REVIEW: “Buns” by Alice Clayton

Alice Clayton ends her Hudson Valley series on a high note with the sexy, entertaining, romantic, and tender “Buns”.  Clara Morgan, joins Roxie and Natalie in Bailey Falls but just for business.  She rebrands hotels for a living, taking family-owned hotels updating them so they can not only stay alive but thrive.  Her career’s time-consuming keeping her on the road for months at a time.  All her life she’s lived out of a suitcase, now it’s on her terms.  Clara’s in Bailey Falls to work on Bryant Mountain House, owned by the Bryant Family since the 1700s.  Technically she works for Jonathan Bryant but his son, Archie’ll be taking over the reins; and he resents her presence.  Archie grew up with Bryant Mountain House experiencing all the resort’s traditions and amenities.  He wants to keep everything the ways it’s been done for generations.

Clara’s never known family or traditions, the closest she’s come is her friendship with Roxie and Natalie.  Archie’s only ever known tradition, there’s a daily tour on it at the Bryant Mountain House.  Clara’s past of revolving foster homes is a secret she doesn’t share except with her two best-friends.  Her lack of traditions makes her job easier she can see beyond the sentimentality and cut off money hemorrhages.  The Bryant Mountain House’s a difficult case.  Good:  because she can hang out with friends and their boyfriends in an idyllic small town.  Bad:  because the camaraderie that her friends and their townie friends have feels like Family.  That kind of comfort gives Clara “panic attacks” especially during holidays.  Difficult:  because the freckled and bespeckled Archie Bryant aggravates her so much she wants to assault him.  With her hands and lips.  Disconcertingly he feels the same way.

Once again Alice Clayton creates lovable and sexy main characters and puts them into a setting covering every resort fantasy.  Fireplace in every room – Posh.  Stuck in time , “The Shining” – Creepy-ish.  Upstate New York resort, “Dirty Dancing”, – Fantastic.  “Buns” is filled with previous Hudson Valley series main characters, don’t forget the unforgettable Chad Bowman and his boyfriend Logan.  There’re appearances by other Alice Clayton Heroines and Heroes; Grace Sheridan and Jack Hamilton and Caroline Reynolds-Parker minus her Wallbanger.  The Hero and Heroine have Baggage and Weaknesses but when brought together they lighten the loads and fill the gaps.  Archie and Clara have explosive chemistry, incendiary sex, big vulnerabilities, and are massively amusing.  Clara and Archie both undergo a lot of character growth and the storyline’s entertaining and intriguing.  Alice Clayton definitely delivers and “Buns” is a firm foundation on which to end the Hudson Valley series.

I’m giving “Buns” 5 Lightning Bolts and a Storm Warning.

 

This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed

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