Friendship on Fire (Love in Bloom: The Bradens, Book 3)

Friendship on Fire (Love in Bloom: The Bradens, Book 3)

by Melissa Foster


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Discover the magic of New York Times bestseller Melissa Foster's writing, and see why millions of readers have fallen in love with the Bradens.


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 loving 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.

FRIENDSHIP ON FIRE is the sixth book in the Love in Bloom series (Snow Sisters, The Bradens & The Remingtons), and the 3rd book in The Bradens. While Friendship on Fire can be read as a stand-alone novel, for even more reading enjoyment you may want to read the LOVE IN BLOOM series in series order.


SNOW SISTERS: Sisters in Love, Sisters in Bloom, Sisters in White

THE BRADENS (Weston, CO): Lovers at Heart, Reimagined, Destined for Love, Friendship on Fire, Sea of Love, Bursting with Love, Hearts at Play, Promise My Love, Our New Love, Story of Love, Daring Her Love, A Very Braden Christmas

THE BRADENS (Trusty, CO): Taken by Love, Fated for Love, Romancing My Love, Flirting with Love, Dreaming of Love, Crashing into Love, Love at Last

THE BRADENS (Peaceful Harbor, MD): Healed by Love, Surrender My Love, River of Love, Crushing on Love, Whisper of Love, Thrill of Love

THE BRADENS & MONTGOMERYS (Pleasant Hill – Oak Falls) Embracing Her Heart, Anything for Love, Trails of Love – Wild, Crazy Heart, Making You Mine, Searching for Love

THE REMINGTONS: Game of Love, Stroke of Love, Flames of Love, Slope of Love, Read, Write, Love, Touched by Love

SEASIDE SUMMERS: Seaside Dreams, Seaside Hearts, Seaside Sunsets, Seaside Secrets, Seaside Nights, Seaside Embrace, Seaside Lovers, Seaside Whispers

BAYSIDE SUMMERS: Bayside Desires, Bayside Passions, Bayside Heat, Bayside Escape, Coming Soon: Bayside Fantasies and Bayside Romance

THE RYDERS: Seized by Love, Claimed by Love, Chased by Love. Rescued by Love, Swept into Love

TRU BLUE & THE WHISKEYS: Tru Blue, Truly, Madly, Whiskey, Driving Whiskey Wild, Wicked Whiskey Love, Mad about Moon

HARBORSIDE NIGHTS: Catching Cassidy, Discovering Delilah, Tempting Tristan, Coming Soon: Chasing Charley, Breaking Brandon


Voted BEST BOOK SERIES of 2013 by Supportive Business Moms, UK

**FRIENDSHIP ON FIRE is a SILVER MEDAL WINNER in the Readers' Favorite Awards - Romance Sizzle Category**

", 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 Moms, UK

"Like Nora Roberts, Melissa Foster has captivated me with her fantastic, sexy, romantic stories." Kimberly Winning, avid reader

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780991046805
Publisher: World Literary Press
Publication date: 12/03/2013
Series: Love in Bloom: The Bradens at Weston, CO Series , #3
Pages: 394
Sales rank: 624,342
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance, new adult romance (M/F, M/M, F/F), romantic suspense, thrillers, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa also co-writes the Love on Rockwell Island series with New York Times bestselling author Bella Andre. Melissa's emotional journeys are lovingly erotic and always family oriented. Her books have been recommended by USA Today's book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café. When she's not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. "

Read an Excerpt

RILEY BANKS HURRIED down Thirty-Seventh Street in her red Catherine Malandrino dress and Giuseppe Zanotte leopard-print, calf-hair pumps. It was the week after Thanksgiving, and Manhattan was buzzing with the feverish zeal of the holidays. Riley slowed her pace to catch her breath. Tomorrow I’ll find the courage to take the subway. Maybe. She tugged her coat tighter across her chest to ward off the chilly air and silently hoped that nobody would figure out that she’d purchased her outfit on, an online designer outlet store. She felt like such a hypocrite, heading to her first day at her new job as one of world-renowned designer Josh Braden’s assistants wearing discounted clothing. The thought turned her stomach—but not as much as showing up in her hometown jeans and cowgirl boots would have. She was a long way from Weston, Colorado, and she’d spent the last few weeks gathering discount designer clothes and practicing omitting “y’all” from her vocabulary.

She stood before the thick glass door of Josh Braden Designs and took a deep breath. The sign above the door read, JBD. This is it. She closed her eyes for a split second to repeat the mantra she’d been playing in her mind like a broken record for weeks: I’m educated, knowledgeable, and eager. I can do this.

A warm hand on her lower back pulled her from her thoughts.

“Have any trouble finding us?” Josh Braden stood beside her with a friendly smile and perfectly shorn, thick dark hair. His black Armani suit fit his lean, muscular frame perfectly. A few years earlier, he’d been named one of America’s Most Eligible Bachelors. Back then she hadn’t given the magazine cover a second thought. He was in New York, and she was back in Colorado, so far removed from him that she’d still thought of him as Josh Braden, the boy she’d had a crush on for too many years to count. Now, standing on the streets of New York City beside the man whose name rivaled Vera Wang, she felt the air sucked from her lungs.

His deep voice sent a shiver right through her. Not only had she had the good fortune to be reconnected with Josh when he was back home visiting his family, but during his visit, the two of them had also spent a few days getting reacquainted. Riley hadn’t been sure if it was her crush going haywire or if there was something more real blossoming between them, but those few days had each felt a little more intimate than the last. And while their lips never touched and their bodies remained apart, she’d felt like they were always one breath away from falling into each other’s arms.

“Uh…ye…no.” Oh God, please kill me now.

Josh smiled, lighting up his brown eyes. “Nervous?”

At five foot eight, she was a full seven inches shorter than him. She wondered what it might be like to stand on her tiptoes and kiss those luscious lips of his. Stop it! The way he held her gaze brought goose bumps to her arms. Stopitstopitstopit. She envisioned him at seventeen; he’d reached his full height by then, thin but well muscled, with testosterone practically oozing from his pores. She’d wanted him then, but those schoolgirl feelings didn’t come close to the desire that begged to be set free now. She cast her eyes away and took a deep breath, trying to ignore her thundering heart. The last thing she needed was to become one of those girls who swooned every time her boss appeared. She was here to build a career, not a reputation.

“A little,” she answered honestly.

He pulled the heavy door open and waited for her to walk through before placing his hand on the small of her back once again. Josh spoke softly, his mouth close to her ear as he guided her through the expansive lobby.

Customer Reviews

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Friendship on Fire (The Bradens, Book Three: Love in Bloom Series #6) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CassandraNZ More than 1 year ago
Riley Banks has been waiting for a break, a way to put her fashion design degree to use ever since school ended. But in an industry more about who you know than what you know, she was beginning to lose hope. Until Josh Braden, the crush from her teen years turned top designer took notice of her designs. Only now that she has a chance at his design company, she needs to be noticed for what she can do not who she can’t take her eyes off. Josh Branden could get any woman in New York that he wants but that’s the problem. He doesn’t want any of them. He wants the girl from back home, the one comfortable in jeans and boots, the one whose design portfolio blew him away. Hiring her is the best decision he’s made in a long time and being her boss won’t stop him from pursuing something more with her. But in the cutthroat world of fashion design her shot at a career could be ruined if everyone finds out she’s sleeping with the boss. As usual the Braden family pulls together. He villain is punished and honesty is rewarded. **CONTENT WARNING: Due to mature content, recommended for readers aged 18+**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story in series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like the writer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a good book overal but i felt that the two lov interests acted like teenagers, while riley talked so stiffly
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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girt More than 1 year ago
I have read 5 of The Bradens an 3 of The Remington's. They are so entertaining. I can't put them down.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite Riley Banks has finally gotten her big break and it comes thanks to her long-time crush and fashion designer extraordinaire Josh Braden. Fresh off the plane in the fashion capital, Riley is equal parts excited and nervous about flexing her design muscle for big city fashionistas and Josh. In Friendship on Fire, Riley and Josh have succumbed to the feelings that have consumed them since childhood, but there are obstacles in the form of a scheming co-worker and the professional relationship between Josh and Riley. I love how Melissa Foster captures the real struggle Riley has between shouting her feelings from the tallest skyscraper in New York and being seen as the cliché girl sleeping with the boss. It is a real issue and she handled it beautifully. Friendship on Fire is a great story that follows two secretly in love people, Riley and Josh, who have their own reasons for never acting on their attraction. A chance meeting changes Riley’s personal and professional life forever. This story has just the right amount of drama and second-guessing to make it enjoyable. Sure, Claudia is awful, but she is believably awful instead of a cartoon villain. She is just as one would expect an overly ambitious woman in the fashion industry to be; perfectly beautiful and easy to hate. Melissa Foster creates wonderfully loving and witty scenes between Josh and Riley, as well as Josh and the Braden clan that had a big goofy grin on my face for most of this story. It was nice to see the story of Riley and Josh unfold and to spend a few more hours with the Bradens.
ysar More than 1 year ago
You know, I had my doubts that Josh could live up to the ultimate man’s man that Rex was in the last book, but I should have known better. Put him in an Armani suit, and he’s sex on legs, of course. And I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that Friendship on Fire served up the jealous other woman bit without falling into a pit of cliches. Riley isn’t what people might think of as a typical New Yorker, and she doesn’t fit the stereotype for being in the fashion industry. She’s certainly not a large girl, but she’s not stick-thin, either, and that makes her a bit self-conscious around edgier, cooler, thinner people. But she’s not about to change who she is, and while self-conscious, she doesn’t give into any shame, and that’s what makes her stand out to Josh. The way he sees her is simply beautiful. She’s the girl he stared at from afar all through school, and he still sees her that way now. At the same time, he sees her as different from everyone he’s surrounded by in New York, and her giddy excitement over her new career in fashion coupled with her low-maintenance attitude makes it impossible for him to keep his feelings to himself. I was also pleasantly surprised by the Claudia angle. She was the jealous ice queen who wanted Josh for herself, manipulative and condescending, and she didn’t hesitate to underhandedly try to ruin Riley. But with as much hell as she threw at them, Josh and Riley surprised me by taking a different path than I usually see in stories that include this little twist. Where most would have some blowout misunderstanding, complete with unbelievable miscommunication and utter failure to act like mature adults, there were no tantrums here. Sure, there were hurt feelings and a step back, but it was all written so perfectly that I couldn’t fault either of the characters for their actions. There’s a way that Melissa Foster writes all these stories that make them all so different from each other, but at the same time, I can count on being surprised, meeting entirely different characters in different situations, and still loving them just as much. In Friendship on Fire, we see Riley and Josh’s flirtation in Destined for Love become a full-on romance. When I expected them to take it slow, they didn’t; when I expected them to rush headlong, they held back. And when I expected the jealousy and mistrust to rip them apart, they handled it not like most characters in romances, but more like all us non-fictional people would have. There was hurt, there was angst, and there was communication to set things right. And I think that’s what I love most about all these books. The entire Love in Bloom series takes everything I love about a good romance novel and serves it up the way few authors can.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hometown girl gets her crush in the big city. Nice, quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RIshma More than 1 year ago
Another great book! 
clahain1 More than 1 year ago
It took a couple of books for me to warm up to Melissa Foster's Love in Bloom series. This is probably  because I started with the second book. FRIENDSHIP ON FIRE is the sixth book, and the third one of  the sub-series, The Bradens. Riley Banks is a young designer who never thought she'd get her big break until childhood friend Josh Braden, now a hot New York fashion designer, sees her portfolio and invites her to join his firm. There's a long-standing (though unacknowledged) attracted between the two,  but Riley is determined to set aside her personal interest in Josh and focus on building her career, which won't be easy with a conniving mentor who is out to undercut her at every turn. Despite Riley's best intentions, she and Josh do begin a relationship, but the course of true love isn't easy when the paparazzi dog your every move and then you're accused of stealing another designer's work. The book starts out wonderfully. Riley is funny and vulnerable. Her feelings of dislocation and anxiety about leaving her small Colorado town for the big city is a strong contrast to Josh's position as a New York insider struggling to hold onto his simple roots. Josh yearns for authenticity in his life--especially  in his personal relationships--but his environment promotes the exact opposite. Yet, he's too dedicated to his career to leave behind the bright lights and shallow people. Josh and Riley find each other and  the result is plenty of steam and excitement...for the first third of the book. It's at this point that the internal stuff--angst, second-guessing--begins to weigh down the story. Josh and Riley have so many  heart-to-hearts that the pacing suffers, and the reader is left waiting for "something" to happen. Luckily,  plenty does happen. The final third of the book rages ahead with Riley floored by accusations that, if not  countered, will kill her career before it starts, and Josh frantic to prove her innocence. I love that Josh is given some serious weaknesses--and is aware of them. He struggles to accept that  loving Riley may hurt a business he's worked years to build and he's not always sure it will be worth it. Riley is also a vivid, spirited character. Not the sort of person to stay down long--or beg for a man to love her. The villain is another great character. Claudia is cold, clever and manipulative. Foster makes her a true and unique threat rather than simply a plotting device. So, while FRIENDSHIP ON FIRE isn't my favorite book in Melissa Foster's contemporary romance  series, there's a lot to appreciate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!! Loved Josh and Riley's story!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it, couldn,t put it down! How she writes of love, devotion and family unity is heart felt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loving this series, eacn book gets better. On to the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MsDivatude More than 1 year ago
Steamy! Steamy! Steamy! I, sometimes, feel like a broken record but Melissa Foster draws me in every time! I am so glad this is an ongoing series, because when I finish one of her books I am already craving more! Ms. Foster writes true love stories - full of romance, problems to overcome and passion...lots of good great passion! Many can relate to this story - a couple who have admired one another from afar for so long and finally get the chance to have a go at a relationship. Josh took me on a roller coaster of emotions throughout this novel - there were times that I really, really, really didn't like his actions or him, for that matter! And, unfortunately, there are way too many Claudias willing and able to do whatever they can to come between a couple for very selfish reasons. Riley is so loveable that you cannot help but want the best for her - personally and professionally.