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How steamy is it? Hot Damn

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2014 Melissa Foster (P)2015 Melissa Foster

Critic Reviews

"[L]ove, loss, lies, grief, finding happiness in the face of adversity, romance, humor, bravery, hot hot hot sex scenes, marriages, births and totally awesome characters." (Supportive Business Mums, UK)
"The entire Love in Bloom series takes everything I love about a good romance novel and serves it up the way few authors can." (Fic Central)
"Steamy sex scenes and heartfelt confessions....a satisfying addition to the Love in Bloom series." ( Midwest Book Review, on Lovers at Heart)
"Like Nora Roberts, Melissa Foster has captivated me with her fantastic, sexy, romantic stories." (Kimberly Winning, avid reader)

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  • Gaele
  • Atlanta, GA
  • 04-24-17

Oh the tensions were strong in this one.

AudioBook Review:
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 3 Story 4

Josh Braden always was a bit different from everyone else in his family, he sees life through the eyes of a designer, a fashion designer. He’s got a successful business, a full staff, a growing reputation as a designer and women falling at his feet. What he doesn’t have is the ability to ignore the new assistant, a part of a family that has been embroiled in difficulties with his own back home in Colorado.

Riley Banks has her own dreams of design, and a gentle (or not so) push from Rex and Jade convince Josh to look at her work. He’s surprised at her talent, and knows that she just needs a mentor and some help to learn the ins and outs, before launching her own career. Even though she’s intrigued (and hides a long- standing crush) by Josh, she’s completely surprised when he offers her a chance to learn the business from the inside – and work her way up. He’s got an assistant perfectly poised to help her in Claudia, and it won’t be that difficult to help someone from ‘home’.

Oh the tensions were strong in this one. Let’s completely ignore the forbidden “boss / employee” angle, especially in the media heavy world of design and just focus on the prevalence of models, media and sycophants all willing to suck up to the boss in order to rise to the top. Then add in the less than welcoming (and often devious) machinations of Riley’s mentor Claudia, and the repeated barbs and ‘first to the story’ moments that Claudia has with Josh. Oh and add in an electric attraction to Josh, the chemistry smokes between these two, and mix in a bit of “keep it secret”. You can’t help but see Riley’s concern that the relationship, while hidden, is most probably more intense because they are keeping it secret. But, to Josh’s favor, when the plot comes to crisis point and Riley is accused of stealing designs – he’s willing to look at everything and everyone, not giving Riley a pass but a chance. While the mystery isn’t difficult to solve, the increase in tension and the use of that crisis to bring the characters to their tipping point, where every step will determine their future is well done, and shows the power of the connection between Riley and Josh for what it is: true, honest and palpable, despite the difficulties in situation and appearance.

Narrated by B.J, Harrison, the continuity in narrator is commendable, allowing for a familiar feel to each character’s voice, my ears are screaming out for variation and a bit more of the interplay in the back and forth that comes with a two-person narration. It’s not that Harrison’s ability is lacking, his female voices are credible and not overdone, the male voices are clear and each character does present as distinct in pitch and tone, but the pacing, the speed at which someone speaks or responds, is calling out for more variation. Fast paced moments in dialogue weren’t as rapid-fire as expected (or often needed) simply because the switch between characters doesn’t allow for that transition. The narration as it stands is workmanlike and consistent, never stretching to great or stooping to average, but I do believe that a change that incorporated another narrator into the mix would benefit this story greatly.

I received an AudioBook copy of the title from the Publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


Review first appeared at I am, Indeed

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Love is on Fire!

Melissa Foster has brought us another story that is on Fire. B. J. Harrison is a master narrator that has the characters spot on! For even more enjoyment of the Braden's, start with the Snow Sisters.
Josh Braden was a top fashion designer in New York City. Riley Banks was given a position as assistant designer to Josh and she travels to NYC from Colorado. Josh's business associate Peter had Josh hire his niece Claudia and she was out to get her claws into Josh. Then all hell breaks loose when Claudia accuses Riley of stealing her designs.

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What a wonderful tale of love

Josh and Riley had secret crushes on each other for years. Time has past and Josh is now a super successful designer and Riley is just entering the business. And their budding love is threatened by a jealous and vindicate rival. Can their love withstand this challenge?

Once again Melissa Foster has woven a tale so life like that you feel like you could see these characters walking down the street beside you. The narrator brings Melissa's words to life and makes for a very enjoyable "read". Enjoy.

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Friends to Lovers

Oh man, I love Riley and Josh's story. Friendship is such a strong foundation to build love upon and these two are the perfect example of it. The love, humor, and just awe moments are wonderful in this story and I love the ability to listen to the story as I do my daily work and homework. Believe it or not, it makes anything more entertaining when you get to hear a Melissa Foster love story.

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An Emotion filled Read!


BJ Harrison narrates this wonderful Melissa Foster book in a way you actually feel the emotion of the characters. This book is the story of award winning clothes designer Josh Braden and up and coming designer Riley Banks. Riley has crushed on Josh all her life as they grew up together in Colorado. Josh hires Riley and she moves to New York where their relationship has a chance to grow. But due to a work situation they are challenged both professionally and personally. As BJ Harrison reads these sections I found myself fascinated by the emotion of the characters. His voice just carried so much of their feelings and again later during a conversation between Josh and his dad Hal. Of course Melissa Foster has provided the beautiful words for him to narrate. I loved this audiobook.

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Friends to Lovers

Would you consider the audio edition of Friendship on Fire to be better than the print version?

I love audio because I can really soak it in. I sit back close my eyes and just listen.

What did you like best about this story?

Josh and Riley.....so good. I love the friendship to lovers type of books and this is one of the best. This one being set in New York was a nice change of pace. Just a different glimpse into another side of the Braden family. These two have to put up with a cut throat world and even with those they thought they could trust. You will love this one.
The narration by BJ is great. I love listening to his voice. It helps me really soak in the book.

Have you listened to any of B. J. Harrison’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

He is so consistent. All his narration is awesome.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I love when ever Josh reasures Riley. It's so special.

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Loved it!

Oh those Braden men! Tall, dark, and handsome, just for starters, then throw in strong, passionate, and devoted. Now sprinkle with just a touch of insecurity and suspicion and you have the recipe for another smoking hot story from Melissa Foster’s Love in Bloom – The Bradens series.

Josh Braden and Riley Banks grew up together and had a crush on each other all through their school years. They were never able to act on those feelings due to a heated feud between the Braden family and the family of Riley’s best friend, Jade Johnson. Riley’s loyalty to Jade and Josh’s loyalty to his family has always prevented them from getting together.

Recently, Josh’s brother Rex has connected with the love of his life, Jade Johnson, and the feud between the two families has been resolved. Josh has come home to help celebrate his brother, Treat’s, engagement and to spend some time with his family. As a very successful designer in Manhattan, he doesn’t get to spend as much time with them as he would like. While celebrating with his family, Jade tells Josh about Riley and what an amazing designer she has become. He asks to see her portfolio and when they get together the old spark is still there.

Josh is more than impressed with Riley’s design work and hires her to work as a design assistant, hoping she will continue to learn and work her way up in his company. He places her under the tutorship of his lead designer, Claudia, who takes an immediate dislike to Riley. Trouble starts brewing from day one and eventually Claudia hatches a scheme, accusing Riley of stealing her designs. The problem is, they are actually Riley’s designs but she has no way of proving it. Josh is unsure what to believe, which breaks Riley’s heart, and the battle is on.

I loved the characters in this story. Melissa’s characters are always strong and well-written, but Josh and Riley really struck me. They are both strong-willed and determined people not wanting to jeopardize their careers, but not willing to throw away their love for each other, either. What they share is definitely worth fighting for, but will they? This series just never gets old for me. I keep thinking these stories have got to start getting repetitive at some point, but they just never do. Each one is as fresh, exciting, and swoon-worthy as the very first one.

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You'll be rooting for Riley!

I read Josh and Riley's story a while back, and was so happy to revisit it and listen to the audio before downloading the novella of their wedding. I have read several of Melissa Foster's books, and this one is definitely one of my favorites from the standpoint of romance but also a little mystery thrown in. The audio book narration really lends itself to the unfolding of this story--I read fast and sometimes miss some details. The narration forced me to really listen (while sometimes reading along) and relive the suspense and build up of motion and passion throughout. I found myself rooting once again for Riley and smiling when she goes for it--in life and love.

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great read

Another great book by Melissa and another great narration by RJ! I love being able to revisit this series but by listening during my commute. Riley and Josh's story is about a childhood crush turned adult crush and a great business partnership forms.

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City vs small town

I love audio books!! MJ Harrison brings the characters to life.
This is a great addition to the Weston Braden's. Josh and Riley have lots to figure out.

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  • Debra McDonald
  • 03-16-17

Friends to lovers

I love all of Melissa Fosters books and this one did not disappoint. I adore the way BJ was able to enhance the story further by using different voices and he brings warmth to the story as well. Definitely worth listening to.