Nuts (Hudson Valley #1) by Alice ClaytonNuts by Alice Clayton
Published October 2015
Series: Hudson Valley #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
five-stars
Format: eBook
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After losing almost all of her clients in one fell swoop following an accident involving whipped cream, private chef to Hollywood’s elite Roxie Callahan gets a call from her flighty mother, saying she’s needed home in upstate New York to run the family diner. Once she's back in the Hudson Valley, local organic farmer Leo delivers Roxie a lovely bunch of walnuts, and soon sparks—and clothing—begin to fly. Leo believes that everything worth doing is worth doing slowly… and how! But will Roxie stay upstate, or will the lure of West Coast redemption tempt her back to Tinseltown?

After the Cocktail series by Alice Clayton had been put to rest (I think?) a couple of months back, I was eagerly awaiting a new series by this author, which was quickly announced in the form of Nuts, the first book in the Hudson Valley Series.

If like me, you are a huge fan of Alice Clayton, you probably had this book on auto-buy. I mean, have you looked at the title, much less the cover? And ladies, I was not disappointed. Nuts is the story of Roxie Callahan, and it is told entirely from her point of view. Roxie is the kind of girl you wish you were or had as a best friend: she comes from a small town but has made it to Hollywood as a personal chef through her ability to make people orgasm from food alone. Due to her crazy mother being away for a couple of months, Roxie has to go back to the East Coast to man the family diner – a chore she really isn’t looking forward to, for various reasons.

However, things change when she meets hottie farmer Leo Maxwell and notices that the place she was trying so hard to leave when she was young is actually not that bad.

“As I realized the town wasn’t going to implode just because I’d come home and was getting it put to me real good by Leo Maxwell, I realized that there were some nice advantages to living in a small town after all.”

What I love about Alice Clayton is that, with every series, she creates a whole new universe where all characters and details are carefully crafted into the story, and Hudson Valley is definitely a universe I love. I really enjoyed the small town atmosphere in this book, which really wasn’t small town because you had all types of characters, including the hilarious gay couple totally interested in learning to make pickles. The different characters really made this book unique and diverse.

“I looked above the jeans. Vintage Fugazi concert tee. Green flannel shirt.  looked above the flannel. Two weeks’ worth of shaggy blond beard. Mmm. Country hipster.”

And you thought a book about farmers and the countryside would be boring? Think twice! And well, have you read the food porn in this book? It’s almost as hot as the steamy scenes, which – I must say – are boiling. I mean, Leo sounds delectable – and totally looks the part in my imagination. And it’s not just the look – it’s the full package with the brains and all! Even though he does make Roxie’s brain turn to mush sometimes. Nevertheless, I loved how the two of them interacted.

“Have you seen yourself? More to the point, have you fucked yourself?”

The only thing that felt a bit odd was the fact that the pace of the book picked up a lot towards the end, with lots of revelations and things coming on at once, which all took very little time to resolve, given the pace at which the beginning of the book dragged on.

But all in all, the storyline and characters were always combined with a healthy dose of good Alice Clayton signature humor (and sarcasm) and this definitely makes Nuts a winner and 2015 favorite. It has also opened my appetite for the next book in the series!

“It’s a small town. Maybe you’ll show up at my back door with your nuts again.”

Detailed Rating
Storyline
5 Stars
Characters
5 Stars
Writing
5 Stars
All the feels
5 Stars
Overall: five-stars