Title: Red Zone
Author: Sherri Hayes
Publication Date: February 7, 2013
Source: Publisher via Net Galley
Summary (from Goodreads)
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’m not a football fan, but after reading Red Zone all I wanted to do was watch men in tights tackle each other—much to my husband’s joy. He’s been trying to get me interested in football for years. I think he wants to send Sherri Hayes a gift basket for making this miracle happen.
I admit that I was a little hesitant to request Red Zone. The summary was catching and made it sound like a good read, but the only book I have read by this author was Slave and I wasn’t a huge fan of it. So yes, I was a little worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it and end up giving it a not so favourable review. But I’m so glad to say that wasn’t the case. And have you seen the cover? Yummy.
I can’t say that I was a fan of Rebecca’s. To me she was just so one dimensional. Maybe it was because she had a hard time expressing her feelings or was unsure of how to feel about everything, but she really just seemed to lack emotion most of the time. Even when, as a reader, you knew she did care she was just so reserved that it was hard to connect with her as a character. It was clear she cared for her sister and even for Gage, but it would have been nice to see a little more depth to her.
It also seemed a little off for an FBI agent she didn’t really seem to know all that much about being undercover when it came to looking and acting the part. It was a minor thing, yes, but it just bugged me. I would think it would be second nature for her to know that if she was playing Gage’s girlfriend that she should look the part. I get why Hayes had her the way she was, so the hero could draw out that side of her no one else saw, but it just made her seem very unprofessional.
I did love Gage, though. I have a thing for cocky, arrogant asses who are actually sweethearts beneath their cold layers. Although, I found myself wishing he was older the entire time. Not too much older, like 5-10 years, maybe. He’s twenty-six, so early to mid-thirties at the most would have been better for me. Maybe it was because of his actions or the things he said, he just seemed older than his twenties. Although being an athlete I know the older you get the sooner you’re out, so making him young made sense. (Plus, he’s the youngest of four brothers) Either way I still loved him.
If you like a little mystery with your romance than you should pick up a copy of Red Zone. It is the second novel in the Daniels Brothers series, but it does stand alone. I haven’t picked up the first novel, but I think Behind Closed Doors will be the next one added to my (very long) TBR list. And with two more brothers in the family there is potential for two more books—I’m hoping for a “Paul and Megan” story to follow.