Intercepted kindle –

This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof CopyrightAlexa MartinChapter For the first three years, its fun being a pro football players girlfriendMarlee, let me see your hand Did Chris propose yet Amber asksIm in year tenStill naked I wiggle my fingers in front of her the same way I did last week and the week before that and the week before that HeDidntPutARingOnItSometimes, I like to hashtag my life CheaperThanTherapyI sip my margarita When it happens, I promise to let you know Or, you know, keep asking every time you see meMarlee Courtney sighs She stands at the head of the table clutching a glitter coated gavel We made exceptions for you to join the Lady Mustangs Try to acknowledge that and save your little side conversation until weve finishedSorry, Court Every time I call her Court, she strains her Botoxed forehead and glares in my direction, so obviously, its the only thing I call her Well, sometimes I call her bitch, but she doesnt know about thatAs I was saying, the annual Lady Mustangs Fashion Show is in three weeks Everyone must attend the next meeting so we can discuss the outfits for you and your husbandsI catch her eye again She raises her chin, and her fat injected lips form an actual smileOh, Im sorry In your case, Marlee, you and your boyfriendSee What a bitchThanks for the clarification, Court, but I understood My fingernails dig into my palm as I fight the urge to ask if one of her husbands girlfriends will be joining the festivitiesI didnt want you to feel like you were being excludedHmm including me by pointing out my differences Makes so much sense I dont know if shes trying to convince herself, me, or the rest of the Mustang wives, but she isnt succeeding with anybodyYoure so thoughtful, I return with an equal amount of authenticityCourtney is the president how obnoxious of the Lady Mustangs, the charitable organization consisting of the wives and girlfriend singular of the Denver Mustangs We get together every Wednesday during the season to plan different events to benefit the community There is an unspoken ruleeach woman only gets one season to leadbut surprising nobody at all, Courtney didnt think the rules applied to her This is her fourth year as president Her husband, Kevin Matthews, is our quarterback, but her head is bigger than his And thats saying a lot There are football players and then there are quarterbackswhich are an entirely different breed Courtney has also made it her mission during her reign of terror to put me in my place, a spot well below her She doesnt seem to realize Im fresh out of fucks to giveAs I was saying, now that the season has arrived, everyone needs to be here every week No excuses She looks toward me againSo Ive missed some meetings, sue me But, unlike Courtney, I have an actual job that includesthan lunching We also live in the day and age of email, something that seems to evade herRemember what we always say We work hard to inspire our husbands on field success with our off field dedication, support, and achievementsVomitHonestly, besides the constant pressure to prove Ill be the best football wife ever, the only reason I keep coming to these awful things is because it gives me an excuse to drink in the early afternoon I focus on the Colorado sun shining down on our rooftop patio table as I sip my oversized margarita, listening to the music as it switches between seventies pop and nineties hip hopuntil Courtneys shrill voice pulls my attention back to herIs there anything else that needs to be discussed today Courtney asks After a quick glance around the table confirms theres nothing else to be said, the gavel slams into the table and glitter explodes off of it, covering the table, plates, and floorFantasticLike the waitstaff neededof a reason to hate us beyond the ten separate checks, no dressing no flavor orders, and the three women who sent their meals back because they spotted a carbWhenever these meetings end, the switch flips from good deeds to gossip centralCan I have a chip Naomi says Salad is so stupid Why dont you ever tell me not to order one She draws my attention away from the brewing gossip storm as she reaches to my plate without waiting for an answer Not that she needs one, she does this every week And every week she still orders a saladlike the calories dont count if Im the one who orders them WhoNeedsScienceWhat if I was going to say no Were you She crunches into the chip in a manner so un Lady Mustang like, Im surprised Courtney doesnt slam down the gavel again to reprimand herNo, you can have the rest, Im done Playing nice while Power Trip Barbie threw her jabs stole my appetiteI love Naomi She has never questioned the authenticity of my relationship because of my lack of a gaudy diamond decorating my left hand Shes the first to call me to get together when the guys are out of town She also doesnt partake in the hype some of the other women do when it comes to the faux fame of being an athletes wifeDont mind Courtney Shes just pissed theyre bringing in another quarterback, and Kevins reign as leader supreme is coming to an end not surprising considering how he played during preseason She doesnt even finish the sentence before shes grabbing the untouched taco still on my plateWait What When did that happen I askThey announced it this morning How do you not know these things As a wide receiver, this affects Christhan anyone else, except for Kevin Her eyes never meet mine, and if I didnt know better, I wouldve thought she was whispering sweet nothings to a tacoThe season started Chris isnt around to tell me these things, and I dont have ESPN alerts sent to my phone like the rest of you freaks Whod they get Instead of an answer, all I get is one flawless, manicured finger in my face while another points toward her mouth as she chews what was left of my lunch Rolling my eyes to the heavens, I try to gather patience while she takes an eternity to swallow and chase it down with her watery Diet CokeGavin Popehe was the Bears quarterback, she says with shrugShes all nonchalant while I, on the other hand, contemplate grabbing my chest and callingMy heart is racing so fast, Im afraid Im seconds away from keeling over The sunshine now feels like a heat lamp, and my straightened hair against the back of my neck starts to curlHoly shit Are you okay You just turned whiteActually, Im feeling a little queasy I think I drank my margarita too fast Im well accustomed to explaining away my distress around the wicked wives, and sitting by Naomi, hearing the one name I work overtime to avoid, is no different I think Im going to head out, rest a little before Chris gets homeGood, go and feel better Call me later if you need anything Naomis watchful gaze follows my shaky movements as I put enough money on the table to cover my bill and offer a small apology for the glitter theyll no doubt be cleaning for the next six monthsI will, thank you I give Naomi a hug, shout a quick goodbye to our table, and get the hell out of dodgeThe problem with a rooftop patio is theres no quick escapeHow is this my life I know Lady Luck has never been too fond of me, but its just cruel that out of all the quarterbacks and all the teams, Gavin Pope ends up on the MustangsHalfway down the stairs, my knees are knocking so hard I have to stop and let the wall support me My breathing wont slow, and Im dizzy from all of the scenarios spinning in my headAre you okay, maam an unexpected voice calls from behind me I jump back and hit my head against the sports memorabiliacovered walls One of the pictures crashes down, landing at my feet I bend to pick it up and my shaking hands almost drop it twice before my nerves calm enough to look at itI forget where I am Instead of a restaurant in a Denver suburb, Im back in that Chicago high rise The guy Id just had the hottest night of my life withthe one who told me he was an investment bankerhas framed pictures of himself in his apartment But instead of a suit, Gavin Pope wears a Bears hat with the NFL commissioners arm draped over his shouldersMaam The waiters voice startles me back to the presentI shake the memories of the Chicago police officers staring at my tight dress, smudged mascara, and just been fucked hair as I ran out of the high rise and focus on the picture frame in my hands Its not Gavin Instead, its my boyfriend, both feet in the air, football locked tight in his outstretched armsIm fine Thank you I hand him the frame, and then Im running again I dont stop until Im sitting in my car But once Im inside my Prius, the news hits me all over againGavin PopeHereLike a tsunami, each memory of that night hits me like another wave His eyes as he watched me undress Crash My tongue dancing against his Crash The way he took me to the edge of euphoria over and over and over again Crash Crash Crash Im drowning with the sinking realization that all of my hard work to bury every panty dropping, toe curling memory of that night was for nothingNot only did fate decide itd be fun to remind me of him, it threw him right smack dab in the center of my life I mean, its not like the quarterback holds the wide receivers careers in their hands or anything How could this possibly go wrong I guess it depends on whether Gavin Pope even remembers who I amChapter Chris and I live in what I fondly refer to as the seventh circle of helloddly enough, thats located in DenverWe are both native Denverites we met in high school, and somehow, Chris lucked out by being drafted by the Mustangs and never being traded In the NFL, getting to play at all is odds defying And staying on the same team forthan five seasons is a damn miracleWith Chriss awesome income, the money I get from my freelance design jobs, and no kids, we should be living the high life Denver is the coolest city with the most eclectic, vibrant mix of people But we dont live in an industrial condo downtown or a historical bungalow in Washington ParkNo, no, no Chris and Ijust the two of uslive in eight thousand square feet of obnoxious marble and crystal covered extravagance in the gated community of all gated communities with all the other Mustang starters in TheLandWhereHighSchoolNeverEndsI grew up middle class Chris grew up loaded His dad is still the most sought after plastic surgeon in Coloradoa common topic between the other wives and I And to this day, I still have no idea who the hell Chris is trying to impress I guess showing your daddy youre a big boy includes ugly chandeliers and gold leafed wallpaperAfter hearing about Gavins arrival, I knew Chris was going to be upset And because Im such a wonderful girlfriend, I made him my world famous red velvet cake to help ease the pain I absolutely did not make it in an effort to eat my own feelings And the extra bowl of cream cheese frosting hidden in the back of the fridge isnt for that either Sweet decadent denialFuck Coach Jacobs Chriss entrances tend to have a flair for theatrics, but he has outdone himself this time His deep voice echoes off the gallery artlined walls His heavy feet against the white marble causes them to rattle But the crowning glory on this manly display of fury is the way he launches his workout bag across the kitchen the moment he sees me Almost as if in slow motion, I watch his Nike bag soar over the island into my favorite teal cake stand holding my beautiful, iced to perfection, world famous red velvet cake Both fall to the floor with a frosting padded thudWhat the hell, Chris I walk over and start picking out cream cheese covered ceramic Im contemplating whether or not to still eat the parts of the cake that didnt directly touch the floor when Chris starts yelling againAre you reallyworried about a fucking cake than me right now Well yesOf course not Its just a mess, and I dont want either of us to cut our feet LiesBye, cake Ill miss youI stand up to look at him and when I do, I realize leaving the cake for later is for the best Chriss normally mocha complexion has a cherry hue to it, and his full lips are pulled into a thin, straight line If I didnt know him better, Id think hes about to cry Holy shit Are you okay No, Im not fucking okay That piece of shit Jacobs brought in another quarterback Fucking Gavin Pope Even the guys fuckin name is pretentious His eyes are focused on the coffered ceiling and his hands never stop roaming his not quite bald headIn all my time knowing him, Ive never seen him so worked up over footballKevin and I were solid I was his receiver With him throwing me the ball, this was going to be my biggest contract year yet And that rat, son of a bitch, knew it He doesnt want to fuckin pay me, and he thought bringing in some pretty boy was going to stop me Fuck that Hes got another thing comingI thought Pope was supposed to be good Not like Id know, or that Ive looked up his stats once a week, every week for the last four years or anythingIts not about him being fucking good, Marlee His attention snaps toward me It seems he didnt appreciate that little tidbit Do you listen when I talk to you First of all, yes, I do listen Second, check yourself I get youre pissed and taking it out on Nike bags and innocent, baked with love cakes, but you will not take it out on me Im not Jacobs, I didnt make this trade I want to help you, but not if youre acting like Im the enemy here ProblemsButChrisAintOneFuck Im sorry, Chris says He looks properly chastised, and resisting the urge to dust the dirt off my shoulder is almost too much for me to handle This was going to be our year, baby I was going to be the number one receiver in the league we were going to fly to Hawaii so I could play in the all star game I was going to get the franchise tag and the contract weve always dreamed of so we could start our family the right wayon top Now Jacobs is putting it all at riskI hate the way the dormant butterflies always take flight the second Chris mentions starting a family If he was waiting for money, he could have proposed six years ago But instead, every year passed without an engagement and another item added to his pre marriage bucket list But at last, Chris is nearing the end of his list Plus, a few weeks ago, one of my rings went missing, and when I asked him about it, he got all jittery and nervous Ive wanted to be Mrs Chris Alexander since I was sixteen and now, nearly eleven years later, the time is almost hereWhat can I do There has to be something we can do to keep you in your number one spot Stepping over the long forgotten mess on the floor, I make my way around the kitchen island or,accurately, the kitchen continent to Chris and wrap my arms around him Ive always loved how when I hug him, my head rests right above his heartThere is something you could do I invited the wide receivers over next Tuesday Itd be great if you make dinnerOf course Should I make Nonnas lasagna Is TK coming He loved it last time Between the circles hes drawing on my back and the rhythmic thumping of his heart beneath my ear, Im at a serious risk of falling asleep in this kitchenSure, but make double because I invited Kevin and Gavin tooI pull back from Chris so quickly, you wouldve thought he told me Jeffery Dahmer was coming for dinner Even though Gavin has eaten me beforeDammitDont go there now, Marlee Gavin Why would you invite him Werent you just complaining because hes on the team I try to cover my reaction with confusion The last thing I need is for Chris to catch a whiff of what Gavins name does to meI dont want him on the team, but hes here and the best thing I can do now is try to butter him up Feed him some food, play some poker, try to bond with the guy I need him to want to throw to me So can you do it I cantI cannot cook dinner for Gavin Pope in the home I share with Chris Granted, my one night with him happened during the break Chris wanted okay, hed pretty much dumped me, but still Arent there rules about this kind of thing I have a few projects, but their deadlines arent for a couple of weeks Id love to do this for you I gotta do my part to support Team AlexanderThats why I love youyou always put the team first His lips crash into mine and when he pulls away, the anger he walked in with is nowhere to be found Chriss smile is so bright, the contrast between his brown skin and freakishly white teeth nearly causes me to squintYou know methey dont call me Marlee Team Player Harper for no reason And if they knew what Gavin and I did, theyd be calling me that for a whole lot of other reasons Speaking of, I gotta feed my man Do you want me to make you a plate No thanks, babe Im gonna head back to the facility I left early because I was pissed about Pope, but since you calmed me down, Im gonna finish watching film First regular season games this weekend I have to be ready nowthan ever You dont mind, do you Nope Go do your superstar prep Ill clean up here and knock out some work I roll onto my tippy toes and kiss his chin at the same time my palm stings from slapping his assIm not sure how long this will take, so dont wait upFine with me I have an entire Tupperware filled with cream cheese frosting, an unopened bottle of wine, and unwelcome feelings to avoidOkay, but try not to burn yourself out too early in the week, I call to his back as hes walking out of the kitchenAlways looking out for me Bye, babe I barely hear the words before the rattling of the art alerts me hes gone, and the only sounds left are the alarms bells in my headHoly shitIm going to see Gavin Pope againPraise for InterceptedMartin scores a touchdown of a debut withIntercepted, a witty rom com set in the world of professional football players and their wives Entertainment Weekly Drama abounds in Intercepted, a fun and sexy romance novel set in the sports world Bustle Marlee s love story isn t about which football player is The One for her, it s about a woman claiming her independence on her own terms, even when a hunky guy keeps coming to the rescue NPR If you like steamy romance with a side of sports, this fun, fast paced novel is for you HelloGiggles The writing is snappy, the pacing is quick, the romance is sublime, and the humor is off the charts Alexa Martin delivers a stellar love story, and I cant wait to see what she writes next USA Today Intercepted was so much fun to read For anyone who has been yearning for a great, hilarious, and thoughtful romantic comedy about a black woman in the world of the NFL, you need this bookI finished this book with a big smile on my face and that gooey, good book feeling in my chestJasmine Guillory, USA Today bestselling author of The Wedding DateFast, fun and absolutely engaging A smashing debut Kristan Higgins, N ew York Timesbestselling author of Good Luck With That Reading Interceptedis like drinking wine and gossiping with your best girlfriends Its fast paced, flirty, and laugh out loud funny, without the hangover the next dayHelen Hoang, author of The Kiss QuotientLove it All the hot sports and romance action you could hope forKylie Scott, New York Times bestselling authorFresh voices and strong multicultural characters from every rung of the social ladder make Martins debut novel a must read for fans of contemporary romance with a sporty twist Bookliststarred review Narrated in an irreverent first person voice, this story about a betrayed woman who finds the courage to once again seek love is a cut above the usual sports themed romanceMartins debut is fast paced, fun and promising Book PageThe ups and downs of love in the NFL are well portrayed with a heavy dose of humor and snark in Martins sports romancePerfect for readers looking for a fun contemporary Publishers Weekly The spouse of a former NFL player, Martin weaves a clever, nuanced, and deeply funny story about fighting to be strong among a group of guys who live by their musclesBook Review