The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

October 26, 2015 Angela Friends to Lovers, New Adult, Reviews, Sports Romance

The Friend Zone by Kristen CallihanThe Friend Zone (Game On, #2) by Kristen Callihan
Series: Game On #2
on May 5th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Sports Romance


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

GrayG: So as friends, can I still say inappropriate, sex-related things?

 IvyMac: Sure. Think of me as just another guy. With a vagina.

GrayG: A. Shudder. B. Yeah, no. C. I had this dream that you were sucking my 8==> But when I looked down, I discovered it was actually a goat…you know. Then I really woke up because I yelled so hard, I fell out of bed. And now I live in mortal terror of goats.

IvyMac: LMFAO! Gray got it from a goat!

GrayG: >:-[

IvyMac: Goat-on-Gray action! Heeeee! *Falls down ded*

GrayG: You suck, you know that?

IvyMac: No, the goat does! *Dies again* My sides. My sides!

Kristen Callihan, oh how I love you. You give good banter. Witty repartee between characters is like bookgasm foreplay to me. I’m crazy for stories that feature flirty texting and this book has it in spades. The Hook Up was a 5 star read for me and I’m pleased to say that with The Friend Zone, Kristen Callihan has managed to maintain the momentum in creating a successful series. This book captured my attention from the first page and I devoured it in one day.

We were introduced to Gray as Drew’s best friend in The Hook Up and I wasn’t sure he would make a likeable hero. My fears were unfounded. He’s grown a lot as a character, and is more than the over-sexed jokester jock he appears to be. He is super intelligent, faithful, nurturing, sexy, and funny. Name a positive adjective and it pretty much describes him. What can I say about Ivy? She is loyal, uncompromising, confident, and lively.

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This friends-to-lovers story is unique from most others I’ve read because we see the characters’ friendship evolve first. The romantic aspect is a natural progression. Yes, there are some hurdles to overcome. It wouldn’t be New Adult fiction if there wasn’t miscommunication. However, the decision to become lovers isn’t sudden, or awkward, or the result of seeing each other naked, or stemming from jealousy.

“Whatever happened between us, she’s still my best friend. The one person I want to be with most in the world. And I adore her. I’m so gone on her, I don’t know my left from my right anymore. She’s my center line. All thoughts run through Ivy Mackenzie.”

I loved this book, but I have to say I was disappointed that toward the end a common cop-out plot device is employed. I saw it coming and hoped I might be pleasantly surprised, but sadly, no. Ultimately though, between the characters’ reactions and the epilogue, I was willing to overlook the minor flaw in an otherwise charming story. Bring on the next book in the series!



About Kristen Callihan

Kristen Callihan

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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