Series: Fusion #1
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on April 12th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Barnes & Noble
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?
I love the concept of this series. Five best girlfriends running a restaurant together. One is in charge of the food and the cooking, one is in charge of the bar and the alcohol, one is in charge of the finances, one is in charge of the marketing, and one is the general manager. Seduction sounds like exactly the kind of place I’d like to eat. And I really liked Addie and I really liked Jake. But I don’t know how much I liked Addie and Jake.
There’s something about the two of them together that I just didn’t connect with. Addie has a type. She always falls for the musician bad boy, the guy who’s never on the same page as her. She wants a real connection, someone she can count on, someone who’s completely in her corner always The guys she ends up with are never that guy. Including the guy she’s dating when the book starts. He’s gotten rid of in short order, but it’s the last straw as far as Addison is concerned. She’s finally decided to swear off musicians and date against her type, hoping she’ll find something that will last.
Most of Addie’s issues stem from her parents, who aren’t terrible people, they’re just supremely uninterested in Addie or her life. They had her really early, and as far as I can tell were great parents until she was grown and off to college. Then they realized they were still young and could take off, too, and they just sort of… lost interest. They travel, and when they get back to California, it never occurs to them to check in with Addie or visit, they’ve never seen Seduction, they’re just completely involved in their own lives and don’t give a thought to Addie.
Enter Jake Keller. Better known to the world as Jake Knox, lead singer of the band Hard Knox. He doesn’t perform anymore, and he really misses it. He ends up auditioning to be the live music on the weekends at Seduction, and he’s instantly taken with Addie. But since she’s sworn off musicians, he has his work cut out for him trying to convince her to even give him a chance.
The thing is, I think Addie really could have used that break from dating. Every single guy she’s been with has cheated on her, treated her like a doormat, and broken her heart. Every single one. As she puts it “My man-picker is broken”. She has a lot going on with a new restaurant, and she’s a serial monogamist. She breaks up with Jeremy, rightfully so, in the first five pages, and is onto Jake almost instantly. I wanted her to take a break. I wanted her to figure out what attracts her to men who treat her so badly and take a little time for herself. If this exact story had happened with a time jump after she dumped Jeremy, I think I’d have liked it more. Her issues lead her to vastly overreact (in my opinion) to a situation with Jake and almost wreck the relationship completely.
Jake has his own demons. He stopped performing after all the crap that came along with the success caught up to him. The drinking, the drugs, the constant stream of women. He’s been writing music and has made a pretty great career of producing, but he misses the spotlight. No, not the spotlight, exactly. But the experience of performing, for putting his music out there for people. He’s just as happy performing at Seduction with his acoustic guitar and a stool as he was out on the road with his band.
I just didn’t feel the connection between them as strongly as I would have liked. Based on the ratings I’ve seen for it, though, I am way, way in the minority, so don’t listen to me. One thing about this book that I did love was the relationship between the five women. All of them are completely there for each other, whether that’s as a cheerleader, or as an ass-kicker, or a shoulder to cry on. They have adult conversations where they’re not afraid to call each other out on everything and anything. That relationship will keep me coming back for the rest of the series, no matter how I feel about the men involved.