Buns by Alice Clayton
Series: The Hudson Valley Series #3
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Rating: 4.5 stars
Blurb: The third in the hilarious yet sizzling hot Hudson Valley series from New York Time and USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton.
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.
**Disclaimer** I received a digital ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The views and opinions that I have expressed here are solely my own and are in no way a representation of the views and/or opinions of the author, publisher, and/or distributor.
Buns is the 3rd installment of the Hudson Valley series, and even though it can be read as a standalone, I believe it’s better when you’ve read the previous two. That way, you understand the frienship between all of the main characters within the series because they do make a lot of appearances in this one. Speaking of which, I loved seeing their trio’s friendship play out; it was endearing and at times I was a little jealous. I could definitely use friends like Clara has. This book was well-rounded…you will laugh, scream, cry, and wish you were apart of this world. I never wanted this story to end. It was the perfect getaway book and I (sadly) devoured it within hours!
Both characters were enjoyable to get to know. Clara is a very independent person and this stems from her time in foster care as a child. She tries her hardest to never need or depend on another person; she keeps her life simple and focuses all of her energy on work, which is rebranding hotels, and running. I envied Clara to a point…I loved her ability to fully focus on tasks she needed to complete, but I could tell early on she used this focus to never open up to anyone, including herself. Archie is the son of the owner of the hotel that Clara is currently assigned to. At first he doesn’t take to Clara being there to rebrand his hotel all that well. This is from his inability to accept change at first. He likes things the way they are. From an outside perspective, even though Archie is aloof, he’s a very proper and likable person to all but Clara. He’s also a bit nerdy but in a totally gorgeous way! With Clara though, he fights her tooth and nail on everything having to do with changing his hotel, and it is during these fights that their chimistry is off the charts!
“You’re incredibly rude, a know-it-all wrecking-ball girl who is more than a little bossy.”
I laughed in spite of myself. “What lovely things to say, coming from a pretentious, snobby, incredibly rude himself hotel boy who’d rather rattle around spooky hallways and spend time with antiques than listen to reason.”
This is definitely a “love-to-hate or hate-to-love” story that keeps you entertained for hours. There’s never a dull moment between these characters and when the chemistry finally comes to a boiling point…it is amazing! Even with all the baggage that each bring to this relationship, they fit and complement each other well. Clara has to work to open up and learn to rely on someone while Archie has to come to terms with the fact that he’s allowed to find love again and it be okay. Both of these characters are real and that’s what makes them so lovable. Clara and Archie give as good as they get.
“My girl was wild. And loud. And obnoxious. And irritating. And bossy as all get out. And I wouldn’t have her any other way.”
The overall storyline was perfect in every way. It flowed nicely and it was descriptive to the point that I could see everything clearly in my head. Alice Clayton’s writing is amazing…this is one of her best series!
***NOTE TO READERS*** The quotes above came from the advanced reader’s digital copy. They are subject to change and may/may not be in the final published copy of book.