By K.A. Ware
I LOVED Nuts by Alice Clayton, so as much as I was excited for the series to continue, I was worried. So many times the sequel doesn’t quite live up to the expectations you build for it in your head, that is absolutely NOT the case for Cream of the Crop. Clayton knocked it out of the park, then it got in a cab and drove to the other side of town. No really, that’s where the best dumplings are.
Clayton took on the hugely relevant topic of body positivity and made it her bitch. One thing that I loved about this book was that I was surprised when the main character Natalie mentioned her weight and size. I think that’s an absolute credit to the way Clayton wrote this book. She really let us get to know who Natalie was before she mentioned anything about her physicality. It was so refreshing to see a character who didn’t feel that her size was her primary identifier. Clayton let us see her personality, her innate sexuality, the way she kills it at her job, and her go get ’em attitude before bringing up that she just happened to be a certain size.
The thing that captured me about Natalie was her absolute confidence. She knew who she wanted, what she wanted, when she wanted it, and how hard.
Which brings me to Oscar. Oh Holy dairy God in heaven. He’s everything you want in a broody, badass alpha. And he makes cheese. Umm hello heaven, I think you’re missing an angel. Oscar was all man. He gave zero fucks about what anyone thought of him and went after what he wanted with a single minded intensity that leapt from the pages.
The heartache of their pasts, Natalie’s especially, resonated with me. I felt my heart breaking when she recounted her history. And I cannot emphasis this enough, I LOVED how she overcame her past and became stronger and more confident despite it. Too much of the time we see the beaten down heroine that suddenly finds her self-worth after meeting the drop-dead gorgeous guy that she never thought would spare her a second glance. This is not one of those stories. This is the story of a woman that overcame her own issues by drawing strength from within herself and just so happens to meet a man that she turns into mush around. Never once does she doubt that she’s good enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or strong enough. She already knows she’s enough, and he’s lucky to have her.
In conclusion, Natalie Grayson is my spirit animal and everyone should read this incredible book.
In a world full of princesses with low self esteem, be a Natalie.