Anybody who has ever read a sports romance novel knows just how addictive they can be. Personally, I tore through Elle Kennedy’s Off-Campus series a few years back, and a few of Cindi Madsen’s hockey player books. Are they fine literature? No. But they are often a quick, fun romp where you can check your brain for a few hours between heavy books. Heck, I use them to get myself out of reading slumps all the time. Needless to say, my expectations were high for Intercepted by Alexa Martin. As expected, this was a fun escape – far from flawless, but a fun ride regardless.
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.
Sometimes, it’s the smallest thing that ruins the immersion of a book – for Intercepted by Alexa Martin, it’s the godforsaken, cringeworthy hashtags that get thrown in seemingly randomly. I can’t fathom why the author thought this was a good idea – throughout the entire book there wasn’t a single hashtag that actually added to the book or the writing. I personally hate secondhand cringe, and these really threw me out of the plot every single time. Aside from those, the plot was pretty strong. In my experience, a romance book has to have a certain amount of drama or ups and downs in order to be an entertaining read. This book hit that mark perfectly – the drama was realistic, well spaced out, and served to make the core romance stronger.
Overall, Marlee was a great romance character – she was no Mary Sue by any stretch of the imagination. Early on in the book she snapped out of her bad relationship and put herself first. She was tough, and bounced back and got on her feet quickly – her independence after being in a long term relationship was commendable, though this character development unfortunately did not last for her. She also didn’t immediately jump into a relationship with her new love interest, Gavin. One of my favorite parts of the entire book was the female friendships – Marlee and her friends were what I always look for in romances. They supported each other, stood up for each other, rallied around each other, and most importantly, didn’t let their romantic relationships get between their friendships – at least until the very end of the book.
The relationship between Marlee and Gavin was full of chemistry right off the bat – their romantic history helped give their relationship the extra sparks it needed in the beginning. Gavin was a great match for Marlee – their chemistry was off the charts, and at first, he was respectful of her independence. That changed towards the end of the novel, when he ultimately gave Marlee an ultimatum and unilaterally made a fundamental decision about their future together. I’ll be honest, the way that Gavin decided Marlee’s future for her without consulting her first really made me lose interest and investment in their romance. And the fact that Marlee essentially bows to his ultimatum and walks away from the life she built and her friends, really made me dislike her in the end. It felt like a betrayal to all of her character development and really put her back to square one.
Intercepted by Alexa Martin likely would have been a five star read for me if it hadn’t of been for the random (and terrible) hashtags sprinkled throughout and the terrible ending. Aside from this odd writing gimmick, the characters were interesting and intelligent, Marlee was a tough cookie, and there was just the right amount of drama to fuel the plot. The romance was adorable and hot, and the female friendships really gave the book a more empowered feeling. If you enjoyed this book, I’d high recommend checking out the Off Campus series by Elle Kennedy or The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. 3/5