The Red Zone by Jordan Ford

29926982Mack Mahoney is hot, popular and used to getting exactly what he wants…until he sets his sights on the new girl—Kaija Bennett. She’s an exchange student from New Zealand and attending Nelson High for three months. Mack’s never been one for love at first sight, but this chick has him feeling things he never knew existed within him and in spite of her feisty rejections, he’s determined to get to know her.

Kaija Bennett did not escape her New Zealand high school only to be dragged into the popular crowd at Nelson High. She’s on the run from a past she wants to forget, and the attention of the gorgeous quarterback is not helping. Can she resist his pulling power and keep her secret safe? Or will the dynamic football captain unearth the truth and make her fall harder than she ever has before?

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I received an ARC of this ebook from the author in exchange for my honest review!! (though I’m enjoying this series so much, I bought a copy of the final version for myself)

I think I’m still in my reading slump.  I even had a harder time concentrating on reading this book than I normally would (but that could have been that my life kept trying to get in the way of my reading).  Truthfully the reading of this book kind of went in a rollercoaster.  It didn’t grab me right at the beginning, and I wasn’t necessarily feeling the chemistry between Mack and Kaija right away.  But I HONESTLY cannot tell if it’s me anymore.  It’s starting to bug me.  Anyways, by the time they started their prank war, I was totally absorbed and devouring all the words!!!  I loved their playfulness and Sam was a hoot!!!  And then I think I got distracted by life again and I lost the magic…  I was enjoying watching Mack and Kaija get closer to each other, but it kind of just felt like it happened too fast, and Kaija easily let go of her reservations.  So I had a hard time buying into the development of them as a couple.  But once I finally let that go, I enjoyed watching them together.

I think in the end I enjoyed each of their individual stories more than their romance.  I really felt for Kaija and what happened to her back in New Zealand.  It was an interesting character perspective — someone who’d been one of the mean girls and who’d learned a REALLY hard lesson.  And what happens to her in this book totally brought me to tears.  I thought her story was very authentic.

Mack had his own interesting story to tell, but I felt like his skimmed the surface a bit more.  I would have liked even more depth there, but that could have been just my mood too, you know?  I guess I just feel like I still don’t quite know what drives Mack, other than his love of his family.  But maybe that’s because he doesn’t know who he is either?  Which is ok, but I guess I just wanted more…

So yeah, I’m still super intrigued by the stories and the world that Ms. Ford has created, but this one just didn’t hit it out of the park quite as much as Colt and Tori’s story did.  I was so glad we got to see a bit of them in this story as well, b/c they are adorable together!  I wish we’d seen more of Finn, but I am super psyched that Finn’s story is next (even if I’m wary of Layla as the heroine), so there are good things coming in my future!  🙂


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