Series: WAGS, #1
Published by Entangled Publishing LLC (Brazen) on January 15, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Shy, awkward Sophia Cruz has a hard time telling her vivacious identical twin “no.” But when her sister begs her to swap places for a modeling shoot, she caves… again. Then Zephirin Black walks onto the set. The brooding, aloof, and gorgeous tight end for the Washington Warriors. But she can keep it professional… She has to. Because the adorkable Cruz twin has no luck with guys once they compare her to her sister.
After a bad break-up, Zeph hasn’t been big on second chances — and even less with trust. But he finds himself giving please-call-me-by-my-middle-name-Sophia both. The woman he’d dismissed as a spoiled cover model is different from the first time he met her. Quirkier. Funnier. Definitely sexier. What started as one night turns into another... and another… and another…
Still, Sophia can’t go on keeping her secret from him. But telling Zeph the truth will mean losing him for good.
I went into this hoping that the twin-switch deception wouldn’t be the main conflict and the only thing keeping Sophia and Zeph apart. Sure, I knew from the back copy that that would be how they met, but surely Sophia will set him straight pretty quickly after that, though, and they’d move on to other conflicts.
Unfortunately, that was the main conflict for them. They met on a photoshoot where Sophia was pretending to be her own twin sister, who’s a successful model. And that’s the whole conflict. Due to some issues with a past relationship, one thing Zeph absolutely will not compromise on was complete honesty. And Sophia starts lying to him about her actual identity as soon as they met. She has to pass herself off as her twin, Giovanna, and once the photoshoot ended, she didn’t let Zeph know about it, just continued to pretend to be Giovanna.
This conflict, frankly, didn’t work for me. First, the actual twin switch wouldn’t have really worked. Even though they’re identical twins, Sophia has shorter hair with blue tips, and a huge peacock tattoo on her torso. This photoshoot was in a bikini. No one noticed the new hair and the giant tattoo that showed up for one photo shoot, then was gone again? A random person seeing the images may not have known any better regarding the hair, assuming one or both styles were wigs, but the hairstylist and wardrobe people certainly would have noticed. And the tattoo was clearly visible in the photos.
And, sure, she kept up the ruse throughout the photoshoot. But there was no reason not to tell Zeph the truth as soon as possible. “Ha ha, funny story….” on their first actual date would not have triggered his aversion to lying. Her actually lying to him for weeks, and constantly doubling down on the lie every time she talked about herself or her family, absolutely triggered it, and there was no way that wasn’t going to be the end result. She didn’t have good reasons for keeping it up. It really boiled down to “I don’t want to admit I lied because he’ll be mad at me”, and that’s just not good enough.
And Zeph. Hooboy. After he and Sophia spend a night together, she leaves without leaving her contact information. So Zeph calls a PI friend of his and has him investigate her to find her home address, then GOES TO HER HOME TO SURPRISE HER. I was not on board with this at all. This was not cute, this was not romantic, this was creepy and a huge overstepping of boundaries. I hated that he did that. I found it really hard to get past that and root for him after this. ESPECIALLY since, as it turns out, of course, he ended up at Sophia’s twin’s house, not Sophia’s house. He was stalking the wrong woman.
I was also disappointed that we didn’t really get to see how the app Sophia developed turned out. We get right up to the point where it’s definitely going to happen, but we don’t see it, and I really wanted to.
It’s really strange for me to not love a book by Naima Simone, but this one just didn’t work for me. I fully intend to move on with this series, though, because it’s friends-to-lovers, which is one of my favorites.