Friday, April 12, 2019

Fumbled (Playbook #2) by Alexa Martin

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A second chance doesn't guarantee a touchdown in this new contemporary romance from the author of Intercepted.

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she's built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it's all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he's moved on.  

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they've suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they'll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.

Source: advance e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Who can resist a second chance romance? Certainly not me. Poppy gets the shock of her life when she unexpectedly sees TK, her very former high school boyfriend, at her place of work. She's successfully maintained a low key existence with just herself and her son and then suddenly her past crashes into her. TK can't believe that the girl he was in love with in high school and who disappeared without a notice is now standing in front of him. It's almost surreal. The crazy thing is that they've been living in the same city for a few years now and have never run into each other. It's amazing that Poppy has managed not to freak out about that since TK is one of the most popular athletes in Denver. Now that TK knows that she's okay, he's not willing to lose her again and slowly begins to insinuate himself into her life.

This is going to be so awkward for Poppy when she finally confesses to him the real reason why she left without a word years ago. Psst...he's her baby daddy. It's not a huge secret in the story. Poppy is completely aware that she owes TK the truth so it's a matter of when and ... you can imagine how that goes. Shock. Disbelief. TK feels betrayed at first but then comes around. The rest of the story is about him and Poppy getting reacquainted with each other, getting to know his son, and settling into some kind of a routine as an instant family of three. There's a lot of baggage to unpack between them from what pushed Poppy to leave, to boundaries for TK as a sudden dad, to her unease over the risks of TK's livelihood. The last one becoming more critical as she and her son get closer to him.

Poppy was utterly enjoyable. Despite all her struggles, she has a sunny disposition though she does let the sarcasm drip quite often. She's carved out a comfortable and content life that suits her just fine. She's also resilient and it shows. TK might be a giant on the football field but off of it he's more subdued. He doesn't have an ego or an overtly macho thing going on. He's obviously still in love with Poppy and wants to convince her to give them another chance. I simply liked the two of them together. Admittedly, their reunion does have a few hiccups but it's still seems smooth overall, perhaps a little too smoothly for anyone skeptical. But Poppy is most certainly not about drama so the progression of their relationship made sense to me. I question the angelicness of the kid. Maybe it's an odd thing to remark on and don't get me wrong, sweet, angelic kids exist but it cracks me up that whether it's on tv or in books, single parents almost always seem to have amazing non-back talking, rule-following kids. Yes, I'm a mom of three and that's where I get skeptical. LOL.

The first book in the Playbook series, Intercepted was loads of fun and Fumbled is just as enjoyable and satisfying. I appreciate the interracial romance though that's not even addressed as a "thing" in the story. And talk about things working out in the end -- if ever a heroine deserved to have everything, it's our girl Poppy here.

~ Bel

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