Review: Scoring the Player’s Baby by Naima Simone (2018)

WAGS, Book #3

Review of Wags #2

Heat Factor: They have a hot one-night-stand, then it’s all about an emotional outlet

Character Chemistry: The strength is in their mutual desire to be great co-parents

Plot: Kim and Ronin have a one-night stand. When they meet again months later, Kim shoots down Ronin’s suggestion for a repeat, only to discover days later that she’s pregnant with his baby

Overall: If you’re looking for an accidental pregnancy book that’s not centered on miscommunication and angst, this one is great.

I liked this book significantly more than I liked Scoring Off the Field, even though accidental pregnancy is not always my favorite trope and I like friends-to-lovers/bedding-the-boss more. I will say, though, that the toxic masculinity is strong with this one. Yiiikes. But this book is a few years old, so if you can get through Ronin’s internalized concerns about losing his man-card, it’s a pretty satisfying accidental pregnancy sports romance (that is actually a sportsy romance – he plays the football – which wasn’t as present in the prior book in the series). 

Here’s what I liked:

  • Ronin and Kim both have emotional baggage that makes them not want to have a relationship again. Ronan’s one true love died (she had Cystic Fibrosis) two years before the book started. Kim’s football player ex-husband cheated on her, and she’s been divorced for a year with no interest in starting a mess like that again. 
  • Kim does consider all her options when she learns she’s pregnant – she’s a high-powered executive who’s all in on her career after her divorce – but because of a miscarriage in her past she’s immediately emotionally caught up in wanting the baby and fearing that she’ll lose it. 
  • They’re pretty clear with one another. As they go from a one-night stand to preparing for a co-parenting relationship, they’re both very willing to talk about what they want out of their relationship (and what they don’t want), and they’re supportive of each other. Even when Ronin learns that Kim will move across the country because her current project is temporary, he accepts that they’ve both made career choices that will cause that separation from his child, and he’s bummed about it but doesn’t try to change her mind.

All of that laid a pretty solid foundation for me to enjoy the book. That said, the aforementioned toxic masculinity was gross, and while I don’t think Ronin’s approach to his post-true-love life was full-blown slutty romance hero, there were definitely elements of the player-who-thinks-romance-is-a-trap archetype in his characterization. In addition, there were times when Kim painting all football players with her ex’s brush was A LOT. It made sense in context, but with Ronin’s behavior being so different than what she’d described about her ex’s behavior, it tended to evoke those “Really, Kim?” reader moments. There were also a few times where she said she didn’t want to be identified as Ronin’s baby momma (paraphrasing) and that she didn’t want her child to grow up with, essentially, a football player father (because of her ex’s lifestyle). And that had me puzzling out exactly how she thought her mom life was going to look since Ronin WAS her baby daddy and he WAS a professional football player? Like? 

Anyway, there are a few places where maybe this book is starting to show its age, or where the reader might want to yell at the characters (not that that’s particularly unusual), but all in all it was a really great accidental pregnancy book. 

Buy Now: Amazon | Bookshop

Looking for something similar?

Sexy Football Players (and other athletes)

The Pacific Northwest

Accidental Pregnancy Stories

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