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Release Week Blitz: Listen to Me: Kristen Proby


Listen To Me (Fusion #1
Kristen Proby
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Expected April 12, 2016

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby’s brand new series, five best friends open a hot new restaurant, but one of them gets much more than she bargained for when a sexy former rock star walks through the doors—and into her heart.

Seduction is quickly becoming the hottest new restaurant in Portland, and Addison Wade is proud to claim 1/5 of the credit. She’s determined to make it a success and can’t think of a better way to bring in new customers than live music. But when former rock star Jake Keller swaggers through the doors to apply for the weekend gig, she knows she’s in trouble. Addie instantly recognizes him—his posters were plastered all over her bedroom walls in high school—he’s all bad boy...exactly her type and exactly what she doesn’t need.

Jake Keller walked away from the limelight five years ago and yearns to return to what’s always driven him: the music. If he gets to work for a smart-mouthed, funny-as-hell bombshell, all the better. But talking Addie into giving him the job is far easier than persuading her that he wants more than a romp in her bed. Just when she begins to drop her walls, Jake’s past finally catches up with him.

Will Addie be torn apart once again or will Jake be able to convince her to drown out her doubts and listen to her heart?


This is the start of a the new Fusion series that revolves around five women friends who own and operate their own restaurant called Seduction. This is Addie's story but also introduces the large cast of characters. Her best friends Mia, Cami, Kat and Riley all have their own unique personalities and a strong bond between them.
Addie is a magnet for bad boys or losers who like to use her and cheat on her. She's got trust and abandonment issues. She's smart, sassy, strong and guarded. She doesn't want to count on any men or be disappointed again. 

Jake Knox was a rock star, but due to some events, he gave it all up, became a virtual recluse and changed to a behind the scenes career. But he misses the music. From his first meeting with Addie, he felt that spark. Ad being able to sing at the restaurant gives him time to try to break her down. He's funny, sexy, charming and irresistible, but he is also vulnerable and has guilt from the past and feels undeserving. 

Once they started to try to build something, it seemed promising and was easy for a while. But they both have fears, insecurities, and demons that make appearances and complicate things.

Although I liked the characters, I also got so frustrated with them. I enjoyed the dual points of view so I could try to understand their thinking and emotions.  Talk about stubborn personalities, avoidance, and serious communication issues! I wanted to toss my kindle or smack them with it, especially Addie. There was quite a bit of overdrawn angst and overreactions.


Part of the problem of being book one in what is going to be a new long series is the introduction of so many new characters at once. In addition to the girls at the restaurant, there are Jake's friends, Max, Tiffany, Christina, and Kevin...and the girls' hairdresser Cici...and Mia's brother, Landon and their family. All had roles to play in the story and future stories, but it is a lot of new people. With that being said, I think it will be easier to continue with the series now that I know the characters and she already set up book two. 

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. 

Addison is looking for a music act to perform weekend nights at the restaurant she runs with her 4 best friends. The prospects she finds at a nearby open mic night are less than exciting, except for Jake Knox, of Hard Knox fame, and there’s no way they could afford him. While she liked Hard Knox’s music, she never had Jake’s poster on her walls, unlike her best friends. Though she finds him attractive, she has sworn off musicians after being hurt one too many times.

Jake Keller was famous when he was Jake Knox, but he hasn’t performed in 5 years, hasn’t stepped into the spotlight. What he has done is open a production company so he can stay close to the music that he loves. But 5 years away from performing and he misses it. One song at an open mic night only proves that. When he sees a window ad for a weekend musician at a new restaurant he decides that is a small enough stage to feel like he is performing without having to face the mistakes of his past. He doesn’t expect for the front of house manager/co-owner of the place to pique his interest quite like she does and he finds himself wanting more for the first time in a long time.

The draw between these two was instant. From the first moment Jake looked at her at the open mic night, there was a spark between them. Though Addison fought her desires, Jake was willing to see where things went from the very beginning.

I loved the side characters. Addison’s friends each have their own part of the restaurant that fits with their personalities perfectly. Their support, encouragement, and sometimes meddling made for fun moments throughout the story. Jake’s best friend, Christina, brought interesting insight to him as a person and to the story as a whole. His guilt directly ties to her, and what she knows about the night that haunts Jake is eye opening.
As the first book in a new series, there are a lot of characters to introduce and get to know. Kristen Proby is good at keeping character’s interesting through a long series and I look forward to seeing more from these women. Cami’s story is set up solidly throughout the background of Jake and Addison’s, and the final piece that drops in the epilogue makes me anticipate her story even more.

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. 


Addison

“‘In summary,’” Cami, one of my very best friends, and a business partner, reads from the Portland Tribune, “‘Seduction is a restaurant unlike any other I’ve experienced. The food is delicious, the wine bar impressive, and the ambiance so sexy, it will take your breath away. I highly recommend this restaurant for your next date night.’”

“I want to send that reviewer flowers,” Mia says with a wide smile. “Who would have thought that just six months after opening this place, we’d already have a review like this?”

“Well, it’s a no-brainer that they’d love the food,” I reply, and reach for the paper so I can read it again for the fifteenth time. “You’re a genius in the kitchen, Mia. We’ve known that since we were in high school.”

“I still get nervous, especially now that I never know who the customers are going to be. We didn’t even get a heads-up that this guy was going to be here.” Mia bites the cuticle on her thumb and frowns. “Maybe I should add to the menu.”

“The menu is perfect,” Cami replies with a shake of her blond head.

“He loved us.”

We smile at each other, and finally I do a little happy dance in my seat. We haven’t opened for the day yet. Kat and Riley, the final two business partners in our fivesome, haven’t arrived. But Mia, Cami, and I have read this article over and over again, smiling and dancing.

Rejoicing.

Because damn it, we’ve worked our asses off since we opened the doors six months ago. All of our eggs are in this basket. We can’t fail.

And we won’t.

We hear the front door open and close, and I expect to see either Riley or Kat, but instead Jeremy saunters into the dining room, looking all rumpled and messy from sleep. His eyelids are still heavy. His chin is scruffy. His blond hair is standing on end, still in chaos from my fingers last night.

Jesus, this man makes my hormones work overtime.

He grins and kisses my head, then picks up my coffee and sits next to me.

“Why are you here?” Cami asks with a frown. “I’m in too good of a mood to have to pretend to like you.”

I glare at my best friend, but she just shrugs.

“My girlfriend is here,” Jeremy replies and sips my coffee. “I missed her.”

“Please,” Mia whispers with a roll of the eyes. My friends used to like Jeremy, in the beginning, but now they make it no secret that they don’t care for him. But they are just overprotective. They don’t want to see me get hurt. Sure, he’s a musician. Not a particularly gifted one at that, but he does well, booking gigs for his band, Hells Roses, regularly.

And, oh my God, what the man can do in the bedroom should be a felony. He makes me laugh, and despite his arrogant persona around everyone else, he has moments of real vulnerability and sweetness when we’re alone.

Is he the one? Probably not, but I’m pretty much convinced that the one was invented by romance novelists and Disney. “Be nice,” I snap and continue to read the paper. “We got a kick-ass review in the Tribune,” I inform Jeremy with a grin.

“Of course you did,” he replies and kisses my cheek. “Are the music reviews in there too?” He snatches the paper and shifts through the pages, then reads through the reviews of the music and club scene in Portland. “Not one fucking mention?”

Cami catches my gaze, then crosses her eyes in annoyance. I simply shrug. He’s not in the restaurant business. He wouldn’t understand what a big deal this is for us.

“I’ve been thinking,” I begin, and lean my elbows on the table. “Now that business is picking up, I think we should add live music on the weekends.”

“Sorry, cupcake,” Jeremy says with a sigh. “We’re booked.”

Thank God. Jeremy’s band isn’t the one I’d want for my place. But rather than jab at his ego, I simply smile and kiss his shoulder.

“I know, babe. But I’d still like to bring in someone.

Maybe just a one-person act, just a microphone and a stool, you know?”

“We can afford it,” Cami replies with a thoughtful frown. Cami is our chief financial officer. She handles all things money, and she’s a wizard at adding up figures in her head. “Who are you thinking?”

“I don’t know.” I reach for my coffee mug and frown when I see that Jeremy has sucked down every last drop. “Babe, will you please run over to Starbucks and get us more coffee?”

“I forgot my wallet,” he replies with a scowl. I reach into my bag and pass him a twenty. “You got it.”

“Thank you.”

“Oh, and one place you might look for a musician,” he adds as he steps away from the table, “is the open-mic night at Crush this Saturday. There are usually some good acts there. I’d bet you’d find what you’re looking for.”

I grin at my sexy boyfriend and blow him a kiss. “Thank you.”

He winks and saunters out of the restaurant. When the door closes behind him, Mia shakes her head at me. “Seriously?”

“Open mic night is a brilliant idea,” I inform her.  “That’s not what she’s talking about,” Cami says. “Jeremy is a douche bag.”

“He is not.” I roll my eyes and sit back in my chair. Okay, maybe he has douchey moments. “He’s sweet. And sexy.”

“And mooching off of you. His wallet was in his back pocket,” Mia argues. “And I’ll bet all of this month’s chocolate budget that he’s staying with you too.”

“His roommate moved out, and he couldn’t afford his place alone.”

“Addie.” Cami reaches for my hand. “You are not a doormat.”

“He doesn’t treat me like a doormat.”

“Yes. He does.” Mia sighs and takes my other hand. “You deserve so much better.”

“I love you both,” I begin, my stomach heaving. “I know you just want to protect me. Jeremy is a good guy. I like him.”

“Okay.” Cami sips her coffee, then shrugs one slim shoulder. “But when he breaks your heart, we’ll be here.”

“Let’s talk about this open-mic night. Who’s going with me?”

Mia and Cami exchange glances.

“I’ll be working,” Mia says. “I have some new Saturday night specials I want to try.”

“I don’t want to,” Cami says honestly. “I trust you to find exactly what we need.”

“I’ll take Kat.” I chew my lip, ideas already swirling in my head. “She’s a good judge of these things.”

“Good idea.”

The door opens again.

“Oh good. Mr. Wonderful is back,” Cami mutters.

  Listen to Me - song banner  

A Message from Kristen about If I Had Never Met You: 

From the minute song writer Jake Keller lays eyes on Addison Wade, a tune sets up residence in his head. As he gets to know her, the tune becomes a song. Their song. Addie's song. The stakes are the highest they've ever been for him when he finally sings it to her, but will it be enough to keep her? ​ I can't thank Brad Yunek and Dan Keseloff enough for writing this beautiful song to accompany Jake and Addie's story. I hope you love it as much as I do!
Kristen Proby - signature   

 

 
If I Had Never Met You is now available on iTunesGoogle Play, and Amazon for just $.99!

Close To You (Fusion #2)
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Expected August 9, 2016


From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby comes the second novel in her sizzling Fusion series.

Camilla, “Cami,” LaRue was five years old when she first fell in love with Landon Palazzo. Everyone told her the puppy love would fade—they clearly never met Landon. When he left after graduation without a backward glance, she was heartbroken. But Cami grew up, moved on, and became part-owner of wildly popular restaurant Seduction. She has everything she could want...or so she thinks.

After spending the last 12 years as a Navy fighter pilot, Landon returns to Portland to take over the family construction business. When he catches a glimpse of little Cami LaRue, he realizes she’s not so little any more. He always had a soft spot for his little sister’s best friend, but nothing is soft now when he’s around the gorgeous restauranteur.

Landon isn’t going to pass up the chance to make the girl-next-door his. She’s never been one for romance, but he’s just the one to change her mind. Will seduction be just the name of her restaurant or will Cami let him get close enough to fulfill all her fantasies? 

Author Pic - Kristen ProbyKristen Proby
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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Kristen Proby is the author of the popular With Me in Seattle series. She has a passion for a good love story and strong characters who love humor and have a strong sense of loyalty and family. Her men are the alpha type—fiercely protective and a bit bossy—and her ladies are fun, strong, and not afraid to stand up for themselves. Kristen spends her days with her muse in the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys coffee, chocolate, and sunshine. And naps. Visit her at KristenProby.com.    

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