Listen To Me (Fusion #1)By: Kristen Proby
This book is dedicated to Jay Crownover.
Thank you for your friendship,
for inspiring one of the scenes in this book,
and for being you. I love you, friend.
This series has been brewing in my head for a while. I love the concept of five best friends who are also business partners. I feel like I have women like this in my life as well. I couldn’t do this job without the amazing team that supports me.
I need to say a heartfelt thank you to Kevan Lyon, my agent, for your unwavering confidence and support. You are simply the best there is, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am to have you.
To my editor, Amanda Bergeron, thank you so much for taking a chance on me and this series, and for being so patient with all of my questions and requests. You have made this experience fun and exciting. Thank you for all you do!
A special thanks goes out to Brad Yunek and Dan Keseloff, the writers of If I Had Never Met You. Thank you for the many hours you’ve dedicated to this project, and for sharing your incredible talent with me. I absolutely love the finished product, and couldn’t have asked for a better song to fit Jake and Addie’s story.
And finally, to Sarah Post, the chef who developed the recipes for Jake and Addie’s date night. You have been a joy to work with! Thank you for sharing your talent with me.
“ ‘In summary,’ ” Cami, one of my very best friends, and a business partner, reads from the Portland Tribune, “ ‘Seduction is a restaurant unlike any other I’ve experienced. The food is delicious, the wine bar impressive, and the ambiance so sexy, it will take your breath away. I highly recommend this restaurant for your next date night.’ ”
“I want to send that reviewer flowers,” Mia says with a wide smile. “Who would have thought that just six months after opening this place, we’d already have a review like this?”
“Well, it’s a no-brainer that they’d love the food,” I reply, and reach for the paper so I can read it again for the fifteenth time. “You’re a genius in the kitchen, Mia. We’ve known that since we were in high school.”
“I still get nervous, especially now that I never know who the customers are going to be. We didn’t even get a heads-up that this guy was going to be here.” Mia bites the cuticle on her thumb and frowns. “Maybe I should add to the menu.”
“The menu is perfect,” Cami replies with a shake of her blond head. “He loved us.”
We smile at each other, and finally I do a little happy dance in my seat. We haven’t opened for the day yet. Kat and Riley, the final two business partners in our fivesome, haven’t arrived. But Mia, Cami, and I have read this article over and over again, smiling and dancing.
Because damn it, we’ve worked our asses off since we opened the doors six months ago. All of our eggs are in this basket. We can’t fail.
And we won’t.
We hear the front door open and close, and I expect to see either Riley or Kat, but instead Jeremy saunters into the dining room, looking all rumpled and messy from sleep. His eyelids are still heavy. His chin is scruffy. His blond hair is standing on end, still in chaos from my fingers last night.
Jesus, this man makes my hormones work overtime.
He grins and kisses my head, then picks up my coffee and sits next to me.
“Why are you here?” Cami asks with a frown. “I’m in too good of a mood to have to pretend to like you.”
I glare at my best friend, but she just shrugs.
“My girlfriend is here,” Jeremy replies and sips my coffee. “I missed her.”
“Please,” Mia whispers with a roll of the eyes. My friends used to like Jeremy, in the beginning, but now they make it no secret that they don’t care for him. But they are just overprotective. They don’t want to see me get hurt. Sure, he’s a musician. Not a particularly gifted one at that, but he does well, booking gigs for his band, Hells Roses, regularly.