Alexa Martin is back with the third installment of her Playbook series, Blitzed. As the real-life wife of a former NFL player, Martin brings insight and experience to a fun, enjoyable series about the fictional Denver Mustangs. Reader, she knows her football! Martin captures the reality of the sexy, exciting and volatile culture of professional sports.
So far in the series we’ve seen a Hail Mary, a second-chance romance and now we’re in for a slow burn with defensive back Maxwell Lewis and local bar owner Brynn Larson. Readers of the previous two books will know that Brynn is Max’s dream woman. But while on their first date, he gets a phone call from his brother Theo, a police officer, that changes the trajectory of their still-new relationship. And rather than opening up and telling Brynn about it, he admits to not trusting Theo and acknowledges that his brother’s “little bit of power makes it easier for him to be the worst kind of person.” Theo soon catches Brynn alone to let her know what he told Max: that the rape allegations from the Lewis brothers’ past are coming back into the spotlight. And rather than listening to Maxwell’s explanation, she sides with Theo and ends her relationship with Max.
The stakes are high in dating nowadays. And when you’re with someone who’s twice your size, and a professional athlete in a sport rife with scandal from violence and spousal abuse, it’s smart to stay skeptical. But do you trust your heart and your intuition, or gossip and hearsay? Brynn poses the question best to herself: “Either I believe the man I love or I believe a woman who had no reason to lie.”
Brynn works through her relationship frustrations with her tight circle of friends (known jovially as the Lady Mustangs), and so I would’ve enjoyed a more open glimpse into Max as he worked through his issues. He’s a fun character and I rooted for him from the start. But despite all of his great qualities, he kept a very big piece of his past a secret. When it comes to light in the worst of ways, Brynn has no depth of information from which to help draw her conclusion. Sure, Maxwell is a wonderful guy. He’s handsome and kind and caring and, Brynn thought, a marvelous boyfriend—but that’s probably what Ted Bundy’s dates thought, right?
The rape allegations that come to light are obviously very serious, so tread lightly with this book if you have triggers. But if you can look forward to truth prevailing and characters who eventually find their way to better communication with one another, Blitzed is worth it.