Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

513T2hWR61LSometimes, two people are drawn to each other before they officially meet. But upon speaking with one another, the fascination might quickly vanish or make the couple want to see where the attraction goes. In the second Hudson Valley book, two individuals who are opposite in so many ways began a romantic affair, not once thinking about commitment at first. Then their lives start to become more entangled, and choices made could bring happiness or doom them on the spot. Alice Clayton never ceases to amaze with her ingeniously created storylines, as CREAM OF THE CROP has truly believable circumstances featuring characters that are particularly realistic.

If something needs to be promoted in order to be more visible or successful, then Natalie Grayson is the person with whom to work. She is an advertising executive with a Manhattan agency, and her talent for creating just the right campaign makes her highly sought after. At the end of each workweek, she has a habit of going to a store that sells all types of cheeses, and one of her new favorites comes from a dairy named Bailey Falls Creamery. She is already familiar with some products made there, as it has a booth at a nearby farmer’s market each Saturday. Although she has tried many of the cheeses made right on the farm, it is the man selling the dairy items that she actually wants to taste.

Since Oscar Mendoza is the owner of Bailey Falls Creamery, he knows bringing the freshly made products to sell straight to the public can be very profitable. There are many repeat customers every weekend, so there is no question about them liking what he brings. Natalie definitely is fond of what is sold, and she wants to know Oscar better, yet all her self-assurance with men vanishes whenever she visits his booth. So all she has is fantasies. But when a campaign takes her to the town of Bailey Falls, maybe all those lustful thoughts can become reality.

Whenever an Alice Clayton book is read, laughs are absolutely guaranteed. CREAM OF THE CROP has its share of scenes where chuckles cannot be contained, and I had to stop reading during one specific incidence because of all the tears from laughing so hard. I have no idea how she comes up with the huge number of situations filled with witty banter and comical thoughts. Natalie says what she wants, regardless of the location, and this made several of her comments even funnier. Since Oscar usually has very little to say, any humorous remarks by him are often unanticipated. Much of the story takes place in the country, and it results in some amusing moments because of Natalie’s sophisticated behavior.

The relationship of Oscar and Natalie is definitely preoccupied with sex when it begins, where encounters are explosive along with being extremely satisfying. I had to sigh at their eagerness on numerous occasions, as the descriptive details told me just how impatient Natalie and Oscar were at that time. Alice Clayton writes sex scenes which are hot yet also creative, and several in this story are cleverly inventive. CREAM OF THE CROP never skimps on steaminess. Any drama in the book shows a side of Natalie and Oscar that they do not let others normally discover, and I nervously waited to see what each would eventually decide. There are so many delightful secondary characters in the story, and their conversations with the main couple are often a hoot. I cannot wait to revisit the picturesque town of Bailey Falls in the Hudson Valley.

Received copy from publisher

Series:  Hudson Valley

Publisher:  Gallery

Releases:  July 12, 2016


Genre:  Contemporary

Author website:

Rating:  4.5 Stars

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