Series: Hudson Valley, #3
Author: Alice Clayton
Publication Date: May 23, 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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.
Lately, I’ve read some contemporary romances that have been good but not great. They’ve just been a bit lackluster and left me craving a really great read. Buns was that really great read.
In Buns, Clara has been given the task of helping make Bryant Mountain House profitable again. She has all sorts of great ideas, but unfortunately the owner’s son isn’t quite on board. Clara knows she’s right and is willing to do what it takes to make Archie Bryant see reason. When some of Clara’s suggestions work, Archie realizes he needs to give her a chance in more ways than one.
Having read the first two books in the Hudson Valley series, I was pretty sure I was going to love Buns. As always, I loved Alice Clayton’s witty writing. It wasn’t as over the top funny as the previous books, but that didn’t bother me. The amount of humor in the story went well with Clara’s personality. There were still many hilarious moments, but there were also some serious and soul-searching ones. I loved how they balanced each other out.
Clara was a more serious character than her friends. She based her life on the achievements she wanted to complete. Clara had her two close friends, Natalie and Roxie, but other than that she was a lone wolf. She didn’t see love or family in the future for herself. Her career was everything. That made her relationship with Archie come as a shock to her. It was fun to see Clara all flustered at the idea of a relationship with uptight Archie.
I adored Archie. He had a couple hang ups of his own, but for the most part he knew what he wanted. He put faith in all of the things Clara didn’t. I loved how he dealt with Clara’s fears, and didn’t hold them against her. He was just a really great guy. I would have loved to get his perspective on the whole thing, but it wasn’t necessary to the story.
Another really fun thing in Buns was getting to see some of my old Bailey Falls friends. Natalie will always be my favorite Hudson Valley girl, and she added some great moments to this story. I also loved seeing Chad and Logan again. I wish those two would get a book of their own! Oh! I can’t forget this! Fans of Wallbanger will love a visit from our favorite neighbor and decorator, Caroline!
Buns was a great addition to the Hudson Valley series. It was so much fun to explore another part of Bailey Falls and get to know Clara and Archie. I loved the sweet romance wrapped in humor. Buns restored my faith in contemporary romances again.