The Playbook, #1

“Intercepted” is a jolly good debut from Alexa Martin. It was fun, sexy, uplifting, and well-rounded; portraying Marlee, a biracial young woman in a long-term relationship with her high-school sweetheart who got drafted by NFL team Denver Mustang. A peculiar one amongst the team’s WAGS, Marlee had never quite fit in with other players’ wife aside from Naomi. The premise itself (on top of the blurb) filled me with foreboding. Mind you, it brought to mind a rom com motion pictures with atypical, oblivious, and opinionated heroine among bitchy, stereotypical WAGS and the endless rows/bitch-fest that ensued.

In a nutshell “Intercepted” presented readers with entertaining tale of true love persevered through all barriers and obstacles. Other than the lead character and her staunch supporters, there were also villains of the story: the cheater, the liar, the envious, the opportunist, and so on. Martin put to use her personal experience as NFL wife, weaved it dramatically into quite Hollywood-esque sports romance.

Marlee was a lively character and a pretty down to earth gal. It’s easy to picture her as a good friend given her all-out, caring, and loyal nature. As her voice narrating the story in first person’s present tense, readers were also granted access to Marlee’s witty inner-talk or running commentary, including her penchant of hash-tagging every situations she found herself in. However, it boggled the mind how she could be such a doormat to her boyfriend and oh so oblivious to his “douchebagness” for quite a long time. Then again, I loved how Marlee developed into a much stronger and confident self from that state as the story progress; her learning experience on progress.

That being said, I had to admit that her relationship with Gavin was not what I expected (as implied from the blurb). I thought this would be catch-me-if-you can sort of plot with Marlee burnt-out after her relationship with Chris. That was NOT what happened. I don’t want to spoil too many detail but let me just say that there were times I frown upon Gavin and Marlee and their hasty affair. I mean, hoping from one (long) relationship into a new one in a matter of weeks? And the speed with which that affair turned into relationship, no matter how compatible in and out of bed they were...?? Way too soon. Of course, the flip-side of that, the whole thing made Marlee’s ordeal later on felt real and believable.

Also, for all Gavin’s goodie two shoes athlete persona, I also thought Martin was just too eager giving the couple’s ex (friend and lover) the worse personalities ever. I mean, pretty sure that these people had to have some good qualities if they could ever get close to Marlee (and Gavin) in the first place! I personally believe there’s good in everyone, even bad people, and felt it would give more weight to the story if the characters were not painted as purely black and white. There was short scene that might be an attempt to shade more color to certain character as well as serving as Marlee’s personal release. I didn’t totally work for me. But I did think the last few chapters were the best decision our heroine taking. Not to say the overall book was bad, but those last few chapters alone was something that boost Marlee - and in parallel, the author - in my opinion. Plus, with that much fun I had reading this debut, I have high hope for her next book (featuring a character from this one, too) which was scheduled to be release early next year.

Book Blurb for Intercepted

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. 

Afraid she's causing Gavin's life more harm than good, Marlee tries to ignore the articles and comments. However, when Gavin makes a life-changing decision without her, she realizes she's once again living the back-seat life of an NFL girlfriend. Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin's relationship to survive the season.

Night Owl Reviews Jul, 2018 3.50