Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Beauty of Us by Kristen Proby Blog Tour

New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby delivers another sizzling novel in her delectable and sexy Fusion series.

Riley Gibson is over the moon at the prospect of having her restaurant, Seduction, on the Best Bites TV network. This could be the big break she’s been waiting for. But the idea of having an in-house show on a regular basis is a whole other matter. Their lives would be turned upside down, and convincing Mia, her best friend and head chef of Seduction, that having cameras in her kitchen every day is a good idea is daunting. Still, Riley knows it’s an opportunity she can’t afford to pass on. And when she meets Trevor Cooper, the show’s executive producer, she’s stunned by their intense chemistry.

Trevor’s sole intention is to persuade Riley to allow Best Bites TV to do a show on her restaurant. But when he walks into Riley’s office, he stops dead in his tracks. The professional, aloof woman on the phone is incredibly beautiful and funny. But can he convince her that he’s interested in Riley for himself? Or is he using the undeniable pull between them to persuade her to agree to his offer?

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Book 4
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Riley walks out of the bar and glances up, spotting me.

“Hi.” I offer her a smile and motion for her to join me. She sits, sets her iPad aside, and squares her shoulders.

I love a woman with grit.

“Why are you here?” she asks.

“I’m having lunch,” I reply, and gesture to the salad sitting in front of me. “It’s delicious. Adding the brussels sprouts is smart.”

“I’ll pass that along to Mia,” she says, and then laughs. “I guess you heard the part where I asked the girls to not swear.”

“I did,” I reply, and patiently butter a piece of warm bread. “Don’t worry about that stuff. They’re adults.”

“With potty mouths,” she says.

“And we can bleep stuff out, or ask them to rephrase. You’ve already got the gig, Riley. I wouldn’t be here otherwise. This isn’t an audition.”

“I know.” She sighs and reaches over to take a piece of my bread, surprising and delighting me. “I just want things to go smoothly.”

“Perhaps you should order lunch too.”

“I don’t have time,” she says, and then her blue eyes widen as she realizes what she just did. “I’m so sorry. I eat when I’m stressed out, and I didn’t—”

“No.” I hold my hand up to stop her. “It’s fine. I like that you’re relaxed with me. I think you need to relax more often.”

“What are you, my life coach now?”

“If you like. Did you cancel those dating sites like I suggested?”

She bites her lip and looks to the side, then nods. “I did.”

“Good.” I take a bite of salad and nod. “Are you sure you don’t want some food?”

“I rarely have time to eat,” Riley says, and checks the time on her phone. “In fact, I should go. I have to meet the roofer at my house.”

“What’s wrong with your roof?”

“It’s old,” she says with a shrug. “That’s what happens when you buy an old house. I’m fixing it up a little at a time.”

I nod, and find that I don’t want her to go quite yet. I want to talk more, to learn more about her.

“Why don’t you come to my apartment tonight and I’ll cook you dinner?”

She pauses and stares at me for a moment. “Why?”

I laugh and set my fork down. “Because I asked you to.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆☆
4.5 stars
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

I want to start this review by saying that I absolutely love this author. I have read everything and was so excited!

This is a great story between Riley, a woman whom I love – she's feisty, kind, and compassionate, but doesn't take any gruff from anyone. She loves fiercely and will do anything for her girlfriends. She is also amazing at her job and brings in the TV show that will feature the restaurant, Seduction. We are first introduced to Riley's story while she regales her friends about her horrible luck in dating. She's witty and you can't help but laugh.

While she's drowning her sorrows in wine, there is a stranger at the end of the bar and it turns out, it's the producer of the cooking show, Trevor. He's kind about her misfortune, but Riley is very embarrassed.

Trevor is sweet, sexy, funny, and geeky. He has some baggage that comes with him – an ex who doesn't seem to understand that cheating breaks their relationship and a gaming friend who wants more than Trevor is willing to give. However, he thinks that Riley hung the moon and shows her in all the ways he knows how.

This book had a good development of the relationship, miscommunications to create issues, and the strong support of Riley's friends. It was sweet and funny and while it doesn't have the same type of heat that her previous books did (e.g., With Me in Seattle series), the chemistry was good and organic. I can't wait to see what comes next!

This is the fourth book in the series – and I would definitely recommend that you read them all, but I think this could be read first, as we do see the whole team, but the story concentrates strongly on Riley and her new beau.

The relationship between the five women who run the restaurant and bar called Seduction is strong, fun, and much more than just a business partnership. Sometimes that means they know too much about each other (although as is revealed right at the end... sometimes one has a super big secret!).

Three of the gang are super loved up and inevitably want the same for the two singletons – so when gorgeous TV guy Trevor turns up, they can't help but feed the attraction between him and Riley. It is great fun being along for the ride. In fact, the super smooth way it is written, the reader is quickly immersed in the story and invested in the outcome too.

Ms. Proby has written a wonderfully romantic novel about two people who have been through the mill a bit, who are not prone to drama, and who have to decide whether they can overcome various hurdles to claim each other. It is a heartwarming, sexy, and fun read, which would be as enjoyable as a beach read or as one read whilst curled up in front of the fire.

P.S. – As someone who was in the Four Brits Book Fest room when Ms. Proby accepted a marriage proposal, and who follows her on Facebook, I could not help but see some common factors and this made me smile all the more.

This is a perfectly sweet, girly romance. Riley, a restaurateur, falls hard for the producer of a television show being filmed in her restaurant. Sparks fly but Trevor is only in town for filming and Riley doesn’t want to attempt a long distance relationship.

Honestly, I don’t do girly and I almost never do sweet. Cute, white wine romances aren’t really my thing. On holiday, however, I tend to want easier, fluffier stories. So I requested this one. Once I pushed past the plausibility issues (one restaurant can financially support five women in its first year?), I did engage with Riley and Trevor’s story. Somewhat.

Riley and Trevor are pretty typical characters for this type of romance. She has a close band of girlfriends to share drinks, break ups, and slightly saucy stories with. He has guy friends and a slightly checkered past (totally not his fault). The character development is pretty superficial, there is medium heat, no kink, and aspirations of a future suburban idyll. It is all a little bit formulaic. Conflict arises from exaggerated miscommunication. Friends weigh in on relationship ups and downs.

Ultimately, this story is exactly what I signed up for. It is sweet and fluffy with very little conflict but it’s predictable and not at all original. I’m sure I’m the problem. It would seem that even on holiday I need a little grit, a little kink, and a little bit more to my romance stories.

Kristen was born and raised in a small resort town in her beloved Montana. In her mid-twenties, she decided to stretch her wings and move to the Pacific Northwest, where she made her home for more than a dozen years.

During that time, Kristen wrote many romance novels and joined organizations such as RWA and other small writing groups. She spent countless hours in workshops, and more mornings than she can count up before the dawn so she could write before going to work. She submitted many manuscripts to agents and editors alike, but was always told no. In the summer of 2012, the self-publishing scene was new and thriving, and Kristen had one goal: to publish just one book. It was something she longed to cross off of her bucket list.

Not only did she publish one book, she’s since published close to thirty titles, many of which have hit the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists. She continues to self publish, best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, and is also proud to work with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, with the Fusion Series.

Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana with their two pugs and two cats.

Connect with Kristen

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Beauty of Us (Fusion #4) by Kristen Proby to read and review for this tour.

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