Review and Excerpt Tour: Close To You: Kristen Proby

Close To You (Fusion #2)
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on sale from William Morrow August 9. 2016

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby comes the second novel in her sizzling Fusion series that began with Listen to Me

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?

Anyone who pre-orders the book and enters their information here will get an email with a short story about Will and Meg from PLAY WITH ME from the With Me in Seattle series

Landon Palazzo is coming home, no longer a Navy pilot and a little lost on where his life is going. But his sister's best friend, Cami LaRue, is ready to welcome him back.

She's sweet, funny, kind, and smart. She is generally a work-a-holic and loves running the popular restaurant, Fusion, with her best friends. She has been crushing hard on Landon since they were kids.

She worries that he will never feel the same so she tries to avoid the temptation of him. But Landon has other ideas. He's always had feelings for her too, but just hid them better. And then he left for the Navy while she got married and divorced. But if Landon has his way, it will finally be their time.

I loved Landon. He was initially sad and worried. But he was charming, thoughtful, protective, and decisive. He had a bit of an alpha edge and bossiness to him, but was overall a lovable, swoon-worthy hero. Cami was just adorable, but she was a bit insecure at times. But these two acted maturely. In contrast to the first book, Listen to Me, there was not a lot of unecessary angst or drama in this one. Yes, there were some issues, but they were not left to fester too long and it was really an engaging, lighter read. But on that same token, it lacked a lot of conflict to drive angst into the story. With their long personal history and his recent issues, there were opportunities to do so, but they were not explored very deeply. But sometimes I just need a book that makes me smile and swoon, and this fit the bill.

It was a sweet, sexy, humorous, heartwarming second-chance, friends-to-lovers story. I had an easier time getting into this one than the first book probably because I am already familiar with the large cast of primary characters. But her four besties and business partners, Mia(Landon's sister), Addie, Riley, and Kat are back along with their hairdresser CiCi. And some men Jake(Addie's man), Max, Lucas, Steven (her nephew), and Brian (her ex) are also featured. The whole group has an interesting and fun dynamic. And the girls especially all have unique personalities.

It sounds like Kat might be the next friend to find a man. But so far she has worn off relationships and kids. Should be interesting to see where her story goes. And I am really looking forward to Landon's sister, Mia.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
In the second book in Kristen Proby’s Fusion series, Close to You takes a closer look at business manager, Cami, and Mia’s brother, Landon. Because Cami and Mia have been friends since childhood, Cami and Landon have known each other nearly as long, but Cami never thought she would have anything but a childhood crush on her best friend’s brother. A childhood crush that was the worst kept secret around -- even Landon knew she had a crush on him. Their age difference kept him from getting closer to Cami then, but they are both adults now, and after facing a serious accident that ended his Navy career, Landon isn’t willing to let anything else he wants slip through his fingers.

I loved these two. Their history added a sweetness as things begin heating up, especially as it becomes clear that the crush was not one sided. Though Landon’s distance hurt Cami, it was the right thing to do at the time, and his reasoning was sound. The spark that was relit when Landon returns to Portland catches quickly, and they must figure out how to keep the friendship they once had as well as balance the heat between them.

This book had a whole lot more heart than I was anticipating. I wasn’t expecting the direction the storyline took, but I loved watching these two navigate their friends to lovers relationship and planning for the future. 

Where Listen to Me did almost as much to establish the friendship between the women running Seduction as it did to cement the bond between Jake and Addie, Close to You focuses less on the bond between the women and more closely at Cami and Landon. As expected, there are little hints about what is going on in the other women’s lives, though in the background. Kat is the focus of the next book, and based on her fiery personality, we should be in for a whirlwind in Blush for Me.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
“I can’t believe that we’re expanding already,” Riley says, eyeing Mia’s wine. “We’ve been open less than a year.”
“And we’re bursting at the seams,” I reply. “With Jake packing in crowds every weekend, and word spreading of what a fun, sexy place this is, our wait times are too long. I’ve made graphs and spreadsheets. Needing to expand isn’t a bad thing.”
“I agree,” Addie says with a nod. “And I think we’d be packing in people with or without Jake. Just don’t tell him I said that.”
Jake Knox is Addie’s husband, and a former rock star who’s been playing at Seduction on the weekends. His voice is pure sex, and is perfect for the atmosphere of our place.
“Oh God, she brought graphs,” Mia says, hanging her head in her hand. “This is all a foreign language to me.”
“I was able to talk the former owners next door down far enough that we can pay cash for the space,” I say, ignoring Mia, and pass around the report I typed up last night after Riley left and I couldn’t sleep. I’ve attached the graphs and spreadsheets to the back.
“We don’t have to take out a loan?” Kat asks, surprised. “That’s awesome.”
“You are such a great financial officer, Cami,” Mia says with a smile. “I used to hate your budgets, but it’s exactly what we needed.”
I grin. Mia’s disgust over my budgets was never a secret. The passionate chef has thrown many a spatula at my head when I told her she couldn’t have more money for extra truffles.
“Honestly, my only concern is time,” Addie says. “I don’t have time to oversee construction. I know that Mia practically lives in the kitchen, and with Kat running the bar and Riley dealing with marketing, who’s going to take the lead on this?”
“I agree, and honestly, now that Seduction is my only client, I have the time to take on the project.” I fold my hands over the folder and take a deep breath. As of two months ago, I closed my other CPA business and am now exclusively devoted to Seduction. Not that I wasn’t before, but a girl can handle working sixteen- hour days for only so long before she starts to go a little nutty.
“Are you sure?” Riley asks. “It’s going to be a busy few months.”
“I’m sure.”
“Awesome,” Mia says. “You and Landon will do a great job.”
“Excuse me?”
“Landon.” Mia grins and nods toward the entrance, where Landon is walking our way. “He’s taking the lead on the construction side.”
“Hi, ladies,” Landon says as he joins us. “I hear you have a project for me.”
“We have a construction crew we work with,” I sputter, but Mia just grins knowingly.
“Dad’s thinking of retiring, and Landon’s taking up some of the slack,” she says. “We’ll have the same crew, but Landon will be in charge of it.”
“Cami’s going to be in charge,” Addie informs him. “So anything you need, you just call her.”
“Great,” he replies, and I finally glance up at him only to find him watching me with those shining blue eyes. “I promise to go easy on you.”
Listen To Me (Fusion #1
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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.
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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