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 Buns.
BUNS is my first Alice Clayton book, and I’m happy to say it was one I found enjoyable.
Clara and Archie are both likeable characters, but they’re also very stubborn, which made for some fiery discussions. I really enjoyed watching these two bicker over how to save Bryant Mountain House from going out of business. Archie was a sweet and loyal guy, and he is devoted to keeping his family’s traditions alive. Clara has an amazing work ethic, she’s not easily intimidated, and she is not afraid to speak her mind to get her point across. That being said, she has serious abandonment issues; issues which are justified in my opinion. However, her constant inner monologue about always being alone, her fear of letting someone in, and her inability to feel like part of the group, did become tiring after a while. It also made the conflict and resolution fairly easy to predict.
BUNS is told in Clara’s POV, with the epilogue being told in Archie’s. While it is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone, and although the couples from the previous two books appeared several times throughout this story, I never felt like I was missing something when it came to them.
Buns (Hudson Valley # 3)
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