Release Day Review: Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton
Series: Hudson Valley #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 12th 2016
Links: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton brings her trademark blend of funny and sexy to this second contemporary romance in the 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’ve loved Alice Clayton since Wallbanger first came out, and her newest books in the Hudson Valley series are just as fun and entertaining as her first book. This author does rom-com like no other, so if you’re a fan of funny, sexy books, you’ll want to get your hands on this series! These books will have you laughing with delight and also have you blushing like crazy the next. Cream of the Crop is another winner from Alice Clayton — Nuts is still my favorite Hudson Valley book, but this one was pretty unique and I absolutely adored the heroine!

We first met Natalie in Nuts as one of Roxie’s best friends, and we know that Natalie has got a bit of a crush on a certain dairy farmer. Normally, Natalie’s the most confident, self-assured woman there is, but every time she’s within the vicinity of Oscar Mendoza, her brain fries and she’s literally only capable of saying two words to him. It’s hilarious and endearing – Natalie is seriously one of my favorite heroines ever! I just love her confidence (when she’s not shy around Oscar) and I love how empowered she is. She owns every one of her curves and I really couldn’t admire her more.

When she gets the chance to visit Hudson Valley for a job, Natalie jumps at the chance not only to see her best friend, but also to see Oscar in all his dairy glory. There’s a hot chemistry between these two characters despite how frazzled she is around Oscar, but once she gets over it, holy crap do sparks fly. These two are crazy hot together – there might have been a litttle too much sex, but otherwise I really enjoyed the way they were together.

Cream of the Crop is pure, light-hearted fun, and the perfect drama-free summer read. The romance was simple and uncomplicated, and the setting of Hudson Valley is gorgeous and homey. It’s seriously such a fun read – and I already can’t wait to read more of the series!

4 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: Hudson Valley series

Nuts by Alice Clayton 

#1 ~ Nuts: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Cream of the Crop: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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Release Day Review + Paperback Giveaway (Intl): Nuts by Alice Clayton

Nuts by Alice Clayton

Nuts by Alice Clayton
Series: Hudson Valley #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 20th 2015
Links: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The New York Times bestselling author of Wallbanger and Rusty Nailed is back with Nuts, the first in a brand new series set in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley.

Roxie Callahan is a private chef to some of Hollywood’s wealthiest, and nastiest, calorie-counting wives. After a dairy disaster implodes her carefully crafted career in one fell ploop, she finds herself back home in upstate New York, bailing out her hippie mother and running the family diner.

When gorgeous local farmer Leo Maxwell delivers her a lovely bunch of organic walnuts, Roxie wonders if a summer back home isn’t such a bad idea after all. Leo is heavily involved in the sustainable slow food movement, and he likes to take his time. In all things. Roxie is determined to head back to the west coast as soon as summer ends, but will the pull of lazy fireflies and her very own Almanzo Wilder be enough to keep her home for good?

Salty. Spicy. Sweet. Nuts. Go on, grab a handful.

I’ve simply ADORED Alice Clayton ever since her debut of the fantastic Wallbanger (which will forever be one of my favorite books of all time), and she’s now one of those authors who I will never hesitate to read. I got so excited when she announced a new series – and it’s finally here! The first book in the Hudson Valley, Nuts, is full of Alice Clayton’s classic laugh-out-loud humor, with heartwarming characters and a setting that comes to life. It’s a flat-out entertaining read that fans of the author do not want to miss.

Roxie Callahan is a private chef for Hollywood’s most famous, but after getting fired and losing most of her clients, she finds herself back home in Bailey Falls, New York for the summer, the very place she never wanted to return to ever since she escaped at 18, to run her family’s diner. An unexpected perk though, is one sexy local farmer by the name of Leo Maxwell. He’s gorgeous, knows his way around produce, has a BEARD… what more can a girl ask for?

“Go on. Try it,” he said, offering me the strawberry.
“I don’t take candy from strangers.”
“It’s not candy, and we’re not strangers. We painted together.”
“And fell down a few times.”
“Exactly,” he nodded, holding it out once more. “Put this in your mouth.”
“That’s exactly what a stranger might say,” I said, but opened up.

Neither Roxie nor Leo are looking for anything long-term, so a summer fling is the perfect solution for them. And oh, how much fun the two of them have. Roxie and Leo make the most ADORABLE couple ever, in between Roxie’s hilarious way of flirting, Leo’s laid-back, sexy-as-hell charm, and even some vegetable jokes…

“Did you bring me anything else?”
He brought his face back to mine, tinged with the slightest of blush. “I hesitate to say it now.”
“What did you bring?” I asked, shaking his shoulders.
He buried his head once again into my neck. “A really big zucchini” was the muffled reply, and I threw my head back and laughed.

I loooove how much Roxie hates bees – because I so feel you, girl. Over half of the laugh-out-loud moments for me were about Roxie running away from bees, I swear. Leo and Roxie are so sweet and playful in this book. I do wish the pacing of their romance moved a little faster, and I’m still side-eyeing that plot twist, but other than that, Nuts is one hilarious, AWESOME read. And just a warning, if you like food (who doesn’t!?), you will seriously go hungry while reading this book.

I definitely recommend this book if you like your romances with a light-hearted tone and tons of humor. I don’t know how Alice Clayton does it, but every time, her heroines are so ridiculous, funny, and adorable in the most natural, believable way. I loved Roxie, and Leo of course. Nuts is a fantastic start to a series I have no doubt will become a new fan favorite, and I can’t wait for more!

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Hudson Valley series

Nuts by Alice Clayton 

#1 ~ Nuts: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Cream of the Crop: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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I have a PAPERBACK of NUTS by Alice Clayton to give away, open internationally!

There are three ways to enter to win:
1. On the post on my Facebook page
2. Following & RTing the pinned tweet on my Twitter
3. Comment below!

I’ll be choosing one winner (open intl!) randomly from all of the entries! Giveaway ends 10/23.


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Top Ten Tuesday {19}: Books on My Fall TBR

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It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s theme is…

Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR

  1. Ms. Manwhore (Manwhore #2.5) by Katy Evans (Oct 6) ~ This is Malcolm and Rachel’s final book! I’m going to be so sad when their story is over, because I absolutely LOVED them!
  2. Rock Redemption (Rock Kiss #3) by Nalini Singh (Oct 6) ~ I love Nalini Singh, and I adore her rock star series! I have a feeling Rock Redemption is going to be a heavily emotional read – my favorite kind 😉
  3. The House by Christina Lauren (Oct 6) ~ If you know me, then you know how much I love Christina Lauren. I will honestly read anything and everything by them, and can’t wait to read this YA book of theirs! It sounds fascinating!
  4. Nuts (Hudson Valley #1) by Alice Clayton (Oct 20) ~ Alice Clayton writes the FUNNIEST books ever. Wallbanger will forever remain a top favorite, but I’m very excited for this new series to come out.
  5. Surviving Ice (Burying Water #4) by K.A. Tucker (Oct 27) ~ K.A. Tucker writes some awesome romantic suspense – I’ve really enjoyed her Burying Water series, so I’m excited for this 4th book!
  6. Slow Play (The Rules #3) by Monica Murphy (Nov 3) ~ I have a thing for bad boys, and I have a feeling Tristan is going to be my favorite bad boy of the Rules series.
  7. November 9 by Colleen Hoover (Nov 10) ~ COHO. It’s been too long since her latest release, and I’ve been dying to get another fix of her books! CoHo is probably my all-time favorite author, so of course November 9 is at the top of my anticipated releases!
  8. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer (Nov 10) ~ I don’t have much time for YA these days, but of course there are exceptions, and Marissa Meyer is one of them. I’ve loved the Lunar Chronicles from the very start, and cannot wait for this final book.
  9. Reap (Scarred Souls #2) by Tillie Cole (Nov 10) ~ I totally LOVED Raze! Tillie Cole writes the best dark romances – so, of course, I have high hopes for Reap!
  10. Corrupt by Penelope Douglas (Nov 17) ~ Corrupt is probably my MOST anticipated release of the year. I’ve been DYING for it ever since Penelope announced it. It’s supposed to be a little dark and twisted, and the teasers have been KILLING ME!

Click on the covers below to preorder!

Ms. Manwhore by Katy Evans Rock Redemption by Nalini Singh The House by Christina Lauren Nuts by Alice Clayton Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker
Slow Play by Monica Murphy November Nine by Colleen Hoover Winter by Marissa Meyer Reap by Tillie Cole Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

What books are you excited for this fall?

lacey


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Release Day Review: Last Call by Alice Clayton

Last Call by Alice Clayton

Last Call by Alice Clayton
Series: Cocktail #4.5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 6th 2015
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Gallery Books) in exchange for an honest review

From New York Times & USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton, known for her “deliciously addictive” (The Book Vixen) novels, this Cocktail series novella reunites readers with Caroline and Simon from the wildly successful Wallbanger.

Simon and Caroline are back for another round of baking, banging, and big life changes. Settling in, but never settling down, Caroline has finally struck a balance between the professional and the personal. As one of the top interior designers in San Francisco, she travels all over Northern California between nook time with Simon.

Perpetual globetrotter Simon has cut his frequent flyer miles in half over the last year, preferring to balance his professional and personal life, as well.

The next step in their lives seems preordained—toasts, veils, and the aisle of rose petals. But when an accident on a photo shoot in Southeast Asia brings Caroline the most terrifying phone call she could ever imagine, she has to ask whether “till death do us part” is a more realistic prospect than faces most couples.

It’s been a grand adventure, and Caroline and Simon wouldn’t go out without the best surprise ending ever. One part sexy, one part laughter, a dash of exotic locales, and one pink nightie, mixed with passion, and you’ve got Last Call. Served with a side of Clive.

A starry night.
A lady in white.
A shoe full of fright.
This is the beginning of the end of this love story.

I adooore Simon and Caroline. Ever since reading and falling in love with Wallbanger, I couldn’t get enough of them – they have become two of my all-time favorite characters! So it’s a bittersweet ending with Last Call. I’m incredibly sad to say goodbye to Caroline and Simon, but I finished this book with a huge smile on my face. Last Call is such a satisfying, heartwarming ending for Caroline and Simon – I’m so happy with how things ended for them!

Simon and Caroline’s friends are moving on to new phases in their lives – weddings, babies, etc. But Caroline seems a bit daunted by it all. She knows she and Simon are IT for each other, but she doesn’t want to force anything just because her friends are getting hitched or having children. Caroline and Simon are happy the way they are, and when the time is right, marriage, children, and the works will happen for them. All in good time…

“You realize you own me, don’t you, Nightie Girl?”

Oh how I’ve missed Simon and his hot and sexy self! I love Simon, and I fell in love all over again with him in Last Call. He continuously shows his love for Caroline – he and his words just melt my heart. The way Simon and Caroline are together never ceases to amaze me. They are equal parts fun and sexy and they are simply adorable together!

Some scary, unfortunate things do happen, but never fear, Caroline and Simon are the kind of couple that can get through anything as long as they have each other. I loved reading about these two again, as well as getting glimpses of Vivian and Clark and Chloe and Lucas! All the characters are together and funnier than ever.

Last Call is a novella, so I devoured this book so quickly everything was nearly a blur. I do wish the book was fleshed out a bit more and hadn’t tied up so quickly. Nonetheless, Alice Clayton did such a wonderful job bringing Caroline and Simon back to life and ending their story on a heartwarming note.

“You’re really going to want to hold on for this one, Nightie Girl.”

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: Cocktail series

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton
Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton Mai Tai'd Up by Alice Clayton Last Call by Alice Clayton

#1 ~ Wallbanger: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Rusty Nailed: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Screwdrivered: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Mai Tai’d Up: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Last Call: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads

Release Day Review: Mai Tai’d Up by Alice Clayton

Mai Tai'd Up by Alice Clayton

Mai Tai’d Up by Alice Clayton
Series: Cocktail #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: December 2nd 2014
Purchase: Ebook • Paperback
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher (Gallery Books) in exchange for an honest review

Looking for the perfect mix of smart, sexy, and sassy? Mai Tai’d Up continues New York Times bestselling author Alice Clayton’s Cocktail series, which began with Wallbanger and continued with Rusty Nailed and Screwdrivered.

The gossip mill in the seaside community of Monterey is churning about Chloe Patterson, the newcomer who is starting a sanctuary for rescued pit bulls. It’s rumored that she’s a former beauty queen (true) who ditched her fiancé the morning of their wedding (also true). And that while she’s not looking for a new man, the good-looking local veterinarian has his eye on her. Absolutely, positively true.

When Lucas Campbell isn’t at the family veterinary clinic, he’s paddle boarding in Monterey Bay. Recently single, he’s definitely not in the market for a new relationship, but he still can’t resist taking a second, third, and fourth look at the recent arrival of Miss Golden State.

Neither Lucas nor Chloe has any interest in being tied down. Being tied up, however—now there’s a thought. But are a few Mai Tais, a moonlit night, and the music of Frank Sinatra enough to allow them both to forget their past? Let’s hope Ol’ Blue Eyes knows what he’s doing.

Mix one part tiki, one part kinky, and a splash of old black magic matchmaking, and it’s time to be . . . Mai Tai’d Up.

If you like your romances with a side of funny, Alice Clayton is definitely an author to read! While Mai Tai’d Up is my least favorite of the Cocktail series, it has Alice Clayton’s classic humor as well as heart-warming characters you grow to care for. If you’re a fan of the series, you don’t want to miss this latest installment!

Chloe Patterson is a former beauty queen who ditches her own wedding. She hasn’t been happy in a while, and she knows that going through that wedding will be the worst decision of her life. She wants to find true romance and passion, so she grows some balls, packs her bags, and moves to her father’s old house in Monterey.

What I could see now was that nothing about our relationship was “Holy Mary mother of God.” It was smooth and beautiful and covered in swirls of yummy on the outside, but the inside was fat-free and full of air and nothing. And if I was going to have a life of air and nothing, I’d at least like a big fat dick to bounce on.

Chloe is hilarious! A little dirty, but a total sweetheart. I totally admired how she took charge of her life and decided to make a change. She moves to Monterey in order to work with rescue dogs, which is honestly the sweetest thing ever! And it certainly helps that the local veterinarian there is a hottie. 😉

Lucas is the hot, ginger vet who has just gotten out of his own relationship. Neither Lucas nor Chloe want to go back to being in a relationship, so a hilarious, chemistry-filled friendship blooms. And there’s some serious chemistry between them that’s hard to ignore. I really enjoyed the way Alice Clayton portrayed their changing relationship. And you know that with her books, when the main characters get together, it’s explosive!

Had it really been so long that I’d been without contact like this? Was I just skin-drunk?
Nah. I was Lucas drunk. He was the perfect cocktail.

I was a bit disappointed with the romance – I just didn’t feel a connection between Chloe and Lucas, and the romance wasn’t fleshed out well enough for me. One moment the romance would be moving too slow, and then the next, it would move too fast. What I liked were the characters individually, and so what saved this book was Chloe herself. I loved the animal shelter aspect of this book and how she built it on her own merits. And have I mentioned how adorably hilarious and sassy Chloe is? Even though the romance wasn’t all that great, Chloe was still a heroine I really enjoyed reading about.

3.5 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Reading Order: Cocktail series

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton Rusty Nailed by Alice Clayton
Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton Mai Tai'd Up by Alice Clayton Last Call by Alice Clayton

#1 ~ Wallbanger: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ Rusty Nailed: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#3 ~ Screwdrivered: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4 ~ Mai Tai’d Up: Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
#4.5 ~ Last Call: My Review • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads