Saturday, February 17, 2018

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Buns, by Alice Clayton {ends 2/25}

The Bryants had owned this property for almost one hundred and fifty years. And like so many other family-run hotels, they'd relied too much on "but this is how it's always been done," which simply doesn't work anymore in this modern age. With Yelp and TripAdvisor helping everyone make their vacation plans, reviews could make or break a place. And they'd had their share of bad reviews in the last few years. Couple that with the recent economic crisis and belt-tightening across the board for vacationers, and they were in danger of losing their beautiful hotel.

Unless ... 

... they had me. Which they did. I rolled my neck, cracked my shoulders a bit, and settled in for the final leg.

I had a hotel to save.

Buns is the third book in Alice Clayton's Hudson Valley series, all of which can be read as standalone novels. I already did reviews on Nuts and Cream of the Crop, so I was looking forward to Buns. The characters from the other books play supporting roles in Buns, as well, and it's fun to see where they're at in their lives.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Buns, by Alice Clayton
Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s
Although I related most to the main heroine of the second book in the series, Cream of the Crop, Clara and Archie's story was definitely fun to read. Clara is a "hotel fixer": her job is to visit hotels, find out what could make them better/more profitable, and suggest fixes to management. When she meets Archie Bryant, however, whose father owns the Bryant Mountain House hotel, she starts falling for him ... and it's probably not the best idea to get involved with the boss's son!

(they do, anyways, of course!)

Archie comes with his own baggage: his wife passed away a few years ago, and was only 32 years old. He hasn't dated anyone since then, but he finds himself falling for Clara as well.

This was a very cute read, as are most of Alice Clayton's books. I really liked that the characters from Nuts and Cream of the Crop—Roxie and Leo, and Natalie and Oscar, as well as some of their friends, too—make cameos in this book, as they all live in Bailey Falls, where the hotel is located. This gives readers of the other novels in the series the chance to "check in" on them and see what they are up to. The book mentions that the main heroine here, Clara, has known Roxie and Natalie for a while, as well.

I'd recommend this novel for anyone who likes a quick and easy read, and/or for people who like romance stories. You don't need to have read the other two in the series to read this one, as they are all standalone novels, for the most part, but they're helpful in knowing things about the secondary characters from the other books that show up here.

4 stars out of 5.

The Hudson Valley series, by Alice Clayton:
#1: Nuts (my review, purchase)
#2: Cream of the Crop (my review, purchase)
#3: Buns (purchase)

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own. All Amazon links are affiliate links which means I receive a portion of any sales.


One of my lucky readers will win a paperback copy of Buns!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Sunday, February 25th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be contacted via email the next day, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Paperback copy of Buns, by Alice Clayton


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