Buns (Hudson Valley #3) by Alice Clayton
Rating: Very Good
Description: 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.
Genre: Romance - Contemporary
Why I Picked This Book: I've heard raves about Clayton's romances forever and keep meaning to try her books so when I saw this on NetGalley I couldn't resist (even though the title and cover make me cringe a little!)
The Couple -
Clara - Clara's backstory is heartbreaking and fits how she's chosen to live her life as adult with herself firmly in the drivers seat and refusing to let anyone in. She struggles with traditions and holidays because she doesn't quite understand how to be a part of either.
Archie - Archie firmly believes in family and tradition first. He's worked his entire life to keep the family hotel up and running and is not so crazy about having an outsider come in and tell him what to do. However, he's not so hardheaded that he refuses to listen to reason and is intelligent and motivated to make things work.
What I Liked:
Both characters have baggage from very real circumstances but neither dismisses the other's issues. I also liked that Clara had some trepidation about spending time with Archie in the home he shared with his late wife. She's not melodramatic about it but she's uncomfortable and that felt very real.
They're both good at their jobs and it was fun to watch them in action. Sometimes they even worked well together and that was even more fun.
While this is definitely a spicier romance than I usually read I did feel like there was an emotional connection between Archie and Clara.
The setting is amazing. I loved the hotel and I loved the town. The employees and friends really added a lot of joy to the reading.
What I Didn't Like:
Way heavy on the sexual innuendos or just comments without the innuendo - especially from Clara's friend Natalie. I get that she and Oscar are having a lot of sex but seriously talk about something else occasionally.
I expected a fun and funny read but I was surprised by the amount of heart that ran through the stories. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and getting to know Hudson Falls and am looking forward to going back and reading Roxie and Natalie's stories. The title and the cover made me cringe a little but that's what Kindles are for!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! This was a fun read.
Would I Recommend this Book?: If you enjoy contemporary romance and don't mind a lot of spice and even more language than this is a must read!