Fumbled by Alexa Martin
April 23, 2019 by Berkley
A second chance doesn’t guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.
Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.
TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.
When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.
I have a lot of complicated feelings about this book. There were things I loved, things I didn’t, and a couple of things that I’m still not sure about. Second chance romances are absolutely, 100% my jam. If you mention anywhere in the blurb that the H/H have a past and are reconnecting I am 1000% more likely to hit the request and/or auto-buy button. As much as I enjoyed the first book in this series, Intercepted, I was even more excited for Fumbled simply because it was second chance.
I adored the heroine, Poppy. She is strong, resilient, and does what she needs to do to make sure her son is safe, secure, and feels loved everyday. There were times I felt she was a little judgy of some of the other women around her, but she also had some great women friendships that I enjoyed.
I still don’t know what I think about the hero, TK. He is supposed to be what I’m guessing is a bearded Clay Matthews (Green Bay Packers) look-a-like. At least that’s who came to mind when I was reading his description. At first he comes across as a dude who is completely surprised and excited to see his high-school girlfriend/first love for the first time in ten years. Then a few secrets come out and he turns into a dickhead. Then he kind of redeems himself and I don’t know if I really like him or am still angry with this behavior.
This couple reconnects after TK comes into the gentlemen’s club where Poppy works as a waitress. She doesn’t really want to see him again, because there is a huge secret that she’s hiding AND she’s still angry at him for cutting her out of his life when she told him she was pregnant. But eventually she must tell him about their son, even if she feels a sense of impending doom when she thinks about doing it.
Eventually they go out on a date and Poppy does tell him and she was right for worrying about his reaction because WHAT AN ASSHOLE. He yells at her, he accuses her of trying to stick him with her kid, he acts like a classic douchebag hero and I was so angry. But thank goodness Ace looks like a mini TK, because as soon as he sees his son for the first time he knows he’s his and Poppy was telling the truth. *eye roll emoji*
I will admit that after the way he acted when Poppy told him about their son and how TK’s mother treated her when she came to her for help it was hard for me to see him in a favorable light for most of the book. And even though the author did a wonderful job of diving deep into the long term effects of brain injuries and concussions in football I was still apprehensive about him. He does something at the end that had me cheering and happy for them as a couple, though. There is even a lovely HEA.
One of the very best things about this book was Ace. I loved him. He was drawn so well and I adored his relationship with his mother.
There is an external conflict involving a stalker that I felt was kind of unnecessary, but whatever. It brought out TK’s protective instincts and forced close proximity so I guess it did what it intended to do, but I do wish TK and Poppy were brought together in a different way.
In the end I enjoyed Fumbled very much and TK redeemed himself. This was a fast, fun read and I would definitely recommend. Brynn and Maxwell are up next in the third book in the series, Blitzed, which has a release date of December 3, 2019. This sounds like an enemies to lovers romance and I am super excited.
Final Grade- B-