Published by Berkley Books on September 11, 2018
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Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there's a new player on the horizon, and he's in a league of his own...
Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She's definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There's just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.
Gavin fights to show Marlee he's nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team's wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee's return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.
Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin's relationship to survive the season.
What has two thumbs and is catching up on massively overdue review books?
Seriously though, it feels amazing to be crossing off something from the backlog. I always feel guilty when the books pile up. I wish the book I tackled first had been a bit more successful, but what’s a girl to do?
From the offest, I was intimidated by the hype leading up to release of Intercepted. Then the gushing love this book garnered from other readers kept me on the fence. I was stuck straddling fear-of-missing-out versus fear-of-not-getting-heart-eyes. I understand why this book was so well received. It’s a lot of fun. Ultimately, I knew about an hour in, it was not for me. January LaVoy’s brilliant narration kept me in the game.
First #wtfwaswiththehashtags. I am from the generation that made those *a thing*, but the copious usage throughout the book was jarring. The commitment to keeping Marlee so millennial in her characterization and lingo really damaged her potential to be a sympathetic main character. I found her to be witty and moderately relatable, but mostly she was inconsiderate to those around her, dramatic at the slightest provocation, and a just a skosh annoying. Granted, Marlee was up against some villains – a cheating jerk of a boyfriend, rampant mean girls, internet trolls. I probably would have been surly in her place, but I still found her to be kind of a caricature of “young woman” rather than a complex person to root for.
The conception of the plot was great. Who among us can resist an illicit and memorable one night stand? And then that hottie showing back up in your complicated present years later? Sign me up. In its execution, I had a lot of feminist flags on the play. I’m not even going to address how problematic Chris was. He was a douche through and through, and sadly all too believable in that role.
When we move on up to golden boy, Gavin, I still found him to be passively troublesome. He did not actively make me want to kick him in the balls (ahem, Chris), but I feel like he had these micro-transgressions against Marlee that were passed of as either machismo or chivalry. I get that he is a big, strong football player with a butt like a god. I just wished for more girl power in Marlee’s counterpoint to his energy. It left a disjointed quality to the balance of their relationship, which ultimately had me conflicted about driving on towards the Happily Ever After.
The biggest thing I was left wanting was more robust female characters. In contemporary romance, there are usually some pillars to balance out a more naive MC qualities. A tough best friend, a ride-or-die coworker, a mom/sister/aunt/cousin/whatever. My point is, strong women are everywhere in contemporary. I was met with essentially grown high school bitches with Black Cards, and the lack of similarly amazing women in Marlee’s circle made me sad. Every MC – just like every woman in real life – deserves the best women supporting her.
The few friends who were introduced were too weak or too peripheral to make much of an impact. I wanted Marlee to be able to run to a friend when Chris was awful or when people harassed her, instead it was always Gavin. I profoundly missed the common theme of sisterhood and women taking care of their own. (Side note: the fact that this is predominate in the new era of books makes me happy dance. Even at a weaker state, the representation in Intercepted is still eons ahead of where romance books and female portrayals were in the not-too-distant past).
Even though I had some issues with the book, I have to say I truly enjoyed Alexa Martin’s writing. It was fresh and accessible. There were so many scenes where I laughed out loud, had second hand rage, and let’s not forget the steam factor. Hubba hubba. In a sea of romances, this is still better than decent – and even more commendable as a debut. I will definitely be checking out Martin’s upcoming release Fumbled later this spring. I really hope that her second book continues to build on the clear promise she has as a staple in this genre. Bottom line, this is a cute read, just beware there are some issues lurking behind it’s gorgeous cover.