’s sense of humor and the fact that she doesn’t take herself too seriously. Writing seems like it’s a lot of fun for her and I appreciate that as a reader.
Normally her books don’t really hit me hard in the feels, but I have to say, toward the end of this book, my chest was aching a little bit. I was mad at Oscar, I was mad at Natalie, I was upset by some of their actions, and it really tugged on my heartstrings for a couple of chapters.
Oscar is one of my favorite Clayton characters – he is exceedingly hot. Dirty mouth, dirty mind, he totally pressed my buttons. If you are an Alice Clayton fan, I think you’re going to love this one. This book is a perfect light, funny, summer read.
Mark this date on your calendar people! Tara and I……disagree! Actually, this happens a lot but, here’s my feelings on what I hoped would be another Alice Clayton favorite for me.
I’ve been so eager to see where this installment of the Hudson Valley Series would take me. There was enough intrigue in Nuts about a hot, broody, tattooed dairy farmer that put Cream of the Crop on my most anticipated list earlier this year. I wanted to love it, but I had so many mixed reactions that in the end it just came up okay for me.
It was so hard for me to get into this story. At first introduction, I could not find anything about Natalie that I could relate to. It was extremely difficult to connect to her character or drum up any kind of shipping feelings for her and Oscar. She was way too over the top and flamboyant. I thought her grand attitude was disingenuous leaving me feeling rather disappointed. That was until I finally got “the moment” and then all of a sudden this character transformed into someone I felt for and cared about. I was completely taken off guard and then I was crying. But why did it take nearly half of the book to get there? HALF!
After I had “the moment” I felt really excited and invested and the story started to become a little more exciting. But then, it didn’t. I hoped that maybe moving forward in the last half “the moment” would have given it some needed momentum, and it did, however briefly. I’d compare reading this to repeatedly climbing up a hill but never coming down the other side. I would climb up, experiencing some character introspection that would drive the story development and then, here’s some more drama, and then another hill to climb and another. So that when it was finally, FINALLY, time to come down the hill, it wasn’t steep despite all the climbing I did. I felt a little mushy for their HEA but I definitely wasn’t exhausted and sweating.
BUT, Alice continues to make me laugh so much, and this is probably why I keep coming back to her stories. Despite my difficulties with Natalie and what I think is just Alice’s writing style, the humor in Cream was essential and believable and brought life to the story when I felt distracted or frustrated which encouraged my reading.
So, yeah, my feelings are a bit of a hot mess. Would I recommend this? Probably to diehard Alice fans, and readers who enjoy good comedic timing and plus sized heroines. As for the general romance reader, I would suggest reading with caution.
By the way, wasn’t this originally titled Cream?? Way funnier and more intriguing if you ask me.