Aprivate chef who gets a taste of love—but is it to stay, or to go?
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?
If the romance book has something about food, I give it a second glance. Nuts is my first read by Alice Clayton. I’ve seen her other books around in the bookstore but since this had food and romance, I figured I’d give it a shot. And I did not regret it.
I love Roxie and Leo. I found them well developed with backgrounds that worked so well in terms of relating to them and getting the story to move along. Roxie is confident, creative and passionate about her cooking. But her bad experience with her free-spirited mom’s romantic adventures has made her weary of attachments so isn’t looking for anything long term. Leo’s past has made him cautious of relationships but still wanting something permanent. Leo is down to earth, and believes so much about what he does, its so adorable. Leo and Roxie’s intentions in going back to Hudson Valley may be polar opposites, him, escaping the city, and her being forced to help out with the family diner, but they couldn’t deny the attraction.
Alice makes everything come together with her writing. The conversations come easy and the punchlines are hilarious! I love how she uses (those poor unsuspecting) food as secret codes for all things kinky. She’s also worked that small town flavour to her advantage, giving Roxie more funny situations to despair on.
At the background, the story also gives meaning to the “Farm to table” process. It highlights responsible farming and how people can work together to become an actual community and sustain itself without help from big corporations. I’m an advocate of knowing where your food comes from and its so nice to see fictional characters being aware of the same thing.
Nuts, the first book for the Hudson Valley Series is a wonderful and funny read. It makes me regret that I didn’t pick up any Alice Clayton book earlier on. It has great humor and steaming hot scenes that will literally burn the pages and absolutely great and lovable characters. Its about leaving home to find your place in the world, only to realize that home is exactly where your place is. Go get it, and while you’re at it, go get a grilled cheese sandwich too (believe me, you’ll need it).
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