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Buns (The Hudson Valley Series) Paperback – May 23, 2017
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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"Clayton’s hilarious and sexy Hudson Valley series pulls out all the stops in the latest installment. ... Engaging characters, charming mayhem and delightfully witty banter offers nonstop amusement as this couple fusses, fights and falls madly in love. Once again, Clayton writes a unique and comedic romance whose subtle but serious undertones and boldly flavored sexuality leaves the reader cheering." (--RT (Top Pick))
"Clayton's playful writing style blends silliness with apt observations regarding modern life, love, and self-confidence. A titillating story with plenty of happy endings." (--Library Journal, in a starred review on CREAM OF THE CROP)
“A titillating story with plenty of happy endings.”
(―Library Journal (in a starred review) ON CREAM OF THE CROP)
“Alice Clayton is a genius!”
(―New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emma Chase on MAI TAI'D UP)
“We want to bask in the afterglow: giddy, blushing, and utterly in love with this book.”
(―New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Christina Lauren on RUSTY NAILED)
“An instant classic, with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and riveting characters.”
(―Jennifer Probst, New York Times bestselling author of Searching for Perfect on WALLBANGER)
"Recommended for folks seeking a whip-smart erotic romance with nuance and naughtiness. Series fans will not be disappointed." (--Library Journal)
About the Author
Alice Clayton worked in the cosmetics industry for over a decade before picking up a pen (read: laptop). She enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up, and finally convinced her long-time boyfriend to marry her. And she finally got her Bernese Mountain Dog.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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Book #3: Hudson Valley Series
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Alice Clayton is back haunting the Hudson Valley and this time she brought Clara and Archie and whole pile of shenanigans.
Clara Morgan is many things including accomplished, self-reliant, confident, intelligent, competent, loyal, and terrified of loving anyone and putting down roots. In an effort to avoid those last two, Clara has assiduously avoided romantic entanglements and devoted her life to travelling all over the country helping hotels and resorts rebrand themselves and become more successful. Clara excels at her job and loves her life. Or so she thought.
The moment Clara steps foot on the property of Bryant Mountain House resort she knows she has her work cut out for her and relishes the challenge. The elder Archie Bryant invited Clara to rebrand the resort, but it’s his son, also Archie whom Clara is to work most closely with. If she thought the resort rebranding was going to be a challenge, well, she hasn’t met the younger Archie Bryant yet. At every turn and with every pronouncement, the resort owner with the smashing butt defies challenges, and contradicts Clara. For as much anger and frustration as Archie causes Clara, he also interests her and forces her to confront the fact she isn’t as happy with her life as she thought.
Sweet, sexy, nerdy Archie Bryant loves his home and has no desire to see its history and traditions trampled on by the likes of Clara Morgan. With her bold, brash, confidence she outlines plan after plan for rebranding Archie’s beloved resort. Clara is suggesting changes, renovations, alterations, and upheaval that makes Archie’s head spin. Inconceivably, Archie seems to be the only one among the staff who is opposed to such calamity. In an effort to save his home, Archie defies Clara at every turn, he contradicts her, and stubbornly refuses to accept her ideas. He also has to deal with the fact that he is tremendously attracted to the little firebrand and that’s not helping the situation . . . at all.
As days turn into weeks, Archie slowly begins to accept the inevitable, his resort is going to undergo changes. However, the more he gets to know Clara, the more he understands she doesn’t want to destroy his home, his resort, and the traditions of the site, but preserve them and bring them into the 21st century. Clara wants Bryant Mountain House to be restored to its former glory and that is something Archie can get behind. Being behind Clara isn’t half bad either and it isn’t long before Archie realizes the extent of his feelings for Clara. Unfortunately, as his feelings grow, Clara becomes more resistant.
Clara is very aware of Archie and his feelings and that scares the ever-loving crap out of her! So much so, that when her professional life takes a most unexpected turn, Clara uses it as an excuse to escape the uncomfortable feelings caused by Archie and his feelings. Clara has too much personal baggage to ever settle down and being with Archie for the long-term would simply be disastrous. Besides, her career has always come first and satisfied her, so why upset the apple cart now? Says Clara to herself as she sits miserably in her lonely apartment far, far away from the man and place she accidentally fell in love with . . . . . Fixing the situation isn’t going to be easy, but Clara is determined and most fall in the face of Clara Morgan’s logic, reasoning, and loud arguments 😊
The Bottom Line: I like the first two-thirds of this book and simply adored the final one-third!! The first two-thirds of this read have some great moments, some excellent fights, some great conversations with old friends (Bombshell is on a roll in this one!) and a few naughty bits, but it is in the final one-third of the book that everything shines. It isn’t until Clara screws everything up with her ridiculous notions about love, commitment, and putting down roots that the read really takes off. Fixing her mess isn’t easy and Archie is so very heartbroken that it takes a monumental move to set things right. The. Move. Is. Monumental. The highlights of this read include Archie and the characters from the first two Hudson Valley books. These richly written and developed characters populate a world that is believable, funny, emotional, and engaging. I don’t know that this is the end of the Hudson Valley series, but if it is, Buns is a fitting ending to what has been another excellent series from Alice Clayton!
Clara is the third in a trio of girlfriends whose stories make up this series. After a difficult childhood, her career is now her life and she is the best at what she does – rebranding and rejuvenating struggling hotels. Her job keeps her moving around, which is exactly the way she likes it as she desperately avoids putting down her own roots and keeping clear of any kind of personal attachment (apart from her beloved girls of course).
Her latest job brings her to Bailey Falls – the town where her two friends Roxie and Natalie have unexpectedly found the loves of their lives. She is working at the historic and prestigious Bryant Mountain House which badly needs to be dragged into modern times, but while most people are welcoming of her presence, the son of the hotel’s current owner and the man destined to run it one day, Archie Bryant, wants nothing to do with the woman coming in to trample all over his family’s legacy. The scene is set for an epic battle of wills, and OMG I loved every moment of it!
The banter flies thick and fast as Clara and Archie clash over absolutely everything! He doesn’t want her there, and he makes no secret of the fact, arguing constantly with her and making her job so much harder than it needs to be. But underneath it all is a simmering chemistry, and when Clara learns that her nemesis used to be different before the tragic death of his wife years earlier, she starts to see him as human and things begin to change.
The shift from enemies to sort-of-friends-who-madly-lust-after-each-other is really well done, with lots of sweet moments, funny moments, and sizzling sexual chemistry. You can feel the want that builds between the two of them, and the pacing is fantastic as they feel it all but don’t rush into anything, and the emotion between them is beautifully explored. And as the flirting, teasing and innuendo reaches boiling point, it’s hotter than all hell as they decide to just go with what they’re feeling, for however long they are able to have it.
I just love these characters. They both have pain in their past, and Clara has walls around her, but they are open about what’s happening between them and I love that they throw themselves right in there. And in typical Alice Clayton style, there are lots of laugh-out-loud moments, the dialogue is spot-on, and the romance is easy, natural and believable.
But Clara’s walls are tall, and she is only in town for a limited time. Will she be brave enough to accept what she is feeling and follow her heart, accepting that the gorgeous widower and his mountain – and all that comes with that - are the best thing that ever happened to her? Or will her debilitating fears keep her running?
This book is such a great read. It’s fun, romantic and beautifully emotional. I could understand and empathise with both Clara and Archie and their struggles to let the other in, and I was completely swept up in their developing love story. There’s a bit of angst but it’s well handled and resolved well, and the book finishes in a great place.
There’s lots of time spent with the characters from previous books of the series, and I loved catching up with all of them. There’s progression for both of the previous couples, and seeing the full group all together is a real treat. And Clayton fans will love the cameos from both of her other series.
I also really enjoyed the HGTV-esque storyline of the hotel, which was entertaining and interesting, and was woven into the story perfectly without overpowering the romance (and the Dirty Dancing/Kellerman’s references were awesome!).
I loved everything about it, and couldn’t put it down. I laughed and I swooned, and I fell in complete love with Archie. The romance is sweet, funny and passionate, and I finished this book with a huge grin on my face and hugging my kindle.
Absolutely fantastic! 5 stars!