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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
  • 24-04-2017

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

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  • #RomanceFangirl
  • 19-10-2021

Small town love in the big city!

The audio version of Friendship on Fire is just as good if not better than the print version. I read Riley and Josh’s love story several years ago and loved it! Now, I was able to listen to it come alive in my head and visualize the passion easier. Even though I have read the book I still found myself nervously listening to the parts that were tension filled. It was like listening/reading the story for the first time. BJ Harrison does a fine job of narrating this story. I’m always amazed at how many voices a single person can perform and remember which voice goes with which character. I like his voice. I wish there was a female and male narrator. My preference is dual narrators. I received an ALC in exchange for an honest review. ****

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  • kgagnon
  • 21-07-2021

Sweet and Steamy Romance!

I loved Josh and Riley's heartwarming and steamy friends to lovers romance! They grew up in the same small town, while crushing on each other from afar, never acting on it because of a family feud. Now Josh is a successful designer in New York and he just hired Riley as one of his fashion design assistants. This is her dream job and she is determined to work hard and learn everything about the business. As Josh and Riley spend time working together, their long buried feelings for each other burn to the surface. They can't deny their attraction, and soon begin a passionate, loving affair. But Riley is new to the industry and they decide to keep their feelings a secret, in an effort to protect Riley's reputation. But when someone is threatened by Riley, along with her talent, events happen that threaten not only her reputation but Josh's business as well. This was such a beautiful, sweet, and passionate story. Josh and Riley are so great together, having so much in common from their shared love of fashion design, to their loving and supportive families. They are both so kind, caring, and unconditionally loyal, and their chemistry is off the charts.
I enjoyed B.J. Harrison' narration. His voice is smooth yet expressive, setting each scene beautifully, and bringing these characters and story to life, making this a captivating listen.

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  • PATRICIA
  • 22-03-2021

Ah, Josh!

Melissa Foster always has a story to warm my heart! I love Riley and Josh! These two are made for each other. Riley comes to New York to start her new job and is recognized immediately for amazing talent. Working for Josh, her childhood crush is just icing on the cake. When he takes a personal interest in her, she is hesitant to go public. After all, people the office will talk about how she got her job. There is one person who is particularly interested in Josh, and as trouble mounts, so does suspicion... in Riley. Will Josh and Riley flush out the truth? Will Riley just give up? Will this end their relationship? You will have to listen to find out! The story is wonderful! Riley is passionate about her work, and about Josh. Independent and excited to grow, she is quite a woman. Josh is private, and Riley has broken through his barrier. It's a treat to see him like this and how he handles situations. Plus we get to see our previous Bradens which makes it all feel like coming home. I love Josh's dad and how he talks to his mom, and how his brother's bring the sagest of advice. It's a story you have to grab and enjoy!

BJ Harrison continues his wonderful narration of this series. He is spot on with his voices and I love how he is consistent from book to book. It's makes listening a pleasure.

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  • Carole Wooten
  • 24-02-2021

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.

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  • Rabid Reader
  • 22-02-2021

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.***

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  • Lindsay C
  • 22-01-2021

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.

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  • Michelle Pierce
  • 05-01-2021

Great Story!

I really enjoyed this story and having New York City as the backdrop, even better. Watching Josh and Riley realize their true feelings toward each other but having to walk that fine line of going public or keeping their relationship private, was very interesting. I loved meeting Mia and all the other personalities at JBD, and I was oh so happy when Claudia got what she deserved. As always, I loved the Braden family being there for each other and the ending was perfect for these two fashion designers. Great story by Melissa Foster. I listened to this story as an audiobook narrated by B.J. Harrison. I enjoy his narration and liked how he narrated Josh and his sophistication and Claudia and her air of haughtiness. I always feel like he does a good job with Hal’s narration as well. My favorite part of the audiobook was the conversion between Hal and Josh at the restaurant, perfect moment which made me tear up. He is always consistent with his narration.

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  • Bren
  • 20-10-2020

Friends to Lovers ❤️

Friends to Lovers ❤️
Josh Braden is a fashion designer in NY and is different than his brothers, but I really like his character. He grew up with Riley and they both secretly had crushes on each other while growing up. He hired Riley to work with him because he loved her designs and was excited to give her the chance to shine. I enjoyed Josh and Riley's friendship and their eventual romance. There was some time that there was uncertainty if they would get together, but that made the story. The other characters that were introduced in this story were good and I also enjoyed that the Braden family and their significant others were also in this story again. This was a great book and I am looking forward to the next Braden story.
The narration in this story was very good.

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  • carvanz
  • 02-08-2020

Lived up to my expectations of perfection!

Audiobook: Narrator - B.J. Harrison

I’m really enjoying this narrator’s performance of this series! He brings a whole other level to the stories than reading alone would do. With a voice that invokes deep emotion, I’m highly addicted to not only him but the Bradens!


I was excited to get Josh and Riley’s story! Their relationship skirted the edges of taboo as she is his employee, but they’ve both had each other in their sights since they were young. Watching them connect and make it work was wonderful. There was a lot of other woman drama that caused the angst level to really ratchet up but I loved how they overcame the issues.

This has a great pace to it that never bogged down and a steam level that had me making sure no one was nearby to overhear what I was listening to. I loved seeing characters from the previous books and getting a few clues on what might be coming up next. I’m absolutely loving the Bradens!!

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  • katiemay
  • 10-02-2019

Got to love a girl who wears Gucci Premiere

Josh and Riley have had a crush on each other since school. But because of an on going feud with the Bradens and the Johnsons (her best friend Jade Johnson) they never let each other know. When Jade got together with Rex Braden, Riley was embraced into the family. When Josh offered her a job in New York she jumped at the chance to become a fashion designer and learn from the best. She tries her hardest to fit in and quickly makes friends with most of her co workers. But there is one who tries to belittle her at every opportunity. Claudia wants Josh and will do anything to get him. As Josh and Riley get closer Claudia steps up her game. When Claudia accuses Riley of stealing designs it get ugly quickly with Josh caught in the middle, will his love for Riley fizzle before its even started or will the evidence clear Riley. Josh is one of my favourite Bradens along with his brother Dane. I have read the book on several occasions and have now listened to it on audio. Melissa did good when she picked BJ Harrison as the narrator

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  • Debra McDonald
  • 16-03-2017

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.

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