Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Review: The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan
Series: Game On #2
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Genre: New Adult Contemporary

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.

Someone get me a fan please.  This book was incredibly hot, and just incredible all the way around.  I loved the first book in this series, which was Drew's story, but I have to admit that Kristen Callihan upped the game, no pun intended, with this story.  By the summary, it seems like a pretty simple story, but what she did with it was amazing.

Both the characters in this story were so real to me, that I felt like everything was taking place right next to me with friends of mine.  I got to know Gray in the first book, of course, so getting to see how the mighty are fallen was definitely a treat.  Gray was a lot more complicated than I thought from the first book though. There is so much more to him and to why he is the way he is at the start of the book.  And Ivy is perfect for him because she gives as good as she gets.  She knows how to banter with him, how not to take him seriously, and how to put him in his place when he's taking himself too seriously.  I loved the interaction and interplay between these two.

The first part of the story takes place via text message, and I found myself laughing my butt off at the conversations that take place between these two.  I love that they became friends first and that things developed from there... and they did so slowly.  Nothing was rushed, which I loved.  So the sexual tension between these two could be cut with a knife.  Can anyone say "hotel room scene"?  If you haven't read it, you'll know exactly what I mean once you read it.  Wow.  Hot, hot, hot.

The author did an amazing job making this book more than just a sexy romp, however.  There was depth to the characters, some wonderful internal conflict on both sides, and a slow-building, sexy relationship that I fell in love with.  I felt like I was on a conveyer belt at an airport with the story carrying me along while scenery flew by me.  It was fast-paced and before I knew it, I was done in one sitting.  Amazing book!  Can't wait for the next one in the series.
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