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Ratings and Book Reviews (7 128 star ratings
7 reviews
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4.5 out of 5
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  • 3 person found this review helpful

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    Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

    CREAM OF THE CROP is the second installment in Alice Clayton’s contemporary, adult HUDSON VALLEY romance series. This is Manhattan advertising executive Natalie Grayson, and Hudson Valley dairy farmer Oscar Mendoza’s story line. CREAM OF THE CROP can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. All of the characters from book one-NUTS-cross over and play secondary or supporting roles. We were first introduced to Natalie and Oscar in the previous story line where Natalie would ‘ stalk ’ Oscar at the weekend Farmer’s Market. Told from first person point of view (Natalie) CREAM OF THE CROP follows successful advertising executive Natalie Grayson on her latest assignment-to develop a promotional video and ad campaign for the small town of Hudson Valley-where her best friend Roxie Callahan (NUTS book 1) lives, and the man who stars in all of her dreams works and resides. What ensues is a building relationship between Oscar and Natalie, and the potential for failure when the romance becomes focused on the long distance relationship and their burgeoning careers. Natalie is a feisty, strong willed heroine with an affinity for cheese who is proud of her size eighteen curves but hasn’t always been in the past. Oscar is a quiet, reserved, somewhat oblivious man-beast with a secret past; a man happy to remain in the secluded town of Hudson Valley where his friends are few, and his solitude is met with some curious stares. As the romance heats up, Natalie must decide whether the charm of small town life is perfect for her, or perfect for the man with whom she is falling in love. The $ex scenes are intimate but I felt the ‘spark’ was missing; as though the couple were going through the motions knowing that the long distance relationship would eventually come to an end. When neither one is willing to compromise, both walk away without a second thought leaving this reader wondering if it was all worth it –in the end! CREAM OF THE CROP is a fun read with humorous moments, and witty banter. Oscar is a man of few words, and his conversational prowess is limited throughout the story-Natalie carries a good portion of their conversations. Oscar’s ex plays a significant role in his life, and it will take a strong woman to understand their continuing relationship. The premise is entertaining and amusing; the characters are enjoyable and heartwarming; the romance is passionate.
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    Wowza

    Wow!!! Amazing yet again! I don't think Alice could write a bad book. Totally funny I don't know hoe many times I laughed out load! Can't wait for the next book
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    City Meets Country

    This book with its sexy farmers really tempts the reader to head to the nearest farm. Overall Cream of the Crop is a contemporary romance, but it does a good job of educating also. I had never thought about how cheese was actually made before reading it. Natalie is a total city girl. She has a professional job, wears expensive shoes, loves to dress up and makes flirting an art form. She has an in to all the most IT restaurants and night spots. Oscar sells his cheese at the farmer’s market every Saturday morning. He’s stoic and straightforward. Natalie and Oscar are easy to like on the surface as is, but learning their backgrounds is what truly made me love them. Natalie is a plus-size girl who rocks being sexy. She seems to have always had the perfect life, but knowing her past enforces how awesome she is now. Oscar has a story of his own. He’s had disappointments, but he’s made his way in life admirably. I enjoyed meeting these new characters and catching up with the wonderful cast from the first book. I’m looking forward to more from the Hudson Valley series
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    Cream of the crop

    Fan-freakin-tast-ic !!! If you love a caveman....you'll love this one. Witty, sexy, and just an all around great read.
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    Opposites attract

    Billionaires and bad boys, eat your hearts out because farmers are in! Oh, and big girls are a lot of fun, too! Seriously though, I really wasn't feeling the new craze about farmers until I read CREAM OF THE CROP. This was such an outrageously funny and very sexy opposites attract story that left me feeling really good at the end. There was so much to love about it, from the vivacious Natalie to the broody Oscar (shiver) and the small town setting. Natalie Grayson is in the thick of things, with a thriving career in advertising and access to the best places in New York City, and she enjoys her very active social life but all of that pales beside her favorite thing to do - visit the farmer's market every weekend for a glimpse of her favorite farmer. Plus, she's a city girl through and through and considers going outside her slice of Manhattan a trek to the boonies and going outside the city is a big no, but when her firm lands a contract that would put her in the same vicinity as her farmer, all bets are off and a trip to the Hudson Valley is not such a big deal after all. And there is no shortage of shenanigans to keep the laughter flowing. Who wears four inch designer boots to muck around in cow patties? Only Natalie! Natalie is independent, successful, smart and definitely not shy in any way, but Oscar is the only person that can reduce her to a fumbling mess and I thought it was really cute and laugh out loud funny. She's got a really big personality, is really comfortable in her size eighteen body and would make the perfect best friend, and I loved that she didn't take herself too serious. I've never really gotten the appeal of broody heroes before Oscar. Don't get me wrong, I've read books with them and brushed over all that broodiness, but with Oscar it was like I just saw the light and I really liked that there were no huge issues going on with him. He's gorgeous, hardworking and very much her opposite and I thought they fit together really well. Plus, he's a rock star in the sack. Ms. Clayton chose the perfect setting for this story. I can see the cute, picturesque little town in my mind's eye and it's so appealing, with the laid back life, the slow pace and the really nice people. Small town living was never more tempting. I have never read any book by Ms. Clayton before this so I didn't have any specific expectations, but the cover of this one drew me in and my enjoyment of this book guarantees that I will finally dive into her back-list that has been sitting on my tablet for ages. If you are looking for a really fun time with a lot of laughter, you can't do better than CREAM OF THE CROP this summer. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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