REVIEW: Cream of the Crop (Hudson Valley #2) by, Alice Clayton



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~ Synopsis ~

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton brings her trademark blend of funny and sexy to this second contemporary romance int eh 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 have been in the worlds WORST book funk for months – blame it on the 55hr work weeks, blame it on whatever…. I’ve completely cheated on my Kindle with Netflix, movies and painting my damn nails. But there is nothing and I mean NOTHING like a new Alice Clayton book to break you out of that funk!

Her humor – and snarky heroine’s are some of my absolute favorite things. The innuendo, the HUMOR! And of course, the little tidbits of 90’s pop culture she throws in there to make a girl my age totally fucking swoon. Like in Nuts – when Roxy is all about the blonde hunky farmer Leo ala Almanzo Wilder – Little House on the Prairie. Or Caroline in Wallbanger trying to get her “O” back by diving into her spank bank and bring out a little Jordan Catalano action in the boiler room. This is why I love this woman.

Cream of the Crop is no different – but hit home a lot harder for a lot of different reasons. Natalie, one of Roxy’s best friends we were introduced to in Nuts – is crushing on her own Bailey Falls Farmer – The creator of the most amazing cheese this side of the Hudson River… Oscar Mendoza, who by shear coincidence is selling his amazing cheese at her favorite farmer’s market in the city every Saturday – to which of course, Natalie is there to have a two syllable conversation and ogle the hell out of his brie – taking her cheese and scurrying away like a little mouse. Where is the loud – no-fucks-given – hip swaying girl we caught a glimpse of in Nuts? Well apparently when Oscar is around – Natalie turns into all of us at 14 – a nervous ball of pent up energy.

There are many things I loved about Natalie – she is for sure your classic Clayton heroine – but there’s something else. She’s a size 18 and unapologetic about it – which I adore. She’s brazen – she’s loud – and she knows that her hips, thighs and chest are larger in proportion but also in charge. But as we dive deeper into the story we find out this confidence wasn’t always there and I may have shed a tear or two of her back story – of the pain she felt, the humiliation – the sheer hatred of your own body is something most women experience at some point in their life. It’s  just time – growth and realization that makes us finally comfortable in our own skin. Hell i’m 38 and still struggle with this, so reading this book…. it cut me more than once.

Natalie and Oscar … good god, Clayton has basically given us Jason Momoa & Christina Hendricks, down to her hip swaying curves and his sexy-as-hell scar thru his eyebrow. Oscar is a block of man – doesn’t talk much and holds that quiet mysterious thing we all kind of love…. Natalie is hilarious trying to work out how to be around him with out acting like a fool – running away – scarring his cows and finally just taking what she wants; as she would in any other situation with a man.  But as the relationship between these two evolve, there is the ever present back story – with both of them and as things come together – things start to fall apart and we have to wonder, can the Dairy Farmer give this City girl everything she needs? Or is Natalie a little too high maintenance for Oscar’s life on the farm? Are their lives just too different to mesh together?

I love all things Alice Clayton – if you haven’t read any of her books, stop whatever you’re doing and grab one – any one – and you will fall in love with the snark – the humor – and yes,  definitely the smut.


About the Author, Alice Clayton

alice clayton

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

Alice Clayton worked in the cosmetics industry for over a decade before picking up a pen (read laptop). She enjoys gardening bt not weeding, baking but not cleaning up, and finally convinced her long-time boyfriend to marry her.

Now about the Bernese Mountain dog.

(via the author’s website)


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