Review: Red Zone by Sherri Hayes (Daniels Brothers #2)

Summary: Gage Daniels is a successful NFL quarterback.  He’s got everything going for him  – great career, good friends, financial stability and a seemingly endless line of women throwing themselves at him.  But when he starts getting threatening letters from a stalker who is watching his every move, Gage’s boss insists that he needs protection.  Calling on a favour from an old friend, the team’s owner hires Hansen, former FBI agent, for help.  Hansen in turn enlists the help of his ex-partner, Rebecca Carson, who is on administrative leave from the FBI after her last case ended badly.

Rebecca is climbing the walls and bored out of her mind, so she jumps at the job Hansen offers her.  Too late Hansen tells her that she will be protecting Gage, and posing as his girlfriend to do so.  Oh, and did he forget to mention moving into his house? 

Gage has never met a woman as buttoned up as Rebecca – he can’t help but push her buttons.  And as he pushes her, he sees a spark of something in her eyes and with that he sets off to challenge Rebecca with everything he has.  As the two become closer, the lines begin to blend between “pretend” girlfriend and their “real-life” feelings for one another.  As the stalker’s threatening behaviour continues to escalate, Rebecca must protect Gage while also protecting her heart.

*I read this book as a standalone, and I was completely fine in terms of following the story and the characters.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reasons:  I enjoyed this book much more than I was expecting.  Although the premise is a bit of a cliché, the story really worked for me.  I really liked Rebecca’s character.  Sure she was straight-laced, but as you learn more about her and her past the reader begins to understand why she is so closed off.  And as she began to open up, I liked her even more.  And Gage…. I will never get tired of the playboy athlete makes good.  Although he did enjoy women, he wasn’t a jerk at all and, surprisingly, ended up being a great guy!  He was a real sweetheart but still maintained his masculinity – he was hot!  I especially loved how he was with Rebecca: patient and attentive but then forceful alpha male when she needed a push. 

I liked how their relationship developed in the book.  I didn’t find it forced or rushed like so many other, similar novels.  I felt that the book flowed nicely, especially with the action of the stalker.  I honestly didn’t figure it out until the characters did.  While I do enjoy a good HEA, I found the ending to the book a little cheesy.  I know, I know, who doesn’t love a happy ending?  I do! I swear!

This book is also filled with a group of fun, hilarious supporting characters.  I loved Megan, Rebecca’s sister.  And Gage’s brothers and his whole family were great.  I am assuming that there will be more books in this series, which I will definitely read in the future.

* I was lucky enough to receive an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review! Thank you!!

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