Returning to the Alphabet Variation Challenge:
My book group decided to read Alexa Martin’s Intercepted, published in 2018, this month. And, happily, that choice ticks off the letter “I” from the alphabet variation challenge.
Intercepted follows a year or so in the life of a woman who’s the live-in girlfriend of a professional American football player. The two of them have been dating since high school and have been together – off and on – for almost a decade. Marlee and her boyfriend, Chris, live in Denver, and he is a wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs. As a girlfriend, rather than a wife, Marlee often deals with the rancor, bitchiness, and lack of acceptance of the wives of her boyfriend’s teammates, as Marlee tries to participate in charity events or even just attend games as a “family member.” However, she’s been persevering at the insistence of her boyfriend. In fact, even though Marlee is attempting to build a career in marketing and maintain her own pursuits – outside of sports — her life and work tends to take a backseat to her boyfriend’s. Entering into this mix is the new team quarterback Gavin Pope, who is a huge talent. Four years previously – when Marlee and Chris were on one of their relationship breaks – Marlee met Gavin during a trip to Chicago and ended up in bed with him, having unforgettable sex. Now, here he is and she wonders whether he’ll remember her.
Very soon after Gavin joins the Mustangs, Chris and Marlee have another serious falling out, partially witnessed by Gavin, who proceeds to help Marlee gather her things and leave Chris. Although Marlee immediately decides to swear off athletes and concentrate on her career and her new job at a restaurant, it’s only a matter of time before Marlee’s back on the arm of a football player – this time Gavin’s, which starts the rollercoaster ride again.
What’s interesting about this book is that the author is actually the wife of a former professional football player, who was in the NFL for eight years, so I was definitely curious as to the realism of what Marlee experienced. While I appreciated that Martin knew the sport and what went on behind the scenes, most of the story deals with the heroine making, what I felt were, poor decisions – from staying too long with a man who clearly was bad news to jumping into another relationship so soon. My exasperation with her lasted late into the book until she’s confronted – again – with a boyfriend who is trying to make decisions for her even if, this time, he meant well. At that point, she finally stands up for herself, but it feels like too little, too late. The story definitely needed to give the heroine more space to become her own person, with the help of family and friends. Instead, we get a too-quick resolution and only hear about the interactions with others that we needed to see. As a new writer, this author shows promise. Her writing is breezy and very conversational, with the constant use of hashtags (for some reason) but I think her plotting needs work. I give it a B-/C.
The Alphabet Challenge Variation – 14 down, 4 to go (R, D, L, J, A, G, N, B, C, E, F, H, Q, I …)
Rights & Responsibilities Challenge – 14 down, 4 to go