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.
I really love sports-themed romance or stories where one of the main characters is an athlete. So when I spotted this on NetGalley, I was right there. Not only was it a sports romance, but it had a healthy suspense theme thrown in for good measure.
Now Red Zone is one of those rare animals – a sports romance that actually shows the athlete training and being an athlete. In most, they simply gloss over any actual time at the club, and somehow the athlete magically appears at a game. I don’t know about you, but even when I played D-grade netball in Canada, I still had to go to training each week. So it was nice to see training as part of Gage’s everyday life as a pro footballer.
The suspense was good, not making it obvious until quite late in the piece as to who the stalker was. As I’ve stated before, I can’t stand being able to pick the bad guy straight away. It pretty much defeats the purpose of having written a suspense when it’s like that. I felt there was some genuine attraction between the hero and heroine, and you can imagine this couple as a real one. The sex scenes were just that – sexy.
However, it just lacked that little extra bit of oomph for me. Something wasn’t quite there for me. There were some continuity errors (the sister being on a bus in one chapter and having been picked up at the airport in the next, for example) and I found some of Rebecca’s actions regarding her work a little questionable considering how much she valued her position. Don’t misunderstand me, this was a well-written piece, just not as entertaining as I’d hoped.
I am yet to read the first in the series, and I will do so even with my ambivalent feelings towards this one. There are some real strengths in Sherri Hayes’ writing style and I’m not one to write someone off after reading one book I wasn’t so keen on.
My rating: 2.5 out of 5
Release Date: 7 February 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Smith Publicity via NetGalley in return for an honest review.