I was heading out on another backpacking trip and needed some tent reading that I would find both entertaining and not scary/disturbing. Romances usually do the trick, and I found one from NPR’s Best Books of 2018 List. NPR recommended Intercepted (2018) by Alexa Martin as a fun, sporty romance involving football.
Marlee Harper is the long-time girlfriend of star receiver, Chris Alexander of the Denver Mustangs. She’s been with him for about ten years, since high school. But when she catches him cheating on her–again–she dumps him for good. Marlee is done dating athletes, but Gavin Pope. the new, hotshot quarterback complicates things when he arrives in Denver. About four years earlier, when Marlee and Chris were on a break because of another cheating scandal, Marlee had an amazing one-night stand with Gavin Pope in Chicago. Neither one has forgotten.
Marlee isn’t keen on jumping back into a relationship with another professional athlete, but Gavin Pope is irresistible. It doesn’t help that most of the players’ wives are hostile and judgmental. They label her a slut for jumping from player to player and are generally horrible. This comes to a head when Marlee has to decide if she’s going to follow Gavin Pope back to New York.
On the whole, I enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and fun, and there was a lot to like. First, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it took place in Denver and was written by a Denver native. Martin knows the area and neighborhoods well, and it was fun for a book to be placed in a city that I know as well. Second, Marlee and Gavin were generally fun, likable characters and I wanted them to get together. Martin had me feeling real emotion when Gavin and Marlee run into actual complications with their relationship.
However, there were a number of things that did not quite work for me or took me out of the story. I did not like the constant hashtags that Marlee threw in to her narrative. Some of them did make me laugh, but most of the time I found them distracting. They were constant reminders that Marlee and I did not have much in common. Also, Marlee turns on the news or television exactly twice in the entire book, and both times the news just happens to be talking about her.
I also found that Marlee was attacked or in the position of needing rescuing an awful lot in this book. Especially since I live and work in Denver, I just could not believe that she would be in so much danger. A drug dealer went after her, some random guys on the light rail (after a game when it’s full of people), as well as her ex-boyfriend. I appreciate that Gavin Pope was always there to help, but by the end of the book I was expecting her to get attacked as soon as she stepped outside. None of these scenarios felt very realistic, but I especially had problems with the light rail scene.
Also, the focus on all of the bitchy wives made me uncomfortable. Why was Marlee even in this group of horrible women? And when she bickers with them, even though she is much more reasonable, it doesn’t reflect well on her. And I cannot even imagine why Marlee would show up at the charity fashion show so shortly after a breakup. I don’t care if her friend wants her to go, that’s a ridiculous and painful situation in which to voluntarily put yourself.
In addition, it is probably a good idea that Martin didn’t go into too much detail about the one-night fling between Marlee and Gavin in Chicago because it is a huge coincidence and doesn’t make a lot of sense. Why was Marlee in Chicago? She is the girlfriend of an NFL football player and she doesn’t recognize an NFL quarterback? No one else in Chicago noticed the famous quarterback among them?
Finally, the kindle version seemed to have a large number of typos and word errors. Much like the hashtags, I found it distracting.
So, I did have a lot of nitpicking problems, but even with all these little things distracting and irritating me, I could enjoy the story.
You can find all of my reviews on my blog.