Author: Alice Clayton
Series: Hudson Valley #2
Published by: Gallery Books
Publication Date: July 12, 2016
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?
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.