“I carried a watermelon.”
As I put down Naima Simone’s Scoring with the Wrong Twin, I feel distinctly similar to Baby of Dirty Dancing fame, having her eyes opened to adventure, fun, and dirtiness (i.e. good old-fashioned grinding) for the first time. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I’m a long-time reader and lover of romance, but this was my second Naima Simone book, and it was amazing. So amazing that concluding the book felt like returning to earth after hovering above it for a while, my cheeks blazing.
All this, despite the fact that the primary trope in this book—lying about one’s identity—is one of my least favorites, especially when a woman does it. (This gender double standard is doubtless worthy of intense psychological scrutiny). But Simone does it beautifully. So wonderfully that even as I still wanted everything between the main characters to be above-board, and I was super stressed in some instances, I still had big love for both characters.
But let’s start with the basics of this beautiful, sensual read.
Model Giovanna Cruz asks her app developer identical twin Sophia Cruz to fill in on a Sports Unlimited shoot so that she can walk in a fashion show without breaking her prior obligation. Sophia eventually accepts though she doesn’t like attention, and after being bullied in high school, she’s never felt like she measured up to her sister. In fact, she still struggles with self-esteem period, though she’s brilliant and attractive, and lots of other positive things.
Now I have to tell you about Zephirin Black, football player for the Washington Warriors, and the player “Giovanna”/Sophia is paired with at the shoot. *opens mouth and tries to speak but closes it. Tears fill eyes.** He is one of my book boyfriends now. Zephirin can’t believe how different “Giovanna” seems at this shoot, and how sexually attracted he is to her now. He offers her a temporary sexual arrangement; he’s been wounded deeply by a woman in the past, and it's hard for him to trust women he meets now, despite knowing that’s an awful attitude based on a generalization, etc., etc.
The relationship between Sophia and Zephirin is based on a couple of big lies. And yet, it’s magical.
Will Sophia’s secret come out, and will they ever be trust each other if it does? But how can Sophia keep living with the lie?
If you’ve never read Naima Simone before, I’m going to have to ask that you do that. Scoring with the Wrong Twin is the first book in her WAGS series, and it’s left me absolutely greedy for more. This book is so cute and quirky (hello, 80s movies and LOTR references), unabashedly sexy (in a major way), and unexpectedly wise. There were a couple passages in the book that I highlighted just because they were saying something special about the world.
Thank you for this wonderful book, Naima, and for Zephirin and Sophia.
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Give me that HEA, please.
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