CW: talk of past sexual assault
If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know that I absolutely adored Alexa Martin’s debut Intercepted. Fumbled was fun too but I guess I had too much expectations. But I couldn’t lessen them for this book because it features one of my favorite characters since the beginning, Brynne. So imagine my disappointment when it didn’t turn out that way. This review might go into spoiler territory, so please read at your own discretion.
The writing by the author is still fun and I’m glad for that because it means I finished the book in a single sitting and never felt bored. There is a lot of fun banter, but it’s mostly between the Lady Mustangs and while it could be over the top sometimes, I enjoyed it. It’s always nice to see a supportive group of women. And I liked that the author took time to develop a friendship between the MCs even though they were clearly attracted to each other. I really enjoyed all the time they spent together getting to know each other better and their conversations brought a smile to my face. But no communication between them about important issues was a trope that was used prominently and it totally soured my experience towards the end.
Brynne is a sassy, determined entrepreneur who has built a community for women with her bar and I have really admired her character since the beginning. And she is still all that, but she made so many decisions in this book that felt unlike her that I was disappointed. She completely ignores red flags about a guy she has been warned is dangerous, throws another woman into his path despite the warnings because she is scared that said woman might be interested in her boyfriend, and finally decides to unconditionally believe whatever this guy tells her without ever giving her boyfriend a benefit of the doubt or the opportunity to explain. And then she absolutely does no apologizing or groveling towards the end which completely ruined whatever I may have enjoyed in the first part of the book.
Maxwell is really the sweetest, most introverted guy I’ve read about in a while. He is kind, compassionate, very considerate and just the kind of guy you want in your corner when the going gets tough. His date ideas are the loveliest and his asking for verbal consent every time (which I know is bare minimum but still) really endeared me a lot to him. I was completely in love with him since the first page. So when the ending conflict happened, I was pretty unhappy that he brushed it all off without even letting Brynne apologize properly, because I thought it was a serious breaking of trust and I just couldn’t believe it can be so easily resolved.
The side characters are always the best part of the books in this series and it was no different this time around. I’ve come to love all the women here and there were some cool additions too. But Vonnie definitely stole the show here by being a great nosy friend, a worthy leader of Lady Mustangs and also a badass lawyer and mother. I also adored Brynne’s father because he is lovely and supportive and just a delight to be around.
To conclude, I just want to say I’m pretty unhappy with the way this book turned out. It has a good cast of characters, the sweetest hero ever and a mostly wonderful heroine. But there were lots of questionable choices made and the no communication thing didn’t work for me at all. I don’t know if there are gonna be any more books in these series but I think I still wanna read whatever the author writes next. But I definitely won’t recommend this one.