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Cream of the Crop

(Hudson Valley #2)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  10,621 ratings  ·  1,182 reviews
Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Gallery Books
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Sarah (needs a break from reviewing) No, it's only told from the female MC's PoV.…moreNo, it's only told from the female MC's PoV.(less)

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Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
**** 4.5 SWEET STARS****

Cream of the Crop is a feel good read. A delightfully fun and charming RomCom that has a cast of characters who are sure to enchant. It's safe to say that my first real reading experience with an Alice Clayton book was a huge success. In fact, I can't wait to go back and devour her other novels.

This, the second Standalone in the Hudson Valley series, brings sizzling heat in the form of a lighthearted romance. It follows Natalie, a buxom blonde marketing guru who as sassy
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars!

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Alice Clayton brings her signature laugh out loud funny and sexy stories and her charming characters once again with Cream of the Crop. It’s book 2 in the Hudson Valley series, and although it can be read as a stand alone, I highly recommend picking up Nuts if you haven’t read it. Be ready to fall in love with these characters and the town, Bailey Falls.

Natalie Grayson is a city girl. She was born that way. Manhattan is her home. She’s an executive at an advertisement firm and she
Oct 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romantic-comedy
4 Stars!!


Once again Alice Clayton delivered an enjoyable gem that had me smiling and grinning the entire time. I love this author’s storytelling. She always manages to make me forget for a couple of hours about real life with her quirky, funny stories. 'Cream of the Crop', the second installment in this series is the perfect mix of humor and romance and I enjoyed it tremendously. It was gripping from the start and delightful from the very first chapter.

Natalie Grayson is a beautiful woman who wo
Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}
(BR with Mel)

For two seconds, he thumb stroked me. I held my breath for an eternal two seconds, thumb stroked so good that I saw stars. And when we finally let go, I knew I’d never be the same. If he could make me that stupid with his thumb, what would happen if he--

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The second installment of the Hudson Valley series is destined to be another sure fire hit!! There isn't a doubt in my mind that Alice Clayton's writing is ABSO
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
This book was almost amazing. Almost.

First of all, I fully appreciate what Alice Clayton did with this book. She made the MC a size 18 girl who is SEXY and she KNOWS it! Natalie is a diva, through and through.

When I search my brain, I can't think of another romance book with a plus-sized MC where she isn't either trying to loose weight or isn't very self-conscious about her stature. Natalie radiates confidence, and she gets male attention wherever she goes. She is sex-positive and she has swa
Rachel Reads Ravenously
Full review now posted

4 stars!

“Oh, yes.”

City meets the country in this newest book from Alice Clayton. Natalie is a beautiful and curvy plus sized woman working in marketing in New York City. She's confident in everything, her looks, her job, and her life. Everything that is except the cheese guy at the farmer's market every weekend. Normally Natalie has no problem approaching a man for what she wants, but this dairy farmer has her twisted up in knots.

When an opportunity with her
Pavlina Read more sleep less blog

4 Pinup and Caveman STARS

"New York comes to the country.
And in the country.."

This was a fun story, I enjoyed it so much! I was laughing and swooning most of the time, the characters were so lovable! I loved their chemistry and their moments together were super hot! This series has become one of my favorite!


"This felt amazing.This felt incredible.This felt different."

Natalie is a city girl and she loves...cheese and the guy that makes it! Who is sup
Dec 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alice Clayton Fans, Romance
4.5 When the Mixture is Just Right Stars
* * * *1/2 Spoiler Free
Alice Clayton is on a roll. Or should I say path...She started a series from the inspiration of visiting a "Farmers Market" and seeing all the beautiful produce there...round, robust lettuces...firm ripe tomatoes... and long, hard cucumbers and zucchinis...Why wouldn't any smart, sassy romance writer be stimulated with all of this "food" for thought....Seriously, though, it was a breeding ground surrounded by the push for using sust
Dee Montoya
5 +++ Tasty Stars*****

(ARC kindly provided by author)

Sweet, nutty and very delicious, are the words that come to mind when trying to describe this book. Like a delectable slice of Camembert cheese, Cream Of The Crop will melt your heart, and maybe even your underpants with a tasty combination of characters, a super fun plot and the highly entertaining signature writing style of Alice Clayton. The Hudson Valley series keeps getting better and better!!!

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Natalie Grayson is a marketing executive
Natasha is a Book Junkie
Size-eighteen women were supposed to be timid. Size-eighteen women were supposed to be shy. Size-eighteen women were supposed to be grateful for any male attention, and to feel especially honored if a good-looking man paid attention to them. F*ck all that noise. I took the best-looking guy home with me whenever and however I pleased.

I have been smitten with Alice Clayton’s brand of funny ever since her Redhead days, one of the few authors I know capable of making me cackle and sprain
Paige ♠
I decided to dnf this book at the 35% mark.

I was in the mood for a steamy book with a strong lead in the corporate world (sometimes you just get in a weird mood, you know??). I had such high hopes going into this book and there were definitely a lot of things I liked:
✅ Incredible body-positivity
✅ Very confident and sexy female lead
✅ Successful and ambitious female lead
✅ Fun city girl vibes

But the romance really was not working for me!! First off, we were barely even introduced to the love intere
Sharon ∞❥ is an emotional book junkie ❥∞
4 ★'s

I was really looking forward to Natalie and Oscar's story and I thought I had an idea how it would go but I was oh, so wrong!

Natalie's been crushing on Oscar at the farmer's market for a while now but things have had more of a fantasy aspect to them. That is, until she gets the advertising account for the city of Bailey Falls...and that just happens to be near where Oscar's diary is and of course, Natalie's best friend and heroine from the first book, Roxie.


She immediately makes plans to
S.M. West
4.5 Pinup & Caveman STARS

Alice Clayton just knows how to bring it with the perfect balance of humor and romance to give you a highly entertaining and endearing story. I simply love the feels that her characters and stories capture and the laughs! Yes, the laughs!

This second book, like the first, can be read as a standalone although the characters do cross over from one book to another. In this one, we have Natalie Grayson, a big ad executive from New York City and Oscar Mendoza, cheese-maker
MELISSA *Mel Reader*
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
4.5 Stars!
(ARC provided by author)
(BR with Patty)

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Natalie Grayson is a curvy, confident, outgoing, gorgeous woman who comes from wealth, & was born and raised in New York. She is a city girl through & through. She loves Manhattan & her brownstone in The West Village. She has an amazing job at a huge advertising firm, & friends and family she adores. She also has a love affair with cheese & spends almost every Saturday at her favorite farmer's market at Union Square.

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Another thing Natalie
Sep 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Get it here:
Amazon US * Amazon UK

Cream of the Crop puts readers in Small Town USA with a mix of City life thrown in. Natalie is a city girl all the way and doesn't like being witout the craziness of being surrounded by people and noise all the time. So when she has to take a work assignment in upstate New York where it's small town living and everyone is in bed by a decent hour it's a shock to her. What's more shocking, the sexy creamery owner that she drools over every weekend at the market ju
2.5 Stars

Overall Opinion: This is a tough one for me to rate, and I'm split in my decision...

I loved the h! I love the author too for how she handled a bigger bodied h! If you follow my reviews, you know that one of my biggest pet peeves is when a h is made to seem/feel grateful for male attention because she is overweight or not the "ideal" body type. I get so frustrated with authors taking a larger h and making it such a focus in a negative way. Ms. Clayton -- major kudos to you for making a
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it

Title: Cream of the Crop
Series: Hudson Valley #2
Author: Alice Clayton
Release date: July 12, 2016
HEA(view spoiler)

Cream of the Crop was one of my top anticipated reads this year. What an intriguing character Alice Clayton teased us with in book one of the series, Nuts! Oscar was a hero like no other, so original and broodingly grumpy. He was that silent character in the background calling for his story to be told. And a huge, strapping hunk of a man who rides a
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

A few weeks ago I read a porno scientific journal about a doctor with a manbun. That imagery didn’t work out so well for me, but since my brain is a disgusting pervert it simply ignored those references and thought splooshy things about Dr. McSteamy instead. But the pervert inside my skull kept nagging me with the question of just what profession (other than rock god, natch) would longhair be splooshtastic. Then I remembered this serie
Jacqueline's Reads
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-books, funny
4 Cream Please stars

Cream of the Crop is a standalone and is part of the Hudson Valley series. This is Natalie and Oscar’s story. Oscar lives near Leo and Roxie (from book one). I love it when previous characters are brought in! I love me my Leo.

It’s the cute story of city girl meets country boy. To me, Cream of the Crop was written differently from Nuts. I still enjoyed Cream of the Crop and it was pretty funny. The beginning is heavily descriptive as the author sets up the tone and pace of the
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alice Clayton, this woman knows how to write funny and bring the feels every time. I swear I loved Natalie, she was such a fantastic heroine and I loved seeing her get her HEA.

Natalie is besties with Roxie, we met her in Nuts. She lives in upstate New York and introduced Natalie to Oscar. Well sort of, really she just admires him from afar and becomes a complete mess when he talks to her. Now, this isn’t Natalie’s typical MO, but this guy has the power to reduce her to a bumbling idiot. She is
2.5 stars?

I've heard a lot of good things about Alice Clayton's books, so I was pretty excited to download it.

I liked Natalie and Oscar well enough. She's brash and outspoken and he's stoic and quiet; they couldn't be more opposite. There are a few really great secondary characters. I loved Chad and Logan and they stole whatever scene they were in.

My main problem is that I didn't see the spark between them. Yes, there were a lot of sex scenes, but it felt like filler. Or like I was trying to
Allison ❤️Will Never Conquer Her TBR❤️
4 "Great....big ass" Stars!

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Cream of the Crop
, the second standalone novel in the Hudson Valley series, is the budding love story between Oscar the grouch, owner of Bailey Falls Creamery and Natalie, New York City advertising executive. Natalie has had her eyes on this big brooding cheese-maker extraordinaire and each Saturday she looks forward to him coming to the New York farmers market so she can get a glimpse of this mysterious, perfect, yet short-on-words man. Natalie is confident and self-a
Jessica  (Angie & Jessica's Dreamy Reads)
Alice Clayton just upped the ante with this hilarious, unexpected, refreshing romance. Cream of the Crop is a steamy, messy Rom Com following a city girl and the sexy farmer she's been long eyeing at a New York City farmers market. The possibilities for farm themed innuendo are endless and Alice Clayton takes full advantage, delivering crude humor and smart dialogue against the backdrop of upstate New York farmland.

Alice Clayton has become my go-to author for, not only the slow burning, steamy

4.5 stars

Having read NUTS, I knew I was in for a treat when it came to Cream of the Crop. Alice Clayton once again produces a prize winning-innuendo filled, rambunctious rom-com that's sure to have a spot on many favourite lists, including my own.

Bailey Falls is not just a small town in New York, oh no, it's a Mecca for hot & sexy farmers. Take Oscar, a studly dairy farmer, who can churn butter like no other. Add to this his gruff demeanour and you have a recipe too delicious to resist.

Charmingly fun and irresistibly sexy. A wonderfully written story about finding our inner fabulous with an awesome heroine.

In a world where a size zero is in vogue, Natalie Grayson embraces her curves and are one of her secret assets to her charmed life. She has her dream job which she excels at, a loving family, incredible friends, and an endless line of eager eligible bachelors. What more could a successful Manhattanite girl want? Simple, the best brie cheese around and its delicious p
Geri Reads
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved, loved Natalie.

Full review to follow...

ARC provided by Gallery in exchange for an honest review.
4.5 Stars!

❝The Hudson Valley. Where the food is pretty, and so are the farmers.❞

Teaser CotC

I have a perma-smile, sore stomach muscles, and a warm heart.

My favorite female character in a long time, Natalie is a kick ass heroine. Funny as hell, she takes no prisoners and is wonderfully strong. She knows who she is, what she wants and despite her insecurities and past, she is going to get it! Natalie is my book soul-mate! My bff! I adored her!
❝Size-eighteen women were supposed to be timid. Size-eig
✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰





Natalie is very happy in her life.
She's a very confident and beautiful size 18 girl living the good life in New York's West Village.


She has the perfect advertising agency job. The perfect friends and family. She's not afraid to flirt up guys. Her life is beautiful.

But there's this one guy.... the cheese guy. (Oh, did I forget to mention that Natalie is addicted to cheese? It's her biggest love!!)

Oscar sells the cheese he makes at his farm in Upstate at the Farmer's market every Saturday, and Nat
Cream of the Crop is the second installment in Alice Clayton's humorous adult romance series titled: Hudson Valley. It is my personal favorite of the series to date. It deals with topics related to moving forward with your life, self-confidence, and emotional abuse within relationships...and of course cheese. Making cheese, consuming cheese, selling cheese. Yeah, I tackled the extra-sharp cheddar sitting in my fridge throughout this read. Cream of the Crop was a fun and sexy story that prov
Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog)
4.5 stars

If I’m in the mood for a lighthearted romance featuring wacky heroines and laugh out loud humor, I can always count on Alice Clayton. I have yet to read a book of hers that didn’t leave me smiling, and she really delivers the goods with Cream of the Crop.

Natalie is a saucy, fun-loving, and successful New York City advertising exec. She also happens to be a full-figured fashionista who radiates confidence and has men eating out of the palm of her hand. Basically, she’s sexy and she knows
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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.

Other books in the series

Hudson Valley (3 books)
  • Nuts (Hudson Valley, #1)
  • Buns (Hudson Valley, #3)

Articles featuring this book

Hungry for romance? Alice Clayton knows what you crave. Her new book, Cream of the Crop, will make your mouth water with descriptions of food—and...
12 likes · 5 comments
“Size-eighteen women weren’t supposed to show off their legs, which I did. They weren’t supposed to show off their cleavage, which I did. Size-eighteen women were supposed to wear trench coats in the winter, long sleeves in the summer, and somebody better cancel Christmas if they wore a dress that showed off some cleavage. Size-eighteen women were supposed to dress like they were apologizing for taking up too much space. Fuck all that noise. I took up space. I” 6 likes
“Looking back now, how fucking stupid was I not to see what was going on? But when you were in it, you didn’t know it, and when your life had finally started to happen, it didn’t matter what else you were giving up for that life. It only mattered that you were special—to someone—and that you were very lucky indeed to have that someone. And everything else should just fade away and become background noise.” 0 likes
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