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Monday, May 25, 2015

REVIEW: "The Friend Zone" by Kristen Callihan


The Friend Zone (Game On, #2)
The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan
(Game On #2)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
New Adult -- Contemporary

Self-Published -- Published in May 2015
Ebook, 309 pages
Read in May 2015
Purchased from Amazon

THEMES/TROPES
Sports, Brainy Heroes, Friends to Lovers, Dual Points of View

SUMMARY
Gray doesn’t make friends with women. He has sex with them. Until Ivy.

The last thing star tight-end Gray Grayson wants to do is drive his agent’s daughter’s bubblegum pink car. But he needs the wheels and she’s studying abroad. Something he explains when she sends him an irate text to let him know exactly how much pain she’ll put him in if he crashes her beloved ride. Before he knows it, Ivy Mackenzie has become his best texting bud. But then Ivy comes home and everything goes haywire. Because the only thing Gray can think of is being with Ivy.

Ivy doesn’t have sex with friends. Especially not with a certain football player. No matter how hot he makes her…

Gray drives Ivy crazy. He’s irreverent, sex on a stick, and completely off limits. Because, Ivy has one golden rule: never get involved with one of her father’s clients. A rule that’s proving harder to keep now that Gray is doing his best to seduce her. Her best friend is fast becoming the most irresistible guy she’s ever met.

Which means Gray is going to have to use all his skills to get himself out of the friend zone and into Ivy’s heart. Game on!


FIRST LINE
"Mr. Grayson, my father tells me he lent you my car."

MY THOUGHTS
Kristen Callihan's The Hook Up was one of my favorite reads of 2014 so, of course, I was excited to read the sequel, The Friend Zone.  While this wasn't as wonderful as its predecessor, I did enjoy it and continue to impressed with the NA romances I've been reading lately.

Gray is the tight end on his college football team and is very close to realizing his dream of being drafted by the National Football League.  He even has an agent waiting to sign him after graduation.  So he is not prepared for the entrance of his agent's daughter, Ivy, into his life.  Ivy and Gray try to remain friends, but it becomes obvious that they are so much more to one another.

I really liked both Gray and Ivy.  Gray is a stud athlete, but he also, surprisingly, has a hell of a brain which he keeps a secret from most people.  His childhood wasn't the happiest and he is determined to make it in the pros to finally find a place he belongs.  For her part, Ivy has been surrounded by athletes her entire life and resents the attention that they get from her father.  She has recently graduated from college and is trying to figure out what she wants to do next.  Ivy has never felt a connection with someone like she does with Gray and is terrified of what will happen if they move out into relationship territory.

The plot of The Friend Zone basically deals with Gray and Ivy becoming friends (mostly through text messages) and trying to not mess things up when feelings get in the way.  I loved the development of their friendship and how comfortable they were with one another.  It is obvious to readers that they both are in love, but I appreciated that it took time before romance appeared.  The plot ended up being a question of "when will they" rather than "will they or won't they" which was fun.

So I would definitely recommend fans of NA romance or contemporaries in general check out Callihan's The Friend Zone.  It has mature characters who respect one another and are just searching for somewhere to belong with some fun side characters and enough sports talk to provide a great background.

4 STARS

FAVORITE QUOTE
"All our lives, we're told work hard, strive for more, do all you can to live that life less ordinary.  Money, power, fame, everyone wants it.  But you get there and suddenly you're supposed to be ashamed, be humble?"  He shakes his head.  "Fuck that noise.  I say live your life on your terms.  If someone judges you about material things, that's their problem."

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. The Hook Up
2. The Friend Zone
3. The Game Plan (Coming 2015)

OTHER REVIEWS
Smexybooks
All Romance Reviews

LEARN MORE
Goodreads -- BookLikes -- Shelfari
Author Website

WHERE TO BUY
Amazon -- Barnes & Noble -- Kobo

3 comments:

  1. I love the friends to lovers trope in this one, and I enjoyed the first book so I am excited to try this story out soon.

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    Replies
    1. I think you would really adore this one. So sweet and sexy!

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  2. I like the sound of this, I've had The Hook Up on my kindle for ages as well. I am determined to read this series when I find time!

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