When it comes to romance, you could say a good romance novel has done its job if it gives the feels, if it indulges a fantasy, or provides an escape. And of course the combination of richly layered love story and toe-curling sexy times, sparkling chemistry and exactly right hero and heroine is what separates the wheat from the chaff, an analogy Hudson Valley series author Alice Clayton will appreciate, whose latest entry Cream of the Crop is the best she’s ever done (even better than Wallbanger, I’d pose). And it’s because when a book and its characters go beyond feeling to changing, that’s what turns reading to empowering, and that’s just what the fabulous, size-eighteen heroine Natalie Grayson does, maybe without ever even realizing it.
Natalie is a gorgeous, take-by-storm advertising executive in posh New York City, where she kills at her job and loves life. She’s financially successful, a social butterfly, a devoted daughter and loving friend, and takes men when and how she pleases. And, both way down on the list and of utmost importance, Natalie has curves. Beautiful, hourglass curves “with an extra hour or two at each end” that she works and owns and appreciates.