It was a bank holiday here yesterday, which means that I wasn’t at work for all the Royal Baby excitement – but then as I’ve done most of the Baby Cambridges, I coped. It has got me in the mood for another royalty-themes romance – so if you’ve got any recommendations, drop them in the comments. And yes, I am cross with myself that I’ve already talked about Alyssa Cole so much this year that I can’t jump on the Royal Baby bandwagon and pick A Prince on Paper, which I read on day of release last week. However we are still firmly in the romance section of my reading life for this week’s BotW pick – to be honest this was on my hold list at the library for months, when it finally came through I absolutely adored it and so it’s a fitting BotW pick – no bandwagon jumping needed! Intercepted is Alexa Martin’s debut and I’ve wanted to read it since I heard her talking about it on the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books podcast as I was wandering round an outlet mall in Maryland in the autumn during my American odyssey!
Marlee Harper has been dating her NFL pro boyfriend Chris since they were in high school. Ten years on they’re not married and this makes her the main target of the clique of wives of the other players. Then the one night stand she slept with while she and Chris were broken up is signed as the teams new quarterback, and she finds out that Chris has been cheating on her. So she starts over – with a new flat, a fresh purpose in her career and determined that she won’t date another sports star. Except… well Gavin just keeps appearing. He’s the star player, the key to the team’s Super Bowl chances and he’s also determined to show Marlee that they’re perfect together. But is he really different? And how will Marlee cope with the coven of NFL wives who are now on her trail?
I absolutely raced through this. I know I’ve said before that I don’t really do sports romances, and then here I am, picking another sports romance, after that Susan Elizabeth Philips streak the other year and then the Farah Rochon book in the diverse romances post last month, but this is so good. One of my guilty pleasures is the TV show Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team and the action between the wives here is just what I imagine goes down behind the scenes there with all the picture perfect cheerleaders who make nice for the cameras but who you suspect are a sea of backstabbing, rivalries and jealousy behind the scenes. And Alexa Martin was an NFL wife – and so this is all informed by her experiences, which makes it all the more delicious.
Marlee is great a great heroine too – she’s not in the Coven and unlike most of them, she hasn’t turned herself into nothing but an accessory to a football player and his career. When we meet her she’s busy making sure that she maintains her independence and has her own business – despite her boyfriend’s efforts – and after the break up she goes all out to make her life into what she wants it to be. And part of the conflict in the budding relationship with Gavin is that she wants to be independent, fight her own battles and be treated like an equal. As you know, I’m all about the strong women and competency porn and so this ticks all my boxes for that.
It’s also really funny. I didn’t love the #hashtagoneliners but then I’m old and boring. The dialogue is great, the characters are witty and it’s just not taking itself too seriously. What’s not to love. There’s a reason this made pretty much all the Best Romances of the Year posts at the end of 2018 – and why I had to wait about 6 months on the library waiting list to read it. I’m currently in an estimated 16 week wait for the second book in the series – Fumbled – which came out at the end of April and features an adorable side character from Intercepted. It’s £10.99 to buy on Kindle at the moment which is the only reason I’ve managed to resist buying it so far. I’ll keep you posted…
You can get Intercepted on Kindle, Kobo or in paperback, or you can get to the back of the queue for your library’s copy. And if you’re an American reader (*waves*) then I reckon it should be super easy to find in Barnes and Noble and maybe be even at Walmart. If you like Alyssa Cole*, Jasmine Guillory, Jenny Holiday or the aforementioned Susan Elizabeth Philips Chicago Stars series I don’t think you will regret it.
*Check out my restraint in not writing about A Prince On Paper this week, because you know I read that the day it came out!