Series: Hudson Valley #3
on May 23rd 2017
Genres: Romance, Contemporary Romance
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.
Knock-it-out of the park and laugh out loud, Buns was by far and away my favorite of the Hudson Valley series. Alice Clayton created a fabulous cast of characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. I mean really, I can’t stop gushing about this book.
Clara Morgan is a young branding expert hired to revamp the Bryant Mountain House resort in quaint Baily’s Falls, New York. This job comes with big payback, as the successful rebranding will score her the partnership in the firm. Archibald Bryant is the hotel owner’s son and reluctant to make any changes to this historic building. These two inevitably clash in what evolved into hot and sweet enemies to lovers romance.
The characters were far and away the best part of this book. Prim and proper, Archie matches his ties to his pocket squares and uses words like ‘hubub’ in normal vernacular He’s like Leonardo DeCaprio in Titanic – charming and hot as all get-up but trapped in a tragically dated past.
And then there’s Clara – she’s driven, assertive, and fair while still being assured of her righteousness. Clara works in consulting, and it was a fresh take on the typical jobs we see women have in books. I’m in a similar career and loved seeing someone fight the fights I go through – surly customers, people resistant to change, and always pushing good ideas forward.
It’s fate that these two found each other. Archie is stuck in the past and bemouning history’s importance. Clara is the opposite – always looking forward and thinking the best days are ahead because. Put these two in the same room and the sparks are palpable. I mean, this enemy to lovers thing is so good that they’re COMBUSTIBLE.
Oh, and there’s a third character – Bryant Mountain House itself. At seven stories tall, this behemoth of an inn took on a life of it’s own. An outdated mauve mess, Clara sees potential hidden under years of “we’ve always done it this way.” It was like a real life Dirty Dancing set complete with Easter Egg hunts on the lawn, skating rinks in winter, and watermelon rolls during the summer
Gosh, this book made me happy. This was the strongest of the three Hudson Valley books and possibly usurped Wallbanger as my favorite Alice Clayton book. I connected with this set of characters more – Natalie was a little too over the top for me and I was always ehhh on Roxie (although don’t ask me why because it’s been so long since I read that book). Buns can be read as a standalone; however, you may enjoy it more if you read the previous books, Nuts and Cream of the Crop, first.