Intercepted

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Dec 2018

Member Reviews

Overall, I loved this read. Marlee and Gavin are both fantastic characters, and it's the perfect read to kick off the beginning of football season! I thought it was really realistic for a romance novel, and Marlee's one-liners were funny, though I could have done without all of the hashtags. The pace of the novel threw me off a bit. It was hard to follow at times because the author would jump ahead a week or a month. Still, it was a great story, and I was excited to see this is a series!
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Alexa Martin's Intercepted is so much fun and perfect for fans of The Wedding Date and The Kiss Quotient. I read this book with my romance book club and we talked about it over Paloma slushes (tequila and grapefruit made into slush)-- and to me that represented the book perfectly: fun and flirty, with just a tad of salt. Marlee was such a well rounded heroine that you could definitely tell parts of the book were influenced by Martin's own life. I particularly enjoyed the back and forth between Marlee's scummy boyfriend Chris, and her ex-fling, Gavin, who comes back into her life at an opportune time. My favourite part though maybe was Marlee's friendships and the local women's bar she ends up working at (where they have Skinny Girl on tap! and all women can come to unwind) and how well these were balanced with Marlee and Gavin's love story. 

I thought the book ended too quickly and am really hoping we get to see more of Marlee and Gavin in the next book in the series! 

Overall, this was a hell of a fun book, so much so that I found myself missing subway stops because I couldn't put it down.
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Loved this book and hope it becomes a series. I have so many colleagues who have read it now because of my recommendation. Alexa’s characters and conflicts are truly done so well.
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Favorite Quote: “Karma’s a bitch. We’re allowed to laugh once she’s done her job.”

Marlee Harper has spent the last 10 years being the perfect NFL girlfriend, putting up with the catty NFL wives and her narcissistic boyfriend…that is until she discovers her man has been cheating on her.  In an upset of the year, Marlee packs her things and leaves, vowing never to date another professional athlete again. Until her ex’s team, the Denver Mustangs, brings in a new hotshot quarterback, Gavin Pope. Marlee had a steamy one night stand with Gavin years ago and never saw him again. Until now.

Gavin is determined to pick up where he and Marlee left off but first, he has to prove to her he is nothing like her ex. But not everyone is willing to let Marlee back into the fold. Between Gavin’s family, his publicist, and the team wives, Marlee has a lot to overcome if she wants to get off the bench and back in the game. When a rumor gets started that makes Marlee enemy number one in the country,  Marlee will have to decide what’s more important-Gavin or herself.

Intercepted is a hilarious and smexy debut from Alexa Martin. A former NFL wife herself, she creates a heroine whose voice and sheer moxie will leave you crying with laughter as you watch her navigate the minefield of love, betrayal, bejeweled jerseys and lots of attitude behind the scenes of professional football. Heavily character driven, the conversational style dialogue draws you into Marlee’s life with relative ease. And what a life it is. A website designer by day and football widow by night, she has been with her childhood sweetheart, Chris, since she was 16. Convinced he was the one for her, she has waited patiently for him to realize she is the one for him and put a ring on it.  Instead, she has watched and supported his rise to stardom only to him disappoint her from her time and time again with his bad attitude, narcissism,  possessive ways, and wandering eye (and eventually penis). But Marlee is no shrinking violet. She gives as good as she gets. She loves her man but she will slap back in a heartbeat.

“First of all, I do listen. Second, check yourself. I get you’re pissed and talking it out on Nike bags and innocent, baked with love cakes, but you will not take it out on me. “

When Chris accidentally take her laptop to work she is forced to use his and discovers that he has been cheating on her for quite a while. Emails and nude photos show her he hasn’t stopped chasing groupies and she leaves him. Unfortunately, the witness to her humiliation is Gavin Pope. Newly hired as their new quarterback, Gavin was a one night stand from years ago that Marlee never quite got over. On a break from her relationship with Chris, she and Gavin hooked up but his lie about his career, he told he was an investment banker, only confirmed her athletes are lying pieces of crap motto. So she left, never to see him again. Or so she thought. When Chris threatens to call the cops if she takes her car (which is in his name) Gavin stands up for her and offers her a ride to her parents’ house.

“I can take you if you need a ride.”
“No. She’s not going to burden my boys with her shit.”
“You’re not my boy Alexander. And this shit you’re pulling right now is why you never will be.”

Marlee reminded me of Kristen Ashley’s heroines with her love of life, booze, clothes, food, and her entertaining rambling monologues. Intelligent, loyal, funny, and a complete bad arse…Marlee has it all going for her. She also doesn’t take any smack from anyone. True love or not, don’t you dare underestimate her or talk down to her. She’ll cut you off at the knees. I like that she is secure enough in herself that she doesn’t need validation for her choices. Lots of ‘girl power’ moments in here, especially when she and her friends get together. 

“Marlee, I swear to god, if you cause another scene like the one you did in preseason, I’m never coming to another game with you again.”

“First of all, I did not start that.”

“Marlee! You called them football rejects and told them the only thing they could do with a football was shove it up their —-“

“Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! You know better than to repeat my war crimes outside the battle…and do you not remember the shit he saying about Dre? Your husband? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you stay calm because one of us needs to but you were happy when I said something. You can’t take that back now.”

“Maybe a little bit, but don’t do it again. I can only imagine the joy Courtney would feel finding out you were starting fights at games.”

“Courtney can borrow the reject brothers’ football and shove it up her—“

That is just a taste of the power that keeps Marlee hustling and bustling. Now on her own, independent for the first time, she struggles with her attraction to Gavin and her need to finally be  Marlee instead of Marlee and — She gets an apartment, an outside job, finds her people, and begins to recover from her pain but Gavin doesn’t make it easy.  Gavin wants Marlee and woos and charms her the way Chris should have. He’s a natural born protector and when he gets a little too autocratic and takes it upon himself to try “fix” Marlee’s problems without talking to her first, she sets him straight.  Unfortunately, she begins to fall into the same pattern she did with her ex and ends up forgiving Gavin and letting it go. Until it gets to be too much. But he’s not a stupid man and learns how to grovel for forgiveness.

The first bouquet shows up at my parent’s house the day after I left Gavin’s.
The second showed up at HERS two days after, on a Friday.
The third, fourth, and fifth, and sixth arrive at my parents’ house.
I didn’t even know they delivered on Sundays.
My mom thinks they are romantic.
My dad and Brynn think it’s obnoxious.
I fall somewhere in the middle.
Monday, at work. the seventh and eighth bouquets arrive.
“If he moves to singing telegrams, I’m going to walk over to his house and kick him in the balls,” Brynn tells me ever so elegantly.

The chemistry between Marlee and Gavin is  H.A.W.T. Steamy, panty dropping, hot. I really liked we not only see the physical aspects of their relationship but also the emotional aspects as the romance builds from lust to love. Martin gives them time to work out their problems together while amplifying the sexual tension between them to max levels with a lot of laughs in the meantime. Marlee’s attempts to keep Gavin firmly in the “friends only with benefits” is a losing battle but so much fun to watch. As is her attempts to rationalize it.

I still intend to keep my no more athletes promise, but you know what? I deserve a little fun. What’s wrong with a small indulgence before I turn my apartment into a Jesus-only convent? Not a damn thing.

An amusing cast of secondary characters adds depth and humor to the story, highlighting Marlee and giving her adversaries and allies in her quest towards growth. Martin has a strong hand with characterization and dialogue. Everyone we meet brings something to the table in here and I loved seeing I loved the banter between Marlee and those in her circle. The NFL wives are a nasty bunch and when Marlee finally lets her devil out, I had to laugh but also admire her for taking the high road. The strong relationship with her parents (another KA element) is so fun and of course, her relationship with her bestie, Naomi. The yen to her yang. 

The ending is dramatic and heartfelt, which is Marlee in a nutshell. The road to happiness is often paved with a few bumps and potholes and Marlee finally learning that you can only be happy with someone else when you’re happy with yourself is a happy ending we can all cheer for. Everything wraps up nicely and we are even given a small epilogue to assure us that Team Marvin (Marlee-Gavin) has what it takes to make it. 

This may be my first read by Alexa Martin but certainly not my last.  I wholeheartedly recommend her to everyone who enjoys their couples sexy, funny, romantic, and made of pure unadulterated fun.

Grade: B+
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We absolutely love a good sports romance, and if you mix that with a little Real Housewives-esque drama, I’m here for it! Alexa Martin’s first novel in her Playbook series centers around Marlee and Gavin, and you’re going to want to dive into this one!
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Guys, I loved this book! When I read Deanna’s review on it I knew I had to read it, but I still wasn’t quite prepared for how fun and addicting it would be. I never wanted to stop reading it. I read it in about 24 hours and that included having to take breaks for sleep and work.

I really enjoyed Marlee. She was quirky and funny and very likable. She did frustrate me every now and again, but for the most part I thought she was relatable and I loved being in her head. I also really liked her dad, her boss/friend Brynn, and her best friend Naomi. I even enjoyed the “Wicked Wives” and all the catty, mean girl drama they created. I also think it’s a fun tidbit that the author’s husband used to play football so she spent several years as a Football Wife and I have no doubt some of that over-the-top behavior is inspired by real life events.

And can we talk about Gavin for a moment? He was pretty darn perfect. He was so sweet and protective and I just adored him. I spent the whole book waiting for him to do something awful because no guy can be that perfect, right? Well, he never does anything awful, but he does do some stupid things towards the end of the book. While part of what he did kind of made sense to me (not that I thought it was ok, but I understood his thought process), his total obliviousness to how much he hurt Marlee was not at all consistent with his character and I didn’t like that he had to basically become a different person for a few chapters to create the necessary drama to move the plot forward. However, he does redeem himself and I’ll love him forever. (And that’s not a spoiler, because this is a Romance and we all know how it’s going to end.)

While I did very much enjoy the relationship between Marlee and Gavin, there was one aspect I was really missing. They had a one-night stand several years before when Marlee was on a break from her relationship with longtime boyfriend, Chris. We’re told a lot about how great all the physical parts of that night were (yes, I know this is a Romance, but I would’ve liked a little less graphic content), but I would’ve loved a flashback to what brought them to that. How did they meet? What was their initial connection like? When they meet again and Gavin starts pursuing her pretty hard once she breaks up with Chris it made it feel like it was just based off of physical attraction. Which didn’t make sense either because Gavin kept talking about how amazing Marlee was, so obviously he knew more about her from their one night together and I just would’ve liked to have seen that.

Overall, I just really enjoyed Intercepted. It’s been awhile since I had so much fun reading a Romance. I liked Martin’s writing style and even all the hashtags. Not all of them were golden, but for the most part I thought they added a good bit of humor. I also liked Marlee’s journey to becoming her own person and being able to recognize that being in a relationship can’t “fix” you. It was refreshing to have a Romance portray being in love as a good part of your life and not being your whole life. I recommend this one to Romance fans and I will definitely be reading more from Martin in the future.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars
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Intercepted by Alexa Martin had a lot of buzz, and I was excited to dig in. Marlee is an absolute gem of a character! This is her story, by and far, and that's what made it such a home run for me. She's dating an NFL player when another player she had a one-night stand with a while ago comes back into her life. What's a girl to do? There's so much humor, and the characters are so dynamic and just come right to life. I had fun reading this one and cheering Marlee on. This was a spectacular debut, and I'm ready for more from Alexa Martin.

4 stars!
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Gavin Pope – a sexy, football god stuffed into too-tight pants on Sundays for us women to ogle. He’s my new book boyfriend, hope y’all don’t mind. I’ll share him with you via the book, but at the end of the day I’ll claim him. He’s the romance hero I didn’t know I was looking for. Seriously.

Marlee Harper doesn’t know she’s looking for him either, but she does know from a previous one-night adventure that he’s as sinful in bed as his looks are. Marlee also refuses to date football players anymore. Except, can she really turn away from a guy who defends her, stands up for her, treats her like she’s the most important person in the world… I could go on.

So, what did I really like about the story? The characters are amazing. Martin does this excellent job of crafting protagonists I wanted to root for and antagonists worth Best Villain Academy Awards. Marlee, friends Nicole and Brynn, hero Gavin (delicious) are giving glowing testimonials in Marlee’s eyes (yep, this is a first person POV), and through their actions on behalf of the heroine.  Also, Gavin’s agent, Donnie, a true New Yorker with a potty mouth the size of Texas is an inspiration. He deploys the ‘F’ word with constant efficiency and it’s endearing as it is annoying. The villains and their shenanigans take things to a whole new level.

Second, the hero is so precious. He’s got honor, integrity, kindness, and is gentleman above all things. This guy knows the importance of doing dishes for a woman who cooked his dinner *swoon*. Yes, the guy GETS IT. Every time he comes on the page, opens his mouth, I had to re-read the dialogue. It was like a fantasy walked out. Gavin Pope embodied to me what a football player without the toxic masculinity we are always seeing blasted in the headlines. He’s what I want in a head quarterback.

Especially, after the set down he gives to the wife of the previous lead quarter back for coming down on Marlee after her ex verbally and physically harasses her.

“Are you happy, Marlee? We’re going to lose sponsors and money because you couldn’t just stay at home and your own business.” She stops and moves her narrowed eyes toward Gavin. “And I’m so disappointed in you, Gavin. I don’t expect much from her, but you should know better. I can’t believe Coach Jacobs replaced Kevin with someone who would fight a teammate. Kevin would never behave the way you have tonight.”

“You’re right,” Gavin says. Courtney’s eye widen with surprise – her forehead still doesn’t move – and it’s clear to anyone around us, she approached us looking for another fight. “Kevin would never stick up for a woman who’s being harassed. Which is the reason I was brought in. Your husband lacks the integrity and leadership it takes to have a winning team.”

I found myself smitten right there. Gavin displays qualities I can only hope to instill in my own son. One’s I long to inspire my daughter to search for.

Finally, I loved the story line. This book had a little bit of a chick lit feel to it in that the heroine had some growing to do for herself. She’d gone through a lot with her ex and with living a life for another person. I loved to see Marlee forcing herself to find her again and to learn who she was. It doesn’t dominate the story, but those elements were something I could relate to.

Overall, this book hit all my marks. From the crazy hashtags to powerful dialogue and scenes that are so sticky. I can’t wait for the second book and though this isn’t quite the same old romance I truly believe many will love it the same way I do.

This is for readers who enjoyed The Hating Game.

~ Landra
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Football practices going on down at the end of the street, tail-gate party recipes showing up around me, and oh yes, I was in the mood to dive into a football sports romance by a debut author.
Review

Intercepted is the first in a series and I was all sorts of curious to crack it open knowing the book was written by a gal who is very familiar with the pro-football world.  I found her writing style was a good fit and enjoyed the sassy and modern that crept in (though, yes, I tolerated the preponderances of hashtags) and cringed over the life on the inside of this world.  It was an easy, fast read with an adorable hero who just wants to prove himself to her.

Marlee was an engaging heroine who had just made up her mind to stay away from pro athletes after her cheating ex when a former fling, Gavin, makes an appearance showing his interest and challenging her decision about men and sets out to prove to her that he isn’t her ex.  And, he’s not the only challenge because the catty Queen B’s who rule off the gridiron make things tough on her stirring up a maelstrom of trouble that forces her to take it to them.  Holy Hannah was the drama these gals stirred up nutso.  I loved when she gave them what for.  She cracked me up so much that I got looks from people (note to self, don’t read Alexa Martin books in public).  Oh, and I loved her best bud, Naomi who wasn’t like the others.

It was a delightful surprise- simple, easy, fun, but just enough conflict in an authentic feeling setting- and now I want more.  Those who love sports romance should definitely pick this one up.

My thanks to Penguin for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A great debut from an author that I wouldn't have heard of if it wasn't for the word of mouths of my book people. Witty as hell. Great dialogue. It's football, people...you'll enjoy it.
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This was good overall. I'm giving it 3.5 out of 5 stars. This review is for an ARC, and reflects my honest opinion.

I love sports romances, so this one sounded right up my alley. It has gotten some mixed reviews, so I wasn't sure where I'd fall in the spectrum. I would say I'm firmly in the middle. I didn't love it like I wanted to, but I definitely didn't hate it either.

I liked Marlee for the most part, although she drove me a little bonkers sometimes. Gavin was the same story; he seemed like a good guy, but there were just some things I didn't like about his personality. As for secondary characters, I liked TK and Brynn quite a bit. I think I would have liked Dre if I'd gotten to know him more. Naomi was okay. Some characters were jerks (to put it politely).

One issue I had with the book, and a reason I couldn't rate it higher, were that characters disappeared from existence for quite a while, and then reappeared when it was convenient for the plot. Or they only reappeared in short snippets, when I thought they should have a bigger part during the last half or so of the book.

The ending was cute though, and it made me excited when I saw the second book's summary and cover was out already. Can't wait to read the next book!
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When I heard there was a football romance being written by a football wife, I knew I had to read it, and all I can say is #NoRegrets. 

• Pro: One of the best things about this book was Marlee. She was sassy, but could back all her talk up with action. She had to make some really tough choices in this book, and I really admired the way she picked herself up and made lemonade out of lemons. Most importantly, she learned to make the decisions that were best for her. 

• Pro: I won't pretend that I didn't like Gavin, because I LOVED Gavin!!! He was just all sorts of perfection, and I couldn't have asked for a better hero. 

• Pro: Female friendships always rate real high with me, and Marlee was lucky to have two amazing women - Naomi, her bestie, who was always there for her, and Brynn, her boss-friend, who took a chance on Marlee, when she was starting anew. I loved them both, and adored the dynamic they had together. 

• Pro: Gavin and Marlee were magical together. I loved their ease, their banter, and the genuine affection, which I felt between them. 

• Pro: This book was more than a romance, it was the story of woman, who had to find her way back to herself after years and years of living in her boyfriend's shadow, and I was really happy I got to be part of it. 

• Pro: The ending made me so happy. Martin gave me some of my favorite things with that ending. Seriously, my face hurt from how much it made me smile. 

Overall: A fantastic debut, which has me chomping at the bit for the next book.
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I loved this book! It has all the things I enjoy in a romance. Sports theme, check! Lowlife cheater boyfriend gets his just desserts, check! Nasty female frenemies and co-cheaters get their comeuppance, check! Hot, hunky, hero with a big heart, check! I so enjoyed this story of Marlee, the girlfriend of a self-centered football player who cheats on her and disrupts her whole life. fortunately, the team's new quarterback and Marlee's long time ago one-night hot sex partner, Gavin, is there to pick up the pieces. Marlee has to work hard to overcome her distrust of being with a famous sports figure and just when things look good, one of the frenemies makes her life a living heck. Thank goodness she has good friends who help her through the tough times and she also learns a little bit about standing up for herself so she can stand up with someone else.
This book is full of sports talk, girlfriend talk, hot sex, and humor that makes it an all-around fun read. I enjoyed reading it so much that I'm listening to the audio version and laughing out loud in the car. I can't wait for book two-Fumbled- to come out next year!
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Intercepted (Playbook #1) by Alexa Martin Book Review
Marlee finds out her long-term NFL boyfriend is cheating. She's done with athletes, but damn that Gavin. He walks back into her life at just the right moment. Intercepted has romance, a lot of laughs, heartbreak, new beginnings & pop culture references for days!

#Hilarious
The way Alexa Martin writes Marlee is perfection. Readers get to hear so much of Marlee's internal dialogue. I LOVE how she has hashtags for any & everything. You'll just be reading along & Marlee will throw out a hashtag at the PERFECT moment. You just want to reach over, give her a high five & laugh your ass off with her.

Some of my favorite Hashtags are #ClickItorStickIt #HisAssMadeMeDoIt & of course, #WhoGonnaCheckMeBoo as a nod to one of my favorite moments in Real Housewives history. If Marlee wears She by Sheree joggers, I will love her FOREVER!

NFL WAGS
Now, Marlee is a longtime girlfriend to an NFL player. She finally gets her foot in the door with these crazy wives. I mean it when I say these women are crazy! This setting is just ripe for all sorts of characters & I am here for every bit of it! Luckily, Alexa is coming out with a second book that takes place with different characters from the same football team.

Marlee's internal dialogue when she is around these women is worth the read alone! The truth is that Marless is a badass. She's there for her man & she's a REAL football fan. She's not sitting up in the box like Gisele. Nope. Her behind is in the bleachers, razzing opponents & cheering on her team. Just another thing I love about her. She doesn't play by anyone's rules.

Gavin Pope Be Still My Heart
Gavin gave me a few dayuuuum moments. While it’s nice to be a woman & stand up for yourself,  it’s badass to have your man right there with you. That's what love is. Your partner has your back no matter what.

Marlee & Gavin have a history. I won't spoil it all. Once he walks back into her life, there is no resisting him. I'm serious.  Gavin Pope is completely irresistible. He is sweet, kind, thoughtful, caring & loaded. That doesn't hurt, right?

There are some tantalizing romance scenes, but nothing too heavy or obscene. Alexa give us just enough where I turned a slight shade of blush & voraciously kept reading!

THE VERDICT
I am Really Into This book!  Intercepted is a romance novel for sure, but it's also hilarious. Marlee is MADE for the silver screen & I hope someone buys up the rights to this story pronto.

Some other romance novels I've loved lately are The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang & Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren.

Special thanks to Alexa Martin, Berkley Books & NetGalley for providing our copy in exchange for an honest & fair review.
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Intercepted was a fun, snarky, addictive, and romantic read! I was completely entertained by this book from beginning to end.

Marlee, the main female character, was such a great character to read about. Her inner monologue was just as sassy as it was hilarious. I loved how fiercely independent she was and how she did what she felt was right for herself. She is the type of character that I wish I could be best friends with. I would read 100 more books about Marlee! My only annoyance with Marlee was that I felt like she used hashtags way too often. At first, it was modern and charming, but it did get old kind of quickly. Other than that, I really loved everything about Marlee.

The main male character, Gavin, was a dreamboat. He was the ideal male lead in my opinion. He was charming, kind, appreciative, and hilarious. All of his romantic gestures, even the small ones, made my heart skip a beat. He was a little overprotective at times, but I never found it completely unbearable. 

Considering their situation, I felt the romance between Gavin and Marlee developed at a believable pace, which is sometimes rare for contemporary romance novels. The chemistry Gavin had with Marlee was STEAMY and lead to so many moments brimming with sexual tension. I loved the banter between Marlee and Gavin and how much they genuinely seemed care about each other. 

The combination of romance, humor, drama, and heart made this book an absolute delight! Some of the drama seemed a bit ridiculous and over the top, but as a woman who is obsessed with The Real Housewives franchise, it didn't bother me all too much. If you are in the market for a new contemporary romance novel, I would definitely recommend picking this book up! I cannot wait to see what the author will come out with next!

4 / 5 Fangs

*This ebook was given to me in exchange for an honest review. *
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Intercepted is witty, fast-paced, and fun. At least in the beginning. I really liked Marley with her sass and attitude, and Gavin is like someone cloned all the perfect boyfriend qualities into one and came up with him. A bit too perfect, yes, but it's impossible not to love him. However, my high opinion of this one waned a bit with the second half of the book. The many hashtags that seemed amusing in the beginning grew tedious, and the little dramas just kept going on and on. When I say little dramas, I mean exactly that. Something would happen, Gavin would step up and save the day, and all would be sunshine and roses again, repeatedly. We do get a bigger bit of angst toward the end, but Marley's epiphany and resulting need to find who I am soul search could've come so much sooner. Plus the thing that brings it all on is so completely out of character for Gavin that it was all a little bit of a let down for me. That said, I did enjoy the author's wit, minus all the hashtags, and really liked the first half of this book. It is well worth the read and I'll be interested to see how the author's writing grows with future books.
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Touchdown!!! Alexa Martin snuck upon my book radar like a quarterback sneak the minute her publisher sent me her debut book, Intercepted. And wow oh wow, I was impressed by her writing and charismatic characters. Intercepted was a fun, sexy drama filled sports romance that was chocked full of with wit, playfulness, and your insider’s guide to the WAGs club. Right from the opening pages, I was hooked and so without spoiling anything, I will just say Alexa Martin did a fabulous job showcasing a sports romance with a fresh new perspective from the wives and girlfriends perspective. Readers are no longer on the sideline but instead are given a humorous and detailed account of cattiness and the hierarchy of WAGs. Usually in romance books, it’s the hero that steals the show but I gotta say Marlee was the star of this book. Her vibrant personality was what made me fall in love with this book hard. So if you are looking for a book that humor, wit, and romance then I highly recommend you to read this book.
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A quick, sexy, romantic story about not only finding love but about learning to love yourself. Because if you cannot love and accept yourself, then you can never truly love anyone else.
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Wow, Alexa Martin absolutely blew me away with her debut novel,  Intercepted. It’s a contemporary sports romance with a heroine, Marlee, who is wonderfully relatable, insanely likable and absolutely hilarious. After she discovers that her long-term boyfriend has been cheating on her, Marlee is reunited with the man she had an unforgettable one-night stand with four years ago, Gavin, and he still wants her. She’s not ready to date or fall in love again, but Gavin is hard to resist. (Gah. I am not sure how anyone could ever resist him. Gavin Pope is swoony.) He patiently woos her, and it’s a captivating blend of sweet, romantic and sexy as he gives Marlee the space she needs to find herself and stand on her own. The writing is snappy, the pacing is quick, the romance is sublime, and the humor is off-the-charts. Alexa Martin delivers a stellar love story, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
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As you definitely already know, I love football an absurd amount. It's my favorite thing to think about, watch, and talk about with friends and family. I'm ridiculous in how much I love my team and how much a loss can ruin my day/week. My fantasy football ladies-and-"book bloggers"-only league, Game of Throws, was given the chance to buddy read this novel from Berkley. I also had an egalley for review on my own, but knew I wanted to read it at the same time as my gals. We all read it over the course of opening weekend of football, which is also around my birthday AND when I was in Charlotte to see the season opener for my team! It was absolutely perfect timing and got me into the football mood even more than before.



I enjoyed this one overall! There were a few things that bugged me throughout, but they are all smallish complains. I think the writing style was very easy to read, but some dialogue and scenes felt forced, like they were trying too hard. The constant hashtags annoyed me (the MC explained that she "hashtags her life" in her head sometimes) and only got worse as the book went on. There was a lot happening in the second half of the book and there were a few different conflicts. There were issues with heckling and even assault, the other football wives, her ex-boyfriend and whoever he was dating at the time, AND obviously within the main couple at the end. I liked that the book was well-rounded and she had a full life, but there was a lot going on. Sometimes it felt like too much. The whole plot with the football wives was majorly in the "mean girls" trope, which is overused IMO.

Gavin and Marlee's relationship was sweet, caring, and steamy; I could feel the chemistry. Some parts at the end felt like Gavin was a different person in some ways? Many of his decisions and a lot of the conflict was surrounding him being an idiot all of a sudden. I thought he was so perfect most of the time! It was a bit frustrating because it felt like drama for the sake of drama; it was out of character. All of the football-related elements were SO GREAT. (Although, Marlee somehow spent 10 years dating an NFL wide receiver and didn’t realize the Giants played in New Jersey instead of New York???)

If you’re a football AND romance fan (and can look past some cheesy hashtags in the MC’s head), I’d definitely recommend this. I couldn’t put it down. I tried to read on my vacation but I was too distracted. I read 94% of the book in one sitting when I was at home watching Monday Night Football, which was perfect.
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