‘Nuts’, the first in the Hudson Valley series by Alice Clayton, was just so… Sweet… Funny… Sexy… and just plain ol’ adorable! Full of laugh out loud moments, definitely unique characters, and a great story line – this book was such a breath of fresh air!
When Roxie Callahan moved to Los Angeles, she recreated her small town self into ‘California Roxie’ – sophisticated graduate of the American Culinary Institute and personal chef to the Los Angeles elite. When her hippie mother and aunt get selected as participants on the Amazing Race, Roxie is less than excited to return to her simple minded hometown of Bailey Falls, New York to run Callahan’s Diner for the summer. While there, she runs into (literally) the handsome and very wealthy Leo Maxwell who now runs his family’s organic produce farm. He supposedly never dates and she is completely closed off to men and relationships, but they cannot deny their attraction to each other. With her love of cooking and his passion for growing fresh ingredients, they have so much more in common than either would have thought, and Roxie actually begins to consider the possibility of finding a niche in her small hometown. While Leo seems to have no doubt in the two of them as a couple, can he possibly change her mind to stay and has he really shared all of his past with Roxie? Is it really possible that Roxie could be happy and give up her big city life for Leo when her mother returns?
Seriously, ‘Nuts’ had me from the get go… So many of the situations in the book just had me just laughing out loud! From Roxie’s run in with bees, Leo’s ‘nuts’ going everywhere, zombie pickle classes, and rain barrel rendezvous, Clayton is just so witty and creative! I absolutely loved that she shared the organic Community Supported Agriculture and farm to table concept as well. Being a gardener at heart, Clayton’s descriptions of the luscious fresh produce were so vivid and totally made my mouth water! Yeah, I’m easy.
Roxie’s crazy hippie mother and her friendship with her high school ‘hottie’ and his new husband Logan were such a hoot! Clayton brings her characters to life with their individual unique traits, and always makes me feel as if I actually know them and am just sitting at a table hanging out with my crazy friends. I’m not sure how she does that so well in her writing, but it seems to be a constant with her in her books and I love it. I also really liked that story wasn’t all complicated and angsty, and although they did certainly have some obstacles to overcome Leo and Roxie’s relationship flowed so easily and naturally.
This was just a really great heartwarming story – Sugar Snap, Farmer Boy, and Pork Chop made for a great read and left me with a huge smile on my face! I can’t wait for the next book in this series, ‘Cream of the Crop’, to be released this summer. It will feature Roxie’s New York friend, Natalie and the head of the Bailey Falls Creamery, Oscar!
‘Nuts ’is definitely a 5 Star Read for me, and I highly recommend it!