Reviewed by Tori
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.