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.
4 out of 5 stars
I’m not sure why I put off reading this book for so long – it was really enjoyable!
Clara Morgan is a “hotel saver” – she goes into struggling hotels and helps breathe life back into them. She is tasked with the Bryant Mountain House in the Catskills in upstate New York. Her two best friends, Roxie and Natalie have both relocated to the area after meeting the men of their dreams. Clara is a loner who refuses to put down roots – after a traumatic childhood.
Archie Bryant is the son of the owner, and the person that Clara is tasked to work with. The immediately dislike each other. Archie is very resistant to Clara’s ideas. His father, Jonathan, is quite open and tells them they have to work together. You can imagine how that goes.
Archie has also suffered, but in a different way. He’s closed off, stuffy and uptight. Bossy Clara opens him up and helps breathe new life into him as well. The staff was cute and funny, and the scenery described is beautiful.
I liked Clara a lot, and could totally understand why she was the person she was, given her shitty childhood. Once he opened up, Archie was quite likable as well. The folks of Bailey Falls (Roxie, Natalie, Leo, Oscar, Logan, etc) are great. I love Trudy, Roxie’s mom. I love these small town books. And I’m very invested in this series, and I hope there are many more books to come!