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.
Of the three books in this series, the main characters, Archie and Clara, in this book, have the most emotional baggage to me. I was already invested because my affection for the other books, so I went into this happy to be back in Hudson Valley.
Clara lives to work, because if she slows down for even a second, she might have to face the fact that she is running from her past. Seriously running, like full speed. For the career that she has, it works to her advantage. For her personal life, not so much. That’s why, throughout this story, she fights, denies, and almost ruins her feelings for Archie and what their relationship could be.
Archie also lives for his resort hotel, because it’s his legacy, and the people that work there are his family. But unlike Clara, he keeps himself tied to his past, for a couple of reasons. I will let you read about those reasons yourself though.
What I always love about Alice’s books, is the push and pull. She pushes her characters out of their comfort zone, and pulls the reader right along with them. Then she gives us such great relief with humor and hot sex! I will always love her for that.
I also have to mention that near the end of the book, I squeed like the fan girl that I am, about a special appearance. I want to put Clara’s reaction in my favorites quotes below, but it would give it away! *happy dance*
I also have to say that for as long as I’ve known Alice, and she has been in my life for 8 years now, that she still feels like one of us. Her fans. When I read her dedications and acknowledgements, and I will admit here that I don’t read every author’s, I still feel and hear her appreciation for everything she has accomplished. She went into writing for the right reasons, and it shows in her work. The heart and emotion comes through every time.
I give this crazy good book, 4-1/2 stars, because the only thing that I still don’t get is the title. It just doesn’t fit the story. The setting is a hotel resort not a bakery, so it just doesn’t work for me. I put this book on my “favorites”, and “top shelf fantastic reads” shelves on Goodreads.
I’m telling you, it’s always the guys with the freckles and the glasses. They’re the ones you want to set your sights on. They’re the ones who’ll make you forget your name, but get you to say the filthiest things imaginable.
They say time is elastic. Sometimes an hour passes in an instant while you scratch and cling at every second as they go by, willing them to slow down. Sometimes, an instant stretches out to an hour, when everything runs in super slow-mo, time itself elongated as the edges blue and the colors run.
“You’re here and I’m here and we’re here and this is so much more than enough because it’s everything.”
ALICE CLAYTON worked in the cosmetics industry for over a decade before picking up a pen (read laptop).
She enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up, and finally convinced her long-time boyfriend to marry her.
Now, about that Bernese Mountain dog.