Donna Reads: Close to You (Fusion #2) by Kristen Proby

Camille LaRue is one of five female business partners who run a successful restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Cami has spent her entire life in love with her partner Mia’s older brother, Landon. Landon Palazzo left and joined the Navy while Cami was still too young for him. Ten years later after an injury, he’s forced to retire as a Navy pilot, and he’s returned home. He helps out with his father’s construction business, and he’s supervising the build out and expansion of the restaurant where he’s brought back into contact with Cami on a daily basis.

This installment of the Fusion series was just okay for me. I like the characters and was interested in what was going to happen to them, but there is something lacking here. There’s a love story, and there’s adversity, but it’s almost anticlimactic when it’s all over with. The epilogue on this installment was especially disappointing. It wasn’t a wrap-up for Cami and Landon’s love story; it was just an introduction for Kat’s story in book 3. I found myself re-reading and thinking I’d missed something. It just ends abruptly in mid-thought. I haven’t decided if I will continue with this series or not. I’m leaning towards not. It had promise and likeable characters, but it’s a bit boring when all is said and done. There’s no real depth here, and everything is overcome so easily. The books are easy to read, but they almost feel like a waste of valuable reading time.

 

Donna Reads: Listen to Me (Fusion #1) by Kristen Proby

Addison Wade and her four best girlfriends have opened a successful restaurant together in downtown Portland. She’s a former model who’s not had a great history with men, and she has a weakness for musicians. Looking to increase traffic at the restaurant, the women decide to hire musical entertainment. Jake Keller is a former rock star who walked away from a successful band and career five years in the past. He works mainly behind the scenes now, producing music. Addie sees him singing a song at an open mic night, and she instantly recognizes him. He makes eye contact with her, instantly drawn to her in the crowd. A friend of his later tells him about the opening at Addie’s restaurant. Not knowing that she is one of the owners, he shows up about the job.

When the story opened Addie was in a relationship, living with a jerk who was cheating on her. She jumped pretty quickly into a relationship with the hero, and the more we find out about her, we find out that she’s had quite a few men in her life. I didn’t like that about her character. Instead of making me see her as a strong, independent woman, I saw her as too easy. I don’t think the hero slept around as much in the past as she did. At least it wasn’t mentioned as much as her friends bragged about her exploits. That was a turnoff for me. I felt bad that she thought everyone abandoned her, but maybe she brought some of that on herself by jumping from guy to guy?

Jake walked away from the band when drugs and alcohol interfered. He also spent years blaming himself for a friend’s devastating accident and injury, thinking he was responsible for everything. He has missed performing, and singing weekends in the restaurant is just what he needs. He and Addie were cute together. I liked the teasing banter between the two of them. Addie doesn’t trust easily, but Jake is determined to be more to her than just an occasional bed partner. I liked him a lot. He has demons from his past, and yes, they catch up to him, and he and Addie have their struggles. He was a little clueless as to how his interactions with other women were perceived by his girlfriend, but he wasn’t a cheater.

This was a nice love story with a lot of sweet romance, great passion and mild angst.