I loved [Poppy's] character, her feisty nature and her internal monologue is laugh out loud funny ... Whether you are a football fan or not, there’s much to enjoy about this story. There’s a depth of understanding of the sport and what goes on behind the scenes for the partners of the players that make it a realistic read (no surprise, since the author has personal experience in this regard). There’s a delightful and sexy second chance romance for a couple who are clearly compatible equals and parents learning to become a real family unit. And their son is a joyful boisterous nine year old thrilled to connect with his Dad, a boy who steals all his on page scenes. The combination of serious and laugh out loud funny makes for a wholly entertaining read. I’m looking forward to the next in the series!
Blending an emotional journey with an intoxicating romance, Alexa Martin's Fumbled—the second novel in her Playbook series—scores touchdown after touchdown in a sports romance set against a backfield of tropes (and only a few clichés) ... Whether you love or hate the sport itself, this story of second chance romance offers an authentic look into the world of pro ball, the paparazzi, the wives and girlfriends, the agents, and the wild and crazy fans that invade their privacy. And Martin—who's married to a former NFL player—is also skilled at delivering the funny. Even during some of the novel's most emotional scenes, Poppy will make you laugh out loud as she wipes away her latest flood of tears ... Fumbled doesn't gloss over the difficult topic of concussions—rather, Martin examines it from both an emotional and a realistic perspective ... There are a couple of story threads that seem slightly under-baked. One of the not-so-decent mothers Poppy meets could've used a bit more comeuppance on the page, and the double appearance of a mysterious bouquet didn't add the suspense the author might've intended. Still ... a sports romance that really scores.
Martin expertly captures the struggle between the need for a quiet, ordinary life and the demands of an all-star career path that invites gossip, grudges, and jealousy. In this delicious follow-up to Intercepted, Martin once again draws on her own experience as an NFL wife to create a winning sports romance.
In the second installment of the Playbook series, Martin...tells the witty, sexy, fun side of what happens when high school sweethearts try to rekindle a romance after living very different lives for 10 years ... Readers will laugh, swoon, and grow to love every character in this entertaining contemporary romance.
Martin...expertly parlays her experience as the spouse of a former NFL player into compelling scenes not just of big games, but of lesser-explored preseason matchups, training camp, and the social dynamics Poppy must face as the new girlfriend of the star player. Poppy leaps off the page as a contemporary biracial woman navigating dating, motherhood, and career with seriousness and a fantastic sense of humor. TK’s character is less distinct, partly due to the novel’s deep first-person point of view. Martin sets up some big-stakes tropes—reunited lovers, secret baby—but they lack the emotional payoff readers expect because she rushes through them to set up even more. By the time Poppy throws up yet another barrier in Chapter 37, readers might be tempted to give up as well. A strong female lead, laugh-out-loud scenes, and an authentic pro-football setting are offset by an overstuffed romance plot that makes this more of a field goal than a touchdown.