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
I loved The Hook Up but I absolutely ADORED The Friend Zone!
I was hooked from start to finish both times I read the book. (Yeah. I read it twice) And was just as emotionally invested the second time around. I laughed (both of the giggle and snicker/snort variety), I swooned, I got impatient and I even got all sniffly and teary as Gray and Ivy navigated their way through the ‘Friend Zone’ and came to realize that they could have so much more with each other than just friendship.
I adored Gray and Ivy. There really is no other word for it. From their first ‘meeting’ (which was brilliant by the way) to the end of the book they were just two people that I wanted to know more about and see end up together. Ivy, from the start, was someone I’d love to be friends with. She’s quick witted, confident in who she is, has no problem making an ass out of herself, can bake like no ones business and has a very compassionate nature and generous, caring heart. Gray’s manwhore/party boy persona is well deserved and what I actually liked about him was that he was upfront about it, but the man beneath that persona was so much more interesting. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, is a lot smarter than people give him credit for, has a great sense of humor, loves to cook, loves football and is generous, as well as honest to a fault when it comes to his friends.
From their first ‘meeting’ (which is via text) to their first physical meeting to when they finally acknowledge and actually become more than just friends was just done really well. Their friendship was so solid that it jump off the page at me. They were so in sync with each other it was just inevitable that they’d be more than just friends, the scene at Palmers when Ivy meets the guys and Anna for the first time was not only classic, but showed how into Ivy Gray was, even if he didn’t want to admit it. And even when shit went down between them, whether it was their fault or out of their control, the connection between them wouldn’t allow the hurt to fester for long and have the drama drag out. And when they finally took the leap nothing really changed all that drastically, though the sexual chemistry between them did increase exponentially, and what you have are two people that are simply perfect for each other.
In my review for The Hook Up I mentioned that my one real issue with it was that I felt that it dragged at times, that doesn’t apply here at all. The pacing was great and I thought that the dual 1st person POV’s were well done. The balance between being told how they felt versus being showed was perfectly done. And because I’m that reader that becomes invested not only in the main couple of a story, but the secondary characters, I have to say that I loved the scenes with Drew and Anna, Rolondo, Dex, Diaz, Johnson, Cal and meeting Fiona. They added more depth and understanding to just who Gray and Ivy really are and added some great moments to the story.
The Bottom Line: I simply adored this book, If you like a well written, pull out every emotion friends to lovers story this is the one for you!
Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather do. 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.