Friendship on Fire is the sixth book in the Love in Bloom series. While Friendship on Fire can be experienced as a standalone novel, for even more listening enjoyment you may want to hear the Love in Bloom series in series order.
Small-town overachiever Riley Banks has finally scored her big break - working in Manhattan as a fashion design assistant for her childhood crush, Josh Braden. She enters her new job hoping to make a name for herself and - just maybe - explore the romance that slipped through her fingers way back when.
Josh Braden has models at his beck and call, a staff that never says never, and an elegant clothing line for the holiday season. When he hires Riley Banks, he expects her to learn the business from the ground up. But the girl next door turns out to be much more than he remembered.
Josh and Riley's friendship heats up. Every steamy kiss and every erotic caress stirs a love they cannot deny. But when Riley designs a wedding gown that would cause even the most jaded fashion editors to swoon, Riley's mentor accuses her of stealing the design.
Facing indisputable proof and the mistrust of her lover, Riley is not sure she can take the heat of life in the fast lane of the fashion industry - and Josh is forced to choose between the woman he loves and the career he adores.
Content warning: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18-plus.
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Friendship on Fire (The Bradens at Wesont, CO #3) was another great read by Melissa Foster. I loved reading Josh and Riley’s story, we met them in Destined for Love. Riley has come from a small town and has finally gotten her big break as a fashion design assistant in Manhattan. She is working for her childhood crush, Josh. Their friendship heated up while she worked for him. I loved reading this book and I can’t wait to read more by Melissa Foster. B.J. Harrison did a great job of narrating the book and keeping you enthralled in what is happening to the characters.
Friends to Lovers
Friendship on Fire: Love in Bloom, Book 6 Melissa Foster
Narrated by B. J. Harrison
Riley Banks is best friends with Jade Johnson and like Jade, had a crush in high school on one the Braden boys - Josh Braden. Unknown to Riley, Josh shared that attraction, though he never acted on it. Fast forward to years later. Riley is a young designer with no where to go in Weston and Josh is a celebrated New York fashion designer.
Through a series of home visits Josh sees Riley’s portfolio and offers her a job at his design firm. This is the break Riley never saw coming and as she heads out to NYC, she’s filled with a mix of anticipation and apprehension, questioning whether she’s meant for the big city, at the same time Josh is questioning his own direction. He misses the simplicity of back home and honesty compared to the often cutthroat environment he works and resides in. He’s tired of dating the “right” women and the more time he spends with Riley, the clearer things appear. Riley is easy to be with, beautiful and sexy, honest and real, vibrant and full of life. Josh, the hot, celebrated eligible bachelor, who longs for more, can’t resist her. He and Riley start a relationship in spite of her determination to focus only on her budding career, not wanting to become the office water cooler gossip topic, Josh reluctantly agrees t keep their relationship secret.
Claudia, the conniving, often manipulative employee assigned as Riley’s mentor does everything in her power to destroy Riley’s credibility and the budding attraction she witnesses, wanting to claim Josh for herself. Her uncle gave Josh his first big break and Josh felt compelled to hire Claudia as a favor. Riley is eventually accused of stealing designs and has to defend herself. These accusations can end her career before it even gets off the ground and it tests her relationship with Josh on both a business and personal level.
This is where we see Josh’s struggle. He wants to believe Riley, but all evidence points to her guilt. Riley is floored, but refuses to let it ruin her or beg Josh to believe her.
This friends to lovers story won’t disappoint. Read or listen for yourself. I did both. I love B.J. Harrison and can easily get lost in the story listening to his narration. Another 5 stars!
Riley and Josh
Riley Banks has finally seen her dreams start to come true. She has a job as a fashion design assistant in Manhattan working for her high school crush, Josh Braden. Josh and Riley’s friendship heats up quickly once she gets settled into Josh’s sisters apartment and starts her new job. With steamy kisses and hot caresses their love blooms and they cannot deny their feelings. When Riley’s mentor, Claudia, accuses her of stealing a design from her, Riley’s is doubting her life as a fashion designer and her life with Josh.
Melissa Foster did not disappoint. With each book in this series I have seriously crushed on the leading men. Josh fell right into that crush area. He is sexy, rich, independent, and successful. He is also loving, faithful, and protective of those he loves. I love that each of the leading women in the books is also successful and strong willed. Riley does not let Josh walk over her, whether in their love life or in her career. She struggles with Josh’s love and how their relationship will be perceived in their work place.
This series of books are easy to read. Fun, easy, sexy, and oh so steamy. Friendship on Fire showed real life struggles, family values (standing by what you believe), and love. I highly recommend this book and the entire series to all chic-lit lovers.