Nuts (Hudson Valley #1) by Alice Clayton

4.15 bee sting stars
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Alice Clayton is one of my favorite authors and I will read anything she writes. So when I heard about this book and saw this cover, I knew I had to read it! Alice Clayton brings her unique sense of humor to the table in another one of her books and I was smiling like an idiot through the whole thing.

Roxie is a self-employed chef that caters to Los Angeles rich and elite. One night Roxie’s freestyle living mom calls with news that she has been selected to participate in the reality tv series The Amazing Race and asked Roxie to come home to the east coast to watch over her diner for the summer while she’s gone. Out of prospects, Roxie returns to her hometown with the intent of returning to Los Angeles to relaunch her career the second her mother gets back.

It’s at her mother’s diner where Roxie meets Leo, the nuts guy. And the two find themselves entangled (literally) quite often in a very small town. The attraction is immediate, and the two of them embark on a sexual journey almost right away. Roxie has always kept men at an arm’s length away, and her summer fling with Leo starts out as just a fling. But as the summer goes on, the term “summer lovin” takes on a much more relevant meaning, emphasis on the word “love”, and Roxie must choose between life in a small town with a hot farmer or being a chef in the big city.

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Before I say anything else, do not start this book hungry! Oh my gosh how I want to make black walnut cake and eat it. I’ve never even had it and I’m craving it after reading this book. I always figured Clayton had a love for food based on it being a small recurring theme in her books, but man this book was the written equivalent of watching the movie Chef (which you also cannot watch hungry). Basically this book made me really want to bake, like all the time.

Also true to Clayton trademarks, I was laughing throughout the entire book. I love this author’s sense of humor and she has a way of taking everyday situations and turning them into a realistic meet-cute. Lots and lots of food themed dirty jokes where present and it was hilarious reading all of the innuendos. I’m sure she had lots of fun thinking of different foods and how to make them sound sexual.

I really liked Roxie and Leo as a couple. Sure there was a lot of instalust starting off the book, normally I prefer more getting to know you bits before the couple launches into something, but it fit with the feel of the book. Leo and Roxie started out as a summer fling and most flings don’t involve a lot of background information. But as the book went on we got the character development I was longing for. Leo at first was just a hot guy, but became so much more as the book went along. Proof that you don’t need an alpha male to have a strong, attractive male lead. Roxie is a heroine the reader can empathize with because her motivations for her choices were understandable: after a lifetime of her mother losing it over every guy, Roxie chose a career over love. The career had stability and love was way more unpredictable.

So, if you need a laugh, a smile, or just something to brighten up your day this is the book for you. A sexy ride that I didn’t want to end it’s a book that I feel everyone could enjoy. Low angst for those of you allergic to it out there! I would personally have preferred a bit more angst but Clayton made up for it with feels.

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review


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