May 29, 2015

The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan ~ FMR REVIEW & EXCERPT

TITLE: The Friend Zone (Game On, #2)
AUTHOR: Kristen Callihan
RELEASE DATE: May 5, 2015

ABOUT The Friend Zone:

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 feel like I've been on a role lately with all of these awesome books I've been reading. Thankfully, I get to add The Friend Zone to that list.

This was such an awesome and fun story to read. I could not get enough of it.

Gray and Ivy initially meet through text messages. With an ocean between them, it's the only way for them until Ivy flies back home. They're instant best friends. It's as if they've known each other forever. When they do finally meet, things couldn't go better. But what happens when "just friends" turns into wanting something more...

I loved Gray and Ivy's relationship. There was an instant connection, one that is rare to find. They didn't have to work for it. They were funny, playful, sarcastic, even a little bit sexy. Gray knew how to embarrass her, and he loved doing it.

This story could not have been any better. Ms. Callihan has a way of writing stories that flow so well, that are written so beautifully, she has a true gift. I'm hoping for another book in this series. I'd love to see a story about Ivy's sister as she's this spunky little firecracker that I know is a little wild. If you loved The Hook Up, you'll definitely love The Friend Zone.


I have to start my review by saying: DIBS! GRAY GRAYSON IS MINE.

Ok now we may proceed lol Gray was driving his agent's daughter, Ivy Mackenzie's pink Fiat, while she is away in London helping her mother at her bakery. Gray gets a text from Ivy (who Gray calls Mac) letting him know exactly what will happen to him if there is any damage to her car when she returns. The two start texting and become closer. They are both determined to keep it at friendship but once they meet and after having one night of the hottest phone sex ever, they end up taking it out of the friend zone.

I adored this book! The plot was excellent with some twists and turns that I didn't see coming. The writing was flawless and the characters just amazing! 
Gray is seriously one of the most swoon worthy college athletes out there. He is so funny, extremely sweet and just sex on a stick hot! Mac was definitely relatable and a strong female character. The sexy times were hotter than hell. Two words: cold shower. 

I really enjoyed this book and can't wait for more!


It is official, Kristen Callihan has herself a stalker.....I mean fangirl! I fell head over heals in love with book one "The Hook Up" after so many readers had recommended it to me, but book two "The Friend Zone" is above anything I expected! This beautifully sweet, sexy and funny story of a blossoming friendship gave me everything I want and then some from a NA read.

The hilarious banter between Ivy and Gray was the foundation of outstanding chemistry between two characters. Because of this, the connection was ongoing and built into something so beautiful, so real, so soul capturing, I was completely invested into the story, the characters, the words and this world that Callihan has created. The first time these two characters meet in person......MY HEART..... Seriously, I can't even....SO SO SO BEAUTIFUL, I read that scene four times because it had me grinning like a fool and swooning like a teenager! 

That moment is going down in my 'favourite first meets EVER'.
The return of characters from book one was an absolute treat and I found myself intrigued by Gray's teammates. Ivy's relationship with her family was strained at times, all within good reason, and I found myself relating to her characters more and more as the book went on.
Ivy is a sassy, beautiful, strong female lead. She gives as good as she gets, is not afraid to express her opinions and her inner monologue was REAL! 

Gray is everything that dreams are made of. He is confident, SEXY AS HELL, loyal, so so smart and extremely talented. 

This outstanding story brings a friendship ALIVE. It is solid. It is just EVERYTHING! Kristen Callihan is an amazing author, her skill and writing style grips you from start to finish and leaves you thinking about the book for weeks after finishing. I lived this story right along with the characters and I cannot wait for more from this extremely talented lady!!! 


What can I say about Ivy and Gray. In the beginning when we are first introduced to Ivy and Gray, I enjoyed their friendly and flirtatious texts.. You see, Gray was allowed to borrow Ivy's car while she was out of the country (thanks to her dad). She sends a text to Gray letting him know not to damage her car. That's when the friendly banter starts. Their friendship grows from there, ultimately becoming best friends. 
When Ivy finally comes home and gets to meet Gray in person, that friendship continues to hold strong. Is it true that men and women cannot only be friends? Well, Ivy and Gray start to realize that maybe there is something more for them than just friendship but neither one of them wanted to ruin what they already had. 

It was a cute and funny story about life, friendship and love. My only negative I can say is that I felt it was a tad drawn out. Other than that I really enjoyed Ivy and Gray's story.


The backs of his fingers skim up my arm, raising goose bumps on my skin. “Nice top.”  
Even though it’s thirty degrees out, I chose a black silk tank that hugs my waist but gathers loosely over my breasts. A tie around my neck holds the top secure. That I am braless is not lost on him. He stares at my stiff nipples as his fingers drift to the bow at the back of my neck and give it a little flick. “Take it off.”


“Let me see those sweet tits you’ve been teasing me with since you walked in the bar.”

“I—” My breath catches. “No. I’m not taking my clothes off for a stranger.”

He doesn’t look away. “But you want to, don’t you? You want me to look at you.” He bends his head until his lips are at my ear. “You’re dying to expose yourself, to let me see those pretty pink nipples.”

My skin draws tight. I struggle not to sway into him.

He leans back, his attention on my top again. “Untie the bow.”

“Someone might come in.” Despite our play, my fear of getting caught is real, though not completely unwelcome.

“They won’t. I took care of it.”

I believe that. Gray would cover all the bases. In his own way, he’s as much of a planner as I am. But I can’t think of him as Gray now, not when he’s doing this for me.

His fingers are back, skimming over my inner arm, teasing the edges of my top. “Just a little peek.”
My breasts ache so badly, they’re hot, heavy, the silk covering them an irritant. With shaking hands, I reach up. The fabric tugs against my neck then comes free. It slithers over my skin like a caress.

He sucks in an audible breath as my breasts are exposed. I see myself through his eyes, sitting half-naked in this dim back room, my nipples puckered, my breasts quivering with each shallow breath I take. The vulnerability of it feels naughty, forbidden, and I nearly whimper.

A noise of pure satisfaction leaves him. Not bothering to lift his gaze from my breasts, he reaches out, runs the tips of his fingers over my nipple. I’m so sensitized now the touch sends a bolt of pure, searing lust straight through me. I flinch, clench my teeth to keep still.

He hums, strokes me back and forth as if he owns me. “So pretty.” He grazes me again.
“You like that, sweetheart?”

Eyes closed, I bite my lower lip and nod.

I feel him move. The wet flat of his tongue drags over my nipple. My eyes fly open on a strangled cry. He grins up at me, his mouth hovering at my breast. It isn’t his usual cheeky grin but something more wicked. “Mmm. Delicious.”

He takes a step closer, and I swallow convulsively. Gray’s voice lowers. “I wonder where else you taste good. You want to show me, sweets?”

I’m practically panting now. My hair swings as I give my head a hard shake. He leans in, trailing the blunt tip of his finger up the curve of my breast. I nearly yelp when he gives the stiff peak a quick, crude pinch.

His smile is pure male smugness. “Lift up your skirt and show me where you’re wet.”


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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