Friday, August 12, 2016

Close To You by Kristen Proby

Close To You by Kristen Proby
Release Date - August 9, 2016
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 320 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**

**small spoiler about side plot included below**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Proby comes the second novel in her sizzling Fusion series.

Camilla, “Cami,” LaRue was five years old when she first fell in love with Landon Palazzo. Everyone told her the puppy love would fade—they clearly never met Landon. When he left after graduation without a backward glance, she was heartbroken. But Cami grew up, moved on, and became part-owner of wildly popular restaurant Seduction. She has everything she could want...or so she thinks.

After spending the last 12 years as a Navy fighter pilot, Landon returns to Portland to take over the family construction business. When he catches a glimpse of little Cami LaRue, he realizes she’s not so little any more. He always had a soft spot for his little sister’s best friend, but nothing is soft now when he’s around the gorgeous restauranteur.

Landon isn’t going to pass up the chance to make the girl-next-door his. She’s never been one for romance, but he’s just the one to change her mind. Will seduction be just the name of her restaurant or will Cami let him get close enough to fulfill all her fantasies?
Friends to more is one of my favourite romance tropes. It, for me, feels the most believable. Close To You combines that trope with some sparky chemistry to create a highly enjoyable romance read that will have you reaching for a glass of wine while you speed through the pages.

This, like the first novel, reminds me of Sex and the City.  A group of gorgeous women who love each other and support each other combined with their search for love. It wasn't surprising that I loved the friendship part of this story because that was always my favourite part of Sex and the City, too. The bond between these women is the heart of not just this novel but the series, and any guy that they get involved with has to accept this. Their friendship is the stuff of #friendshipgoals and is what made me continue with the series after the first book.

There is a side plot with Cami that involves a cat she accidentally takes in. It provides lots of humour, and the author managed to make the cat's personality shine through. It was a nice background story that allowed for some character insight.

Part of the charm of a romance novel is the familiar path the story arcs take. We, as readers, come to expect certain elements whenever we are reading this particular genre. The couple will meet and fall in love, an obstacle tears the couple apart, a grand gesture reunites them and the book typically ends on a happily ever after. It is a tried and tested formula and it remains popular because it works. The obstacle included in this book felt, like the relationship, right for these characters. It made sense that these characters would feel they way they do, and react the way they did. Sometimes these obstacles can feel forced, and present only because the genre demands they exist, but they felt warranted in this case.

My issue with the first book was that the relationship did feel believable to me. There was a forced feel to their interaction, and it felt sped up to accommodate the story the author wanted to tell. This novel did not have that problem. It felt as if Cami had crushed on Landon forever, and that Landon came to fall in love with her too. The history that exists between these two characters was palpable in the writing and that it an easy story to invest in. The foundation that was built for them rang true, and therefore the romance didn't feel rushed; it felt inevitable.

Another sexy addition to the Fusion series that is filled with amazing female friendships, and a believable romance with some hot chemistry. If romance novels are a favourite of yours, this series should be added to your list, particularly if you enjoy wine, food, and a Sex and the City vibe.

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