I could not wait to read The Friend Zone after reading The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan. I absolutely loved that book and the characters, but I have to admit that I have always been drawn to Gray. Even when it was Drew's story, I found myself absolutely loving Gray because every scene he was in he had a tendency to steal. So it was no surprise that I absolutely devoured this book, and ended up loving it even more than the first book in this series. This series is shaping up to be one of my all time favorites, and if you are a sports romance or new adult fan you will definitely want to check these books out!
Gray Grayson is on his way to a successful career as a star tight-end. He has worked for it his entire life, and he takes advantage of everything that comes along with being a hot football player. But when his best friend gets injured and he lends him his truck, he has to borrow his agent's daughter's pink fiat. When Ivy Mackenzie finds out that her dad let a football player borrow her car, she texts him to warn him of how he should treat her vehicle. What starts out as a warning text quickly turns into a friendship that they both find different from anything they have ever had before. Ivy and Gray get one another in ways no one else ever has, though they have never met in person. When Ivy returns home, her and Gray grow even closer and soon they are both starting to feel more than friendship. But with Gray's reputation as a playboy that never commits as well as him being her father's client, can they find a way to get out of the friend zone?
Gray is one of those characters that you just can't help but love. He is the comic relief in almost every situation and you can't help but love his quick wit and charming personality. But what you find out when you get to know him better is that he has this vulnerable side underneath. He had a tough childhood and had been struggling even though he never let others really see it. Ivy instantly connected with that and was able to give him something he had never had before. They understood one another and the loneliness that they felt because of how they each grew up. Ivy had also had a tough time growing up, but at least she had her sister Fiona. But seeing her get to know Gray and watching them as they got closer you could tell that what they shared was so unique. I loved Ivy's strength and she was a really easy to like heroine. She was able to keep up with Gray and his personality, and I think that Kristen Callihan did a great job showing exactly why these two were the perfect match for one another. They had great chemistry and you could really feel the heat and passion between them, but it was their feelings behind it that made them truly special.
Overall, I honestly cannot even say all the things I loved about this book because there are so many. This book was definitely my favorite of the series so far, and I loved Gray and Ivy's story. It was nice to see Drew and Anna again, as well as to get to know a few others a little better. I am really hoping that the next book in the series is Ivy's sister Fi and Dex. They seemed to have a little something going on in this book, and I liked Fiona a lot! She was so much fun, and I think her and Dex would work well together from what I have seen of them so far. Regardless of who Kristen Callihan writes about next, I know one thing for certain, and that is that I will be reading it. This series is definitely one that I would recommend, and I think that there is a little bit of something for everyone in these stories. If you are looking for something fun and unique with great characters, you should give The Friend Zone a shot. Though I would recommend reading The Hook Up first if possible for maximum enjoyment, it is not necessary as each book is a standalone.
**ARC Provided by Author**