Thursday, May 7, 2015

Blog Tour Review: Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

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

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.” 

The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan is spectacular. I'm a sucker for a friends to lovers story and can't get enough of an athletic hero. When I stumbled across this synopsis, it screamed out to me, begging to be read. It's the second book in her Game On Series, but can be read as a stand alone.

Gray Grayson. That name. I want to mock it, but I can't. That man could make the name Igor Pimpleton seem sexy. He's a college football god on the verge of going pro and the only thing he destroys more than yards on the football field is women. This man is singlehandedly keeping the condom business alive and thriving. Fate introduces him to Ivy Mackenzie and suddenly the idea of a platonic relationship with a girl doesn't seem so foreign and wrong. Of course as all good friends to lovers stories go, a guy and a girl can only remain just friends for so long before someone catches feelings.

I loved watching the progression of Ivy and Gray's friendship. Their witty banter was playful and showed a softer side to our womanizing hero. Ivy brings out the best qualities in Gray (making him that much more irresistible) and forces him to reflect upon his slutty behavior. The constant sexual tension between our hero and heroine vibrates between the pages of this novel as Callihan teases the potential hookup for this pair. She taunts and pushes your buttons until you find yourself frustrated and practically begging for it to happen. This story has just the right amount of angst to make you sweat and fret over how Ivy and Gray's relationship might implode right before your eyes. 

I loved every second of The Friend Zone. Sleep is a rare commodity in my house, but I couldn't resist the lure of staying up late to read just one more chapter. Now that I have finished, I find myself wishing I had prolonged the experience so I wouldn't have to say goodbye to these characters so soon. The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan is alluring and enticing but also fun and charming. You won't regret getting your hands on Gray Grayson. 

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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