Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

Posted July 20, 2016 | 42 Comments

Cream of the Crop by Alice ClaytonCream of the Crop
Author: Alice Clayton
Series: Hudson Valley #2
Published by: Gallery Books
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
Format: eARC
Pages: 336
Source: Publisher

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

Why? Why, Cream of the Crop? I was so excited and fully expected to love the hell out of you! So it kills me to say this, but … no bueno. 🙁 I absolutely loved Wallbanger and Nuts to pieces, so not being simpatico with this book is a total bummer.

Natalie is a character I should have adored. She’s a successful, sexually empowered, confident woman. Usually. Holy crap, the first 25% drove me nuts. I have very little tolerance for grown women who behave like preteens – running away, hiding, being immature – while around a cute guy. I understand it was meant to be funny and all, but it was so annoyingly over the top. Not to mention boring. I had to set it aside numerous times and hype myself up to keep reading.

I didn’t feel the chemistry between Oscar and Natalie at all. Oscar is the main reason I looked forward to this book. I absolutely love the grouchy, stoic type! It’s just that much more delicious getting to know them on another level through their relationship with the heroine.

But … nothing. Yes, we get a little bit of his past and where he’s coming from, but it was mostly just Natalie’s constant thoughts of how good looking he is. It’s overkill.

There was a point where they spent time together working on his dairy, and afterwards she recounts how she enjoyed his teasing and the conversations they had. Did we get to experience that? No! It would’ve been the perfect opportunity to show that side of Oscar and the chemistry they supposedly had. It was mostly thoughts about looks, talk about looks, thoughts about sex, or having sex.

And don’t even get me started on the Missy debacle. Actually, scratch that. I am a firm believer in ex’s being friendly when at all possible, but this was disrespectful. It rubbed me the wrong way how Oscar would smirk or grin when there was tension and Missy made snide remarks. I get where he’s coming from with Missy, but if Natalie was someone he cared about at all, then he needed to make sure she was respected too. He made Missy a priority at every turn and stuck up for her when she’s the one starting shit. So I wish it would’ve eventually shown him make Natalie a priority and have her back at least once.

I have to say that I enjoyed the secondary characters a lot, though. I was always happy to get more Chad, Logan, Roxie, Leo, and Polly.

Sigh. But overall, Cream of the Crop just didn’t work for me. However, I won’t hesitate to read another one of Clayton’s books.


42 responses to “Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

  1. Man, I feel you with this review, Christy. I was so so disappointed with this one. And ugh Natalie annoyed the crap out of me too. She was very over the top and unrealistic.
    I didn’t see the connection between her and Oscar either! I didn’t get to see the Missy drama, but thank goodness I didn’t get that far. That would have made me even more annoyed.
    Sorry this wasn’t the best book for you, Christy, but I’m sorta glad you didn’t like it because now I’m not alone in my dislike for the book!

  2. Man, wasn’t that Missy ‘ish crazy? I am all for friendliness after divorce, but Clayton made it really disrespectful. That whole barn dance debacle was just a mess. I did have fun with this one though. And yes, the supporting characters are amazing. I love me some Roxie and Leo. Sorry this didn’t hit the mark, but I’m praying thethird book will be just as amazing as Nuts.

  3. I feel like I have seen eh things on this one in a couple of different reviews. Sorry it didn’t work for you!! I still need to read nuts but my skip this one now. Great review!

    Grace recently posted: Goodreads Book Tag
  4. “I have very little tolerance for grown women who behave like preteens while around a cute guy.”

    ME EITHER CHRISTY! So Natalie will likely drive me crazy too. And I don’t like that Oscar has Missy’s back instead of Natalie’s, it reminds me of Adam and Mercy when his ex is around, and those scenes always pissed me off (even though Adam totally redeemed himself in the last book!). I haven’t read any of her books, but I think I’ll start with Wallbanger or Nuts.

    Jenny recently posted: Review: How To Hang A Witch
    • Christy

      Wallbanger is definitely my favorite, but Nuts is a lot of fun. You should definitely try them, Jenny.

    • Christy

      I was really surprised I didn’t get along with this book. I’m sure the next one will be better.

    • Christy

      I absolutely love her other books, but this just didn’t work for me. I’m sure the next one will be better.

  5. The ex thing sounds like it would drive me crazy! Particularly if Oscar isn’t standing up for Natalie at all. Plus I can’t stand successful independent women who act like preteens. Preteens are bad enough when they’re actually preteens and don’t know any better but I have no patience with an adult who does know better. This will definitely not be the Clayton book I start off with!

    Katherine recently posted: Better Get to Livin' - Review
  6. I have been hearing mixed things about this book. I do want to read it though, but waiting on my library for it. I haven’t read Alice Clayton yet, so I am not sure how I would like this one, so don’t want to waste my money on a book I might not like. Hope the next Clayton book is better for you. 🙂

    Lover Of Romance recently posted: Book Review-Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh
  7. NooooOOOOOO! I won’t like this one either… ALL Missy named characters should be wonderful! *dramatic sweep of the hand to the head* 😉

    I’m sorry this one just didn’t work for you. I do like the sound of the earlier books and I have them on my wishlist. I have a feeling those I will enjoy quite a bit! 😀

    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted: Winter's Heir by Amber Argyle
  8. I heard good things about this author and especially Wallbanger and Nuts seem to be well known ones. I hadn’t heard of this one before. I am sorry to hear this one didn’t quite work for you :(. And it’s sad when you don’t feel the chemistry in a romance novel, that can really ruin a book for me. Sounds like at least the secondary characters were interesting.

  9. Bea

    Natalie sounds super annoying! And what’s with not showing us the tension., what little there was of it. I’m sorry this didn’t work. I read and enjoyed “Nuts” but the excerpt for this didn’t wow me. I’m glad now that I skipped it. Bummer for you though. 🙁

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