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.
Renewed Friends to Lovers
Friendship on Fire continues the Braden family saga. In this installment, Josh Braden is the urbane, successful, New York Braden who runs a prestigious clothing design firm. In the previous book in this series, he reconnected with Riley Banks, a talented hometown girl with dreams of becoming a designer herself. Riley and Josh have a childhood history of unknown and unrequited childhood crushes on each other. When they reconnect, Josh recognizes Riley’s design talent and offers her an entry-level job at his firm. Determined to make a success of herself, Riley settles into her new job and takes the firm by storm, much to the displeasure of her devious and deceitful mentor. Riley and Josh’s old friendship rapidly heats up, resulting in ethical quandaries which are further strained when Riley is accused of stealing designs from her mentor.
This Braden installment has plenty of heat. It was probably one of my favorite books in the series so far. However, because some of Riley and Josh’s backstory occurred in a previous book, it felt, at times, as if I was dropped in the middle of their story. I wanted to see more of that earlier getting to re-know you phase. With the interconnected nature of Melissa Foster’s books, this happens at times where one feels they are dropped into a slice of the character’s life instead of following it from start to finish. Although each book can be read as a stand alone story, it highlights the benefit of reading this series in order from start to finish. It was nice to see some of the previous couples and characters in the series make an appearance. One comes away from the books in this series feeling as if you really know this family.
As usual, B. J. Harrison does an amazing job with the narration.
***I received a free copy of this audiobook at my request in exchange for my own unbiased review.***
Meant to be!
This was another great romance from Melissa Foster! This is the third book in the Braden series and the sixth book in the bigger Love in Bloom series. This story would work well as a stand-alone but a lot of the characters from previous books play a role in this story so it would be ideal to read the series in order if at all possible. I started listening to this book while doing a few chores around the house and before I knew it several hours had passed. I found this story to be very entertaining.
Riley goes to New York to start working as a design assistant for Josh Braden. Riley is put under the guidance of Claudia, who is rather difficult to work with and happens to have a big crush on the boss. Riley and Josh both grew up in the same town and have had their eye on each other since they were kids. They are still attracted to each other and eventually act on those feelings. They decide to keep their relationship under wraps since they are not sure how the employees at the design firm will take the news. Before they know it, their feelings for each other will be tested in ways they never could have expected.
I liked Riley and Josh together. I thought that their personalities fit together really well and they had fantastic chemistry together. When their relationship is challenged, they prove that they are willing to fight for each other and are willing to trust each other completely. When they make mistakes, they are willing to apologize and do what needs to be done in order to move on. I really felt like their relationship felt authentic.
B.J. Harrison did a great job with the narration. He has narrated almost all of the books in the Love in Bloom series and I do enjoy his narration. He does a great job with the character voices and I think that he is able to add a lot of emotion into his reading. His voice is very pleasant, and I believe that his narration added to my enjoyment of this book.
I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romances. I had a great time watching Riley and Josh fall for each other and look forward to continuing with the series very soon.
I received a copy of this audiobook from the author/publicist.
Career or Love which will come First?
Nothing like a country girl being transported to the big city to set the scene for the perfect love story. Lacey and Josh Braden were just meant to be after you get past the fancy designer clothes and high expectations set for Lacey to be the perfect new employee at Josh’s design studio. I had the opportunity to read and listen to this book and the audio version made it perfect to listen to this love story while working and going through life’s boring monotony.