Author: Alice Clayton
Publisher/Year: Gallery Books 10/20/15
Length: 286 Pages
Series: Hudson Valley #1
Roxie Callahan is a private chef to some of Hollywood’s wealthiest, and nastiest, calorie-counting wives. After a dairy disaster implodes her carefully crafted career in one fell ploop, she finds herself back home in upstate New York, bailing out her hippie mother and running the family diner.
When gorgeous local farmer Leo Maxwell delivers her a lovely bunch of organic walnuts, Roxie wonders if a summer back home isn’t such a bad idea after all. Leo is heavily involved in the sustainable slow food movement, and he likes to take his time. In all things. Roxie is determined to head back to the west coast as soon as summer ends, but will the pull of lazy fireflies and her very own Almanzo Wilder be enough to keep her home for good?
Salty. Spicy. Sweet. Nuts. Go on, grab a handful.
What we have here is a sweet story of a girl coming back home to help her mom, at a time that’s perfect since her own life is falling apart from one silly little mistake. So when we go back to the small town where it all started, we know that it’s going to be an interesting story.
The path that our leading lady Roxie takes is the obvious one – she’s resenting the fact that her mom keeps asking for help, yet she does it anyway. She’s back in the small town that she promised that she’d never go back to. She’s finding herself crossing paths with all the people from high school that made her life less than lovely, and she’s itching to get home and figure out her next move. So of course when a hot man walks into her life, things go upside down.
It’s a sweet story – one of great banter which is something that we get a lot of in books by Ms Clayton. There’s chemistry that comes off the pages, yet it’s ‘REAL’ in the sense that it’s happening all at a speed that’s normal and not just right in books. The way that Roxie and Leo (our hot leading man) start to build whatever it is that they build, it’s normal and real and that makes the reader so much more invested.
We see Roxie find her groove back home – making the diner her own, bringing things to the menu and the community that put her mark on things without taking too much from what her mother built and loves. Roxie starts to grow into the town a bit, making friends that were shockers at the beginning since we know how hard it was for her in high school and that’s something that really makes the story stick.
There’s romance of course and a twist in that story that no one was expecting. I think that it’s all a testament to how the story’s written – knowing that once the secret comes out, there were so many chances for our author to write in hints, but there was nothing. not a bit so that it’s making things complicated in real time in a good way.
The two of these guys are so cute together – they want to make something work that’s destined to fail from the beginning. They know that there’s nothing long term that’s possible about what they want to do, and yet they still decide that it’s ok.
The intro of Roxie’s friends in this story and the fact that we know there’s a hot dairy farmer means that we’re going to get a few more great segments to the story and i can’t wait to check them out. Enjoy!