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Playbook #1


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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.

308 pages, Paperback

First published September 11, 2018

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About the author

Alexa Martin

7 books1,736 followers
Alexa Martin is a writer and stay at home mom. She lives in Colorado with her husband, a former NFL player who now coaches at the high school where they met, their four children, and a German Shepherd. When she's not telling her kids to put their shoes on...again, you can find her catching up with her latest book boyfriend or on Pinterest pinning meals she'll probably never make. Her first book, Intercepted, was inspired by the eight years she spent as an NFL wife.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,113 reviews
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,828 reviews29k followers
July 7, 2018
3.75 - 4 Stars

This is Alexa Martin's debut novel and what a debut it is.

I really enjoyed her writing style, her characters, and her sense of humor.

I'm not going to rehash the blurb or story line at length; however, the main character (Marlee) is a longtime NFL girlfriend in a sea of NFL wives and, because Martin herself is a former NFL wife (her husband is retired), I felt like we were getting a backstage pass to one of those players' wives TV shows - with none of the cameras, but ALL the drama.


Part of me hopes that they aren't all really this heinous - and I'm sure some of the snark was dramatized for the story - but another part of me realizes some of the shit Marlee dealt with probably legit goes down.

I mean, we have all seen some of those wife interviews/comments in which they say, "Well, we WE got traded," or "when WE started with [insert team name], blah, blah, blah..."

I always think to myself, I don't see WE out there with the football, lady.

But alas, I'm letting my jealously show...if only we could ALL be wives who lunch.

Or whatever it is that rich, surgically genetically gifted trophy wives do with their free time.


But I digress.

Back to the story.

Shit goes down, obviously, and Marlee is forced to...reassess her life circumstances a bit.

Insert romance.

I really liked the H here, although some of his actions in the end didn't feel like they jived with who he was up until that point.

Also, there was a LOT of fabricated OTT drama here, a little bit of funny hashtag insertion overkill as well..and let's just say the steamy times need some work; but all in all, this was a very enjoyable read and I look forward to more from Martin.

This as a debut novel bodes for a promising career.

This was

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Profile Image for Julie .
4,027 reviews58.9k followers
October 7, 2018
Intercepted by Alexa Martin is a 2018 Berkley publication.

Hilarious and super sexy!!

Several years ago, Marlee had a one-night stand with a guy she thought was an investment banker, while on a break from her boyfriend.

Now, not only is she back with her boyfriend, who happens to be a professional football player, they are engaged!! Life's good... Well, except when it comes to the catty football wives. Oh, and that one-night stand? He’s the new star quarterback for the team!

For Marlee, her night with Gavin was unforgettable, scorched into her memory, but will he remember her after all this time?

This book was absolutely hilarious. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun reading a romance novel. Alexa Martin writes what she knows, since she spent eight years as the wife of an NFL football player. (now retired). Her experience gives readers a little insider’s peak inside the cliques, competitions, rules, and politics of professional football.

Of course, this also means getting a look at the underbelly, which is not all that glamorous and could be offensive, at times. Although, I must put my own dig in here, and say that in reality I'm sure it's a thousand times worse than anything portrayed in this book.

For a debut novel, I thought this book was well constructed, and fleshed out nicely. The relationship drama might have dragged out a bit too long, however, that's better than feeling like the story was too rushed. The characterizations were very well done, from the good to the bad, and points in between.

The dialogue is razor sharp and ladies, Gavin!! OMG!! This guy had me melting into a puddle, going all dreamy eyed, and walking around with a big goofy grin on my face. There’s some high drama, a little action, a little suspense, some steamy, sexy times, and a lovely diverse cast of characters.

Honestly, I had no idea what to expect when I started this book, since I don’t read a lot of sports romance, especially if it is centered around football. While I don’t think this life sounds all that appealing, if sports heroes are your secret fantasy, you don’t want to miss this one.

But, even if you aren’t a sports fan, you’ll still love the romance, friendships, and humor… and GAVIN!! Unless I am mistaken, this novel is also the first of a planned series. I obviously enjoyed this one enough to sign up for the next one.

4 stars
Profile Image for Holly.
1,430 reviews983 followers
April 23, 2019
4.5 stars

I can't think of the last time that I enjoyed a contemporary romance book this much! This is one you should definitely listen to the audiobook instead of reading it. The intonation of the narrator's voice is just perfection; she absolutely nails the funny lines (and there are a LOT of funny lines). Also, I think listening vs reading will help eliminate some minor annoyance towards the main character's over-usage of hashtags (#toomanyhashtags).

I don't want to spoil any of this book, so just know it's absurdly enjoyable. Also, it's not perfect despite my rounded up five stars (which I am solely basing that rating on how fun this was to listen to, this is romance people not a literary masterpiece). There's definitely still some issues: romantic attachment/relationship that gets started a little too quickly for my taste (especially on the guy's end) and a break-up (because all CR books have a temporary break up in it!) that didn't really make 100% sense to me and was resolved in a kind of awkward fashion. But I am totally forgiving this book for those things because I was too busy smiling like a lunatic while listening to it.

Go listen to this!

Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,478 reviews19.2k followers
November 30, 2018
Aside from the weird #hashtag thing, this was SO GOOD........... until some really unnecessary conflict was introduced (and resolved) within the last 50 pages. I would have given this a full 4 stars, but I’m knocking it down to a 3.5 because I can’t overlook how much I just didn’t jive with the ending. Wompppppp. Although all that aside I am definitely going to pick up the next book in the series because I loved the writing and the characters so 😅
Profile Image for Brandice.
857 reviews
May 29, 2019
Intercepted was kind of an amusing read but I found several parts to be cheesy as well as hastily dramatic. It read like a YA book and while I appreciated the modern setting and current pop culture references, the hashtagging was excessive. Overall, there was just an amateur feel to the story.

Marlee dates Chris, an NFL player on the Denver Mustangs. They’ve been together forever but he hasn’t put a ring on it. The team gets a new QB, Gavin, who happens to be a handsome guy Marlee met in Chicago once, years ago, when her and Chris were on a break *Cue Drama* I’m all about the independent woman, but if you don’t want a guy who will go to bat for you when you need him to, why bother at all?

I know Intercepted is the first book in a series, but I do not plan to continue reading the rest. A light read with some entertaining parts but at the end of the day, just not for me.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,814 reviews32.4k followers
January 8, 2021
3.5 stars

Intercepted was a strong debut novel by Alexa Martin. I’ve been wanting to dive into this series for so long, and I’m happy I finally did!

Marlee’s boyfriend is in the NFL and she’s the perfect girlfriend… of ten years. Until she finds out said boyfriend has been cheating on her and she is sure she will never date an athlete again. And then there is Gavin Pope. The new quarterback on her ex’s team who she has a past with.

Gavin is a great guy and is determined to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex.

I loved both Marlee and Gavin. Marlee had growth through the story and I loved not only her relationship with Gavin but with her best friend, Naomi. There was a lot that happened in this story, and I wish one of the storylines would have been tied up , and she went through a lot of drama throughout the book which usually isn’t my favorite, but for some reason this was a book I couldn’t put down.

There were so many things I loved about this one, but those hashtags… while a little fun at first became complete overkill for me. I’m planning on continuing this series (so excited TK’s book is next) but someone please tell me the rest of the books aren’t hashtag crazy LOL!

If you’re looking for a fun sports romance with a strong heroine and and a swoony hero pick this one up!

Audio book source: Libby (library borrow)
Story Rating: 3.5 stars
Narrator: January LaVoy
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hours and 14 minutes
Profile Image for Pavlina Read more sleep less blog  .
2,434 reviews4,571 followers
September 11, 2018
4,5 stars

I loved it,it was so good!It has drama,it was fun and the romance was cute!Such a nice surprise from a new author to me!I have to admit from the moment I read the synopsis I couldn't wait to read it!


Gavin is the perfect hero, protective,swoon worthy and sexy!Marlee is fantastic, I liked her, she is so funny!I could easily relate with her!I loved that she is so down to earth and not like the other girls!I love the relationship between Marlee and Gavin!The are sweet and cute, they make me smile most of the time.

"'You just complimented me while yelling at me. Now I don't know if we're still fighting or if I get to kiss you yet."

I love the writing it was refreshing and easy to read!I'm excited to read more books from Alexa Martin, I still can't believe it's her first book!


Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews876 followers
September 9, 2018

You probably haven't heard of Alexa Martin yet, so let me tell you that she's a debut author and I had the pleasure to read her first novel, INTERCEPTED. She is the wife of an NFL football player so it probably comes as no surprise that her first book is sports romance, specifically, yeah, you guessed it, football. Intercepted gives us a little insight into the not so glamorous life of a wife or girlfriend of a football player.

Marlee Harper just broke up with her football player boyfriend of ten years. Their relationship has always been a little rocky - Marlee knew that Chris cheated on her in the past so when she finds incriminating photos she's had enough. Her knight in shining armor is Gavin Pope, the teams new quarterback, who she had a fling with four years ago. He saves her on numerous occasions which not only strengthens their friendship but also increases exponentially their attraction. After Chris, however, Marlee  doesn't have any inclination to date another athlete. If Gavin Pope wasn't so irresistibly scrumptious...

This story is written from Marlee's point of view and we get all her inner monologues which can get really boring, repetitive and tedious. Not so in Alexa Martin's debut. This author's voice is quick-witted, hilarious, smart and crisp to a point where it becomes absolutely addictive. I loved the snark and humor in Intercepted so much, I couldn't put the book down.

Marlee doesn't realize that her breakup and the relationship with Chris left scars. Only through Gavin she realizes how damaged she is and I have to say I was immensely impressed that she never took the easy way, her decisions might look selfish on the outside but it was actually a way for her to grow, to give everyone, not just Gavin, the best version of herself.
It’s not that I’m not whole without him— I am. It’s just that with him— next to him— everything shines brighter. 

The group of WAGs Marlee used to be a part of is like hyenas. It's awful how they gang up on her and single her out. The vicious things they do and say...a weaker person would crumble. Marlee didn't always take the high road but her eloquent and sassy comebacks and the fact that she didn't let the (b)witches penetrate her thick skin made me admire her so much. Nobody was allowed to disrespect her. Nobody. She said and did the unexpected and I loved that she made the conscious choice to sort herself out.

Gavin is dreamy. He wants Marlee fiercely and there is always a sense of her being IT for him. He shows his appreciation in so many ways and makes her feel special. He definitely is the full package and while he did get a little over-protective at times it didn't really bother me. What bugged me a little bit is his final screw-up. He knew Marlee was as independent as they come, making a huge decision without involving her was TSTL and I thought a little out of character, too. This is where the hero's point of view would have come in handy since I wanted to know what the hell moved him to his actions. However, the issue was resolved and wrapped up nicely so in the end it didn't really change my overall enjoyment of INTERCEPTED.

He’s giving himself to me in a way I’ve never experienced. Unselfishly. Without wanting anything in return except to let him love me.

If a snarky writing style is your jam and you love sports romance give this a chance. This book doesn't feel like a debut at all, it's solid, entertaining, funny and you'll be pulled into the story from the first page. I'm sure we'll hear more of Alexa Martin.

Profile Image for Antonella.
3,404 reviews450 followers
November 29, 2020
First I think I need to be more awake for this review.
Anyway....I will try to be on point and short.

There are several things in this book that are happening that I really don't like in romance novels in general. And I guess this was recommended as a light and funny read. Okay for the first this was a light read but other than that first laugh at the beginning of the book I didn't have many lol moments.

Okay so onto the things I didn't like;

* heroine; she is so witty, she hates fighting but her comebacks are always the right amount of shade, she hates cooking but when she does it everybody and their mother are giving her praise, she is only one of all the WAG's that works, she is hot but doesn't know it( this may be my favorite thing NOT in novels my eyes just roll and roll I feel like they are doing some kind of cardio) everyone eats salads even her BFF but not her nooooo she eats food but don't worry she is still super hot, she hates football but hey when she is on games she is the biggest supporter I'm talking starting the fight and all the jazz.....etc.... I could go on and on about her but let's just say her being portrayed as this perfect in everything comes off as freaking unreal and fake as f...I don't believe her. Thus I don't like her.

* every time hero comes in the scene she becomes a drooling mess...oh yeah she still is with the other guy in a relationship

* hero is, of course, everything that her current boyfriend isn't( this is common with a lot of books ALSO GETS ON MY NERVES) that should make him more lovable and attractive in my eyes, the keyword should ( pssssst... I'm not impressed)

* Basically she gets in a lot of trouble where the hero saves the day

* He -the hero is one dimensional throughout the book

* I guess the author did put some effort in heroine growth as a character a bit more in one instance and then kind of blow it at the end, but she did try

* side characters are all a bit too extra

* All the hashtags ..... Nope!

Things I liked;

* cover

* interracial couple as a lead

* sports romance as a trope

I really don't want to be harsh but I feel like the author really tried too much WAY TOO MUCH to make these characters and the story perfect which just didn't work out for me.
But this is her first book so taking all of that into consideration I will read probably the next book in the series.

p.s. I didn't include gifs because I didn't want to be a total asshole
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,444 reviews7,538 followers
February 12, 2019
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

I’m usually up Berkley’s butt like a real hemorrhoid when it comes to their romance releases, but somehow I managed to miss this one and had to wait for my turn at the library to come around. Luckily it queued up at the perfect time – ROMANCE WEEK . . . .

The story here is about Marlee, a graphic designer who has been dating NFL player Chris for the past 10 years – except that one time when . . . .

A case of mistaken laptops leads to Marlee accidentally logging in to the wrong e-mail account where she discovers Chris’ latest little secret and forces Marlee to finally decide that . . . .

After finally cutting ties with that terminal adulterer, Marlee finds she has a new suitor who has apparently been waiting in the wings for her to come to her senses for the past four years. That suitor? The newly acquired free agent Denver Mustangs quarterback . . . .

Part second chance, part sports Intercepted is a romance that will steam up your spectacles. I will warn you for those who aren’t fans of gimmicky tidbits that have been incorporated in order to make a book more memorable, you may find yourself screaming . . . .

Obviously as someone who relies on a gimmick in order for people to enjoy my reviews, I have zero complaints about this methodology : )

I also have zero complaints (and will most likely never stop discussing) these covers that Berkley keeps rolling out. I loooooooooove that they have created sort of a “signature look” with these cartoony covers that lets the reader know they are picking up something they are going to enjoy. And the catchphrase here?????

Oh Berkley, all you do is win win win no matter what . . . .

(3 ½ Stars because I never fully got on board the train to Splooshville with Gavin – but rounded up because this was a pretty pretty pretty good time.)
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,294 reviews2,961 followers
June 4, 2018
Don't you just hate it when you are dating a professional football player and then a guy you had a one-night stand years ago joins the team? Totally awkward.

This was a fun sports romance with a main character, Marlee, who was easy to like. Humor was used well throughout the book although I thought hashtags were used a few too many times. I preferred the first half of the book over the second as it felt like the story was being dragged on just for drama's sake. I liked Gavin but at times he felt a little too simple and one-dimensional. Overall this is a decent read if you are looking for something light and easy.

Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Jenny••Steamy Reads Blog••.
987 reviews1,824 followers
October 23, 2018
**I’ve had a ton going on in my life so just warning you, my reviews are short and sweet while I get these all caught up**

First book, new author. I wouldn’t have guessed this by the way this author writes. I am excited for more from her.

This book is refreshing, it was a sports romance that gave me wonderful feels. Gavin & Marlee are super cute and sweet.

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Profile Image for Riley.
427 reviews21.1k followers
June 7, 2019
The romance in this was so cute! Marlee and Gavin had so much chemistry.
There were a couple things that made me not enjoy it as much.
-there was tons of girl hate. like i get that there are shitty people but it just became A LOT
-this also reminded me why i do not like sports and hate sports culture
-the random conflict added in the last 50 pages was kinda annoying

overall I liked this enough and I am excited to read the next book
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,727 reviews6,663 followers
September 13, 2018
Intercepted is the first installment in a new sports romance series titled: Playbook. Being married to a former NFL player, author Alexa Martin knows firsthand all about the world of football, both on and off the field. As rich and glamorous as it may appear at first glance, you wouldn't catch me anywhere near that world if Martin's fictional debut is any indication of how cutthroat it all is. Inspired by her real life experiences when her husband played professional football, Intercepted deals with it all from backstabbing, envious, and aggressive WAGS (wives and girlfriends of high-profile athletes) to the strategy involved in handling the media, fans, other players, as well as over-protective family and friends.

Our heroine, Marlee, was burned one too many times when dating in the professional football world so the last thing she expects is to be reconnected with Gavin, a former one-night stand, who … yes, you guessed it … was just added to the team. Intercepted offers humor, diversity, plenty of romance, and even some unexpected suspense. There are these hilarious hashtags scattered throughout the novel that add clever zingers at the most appropriate times, and this was my favorite part of the book. Marlee is a strong character who still possesses surprising vulnerability, and she was easy to like. As a reader, I did get annoyed by her over-the-top independence, but trust issues impact people in a variety of ways. Overall, an enjoyable and easy-to-read romance.

My favorite quote:
“If they'll talk with you, they'll talk about you.”
Profile Image for Christie«SHBBblogger».
959 reviews1,241 followers
October 23, 2018

Title: Intercepted
Series: Playbook #1
Author: Alexa Martin
Release date: September 11, 2018
Cliffhanger: No

He lights up a part of me that fades away without him. It’s not that I’m not whole without him— I am. It’s just that with him— next to him— everything shines brighter. Gavin doesn’t make my world, but I’ll be damned if he doesn’t enhance it.

Marlee is one of the sassiest, most entertaining heroines I've read in quite a while. Her snarky narration made the book for me, as she had me laughing out loud on countless occasions. But besides her fantastic sense of humor, there was quite a bit more to love about her. She's sweet, unfailingly loyal to her longtime boyfriend, and she doesn't allow anyone to disrespect her. The wives of her boyfriend's teammates try to cut her with barbs on a regular basis because her man still hasn't attempted to put a ring on it. After ten years. One in particular, Courtney, is the ringleader of the mean girls. She's a secondary character you will immediately dislike, and eventually thoroughly despise. Marlee's take no bullshit attitude makes for some hilarious moments, because even when she's at her lowest point, she gives just as good as she gets. She has a steely confidence that comes across on every page.

Gavin is a one night stand she had when she was on a brief break with her boyfriend years ago. She ended up running out the next morning full of regrets. Discovering that Gavin had lied to her about what he did for a living was enough to convince her she'd made a big mistake. As someone who values honesty, she wasn't very impressed with his deception, and he became her dirty little secret after reconnecting with Chris. Sure, their night was unforgettable, (much to her chagrin) but she didn't plan on ever letting it effect her present. Until she discovers that Gavin has now signed on with the Mustangs, and he makes it clear that he remembers her with crystal clear clarity.

Intercepted is the perfect title for this novel, because that is precisely what Gavin did. When Marlee discovers what her boyfriend has been hiding from her, he swoops in and catches Chris' massive FUMBLE. I had so much respect for Gavin. Clearly, it's obvious from their first interaction that he appreciates her worth and treats her accordingly. She isn't just some random hookup from his past, he genuinely wants to get to know her better, and build something from their connection. You get the feeling that she's his potential dream girl, and the one that slipped through his fingers. And he's willing to be as patient as it takes until she feels ready to place her trust in a new relationship after being burned when she least expected it.

Which brings me to another thing I really loved about their story. Marlee is a woman who gave her whole heart and soul to Chris when they were together. Then her trust was broken pretty brutally, and it would have been easy for her to carry that baggage with her. To treat Gavin unfairly because of her ex's actions, or jump to conclusions because she had trust issues. That didn't happen. She saw him for who he really was from the start, and it was so refreshing. Yes, she did need some time to transition into a relationship with Gavin, but that's more than understandable. It would have been highly unrealistic if she jumped from one man to the other with no qualms after what happened to her.

Gavin was a complete and utter sweetheart. He was so supportive and protective of Marlee. In fact, at times, he unintentionally stepped over the line with his protectiveness and got pushy. (If that's a man's worst failing, I'd say he's doing pretty well.) He did have a pretty big screw up in the end, but I never got upset with him over it because his heart was in the right place. He just needed to learn that Marlee values her independence and she had to make her own way in the world. Accomplish her own dreams.

I did think that the drama leaned toward over the top on a few occasions, especially her getting attacked twice in unrelated incidents. I didn't think anything of the first one with the homeless man, but then when it happened again with the two men on the train it lost me. Another issue I had was the hashtags throughout the book. Don't get me wrong, a lot of them were funny. But as the book wore on, there were sometimes 2-3 on one page, and eventually I didn't want to read them anymore. This didn't effect my overall enjoyment to a big degree, so I'm not complaining that much.

I can honestly say that I loved both main characters from beginning to end. As a couple they were flawless, and set my romantic heart fluttering at their sexy connection and banter.

The football field’s the only place you’ll ever beat me. Learn to accept it.”
“You’re a sore winner,” Gavin says.
I give him a crisp nod. Duh. “The only thing I heard you say was I’m a winner.”

Intercepted was a fast paced, low angst, fun and flirty novel that's sure to be a big winner with many readers. As a debut novel, I was really impressed with Alexa Martin's storytelling. It's so naturally engaging and entertaining. If you're in the mood for a light, sports rom-com, this could be the book you're looking for. It's always exciting finding not only a new author to follow, but a new series. This book provides both, so this book nerd is blissfully happy! The next book in the Playbook series is entitled Fumbled , and it's scheduled for publication June 2019. I'm really looking forward to continuing on with Poppy and TK's story.



Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,813 reviews476 followers
September 12, 2018

Intercepted was the perfect book to read over the weekend. It was fun, light and with plenty of hilarious situations. I would have finished it earlier but I have a new ten-week-old puppy. #NoTimeToReadAnymore or I should say: #NoTimeForAnything

Anyway, Intercepted has a funny heroine, Marlee Harper. Marlee is the girlfriend of Chris Alexander, a pro football player. Her only boyfriend has been Chris. She did have a one-night stand four years ago while they were on a break but she tries to avoid thinking about that night.

Marlee loves marketing but it has been hard to do what she wants to do because she has dedicated herself to Chris. She even attends the Lady Mustangs meetings which usually only football players wives can attend and she's continuously attacked by Courtney, the QB's wife. Chris is nothing but self-involved and when she finds out he's cheating, she breaks their ten-year-old relationship and moves out.

Things get heated when Gavin Pope joins the team as the new QB. He's good at his job, he's hot and it turns out he's Marlee's one night stand! At first, Marlee tries to avoid him because she's with Chris and later on because she doesn't want to date another football player. But, Gavin is unrelenting. He makes it impossible for Marlee not to try to be with him.

As I said earlier, this book is quick, funny and light. It had the perfect combination to entertain you.
I love how Marlee defended herself from the mean WAGs. I like how she did have a true friend within the meanies. I like how she went through life using hashtags. I like how her relationship developed with Gavin. Gavin was just perfect except when he did something which was completely out of character for him. I guess, we needed some drama and that was the only way to create it. Even with his misstep, I still ended up liking him.

I'm looking forward to Fumbled, the next in this series.

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley Romance via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
September 12, 2018
Alexa Martin's debut novel, Intercepted, is a scrumptious, addictive sports romance that follows Marlee, the former girlfriend of an NFL receiver, and her steamy second chance at love with the team's new QB, Gavin Pope... and let me just tell you, I WAS HERE FOR ALL OF OF IT. This unputdownable story is sexy and steamy and so damn good, I can't even believe this was a debut. Intercepted is lush with romance and rich with humor, but it's also a juicy little glimpse into the competitive hierarchy of the NFL WAGS, a drama ridden group of wives and girlfriends that proves to be both fascinating and hilariously entertaining. From the very first snap to the final whistle, Intercepted had me RIVETED. With its steamy romance, sharp humor and captivating characters, Intercepted is a game changer for romance readers everywhere and Alexa Martin is the MVP.

Alexa Martin, who even are you and where the hell have you been all my damn life? Your words are my jam and your storytelling is my  kryptonite. My cheese face looks ridiculous and I know this because I got called out on it by my husband and kids about eighty seven thousand times while I was reading Intercepted. I couldn't stop smiling. The writing in this book is SO ON POINT. It's so smart. So quick. So fresh. I couldn't stop smiling because even when things were legit terrible for Marlee, they were setting up to be all too good for the reader. This story is packed with drama both on and off the football field and all the antics Marlee got herself up to in her wild world as an NFL girlfriend had me laughing out loud and had my chin on the floor. I just KNEW this was going to be fantastic by, like, page two and I am not even exaggerating. I can't get over how delicious it really was.

I loved this book. This is an addictive sports romance, sure. Gavin Pope is the real deal. He's a gentleman, a family guy, a stellar athlete and a loyal teammate. I lost my mind over this guy every time he opened his mouth. But Marlee's own comeback, her story of finding herself after losing herself is what had me really cheering from the sidelines. She broke the rule book repeatedly on these pages, going rogue, doing and saying the last thing I expected. And it paid off. It made for an unputdownable, feel good, MUST READ romance and I couldn't get enough. I'm ready for more where this came from, Alexa Martin. I'm ready to feel more of the giddy joy I felt while reading this book. I'm ready for more of that yummy heartache and the fury and the sweet romance. I'm here for all of it and I can't wait for more.
Profile Image for Zoe Stewart (Zoe's All Booked).
295 reviews1,462 followers
February 12, 2020
Okay, I fucking loved this. Was it completely cheesy? Yes. Did that make me love it even more? Fucking right it did. I've seen that other people found the MC's habit of throwing out random hashtags weird, but if we're being totally honest here, my brother and I do that every time he comes home to visit, so it felt weirdly like he was home, and I #LovedIt. It pisses my mom off to no end too, which is an added bonus LOL (kidding, I love you momma)

I can't wait to pick up the other ones in this series in the next month or so!
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,004 reviews121 followers
June 17, 2019
What a great sports romance! I loved the accuracy of how football was portrayed and the romance was great as well. Marlee and Gavin were awesome characters. I did get a little tired of the cattiness of the football wives, but I have a feeling this could have been a realistic portrayal. I’m eager for the next book in the series!
Profile Image for Eilonwy.
814 reviews205 followers
October 9, 2018
At 28, Marlee Harper has been an NFL girlfriend -- not wife -- for 10 years. Her boyfriend keeps putting off marriage, babies, or any kind of future, and Marlee’s been going along with it. But when she finds evidence of his cheating, again, that’s it. She moves out and finally starts to get on with her own, football-free life. What she wasn’t counting on, though, was Gavin Pope, the one other guy she’s ever slept with, becoming the new star quarterback for her ex’s team … and the steamy connection she and Gavin still have.
Everyone who reads my reviews knows I have a lot of issues with romances. (Gee, Eilonwy, you don’t say? Yeah, I see that collective eyeroll.) So it’s possible that I enjoyed this more than it deserves, because instead of ticking off all my issue boxes, it addresses them. Achieving about as equal a relationship as you can get between a man who’s making multimillions a year and a woman who’s making a normal income? Check. Awareness of and determination to maintain boundaries? Check. A modern hero who doesn’t seem to have wandered out of a 1980’s romance and somehow missed the past 30 years of social change? Check.

Let’s get my criticisms out of the way first.

A big weakness for me were the wives of the other players, who are Mean Girls supreme and seem to be living in a 90’s teen movie rather than an adult world of major privilege. The author was an NFL wife for 8 years, and maybe this really is the atmosphere of the wives’ clubs, which is possible if they’re full of women who married young and whose husbands started making millions of dollars at ages between 18 and 22 -- maybe the maturity level really is this low. But the pettiness and nastiness wore really thin for me really fast. Some of the one-liners really are clever and funny, but they’re also base and cruel. I just didn’t enjoy these exchanges, and there are far too many of them.

A smaller weakness was that I never felt as much of a connection between Marlee and Gavin as I would have liked. They’re very cute together and have good chemistry and some common interests, but at no point was “Why are these two The One for each other?” established to my satisfaction. But at the same time, maybe having them simply want to be together and promise to keep working to stay together is enough.

Overall, though, I loved this book. I really enjoyed Marlee’s voice. She’s a nice, normal mix of half feeling good about herself and half feeling the pressure to pick on herself that I think most women walk around with, and neither half is over-emphasized. She’s super funny, with lots of laugh out loud moments (although her thinking-in-hashtags habit got a little overused). The other women in the story aside from the Mean Football Wives were mostly interesting and well-rounded. The stresses between Marlee and Gavin were mostly realistic, and the final Big Hurdle felt decently organic to what had come before and not just thrown in for last-minute tension (although at the same time, it kind of was).

This was the most enjoyable romance I’ve read in ages, and I loved nearly every word of it. In fact, I read it a little slowly on purpose just so I could savor it longer! It was just so much FUN. And like Susan Elizabeth Phillips’s Chicago Stars romances, you really don’t have to care a whit about football to enjoy the story here.

Alexa Martin, I hope you’re writing your next book fast! I am really looking forward to reading more like this.
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,709 reviews702 followers
August 30, 2018
I loved this synopsis so I was able to overlook the cartoon-y cover and dive in.

I really liked Marlee and Gavin. Her inner monologue is hilarious {excluding the excessive use of hashtags because that was annoying af} and he was so genuine. I enjoyed their banter and the seemingly normal {under the circumstances} growth of their relationship.

Plot wise, it moved decently. There are a few rough patches that revolved around her wanting to stand up for herself and him taking over. As well as a few scenes of miscommunication and push and pull. That all makes it sound angsty, but it really was a lot of fluff. The conflict doesn’t last too long.

Overall, it was a quick and fun read. I really enjoyed this group of characters and loved the epilogue.

FYI: there are several scenes of gross douchbaggery from men: including verbal abuse, Marlee getting attacked and punched, and groping.

**Huge thanks to Berkley Books for providing the arc free of charge**
Profile Image for Ari .
926 reviews306 followers
September 10, 2018
*I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Marlee Harper has played the role of the girlfriend to a pro football player for ten years. But that all comes crashing down when she finds out that her wide receiver boyfriend has been scoring more touchdowns off the field than on them. Swearing off athletes, Marlee tries to pick up the pieces and move on with her life but that plan is shot to hell when Gavin Pope, the new quarterback and an old fling, comes walking back into her life. Though she’s resistant, Gavin is determined to make what happened between him and Marlee more than a one night thing, he just first has to convince her to take a chance on him.

Can I just say that Berkley has been killing it with their debut romances this year! First there was The Wedding Date which I absolutely adored. Then there was The Kiss Quotient which is my favorite read for this year. Now we have Intercepted, a drama-filled sports romance that had me glued to my eReader and laughing up a storm. Intercepted is definitely one of the most entertaining sports-romances I’ve read in a while. I legit felt like I was watching one of those reality housewives shows while reading this book. The writing was on point and I gotta say that Alexa Martin did a damn good job at creating these secondary characters because I hated all of them (though I think that was kind of the point). Marlee has the patience of a saint because these secondary characters in this book drove me up the wall and I wanted to fight all of them. They were so condescending and incredibly rude and it made me wonder if this how WAGs are in real life. You will definitely need some patience while reading this book because these characters will test your nerves, lol.

I loved Marlee from the start! She has no filter, she gives it to you straight and she is strong as hell considering all that she was put through throughout this book. She’s a fighter and I loved that she didn’t allow anyone to disrespect her nor does she change who she was just to fit it with the rest of the WAGs. The romance was angsty and though I wanted Marlee to let her guard down, I totally understand why she was so hesitant to let Gavin in. Gavin was so incredibly sweet and patient and is such a charmer. I thought he was perfect for Marlee and was happy with how things worked out for the both of them in the end.

There were only two things that didn’t work for me in this book. The first being the use of hashtags within the internal dialogues. It was cute at first but I didn’t think they were fitting for some of the more serious moments throughout the book. The second thing that didn’t work for me was the ending. It felt a bit rushed. I mean most of the issues were resolved during the last 5% of the book and I felt like there should’ve been a chapter or two more before we got to the epilogue.

Minor issues aside, Intercepted was still an entertaining and fun sports romance so grab some popcorn, a glass of wine and charge up your eReaders because I promise you’re not gonna want to miss out on this debut!
Profile Image for Kayla Brunson.
1,368 reviews248 followers
September 24, 2019
I have been putting off reading this book for so many reasons. Me and hyped romances are not friends, I’ve heard it has too many hashtags, and the number one reason is that I hate those sports wives reality shows. Imagine my surprise when not only I liked it, but when I couldn’t stop reading it. I blew through this book so quickly I should have whiplash. I adored these characters so damn much and I refuse to believe that this was a debut.

Marlee stole my heart early on with her sarcasm and her not taking crap from the wives and the people in the stands at the games. Seriously, I love her. I don’t think I related to a fictional character more.

“After I paid the bills, I realized I couldn't afford any more wine. Then I made a spreadsheet to determine which bills I could cut in order to provide the necessary amount of wine and in the end, wondered if shelter is really necessary.”

#relatable Sorry, I had to throw a hashtag in this review! Honestly, the hashtag didn’t bother me at all. I really laughed while reading them. But back to Marlee, this woman was so strong. If I had those wives saying all those things about me, there is no way I could have kept my composure and always have a comeback like her.

The relationship between her and Gavin was so freakin’ cute, you guys. I honestly couldn’t get enough of them. I will always love a man who doesn’t beat around the bush and be upfront with his feelings. Saying I loved Gavin is an understatement. He made me swoon so damn hard that it’s unreal.

“I’m with you every chance I get, and if I’m not next to you, I’m on the phone. I’m smitten, Marlee. Those articles may have been right in calling you a seductress.”

Reading about Marlee and Gavin falling in love was a perfect Friday afternoon. From their hot AF chemistry down to them actually playing Jeporadty together, ya girl was a smiling mess!

I was so ready to give this 5 stars, but I couldn’t. There was just so much drama! I get it, I’ve seen enough reality TV athlete wives to know that there was going to be drama. I was just over it because I’m the type of person who doesn’t like THAT much drama in my books. If you are a frequent watcher of those shows or just like a lot of drama, then you will love this.

All in all, I’m kicking myself for not picking up Intercepted so much earlier. I fell in love with the characters and the romance and I can’t wait to pick up the next book in this series.

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Profile Image for Nina.
755 reviews278 followers
October 21, 2019
Intercepted was such a fun and quick read and the storyline flowed very well. I really liked the majority of the characters in this book and one of my favourites was probably Naomi because I loved her friendship with Marlee. I also loved the two main characters Marlee and Gavin together but I have to say that they both had their moments in which they did things or said things I didn't like.

Another aspect of Intercepted I enjoyed was Alexa Martin's writing style but the book itself could've definitely used a little more editing. There were two sentences I still remember in which there was a redundant word or a word that was spelled incorrectly. Like one sentence in which there was an extra "and" or another sentence in which it said "except" though it should've been "accept". Those were pretty big mistakes considering I read a finished copy of this novel and I really don't understand how they didn't catch this in editing.

One more thing I wasn't a fan of was Alexa Martin's use of hashtags. I got bored of them really quickly and in general I have to say that I think they were either unnecessary, contained an opinion she could've easily put in a short sentence or were confusing even for me as someone who was reading the book and didn't just see the hashtag out of context. One hashtag I still remember for example was about Luke Bryan and I was very confused about that one and didn't understand it's an American country singer until I'd googled his name. I just think if you decide to use hashtags, the reader must be able to understand them based on the book itself no matter what part of the world they're from.

Overall though, this was definitely an enjoyable read and I'll check out the next book in this series "Fumbled" soon. This book also put me into a mood for football romances and I'll definitely try to read some more of them in the next few months while the current NFL season is still on.

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Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,937 reviews1,549 followers
December 27, 2019
This is a great debut, though not without problems. Marlee is a really strong narrative voice and a delight to spend time with. Which is a good thing because a single-PoV romance is highly reliant on that voice being engaging. I liked her from the start and her no-nonsense attitude towards her life was fun. And her initial situation is interesting, too, having a sort-of long-term relationship where they had issues, worked through them and seem to be doing well. I liked that she didn't snoop and seems dedicated to the relationship in general and trust in detail. So while I was anxious for the story to move on (a breakup is in the cover copy so it isn't like we can't see it coming) at least she was sympathetic and not obviously ignoring things or being a doormat.

And Martin does a good job with Marlee's world on the fringe of professional sports. The details are vivid and while it is disconcerting seeing the disfunction, it's also nice having her friends and family being such solid support, including some in that world. So it's a complex presentation, though weighted toward the venal, which I suspect is author experience shining through (I believe in a good way, but I could see others wanting more fantasy in their wish-fulfillment setting).

And Gavin is straight-up dreamy. He's a little too perfect, probably, but I didn't care because he's exactly my jam. I just love the competent guy who is kind and caring and he is all that and more.

The story has one relatively major problem that manifests in two ways. The first is kind of trivial, but shows up early, and that is Martin's use of hashtags in Marlee's internal narration. The problem is that Marlee isn't particularly social media-y, despite being all about design and marketing. She spends her free-time in the "real world" and doesn't really seem to care much about social media. Worse, nearly every development that happens online has to be brought to her by someone else, further emphasizing that she doesn't seem to be much into that whole hashtag thing. So the personal hashtags work against character and thus come across as the author being cute for its own sake. It didn't bug me at first because they're kind of funny and quirky, but towards the end there were places where they piled up and became intrusive.

Which brings us to the second manifestation of this characterization problem and this is all spoiler tagged because it hits the plot head-on in the late stage of the story and provides a weird dark moment. Worse, Martin has to rejig both Marlee and Gavin to bring off the desired outcome.

The character issues are enough to keep this in the three star range, though I'll add half a star for the strong narrative voice and for how much I liked both Marlee and Gavin. There's not enough to round up, though, particularly as so much of the disruption happens all in a giant clump.

A note about Pop Culture: In addition to the pop-culture warp in the spoiler stuff, Martin also throws in some scary machismo poisoning in random men around Marlee. So she encounters a psychopath who wants to mess her up and a couple of fans who blame her for on-field disruptions pushing things to scary, physically violent levels. All things that can happen but that are unlikely and/or rare. One scene in a subway, in particular, depended on the author keeping any decent people from being present so that timely intervention by Gavin and cops can be a thing. That said, while the events themselves are unlikely, the events provide some strong character moments for both Marlee and Gavin and the good people around them. So it isn't a drum the author is beating about bad people or corrupt society or anything like that.

A note about Steamy: There are three or four explicit sex scenes putting this into the high side of my steam tolerance, but only just barely. They're typical romance-story sex, so nothing special when all's said.
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,120 reviews1,348 followers
August 22, 2018
I've been dying to read Intercepted ever since I heard about it from a good friend. With its biracial heroine and its enticing plot surrounding the NFL, I knew that it would be just the perfect read for me. When a copy that I begged for (thank you, Berkley!!) showed up on my doorstep (and fought UPS for!), I immediately abandoned real life and started reading. What a ride it was! There's so much I want to discuss in my review for Intercepted, but I don't want to ruin the experience for potential new readers, so I'm going to give you four reasons why you should consider giving the book a try!

Reason #1: Marlee, Marlee, Marlee!

What a refreshing heroine this girl was! From the first scene, I knew that she and I would get along splendidly and I was right. Marlee has been with Chris, her famous NFL-star boyfriend, since high school. She soon finds out that the ass has been cheating on her for a while. Marlee had no patience whatsoever for the douchenozzle, so she immediately proceeded to dump his butt and didn't give him a chance to make up any excuses for his nonsense. I loved that even though she had been with the guy for so long, she didn't wallow. Instead, she picked up the pieces of her life and went ahead to continue on. She had a lot of self-respect and self-worth which was really awesome to read about because it makes you want to be the same. I just adored everything about her and for me, her independence, her sass, and her wiles were what made this book a success for me.

Reason #2: The Humor

I wasn't expecting this book to make me laugh as much as it did, but man, I was snorting left and right at Marlee's comments. This was a girl with absolutely no filter and I was here for her sass! I love a good book that can have me cracking up. The only thing that didn't entirely work for me was Marlee's use of hashtags in her thoughts. I thought it was a bit ridiculous that she constantly thought in hashtags because really, who does that in real life?

Reason #3: A Look At A Different Side of Football

Intercepted is unique from other sports romances in that it focused more on the wives and girlfriends of the football players as opposed to the football players themselves. I'm not a fan of football but I always love reading about it in romance books and I feel like I learned a lot here. I low-key loved all the cattiness, the drama, and the jealousy that existed between some of these women. Some of them were drama queens who were out to get Marlee. I grew to hate them all, but I was also very entertained by their methods of "torture". Thankfully, Marlee dished out exactly what they deserved. She wasn't a doormat and wasn't afraid to call the petty women out. Again, I'm not sure if this is, in fact, the reality for many WAGs, but Alexa Martin should know as she was a WAG herself!

Reason #4: Naomi, The BFF & Gavin, The Boo

The one person who was awesome and also a part of the WAGs was Naomi. Her friendship with Marlee was one of the best fictional female friendship I've ever come across. These two ladies were there for each other and they were so comfortable around each other. It warmed my cold heart that Marlee had an awesome and supportive friend in Naomi. I also have to mention the text messages between these two that had me smiling like a goof!

Then there was Gavin. I don't want to talk too much about him because you all have to meet him yourself, but wow! Talk about a swoony gentleman. He was exactly the kind of boyfriend Marlee deserved after Chris. He was a complete sweetheart!

I hope these four reasons were enough to convince you to give Intercepted a try. I'm so happy that this book was a hit for me! I'm excited to read more from Alexa Martin who no doubt will easily become a favorite rom-com author of mine!
Profile Image for Joce (squibblesreads).
230 reviews4,922 followers
October 24, 2018
3.5 stars - listened to most of this on audio with January LaVoy as narrator, and read some on hard copy.

Intercepted gives us a look at the lives of the partners of NFL players. Our protagonist Marlee Harper, is dating Chris, who is a grade-A piece of garbage, when Gavin Pope, also a football player, re-enters her life. My favorite trope is "the one that got away (but comes back to fuck shit up)" so I was super excited for this book. Sometimes unfortunately this trope involves cheating but in this case it does not, which I was thankful for. Marlee is also biracial and the book features characters of different races.

Intercepted is very dialogue-heavy, moreso than other romance novels, and I'm not a huge fan of dialogue at the sacrifice of necessary description and much prefer more prose-heavy books. It wasn't a problem for most of the book but I found it somewhat lacking in physical descriptions of characters and settings.

A few topics that I really enjoyed that you don't get to see much of in others books:
- Head, brain, and spine related injuries in football players and how they can impact their careers and life
- Experience shopping in specialty clothing stores
- Harassment on public transportation

Something I found a little annoying is that Marlee would add hashtags at the end of things she was saying in the prose (for example: the narrator would say "hashtag - touchdown" on audiobook, or printed out "#Touchdown" in the physical copy). This obviously is a personal pet peeve of mine, and totally may not impact your reading experience. It wasn't TOO often, but enough for me to notice and enough to annoy me a little. Some were pretty funny, though.

All in all, great audiobook narrator, which definitely helps because reading still makes pregnant me have vertigo and migraines (ugh) and will for sure pick up the next one in the series.
Profile Image for solomiya.
480 reviews51 followers
July 24, 2020
what a hot hot mess. this is supposed to be an adult romance but it read like an immature high school YA book and oh sweet baby jesus with all the corny references and the damned hashtags. no character development, no growth, and no consistency. they kept flip flopping in their behavior and it drove me fucking nuts. so basically the author just gathered ALL the worst tropes in romance, shoved them together into an outline and didn't bother filling it in, like a rushed high school paper on a book she didn't read. I'm not even mad at it, just so dumbfounded that I don't even know what else to say. I was actually excited about the rest of the series but I don't think I'll be able to suffer through them.
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