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5 “Special Sauce and Cupcake” stars!
“There is one absolute truth. The sum of my existence equals you.”
The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan is an excellent friends-to-lovers story full of heart, humor, and heat! This fantastic addition to the Game On series delivered a memorable story that had me grinning from ear to ear.
We first meet Gray in The Hook Up loving life and living it to its fullest. He’s having fun parting, playing football, and enjoying women, and he has no desire to change things up. When he is left carless, he would have never imagined that Ivy, the owner of the car loaned to him to drive, would give him a reason to change his ways.
An unlikely friendship forms between Gray and Ivy over a bubblegum pink car and a whole slew of text messages while she is away in London, and Gray isn’t prepared when he finds himself face to face with the girl who has been consuming his thoughts. The girl who has somehow gotten under his skin. The girl he calls a friend when he doesn’t have friends who are female.
Living in the moment is getting harder to do. I find my attention wandering to the future. I find myself wanting that distant future now. Here. Because of Ivy McKenzie.
…she’s become essential – a bright spot in my life.
I loved this book!!! The prologue sucked me in and I was hooked. A wonderful mix of heavy and light moments, this story is full of emotion, humor, heart, and steam, all of which are perfectly woven together.
I loved Gray and Ivy together as well as individually. They were well developed, interesting, and relatable. Gray is a known player. We saw it in the first book and I was so intrigued with his reformation into a “one woman” man and boy does he change. The moment Ivy texts her way into his life he was addicted. I liked him in The Hook Up but I love him now, flaws and all. He is a talented football player but he is also super smart, funny, and easygoing. He’s protective and supportive and cares so much about the people in his life. He is vulnerable and complex and his past hurt my heart. But his loyalty and love warmed me fully, and I loved that he knew when to be gentle as well as when to take control.
Ivy is smart, witty, strong, and independent. She has a great personality, a kind heart, and is someone I’d love to know in real life. She is genuine and beautiful inside and out. Her feelings toward Gray are overwhelming and realistic and I loved getting in her head.
What I feel for Gray? It isn’t comfortable. It’s so intense and so enormous, sometimes I fear my soul can’t contain it.
The way their relationship progressed was well-paced and believable. I loved that it began with texts and that neither really knew much about the person on the other end of the line. They were able to be themselves and form a strong bond based on who they were on the inside instead of what they saw on the outside forming a friendship that was easy and true. I loved the trust and honesty that grew between them and how safe they felt with each other.
The banter is terrific and the delicious sexual tension increases the more they dance around their desires. It’s a slow burn romance and when they finally cross the line, it is erotic and intense. Talk about a heart pounding, breath-hitching moment! Gray and Ivy are hot together. Their love is passionate, powerful, and all consuming, and I felt it completely. The emotion was well written and the feels totally affected me. Their relationship wasn’t perfect but it was realistic and I loved the support, devotion, and tenderness shared between Gray and Ivy no matter what challenges they faced.
Overall, this is another entertaining new adult romance with an epilogue that gave us a gorgeous glimpse into Gray and Ivy’s future. If you haven’t read this book, grab it today! It’s one of the best friends-to-lovers books I’ve read!
The Game On series