RED ZONE by Sherri Hayes

 In Romance

cover22984-mediumRED ZONE

Author: Sherri Hayes
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: EBook, Print
Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House
Release Date: February 7, 2013
Recommended Reading: 17+

Received a copy in exchange for an honest review


THE GIST: This sweet, often times redundant love story is a great companion for a trip to the beach or those cold nights in front of the fire. The story is neither groundbreaking nor complex, in fact, it was rather trite with weak characterization, but sometimes simple and uncomplicated is good enough. If a no brainer love story is what you are looking for, Red Zone is a decent bet.

SYNOPSIS: “After a case ended badly for Rebecca Carson, she’s losing her mind sitting around her apartment waiting on her superiors to allow her to return to work. Since she was a teenager, the only thing she’d ever wanted was to join the FBI. Now that dream was in danger.

Gage Daniels has made a pretty good life for himself. A nice house. A career he loves. As a professional football player, he’s used to getting almost everything he’d ever want with just the snap of his fingers. This includes women. A well-timed smile is usually all it takes to attract the opposite sex, especially in Nashville

When a stalker threatens Gage, the team owner calls an old friend, Rebecca’s ex-partner Travis Hansen, to help protect his star quarterback and find the person responsible. Hansen offers Rebecca the job, and she jumps at the chance. It’s work, and it will get her out of her apartment. How bad can it be?

Posing as Gage’s girlfriend, however, isn’t as easy as it seems. The man is relentless. Rebecca must work to protect Gage while staving off his advances. She’s there to do a job, nothing more. The last thing she wants is to be another notch on a hotshot athlete’s belt.

As the stalker continues to up the ante, Rebecca finds it harder and harder to keep her distance from Nashville’s star quarterback. He isn’t what she expected in one of the city’s most notorious playboys. Now all she has to do is keep him safe until they can find his stalker, and hope she doesn’t lose her heart in the process.” (NetGalley)

THE LOWDOWN: I want to start with the cover art, if you could call it that. If I were perusing the pages of Amazon or Goodreads and saw this, I would think…ugh, yet another cheap self pub erotica…but it’s not, I assure you. The cover is not only poorly put together, it’s also deceptive. This book is not erotic at all; in fact it’s pretty clean. But that is what we are here for, sifting through the books so you know what you get when you hit the “pay now” button.

Red Zone is the second installment in a series, but is a stand-alone novel. Maybe there was backstory I missed, but it didn’t hurt the story one bit. Not much really would since the story-line is not earth shattering. Girl meets guy, girl likes guy but is too stupid to see it, guy likes girl and is too stupid to let her walk, then when we absolutely can’t take the dumb ignorance anymore, love abounds. Don’t worry, there is really nothing to spoil since the story has been told a million times over. But hey it works, so I didn’t mind revisiting the formula.

The biggest problem with this book was the one-dimensional female protagonist. She was angry, resentful, and not one bit self-reflective…well for most of the book anyway. Then bam, about sixty percent through she has a change of heart. It was actually  more than a little annoying. She was supposed to be a FBI agent haunted by her past, but she was really just an angry cop with a major bitch chip on her shoulder. The constant “I like him, I hate him, I like him, I hate him (annoying huh?) was absolutely maddening. I felt like reaching my hand into the book, grabbing her frumpy suit and punching her in her face. In fact I almost gave up a couple of times, but the guy was so good I trudged through. He knew what he wanted, wasn’t a creep and went after the girl, while still considering her feelings. Actually part of me was hoping he would dump his obsession with her and grab a nice girl who actually appreciated his awesomeness.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like it, but I did. It wasn’t all bad. However, I didn’t really start appreciating it until the whining and bitching ceased. Once that began to subside the story kicked in and I found the pacing, the mystery and the growing relationships much more appealing and worthy of my time. I found myself wanting more and pleased with the ending. Overall, this story is sweet, somewhat sexy without being crass and super easy to read (finished in less than a day). So, if you are in the market for a mind numbingly fun love story, this might be a good choice, not a great one, but decent.

Sara O'Connor
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