My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I should start with what drew me to Cream of the Crop…
The cover, obviously. It looks like one of the oddly sexy Got Milk? ads from back in the day.
But of course the name Alice Clayton pulled me in as well. I read Wallbanger from her several years ago, which still goes down as the funniest book I’ve ever read.
As for Cream of the Crop, the heroine’s inner monologue drew me into the story. She’s hilarious. From her obsession with well-made cheese to a fashion sense tending toward designer labels and showcasing her best assets, nearly every moment in Natalie’s head is LOL-worthy. Her status as a family-oriented Manhattanite and ad executive rounds out her character, as do conversations with her closest friends Roxie and Clara. Although Natalie is confident in her size-18 curves, and brazen when it comes to her sexuality, she does have moments of vulnerability that made her character more real to me.
Oscar, on the other hand, was a tad less appealing as a character. While his physical attributes seemed to be on point, at least one petty move on his part rubbed me the wrong way. Another part of his life he was too obtuse about, considering how it would affect a new woman in his life. Because he seems like a relatively smart guy, it frustrated me that he didn’t see that particular topic differently.
The only thing I didn’t just love-love about the narrative is that there was some down time and summarizing. What felt like fast-forwarding through Natalie’s time away from Bailey Falls. Those sections tempted me to skim because I craved the next moment of excitement.
All in all, Cream of the Crop registered as a fun and different reading experience. The dairy farmer’s occupation was a fun one to learn about, as was Natalie’s innovative approach to her advertising campaigns.
A light-hearted, humorous affair, Cream of the Crop earns top billing from me. I love an entertaining romantic comedy!