REVIEW – CREAM OF THE CROP (Hudson Valley, #2) by Alice Clayton



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?

*****Dee’s Review*****

5 +++ Tasty Stars*****

(ARC kindly provided by author)

Sweet, nutty and very delicious, are the words that come to mind when trying to describe this book. Like a delectable slice of Camembert cheese, Cream Of The Crop will melt your heart, and maybe even your underpants with a tasty combination of characters, a super fun plot and the highly entertaining signature writing style of Alice Clayton. The Hudson Valley series keeps getting better and better!!!


Natalie Grayson is a marketing executive in New York City. She is a size eighteen bombshell who can drive any man crazy with just one sultry look. She has a lot of confidence in herself, but that wasn’t always the case. Growing up being the constant target of bullies, she never thought of herself as beautiful until one boy came along and finally made her feel worthy of love, but at what price?

After giving up too much for love, Natalie turned her life around. She’s worked hard to be the best in her field, has a very busy social life, and an adoring family. She’s become so independent, she’s not interested in settling down with any man, she just wants to enjoy life’s pleasures. So why does she become a blubbering mess, unable to utter more than two sentences when she is in the presence of the sexy, dairy farmer Oscar?

Oscar the sexy cheese maker; he is the owner of a beautiful dairy farm in Hudson Valley, New York. Natalie’s best friend lives in the Hudson Valley, and she’s determined to help her bestie make a move on Oscar.

Oscar is a man of very few words, but whenever he speaks, he says all the right things, or does he? He is rugged, manly, and uber sexy, and for a long time, he has been fantasizing about Natalie. But she is a city girl, and he’s just a simple man from the country, can they have a real future together?

Who knew that cheese could be so sexy? Apparently Alice Clayton did because, with this irresistible new series, she is bringing sexy back to the country.

We meet these new characters, Natalie, and Oscar, who are wonderfully complicated together. Their friends, all the characters from the previous book, added to the already witty plot. A story that had me laughing and enjoying myself without regard. So put on your farmer’s boots, and ride the train to Hudson Valley for a delectable, good time. Trust me after only one visit, you’ll never want to leave.

*****Patty’s Review*****

{ARC Generously Provided by Author}
(BR with Mel)

For two seconds, he thumb stroked me. I held my breath for an eternal two seconds, thumb stroked so good that I saw stars. And when we finally let go, I knew I’d never be the same. If he could make me that stupid with his thumb, what would happen if he–


The second installment of the Hudson Valley series is destined to be another sure fire hit!! There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Alice Clayton’s writing is ABSOLUTE GOLD!!CREAM OF THE CROP has a beautiful and sassy Heroine who will steal your heart and a sinfully sexy Hero who will leave you swooning and panting for more!! The other character that I must give honorable mention to is the town of Bailey Falls. Alice Clayton’s vivid description of the very scenic and quaint town brings it to life for the reader. All I want to do is plan a weekend getaway to this charming little town and take in the local flavor.

From the moment that we are introduced to Natalie Grayson, I literally fell head over heels in love with this character. This woman is not a waif by any means. She is a woman with CURVES and she is proud of her size eighteen figure. She wears her confidence well!! Strutting her stuff down the city streets of Manhattan, Natalie turns more than a head or two. If she sees a guy that tickles her fancy, it takes only a little wiggle of her behind and the bat of her eyelashes to have him eating out of the palm of her hand. I just really loved the fact that she was so comfortable in her own skin and she rocked at being a super sexy and funny Heroine. She wasn’t always this well put together woman that she is now and we learn about her emotional past as we get deeper into the story. There is just one thing that is kryptonite to her fabulousness and it comes in the form of a beautiful six foot five hunk of man who is a dairy farmer from Bailey Falls – Oscar Mendoza!!! Natalie’s Saturday morning ritual is to stop by the local farmer’s market and get her Brie fix from this beautiful man who makes her tongue tied and giddy as a lovesick teenaged girl!! I must say that I developed the same swoony feelings for this hunky farmer.

Natalie Grayson is a marketing executive for a top advertising agency in NYC. During a department meeting, she learns that one of their new potential clients happens to be the township of Bailey Falls. They’re looking to revive tourism in their area. Natalie jumps at the chance to take on this new client knowing that she’ll ultimately get to cross paths with sexy Oscar!! Her first encounter with Oscar on Leo Maxwell’s farm doesn’t go as smoothly as planned since as I stated earlier, he is her kryptonite and disastrously funny things happen to our poor heroine. But Natalie will get her swagger back and holy smokes was my tongue ever wagging and I may have even felt a little lightheaded from the serious heat that these two generated!!! They wasted no time getting down and dirty in the back of Oscar’s barn and damn this man could lift this woman and hold her in all kinds of positions as if she were a tiny little thing. Oh, the pictures I had in my head!!!!

As things start to heat up between Oscar and Natalie, there will be a few challenges that they’ll be forced to deal with. Oscar loves life on his farm in the country. Although Natalie dreams of settling down someday in the country with her hot farmer, her career is at its peak and she’s not ready to leave her fabulous life in New York City yet. So how will these two be able to make things work when their lives are deeply rooted in two completely different worlds?!

So far I would have to say that Cream of the Crop is my favorite in the Hudson Valley series and even though I did enjoy NUTS, I think I just felt such a deeper connection to Natalie and wished that she and I could be BFFs!! And Oscar just made me melt into a pool of desire the second he walked onto the pages of this story! I wanted to live the lives of these amazing characters, and maybe just for a short while my imagination allowed me to do so!

CREAM OF THE CROP is available now. I seriously recommend that you get to this one as soon as possible because you’re sure to fall in love with this story!!


*****Mel’s Review*****

4.5 Stars!
(ARC provided by author)
(BR with Patty)

Natalie Grayson is a curvy, confident, outgoing, gorgeous woman who comes from wealth, & was born and raised in New York. She is a city girl through & through. She loves Manhattan & her brownstone in The West Village. She has an amazing job at a huge advertising firm, & friends and family she adores. She also has a love affair with cheese & spends almost every Saturday at her favorite farmer’s market at Union Square.

Another thing Natalie loves is men. She currently is obsessing over a beautiful hot farmer who owns the Bailey Falls Creamery in Hudson Valley, in upstate NY. This tattooed stunning creatures name is Oscar Mendoza aka the cheese man… the milkman… the dairy God. Natalie looked forward to her Saturday’s when she would get a glimpse of this fascinating, exquisite man. She would buy her Brie & their brief encounter was the highlight of her week & also would fuel her lustful fantasies till she got her next Oscar fix. While she was crushing hard on him, she could hardly talk to him. He made her so nervous she couldn’t be her usual man eater self when it came to this man. She had it so bad for him. Eventually their paths cross outside of the farmer’s market & things heat up quickly between them.

-I’d been hit with an instant wave of lust.

-“I just go to pieces around this guy.”

-“When I see him, I literally lose my mind. I can’t talk to him when I see that face, and those eyes, and those lips, and all that gorgeous ink, and those hands.”

-I craved him, simple as that.

-I would kill someone with my bare hands to see him hold his churn.

I loved loved this book! Just fantastic! Oscar is just delicious & I adored Natalie. She is hilarious & I loved her confidence and her vivacious personality. We also get plenty of Leo & Roxie. I really enjoyed this one & hope the next book is Clara & Archie. :))

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