Tennyson Clark is getting a life. First step: quitting her job as assistant to Dominic Anderson, star quarterback for the Washington Warriors, her best friend…and the man she’s been secretly in love with for years. But since the gorgeous, if overprotective playboy has only ever seen her as his BFF, she’s finally ready to relinquish her tattered fantasy and move on. Enter steps two and three: new job and new man.
Football is Dominic's life, and with his contract soon up for renewal, all his focus needs to be on the game. But Tennyson—dependable, logical Tennyson—is making that next to impossible with her mysterious new job and her sudden interest in online dating. He doesn’t do relationships. But the thought of another man touching her sexier-than-hell curves has him suddenly wanting more from his best friend.
Indulging in hot, dirty, what’s-my-name sex with no strings and lots of benefits is simple, uncomplicated…until it’s not.
Each book in the WAGS series is STANDALONE:
* Scoring with the Wrong Twin
* Scoring Off the Field
* Scoring the Player's Baby
About the Author
Naima Simone's love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey, Sandra Brown, and Linda Howard many years ago. Well, not that many. She is only eighteen...ish. Though her first attempt at a romance novel starring Ralph Tresvant from New Edition never saw the light of day, her love of romance, reading, and writing has endured. Published since 2009, she spends her days—and nights—creating stories of unique men and women who experience the first bites of desire, the dizzying heights of passion, and the tender, healing heat of love.
She is wife to Superman, or his non-Kryptonian, less bulletproof equivalent, and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They all live in perfect, sometimes domestically challenged bliss in the southern United States.
Come visit Naima at www.naimasimone.com.
Read an Excerpt
"I quit." Tennyson Clark mentally slapped a palm to her forehead, hating that her nerves made her mumble, so the announcement sounded much more like, "Mwy scmhit."
When one was declaring one's independence, one definitely shouldn't sound like a squirrel with a mouth full of nuts. She sighed. So much for being firm and assertive.
Fortunately — or unfortunately — her best friend of fifteen years, Dominic Anderson, was fluent in Tenny Speak. And since his attention snapped from the phone in his hand to focus completely on her, treating her to the full blast of his bright blue stare, she assumed he'd interpreted her garbled statement correctly.
"You quit?" he repeated, confirming her assumption in a calm and even tone. She wasn't in the least bit fooled. Ten years ago, he'd used that same voice when he'd threatened to cut off Calvin Shephard's dick if the bully dared touch her again.
Often, having someone in your life who loved, protected, and knew you better than anyone else on the planet was a comfort and gift. Then other times, it sucked hairy ape balls.
This was one of those times.
"Yes, that's what I said," she stated, fighting not to fidget under the power of his beautiful, scalpel-sharp gaze.
Damn, it was so unfair. After looking into those eyes for fourteen of her twenty-five years, she should've been immune to their beauty and intensity. But as Foster Mom #2 had been fond of saying, "A fair is a shitfest of carnies and rides. It ain't got fuck-all to do with life." Quite the poet, Foster Mom #2 had been. But in her own way, she'd been right on point.
Life had handed Tennyson a great deal — a mentally unstable mom, a parade of foster homes and parents who'd ranged from apathetic to scary, a plethora of schools, zero stability. But one thing it had never offered her was fairness.
For instance, this pathetic, secret, cringe-worthy unrequited love for her best friend and employer.
Well ... former employer, as of five seconds ago.
Dom slowly straightened from his lazy sprawl on the couch and set his cell down on the coffee table in front of him with an ominous thunk, causing her hope that he would take the news well to crumble like a Taylor Swift relationship past the ninety-day mark.
Suddenly, he wasn't Dom, her childhood friend, but Dominic Anderson, celebrated All-Star, four-time Pro-Bowl quarterback for the Washington Warriors. As the leader of one of the best teams in the NFL, he commanded a legion of behemoths on a daily basis.
"Look," she muttered, "I'm trying not to be pusillanimous about this, and you glaring at me isn't helping."
Dom blinked, his only reaction. "From the context of your sentence, I'm guessing that means you're trying not to be a pussy about dropping this atom bomb that you're abandoning me as my PA."
This time, she couldn't prevent flinching. "I would've gone with cowardly or faint-hearted, but very good," she complimented, trying to insert a little levity into the conversation. #Epicfail.
Without waiting for his reply — which was sure to contain at least one F-bomb and probably a couple of goddamns — she launched up from the huge armchair that swallowed her Lilliputian frame whole but was perfect for the giant across from her. She shot from the suddenly too-stifling confines of his man-cave den and dashed for the kitchen as if a naked Jason Momoa waited for her next to the pots and pans rack.
Like everything else in his Mediterranean-style home in the wealthy Seattle suburb of Kirkland, Dom's kitchen was mammoth. It was also total culinary porn. Weak light from the late morning October sun trickled in through the large windows, brushing the marble counters and the island in pale, watery streams. Walnut cabinets with glass fronts lined two walls above high-end appliances that would have Mario Batali whining in jealousy. A huge window that stretched from the ceiling to above the sink granted gorgeous views of Mount Rainier, the beautiful evergreens that surrounded the house and property, and an endless stretch of sky. At least on sunny days. Today, that sky was overcast, and the rain that the Pacific Northwest was known for pinged against the glass, but it was still beautiful. So rich and vivid.
Still, the masterpiece of the kitchen, and what she loved most, was the beautiful stainless-steel stove with its six eyes; large, self-cleaning oven; and multiple settings. Yes, if she could have sex with it, she probably would. Considering the last couple of times she'd been with a man, the stove would no doubt generate more heat.
The best thing about the room, though, was that Dom — also known as Chef Boyar-Don't — couldn't boil an egg without shells and yolk ending up splattered on the ceiling. When he'd had the kitchen designed, it'd been for her, because she loved to cook. The precision and creativity of preparing food soothed her, grounded her.
She didn't need a psychologist to explain why. Control. At first, it'd been her mother who'd supplied her meals ... and often added extra ingredients guaranteed to make Tennyson sick, warranting another trip to the hospital emergency room. Later, in the foster homes, she'd had no choice but to eat whatever she'd been given, some of it indigestible. Or if it'd been adequate, there hadn't been enough of it. When she'd grown older and was able to provide for herself, food had been one of the first things she'd exerted autonomy over. What she ate. The quality of it. The quantity.
In this moment, even as she declared her independence in another area of her life, she still turned to the thing that comforted her.
Striding to the enormous refrigerator, she opened it and scanned the contents, finally settling on French toast, bacon, and an omelet. Scooping up the needed ingredients, she kicked the door closed and deposited the food on the island.
"You can't dodge this conversation by going all Iron Chef," Dom growled.
She hadn't heard him enter the room; for a six-foot-five, two-hundred-and- twenty-five-pound giant, he was remarkably light on his feet. But she hadn't needed to catch his footsteps to know he stood behind her. She felt him. Like her body transformed into a tuning fork specifically adjusted to perceive him. Her skin sensitized, her belly tightened, her heart beat at a slightly elevated pace. Over the years, she'd had to work hard to hide her reaction from his all-too-perceptive gaze. She'd become a master at deception. At pretending she loved Dom like an annoying and overprotective big brother when her feelings were anything but platonic.
The decade-long charade was ... exhausting. But the alternative — admitting to him that she wanted to be one of those tall, gorgeous, sexy supermodels, actresses, or even random football groupies he fucked like sex was the last loaf of bread on a grocery store shelf during a snowstorm — scared the hell out of her. No, sir. Quite some time ago, she'd been on the receiving end of his gentle, soft, and utterly humiliating rejection. And not to mention the pity. The awful, mortifying pity. No thanks. Never again. The scar from the first time they'd had that Friend Zone talk hadn't fully healed even after all these years. Damn if she would tear open another wound.
"I'm not dodging anything," she said, removing the chopping board from one of the island's side drawers. "I'm fixing breakfast while we discuss."
"Yeah, let's discuss." He leaned on the marble top, his rock-hard abs brushing her elbow and arm. Shit. She fumbled the onion but quickly recovered, cursing that glancing touch that now had electric currents zinging up and down her spine. Images of the corrugated ladder of muscles that covered his stomach bombarded her mind. If she didn't know better, she would agree with those snide comments on Instagram that snarked about the images of Dom being Photoshopped to show a corded, ripped eight-pack. But she knew better. Dom had never possessed a single modest bone in his body, so she'd been treated to unhindered views of his bare torso many times through the years.
Masochism, thy name is Tennyson Clark.
Forcing the panty-melting picture from her head, she focused. "It's not like I'm leaving you tomorrow. I'm giving you a month's notice, and I'll stay to train my replacement."
"The hell, Tenny?" he snapped, frustration ripe in every sharply enunciated word. "I don't want a replacement. And I damn sure don't want a month's notice."
"Well, you have one, and you're going to get the other." She shook her head. "Dom, it's past time I left —"
"Really?" he interrupted. "Says who?"
"Says me," she ground out. "You know, me. The person in charge of my life and what happens in it? That me."
He blew out a hard breath, pushing off the island. She glanced up in time to catch him thrusting his fingers through his dark brown hair. Over the years, he'd worn it ruthlessly short, like a Roman centurion, or so long the strands had brushed his shoulders. Lately, the loose waves grazed his carved-from- stone jaw, making him resemble the guy who played Jamie Fraser in Outlander more than he usually did.
The thick, soft-looking hair should've seemed incongruous with the chiseled lines of his face. And they might have if not for the black, dense fringe of lashes that accentuated the cobalt depths of his eyes and that sensual, almost lush mouth that made a woman imagine all the dirty things he could do with it. And undoubtedly do well. His face was a stunning work of art.
God, his face. It'd sold everything from electric razors to luxury cars. And it haunted her every night, starring in her most secret, erotic dreams.
Glancing away, she desperately reined in the thoughts before they seeped into her expression, and he glimpsed the taboo longing that was as much a part of her as the wild curls on her head and the birthmark under her left ear.
He didn't want that from her. Not her longing. Not her desire. Definitely not her heart. He'd made that abundantly clear years ago when she'd made the godawful mistake of getting drunk one night and letting slip how she felt about him. Oh yes. Abundantly clear.
"I know this is surprising —" she began again.
"No, Tenny. Finding out Santa Claus wasn't real, that was surprising. La La Land discovering they hadn't won Best Picture was surprising. Kanye having a mental breakdown was surprising ..."
"Was it? Was it really?" she interjected. But at his narrowed glare, she sighed and pantomimed zipping her lips shut. But seriously, Kanye losing his shit hadn't been that shocking.
"You up and quitting out of the blue is a straight kick in the nuts I didn't see coming. And in the beginning of the season? I should be enjoying my day off before focusing on winning against the Steelers, but instead, you hit me with this."
"Well, I'm sorry, but when would've been a good time? Besides," she added, anger beginning to lick at her chest, "this isn't about you."
"You're right. It's about us." He waved a hand back and forth between them. "We're a team. We always have been."
A team. The words pierced her like a poison-tipped arrow straight to the heart. So innocuous, so ... kind. And that kindness killed her. Because it underscored how he would always see her — a kid sister, a pal. It emphasized her utter foolishness in continuing to carry this torch for him. It reminded her that one day she would watch him settle down with one of the women who flocked around him, while she remained alone and emotionally bruised.
Inhaling, she tried to explain again. "I get this is anathema to you ..."
"Small words, Tenny. Small words," he snapped.
"Fine," she retorted, her temper crackling like oil hitting a hot pan. "I know this fucks with your day, but it's done. And you're not changing my mind."
Marching to one of the cabinets, she yanked it open and removed a big mixing bowl. Dom grabbed the other side of the bowl and pulled on it, but she jerked it back. For the next few moments, they engaged in a truly childish tug- of-war.
"For godsakes," she muttered, releasing the bowl with a scowl.
Before she could grab another, he smacked the dish on the counter and, palming her waist, hiked her in the air and plopped her on the marble in front of him.
She gasped as he flattened his hands on either side of her hips and leaned forward, caging her between his big body and the large window behind her. She tried to edge back so every shallow breath didn't include his scent of soap and freshly washed skin, and the deeper, familiar fragrance of cedar and heavy, sultry rain. How many times had he come to visit her in one of her foster homes after he'd been adopted, the fragrance of cedar clinging to his shirt and hair from the Dayton lumberyard where he'd worked part-time?
Even now, she had to curl her fingers around the edge of the counter to keep herself from burying her nose in the crook between his shoulder and neck — the space that she'd claimed as her own at eleven years old — and just breathe him in. As a child, that place and his scent had been a comfort. They'd meant safety. Now, both still brought comfort, but they also wreaked havoc on her senses, on her pulse. Caused a decidedly sinuous, unfriendly heat to wind its way through her veins and culminate in an achy, throbbing beat between her thighs.
The struggle was real.
"Now, no more evading. Talk," he ordered.
Rebellion sparked within her at the imperious tone and the expectation to fall in line, but she deliberately inhaled, calming herself as well as the resentment that flickered inside her like a struck match. A foolish resentment because he couldn't know how much his nearness affected her; since the first time she'd stupidly and recklessly admitted her love for him, she'd made a concentrated effort to ensure he'd never know, and that her misplaced desire wouldn't jeopardize their friendship. Still, he wasn't a dumb man — far from it. He knew how much she cared for him, even if only in a sisterly way. Using his hotness and her unflagging loyalty against her was sneaky.
Anger and his close proximity formed a dangerous combination, and if she wasn't careful, she'd allow both to weaken her resolve and reveal information she wanted to keep close to her chest.
"I don't know how much clearer I can make it, Dom," she said. "I've been your personal assistant for five years now. Five years. It started out as a job you made up as a way you could give me money without it seeming like charity —"
"I did not," he objected. But when she lifted her eyebrows, he grumbled, "If you weren't so goddamn stubborn, I wouldn't have needed to do it. Still, that was then," he added. "Now, I can't imagine how I ever functioned without you."
"And that's the problem," she stated, a vise tightening around her heart at his words. "We have to find out how to function without each other." Especially her. Because her life — her heart — could no longer revolve around him. Not when the feeling wasn't reciprocated.
"That's bullshit," he rumbled. "Why? We're a —"
"Team, I know," she finished, barely managing not to roll her eyes. "And we don't need to work together to continue to be a team. Dom, I have a bachelor's and master's in social work, and I'm doing nothing with them."
"So that's it? You have another job?"
"No," she hedged. Technically, she wasn't lying. She'd applied for several jobs in the field in which she'd earned her degrees. And one was even a strong maybe. But nothing had come through as of this morning.
"Then what's the rush? Is it something I did?" He studied her, searching her face as if he could find the answer there. Again, she fought not to duck her head to avoid the penetrating scrutiny. "Was it when I snapped at you last week about that meeting with Under Armour? 'Cause you know I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I was tired and upset about the loss to Denver. If I need to apologize again, then I'm sorry."
She snorted, rolling her eyes. "Please. You seem to have a convenient forgettery." At his narrowed gaze, she huffed out a breath. "A convenient faulty memory. The Under Armour meeting was the third time you'd popped off at me that day. But if I stayed mad every time you got snippy, I'd have smothered you in your sleep years ago."
"You're either lying or nervous. Probably both," he announced. "You've used three of your vocab words in twenty minutes. That's a definite giveaway. So you want to try this again?"
Had she said that having someone in your life who knew you better than anyone else sometimes sucked hairy ape balls? Correction. It sucked hairy King Kong balls.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Scoring Off the Field"
Copyright © 2018 Naima Simone.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 Star Review Scoring Off The Field (WAGS #2) by Naima Simone Naima Simone is a relatively new author to me and I have to ask myself why that is. This was a relatively quick read but one that ticked all the boxes for me. This is a friends to lovers story which reeled me in from the first chapter. Although this is a stand alone, I feel you may get more enjoyment if you were to read the first book in the series prior to reading this one as it will give you an insight into Dom and Tenny’s back story and friendship. I was intrigued by Tennyson Clark and Dominic Anderson when they were first introduced in the previous book and was looking forward to their story. I was in no way disappointed with Naima Simone writing a story that suited these two perfectly. Tenny has been in love with Dom for years and working for him has become extremely difficult, therefore she is determined to quit and find another job. Not only is he her boss but he is her best friend; Dom having taken care of her for years. Dom doesn't really know how he feels about Tenny. All he knows is that the thought of her dating another man is unacceptable. It is clear to those around them that Dom and Tenny are meant for each other but Dom doesn't do relationships and Tenny is tired of waiting for him to see what he is missing out on. When they do finally come together it is explosive and powerful and yet Dom still cannot see the wood for the trees.When Tenny continues to apply for jobs back in their home town, Dom decides a little sabotage is in order. I really loved Tenny, what a strong and determined woman she is. It is at times an emotional roller coaster filled with angst that had me heart pounding at times. Dom had his head buried on the sand way to much but overall I did like him. I felt for both Dom and Tenny as they struggled to reach their happily ever after. I look forward to more in the series.
Who has not been in this spot at least once in there life even if it worked or not. Yeah I wanted to scream at both Dom and Tennyson at point ( loved the name btw) Last 2 chapters all I could think was " Girls like you song- maroon 5
Loved the book.
I read this book in one sitting. Fantastic love story with a bit of humor mix in.
I loved this story. The characters are well written, and believable. The just right kind of steamy. I started this book last night before bed and fell asleep trying to finish it because i didn't want to put it down. Highly reccomended for anyone looking for sports or contemporary romance. Amazing author!!!!!!!
I LOVED this book by Naima Simone. It’s probably one of my favorite friends to lovers romance! She scored BIG with this book! Tennyson and Dom have been friends since childhood. Tenny has always loved and supported Dom, and Dom gave her security in her life when she didn’t have it. However, Tenny’s love for Dom is more than friendship, and she has finally decided to let the fantasy go of him seeing her as anything more. Her first step is quitting her job as his PA, and he is NOT happy at all! This will set motion feelings and emotions that they can no longer run from. Tenny is an amazing woman! She has always supported, pushed, and loved Dom. I admire her desire to find out who she was on her own, but she found out something even more important. She found that she was running from her feelings for Dom and her fears of rejection and other things that have affected her because of her childhood. I admire that in a person…the strength to look inside themselves and really see who they are. That takes guts! How could I not love this girl? Dom is overbearing and controlling with Tenny, but I couldn’t help but love him as well. He has taken care of her for so long, and I loved the fact that even fame didn’t deter him from his loyalty to her. I did want to crack him over the head for being blind to his own feelings for her, but I forgave him in the end. This was a sexy and sweet romance, but it was also about friendship and trust. Honestly, that is the basis for a lasting relationship, and I truly enjoyed watching Tenny and Dom realize that about each other.
I've been waiting for this one after reading the first book in the series, but also because of Naima Simone's inspiration for Dom. I liked picturing Jamie Fraser/Sam Heughan as Dom because I'm a big Outlander fan. One of the things I loved about this book was it's a friends to lovers story, one of my favorite troupes. Dom and Tennyson have a deep friendship going back to their foster care days. To me that adds so much to this story because oft their shared history, but also as a reader I can see the struggle of taking their friendship to the next level because they put their friendship on the line. Neither of them can ever think about not being each other lives, but sometimes life likes to throw those hurdles in our path to make things a little tougher and challenging. Will Dom realize what's been in front of him this whole time before it's too late? My heart went out to Tennyson because her childhood hadn't been easy and I so wanted her to get her HEA that she deserves.
It is 182 nook pages, filled with some funny parts, steamy loving, conflict, a little heartache, and the second book to the WAG series.****
Another great book in the series. This one about best friend Dom and Tenny. Tenny has hots and deeper emotion toward her best friend for years and decides to stand on her feet without Dom. Dom is of course in shock he doesn't understand Tenny and because all the events start seeing Tenny in a different light not so much like a best friend but as a woman with curves in the right places. All the sudden attraction is hard to fight and they start a physical relationship which is for Tenny, not enough. I liked both Dom and Tenny. She was really strong to stand for herself and although loved him fiercely she saw that she must let Dom go. Dom was also great I loved that he came to the conclusion that she loves her on her own and that she is the reason that keeps him going and fighting. Great story. I volunteered to review an ARC of this book for Netgelly
What do you get when you combine one of my favorite romance tropes (friends-to-lovers) with one of my favorite authors (Naima Simone)? Scoring off the Field!!! A hot, steamy friends-to-lovers romance that will have you glued to the pages and falling head over heels in love with its characters. Oh, and since this love story is by Naima, you are guaranteed to laugh a few times and possibly shed a tear or two. I’m going to honest here and admit I set down to write my review and the words refused to come. I mean they came, but more in the I loved this book and I’m just going to tell you everything that happened kind of way. That was definitely NOT the way I wanted to go. The other alternative was to simply write, “Scoring off the Field was an amazing story. I laughed. I squealed. I loved every second of this book. You have to read it!” But then I thought that wasn’t adequate enough. Here’s the deal...Scoring off the Field is a touching story, fifteen/sixteen years in the making. Tennyson “Tenny” Clark and Dominic “Dom” Anderson have been brought together by tragedy and together are kindred spirits. They found a reason for their existence and someone to rely on. They found the other half of themselves. They know each other better than anyone else. What their relationship ultimately boils down to is that Tenny and Dom are their own little family. Yeah. So it appears I still don’t have the eloquent words to truly capture what Scoring off the Field is about. But I will say this is a must read story for fans of friends-to-lovers stories. Tenny and Dom are two characters who will capture your heart and make you believe in the power of friendship and undying love. **Received a copy from Entangled Publishing and voluntarily reviewed.**
I adored Scoring off the Field by Naima Simone. Tennyson Clark is the personal assistant to star quarterback, Dominic Anderson. Tennyson and Dom go way back. He protects her and always had since they met in foster care. They are more than work buddies, though. They are best friends, but Tennyson wants more. She’s always wanted more! But Dom doesn’t think of her like that, so the only thing she can do is quit and move on. Tennyson has a fight on her hands, when she tells Dom her intentions of leaving him. Tennyson and Dom…sigh! When they finally get dirty in bed, I was like Yes baby, Yes! I’ve never been more excited for two people to get on, as I was for Tennyson and Dom! They complete each other in bed, on the field, and off the field. It was very clear from the beginning that these two needed to be together. So MUCH chemistry! I loved every part of this book and I am buying this for my bookshelf because I KNOW I will be re-reading this! Do NOT pass this one up!!! For sports lovers, for those who enjoy the friends and lovers trope, or for anyone who wants to read a really great romance with plenty of heat…this is for you!
RATING 4.5 STARS Scoring off the Field is book two in the WAGS series by Naima Simone. This book can definitely be read as a stand alone. I have not read the first book in this series but believe me, now I want to. Dominic Anderson is the star quarterback for the Washington Warriors, one of the best teams in the NFL. Football is all Dom has ever known. His love for the game started when he was little with a shared love of all things football with his Dad. But when he lost his parents in a car crash, football became his salvation in the following years. He lost his focus to a woman once in college and it almost cost him everything. Never again. His career, football, has to be his focus. Football and his best friend, Tennyson. Tennyson Clark had a less than stellar mother. After she was removed from her home when she was just ten years old, she became part of the system. It’s where she stayed until she finished high school. The only good thing that came from those years in foster homes was meeting Dom, her best friend. After getting her degree in social work, Dom convinced her to work for him as his PA. He wanted her close, to look out for her. So, she agreed. Now five years later, she knows it’s time. She has to strike out on her own. Tenny has loved Dom… been “in” love with him, for well over ten years now. But he made it clear that he is not interested in relationships. He has a constant string of women but they are only for a night. It’s the hardest thing Tenny does, watching him with women, knowing how much she loved him but could never tell him. She couldn’t jeopardize what they had, their friendship. She knew he didn’t want what she needed, commitment, to be the most important thing in her man’s life. So it’s time. She has been sending out resumes and one prospect looks promising. Only it’s thousands of miles away. She has even signed up for some online dating sites. She has to move on. Dom can never love her more than as a sister. She deserves more. When Dom finds out Tenny is quitting and looking for work elsewhere, that’s one thing, but online dating…just NO. Doesn’t she know how dangerous that is? There is no way he is letting her do that. It’s not that he doesn’t want her dating, doesn’t want any man touching her. No, it just isn’t safe, right?! When things get heated between them and anger has flared up, he suddenly finds his lips on hers, and everything as they knew it changed. This is such a fantastic friends to lovers story. These two both had unhappiness in their childhoods. But fate had brought them together and together is how they faced life, faced everything. They both depended on each other, took care of each other. Tenny, though, is the only one who recognized her feelings for Dom, and it broke my heart. Even though she didn’t think so, she was really so strong. Especially after keeping her feelings to herself for all these years. Even as their friendship changes, it’s still not enough. Tenny deserves to be loved in the same way she can give love, with her whole heart. And Dom can never give her that. I fell in love with these two. Together they were adorable. But Dom was clueless. Will he ever get his priorities straight? Or will he lose the best thing he has in his life, his Tenny?
SCORING OFF THE FIELD is the second instalment in Naima Simone’s contemporary, adult WAGS erotic, romance series focusing on the men and women of the profession football league’s the Washington Warriors. This is quarterback Dominic Anderson, and twenty –five year old PA / social worker Tennyson Clark’s story line. SCORING OFF THE FIELD can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story line is revealed where necessary. Told from dual third person perspectives (Tennyson and Dominic) SCORING OFF THE FIELD is a best friends to lovers storyline that follows the break down of the friendship between All-Star, four-time Pro-Bowl quarterback for the Washington Warriors Dominic Anderson, and his best friend/ PA Tennyson Clark. Having entered the foster care system as a teen, following the death of his parents, Dominic Anderson found a kindred spirit in Tennyson Clark, a young girl whose past was mired in abuse by a mentally disturbed parent. Now fourteen years later, Dom and Tennyson are best friends and soul-mates but Tennyson Clark has been in love with Dom for most of her adult life. Years before, Tennyson proclaimed her love, only to be rejected by the man that she loved, and with his ongoing stream of one-night stands, it was time for Tennyson to move on in the hopes of finding her own happily ever after. What ensues is the lust to love relationship build-up between Dom and Tennyson, and the fall-out as Dom is unable to commit to forever, and Tennyson’s happily ever after. Dominic Anderson doesn’t do relationships. Burned in the past, and fearful of losing everyone that he loves, Dom is unable to give Tennyson everything that she wants forcing our heroine to battle between head and heart, in her attempts to move forward without the man that she loves. Dominic is so completely dependant upon his best friend and PA he is unable to comprehend that Tennyson wants more than to be her best friend’s buddy and PA. The relationship between Tennyson and Dom is a best friends to lovers; a heartbreaking and emotional one-sided relationship in that Dom’s manwh*ring ways directly affect his relationship with the woman with whom he will fall in love. Dom’s oblivious to his best friend’s attraction, a love and attraction that is noticed by everyone else. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and passionate with the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. We are reintroduced to Ronin and Jason,Renee, Zephirin Black and Sophia Cruz (Scoring with the Wrong Twin #1); a couple of dating matches for our story line heroine; and Dom’s agent Brian Yates who works behind the scenes to ensure Tennyson is pushed out of our hero’s life. The world building continues to focus on the players, the game, the struggles both on and off of the field. SCORING OFF THE FIELD is an emotional story line; a tear-inducing tale between two friends who want different things going forward in life. The premise is passionate and painful; the romance is heart breaking and fated; the characters are broken, colorful and energetic.
OMG, this book was wonderful This is the first book I've read by Naimi Simone, but definately not the last. She grabbed my attention from the very first page, and kept it through all the ups and downs till Tenny and Dom get their HEA. Tenny, Dom and the secondary characters were all believable and I look forward to reading Sophiaand Zeph's story in Scoring with the Wrong Twin. If you are looking for a fun sexy friends to lovers romance you'll want this book on your TBR list. I received an advance reader copy from Netgalley.
Tennyson Clark and Dominic Anderson are close. In fact, they are so close Tenny personally sees to Dominic's every need. He hires her as his Personal Assistant. Tennyson has two degrees, is smart and beautiful but she needs a life. She has been living in the shadow of her BFF for too long. It's time to break the cord. Dominic is an all American boy. He's a star quarterback, loves the easy loving ladies and doesn't do relationships. He's alpha strong with determination. The day Tennyson quits is the first time in years he hasn't been able to control everything. He doesn't want her to leave his side. Tennyson is in love with her best friend but he doesn't feel the same way. She was friend zoned years ago and now her heart can't take anymore. She has so much potential for a better job and she is definitely girlfriend material. She gives Dominic one months notice. Now the clock is ticking and Dominic needs to get over his relationship issues and get his head out of his ass before he loses the best thing he ever had. To him, football comes first but maybe it's time to think of the bigger picture. This is a fiery best friend to lovers romance. It's heated, sexy and adorable. It's comical, heartwarming and addictive. The basic storyline has been told many times before and you are getting exactly what you would expect. 4.5 stars out of 5. Fun read. *I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
A beautiful and smoking hot story of noticing what is right in front of you, best friends, finding your own strength and independence, and love. I loved Tennyson and her need to make it on her own. I adored Dom's need to protect and take care of Tennyson. They were funny together, true and real, not letting the other get away with anything, important stuff that comes with having a long friendship. But once it went more than friendship, they were insatiable. I only wish they could have had their realizations without hurting each other. But it was beautiful when they got it right. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Tennyson Clark is getting a life. First step: quitting her job as assistant to Dominic Anderson, star quarterback for the Washington Warriors, her best friend … and the man she’s been secretly in love with for years. But since the gorgeous, if overprotective playboy has only ever seen her as his BFF, she’s finally ready to relinquish her tattered fantasy and move on. Enter steps two and three: new job and new man. Football is Dominic's life, and with his contract soon up for renewal, all his focus needs to be on the game. But Tennyson—dependable, logical Tennyson— is making that next to impossible with her mysterious new job and her sudden interest in online dating. He doesn’t do relationships. But the thought of another man touching her sexier-than-hell curves has him suddenly wanting more from his best friend. Indulging in hot, dirty, what’s-my-name sex with no strings and lots of benefits is simple, uncomplicated…until it’s not. Review: What a great story of friends to lovers romance! I loved that Tenny is insecure, but is willing to change her life to get what she wants. For all the things that Tenny and Dom have gone through in their lives, they are still up-standing and have good heads on their shoulders. Dom is great too, having been burned before and orphaned at a young age makes him gun shy, but when push comes to shove he goes after the girl. This is the second book in the Wags series and each can be read as a stand alone. Other characters in the series do make appearances, as they are all friends and part of the same team. I have read Ms. Simone before and like her other books, this one is very well-written, with interesting characters and a story premise that draws you in. This adult, sexy story is perfect if you like romance with heart and good ol' sexy times. 4Stars *I voluntarily read an advance reader copy of this book provided by the publisher.*
Scoring Off the Field by Naima Simone is the second steamy romance in her football romance series WAGS (which stands for Wives and Girlfriends). This one stars a pair of longtime friends who become lovers, then have to decide where things really stand between them. Tennyson Clark has been under Dominic Anderson's care for years. Meeting in the foster child system, the older Dom had made it his mission to be there for Tennyson in all things. Eventually becoming a professional football player, he'd helped put her through school, then hired her to be his personal assistant. They have a friendship that's passed the test of time. There was that one incident, years earlier, when an inebriated Tenny had blurted out her love for Dominic, only to be gently rebuffed by a young man not on the same page. Tenny knows she needs to start thinking of spreading her wings, and finding her own way without Dom's help, so she makes the decision to quit as his P.A and look for a job using her social work degree. Dom can't understand why Tenny wants to distance herself from him. She's his rock, his confidante, his best friend. And then there's this new heated attraction that seems to be simmering between them. When he gives into those feelings and Tenny clearly seems to be on the same page, their passion is intense and explosive. But with Tenny planning to leave in a few weeks, is their new friends with benefits relationship going to fizzle out before they can see where it could lead? I really enjoyed this story! Naima Simone writes fun and likable characters, and Tenny isn't afraid to express her opinions and challenge Dom when necessary. What she doesn't want is for him to realize that she's in love with him, though their circle of friends seems to have clued into her feelings even if Dom himself hasn't. There are some emotional parts to their histories, with Tenny having had a mentally unstable mother who instilled in Tenny a fear of doctors and hospitals, to the point where they give her panic attacks. And Dom was orphaned when his parents died in a car accident, his father's love of football being the impetus for Dom to honor their memory by putting all his energy and time into football. Things have not been easy for these two, making their friendship important to them both. Even with these more serious themes, there are some lighthearted scenes, fun banter and of course the sizzle of the sex scenes between Dom and Tenny. There's some good on field football scenes in this one and I really enjoy Dom's teammates who are good friends to them both. This is a sexy and enjoyable romance, and I'm looking forward to reading more of the series!
when tennyson finally quits on dominic in scoring off the field everything changes. she just figured it was time to stop putting her life on hold pining for someone who would never see her the way she wanted him to. but for dominic it's earth-shattering. it's ground shifting beneath his feet, suddenly the whole world around him is different and he can't figure out what changed. because suddenly he's seeing tennyson in ways he never did before. or ways that he managed to suppress before. and now she's dating and looking to move towns and leave him and his job behind. and it's all happening just when his contract is up for renewal and he needs to keep his head in the game. and the thing is, tenny has been dom's rock. she's his best friend. and he is hers. and on the one hand, you understand the hesitation to cross that line. when something is so good already, how could it be better right? well once the sparks fly and they get all crazy and hot and in love, you see how it can be better. it takes some time for these two to figure out their new reality though. their past bond is so deep and they are so uncertain of each other in this new light. but once they let go and figure out that they can really trust each other with their hearts. it all works out. **scoring off the field will publish on march 12, 2018. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (brazen) in exchange for my honest review.
Where there's smoke..... there's Naima! Could this be any hotter? Naima does it again. I loved this book in the best freaking way! Welcome to the off kilter world of Dominic and Tennyson. (just the names slayed me). Gah! The Washington Warriors men! Hold onto your undies girls. Dom and Tenny go way back to childhood. Foster care together and Dom has made it his life's work to pretty much look out for Tenny. When Dom gets adopted by a family, the father a football coach, Dom's future is written. It's the best ride, reading their backstory throughout the book which we get when Tenny tells Dom she's quitting her job as his PA/personal manager/ cook when she's upset and all around cleaner upper. Oh how I loved this woman. Tennyson is all woman, she's got the curves and backside to prove it. She does everything for Dom and she needs to start putting her college degree to use. She's been his right arm for years and wants a change. She's a smart girl, a smart girl who also knows that Dom will never see her as anything other than a sister/ friend/ appendage. Joined at the hip these two. I loved them. When Tenny gets stressed she cooks. I loved this girl! These days she's spending a lot of time in the kitchen. But I loved how Dom would try to get her to talk to him, but what can she. You can see her wheels turning, hear her thoughts. So well written. When Dom realizes she's serious he panics, then goes into a pout, downshifts right into I'm angry and back into pouting some more and then sabotage. Hey why not right? He's got the ear of his best friends. Zeph who we met in book one now happily in a relationship with Sophia, Ronin and Coach Declan too. Their relationship takes a wickedly smoking curve and Dom thinks they're good. Tenny thinks their good too. Until ... read the book! Tenny meanwhile has decided to apply for jobs back in Dayton, where they're from. Knowing it will be too hard to stay in Seattle. That sends Dom into a tailspin, his game suffers and damn the boy is dumb. He even misses Josephine's hints about he and Tenny. This book has the most delicious dips and curves and breath holding moments and damn if Dom doesn't win the award of the year for the densest man alive! Holy Pete, the man is slow out of the gate. But when the bulb comes on, he steps it up and takes action! I loved this book, I can't say it enough. I have a favorite Naima book, but this one may nudge the other over just a bit. Can't wait for the next book! There just aren't enough stars for this one. Naima girl, you have truly outdone yourself! **advanced copy from NetGalley and Entangled for an honest review. The thoughts and opinions are my own.**
4.5 stars Wow! I absolutely LOVED this book! Tennyson and Dominic met while they were both in foster care. Dom immediately recognized the devastation that lived in Tenny’s eyes and he vowed then and there to always protect her and prevent anything from wreaking havoc on her emotions in such a way again. Fourteen years later and she has spent years working as his PA but the time has come for her to walk away. Being in love with Dom and knowing she will never have his romantic love in return is more than Tennyson can endure. To watch his one night stands leave is slowly breaking her heart because she is not the type of woman that Dom would ever desire. Giving him a one month notice, she prepares to step away from her best friend and the love of her life. Dom lives for football. And it’s not just love of the game that keeps him striving to be the best. When Tenny declares she’s leaving he scrambles to find a way to stop her. And suddenly he’s looking at her with new eyes. Eyes that are hungry and desperate. However, despite any physical relationship they share, he must remain free from emotional entanglements so he can continue to concentrate on his whole purpose in life, the game. I really loved these characters! Tennyson had an unusual and horrible background but found strength in Dom. She slowly finds her own strength and courage and it was a beautiful tale. Dom was just so clueless and yet what could have been simply not seeing what was in front of him and leaving it at that, this story took it a step further and shows us the true character growth within him. This is a fast paced read with incredible secondary characters and plenty of steam. I haven’t read anything by this author before and I will definitely be digging into her backlist. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by NetGalley and Entangled. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Dual POV Safety – H does sleep with other women after meeting h (they were 11 and 13 yrs old); No ow/om drama after they are together Possible Triggers - child abuse
I LOVED THIS BOOK. Friends to lovers is sometimes hit or miss for me, depending on the scenario. Often there's so much angst, it hurts me to read it, and I have to be in the mood for that. This one definitely had angst, but it was so honest and heartfelt, and I loved every minute of it, even when it hurt. Tennyson Clark is in love with her best friend. She has been since she was 16 years old, but how do you tell the only person in your life who's ever taken care of you such a thing? Especially when you know how it will end up for you. You don't tell him. Ever. Tenny has known Dom since they were kids in the foster care system growing up in Dayton, Ohio. Tenny's mom had Munchhausen by proxy, which means she sought attention and validation by making Tenny sick as a kid. As a result, Tenny was placed in foster care when she was 11 years old. It also made her terrified of hospitals. When she met Dom in her first foster home, when he was 14, they clung to each other, and Dom has taken care of her ever since. When he was drafted into the NFL, and was chosen to play for Seattle, he brought her with him. He helped pay for her college, and then he made her his personal assistant. But, Tenny has grown to realize that Dom can never love her the way she needs, and so she's determined to move on with her life. First step, quitting as his PA. Dominic Anderson had a fantastic life, until his parents were killed in a car accident, and he ended up in foster care. Football was a way out for him, and for his best friend Tennyson. He was determined to take care of her immediately after they met, and he has. Football is his life, though, and it has to come first. So, he doesn't do relationships. Just a long line of one night stands with forgettable faces and names. Tenny is the only constant in his life besides football, and he counts on her to run his life as his PA. When she announces she's quitting, it catches him off guard and he can't understand why she wants to leave him. He has no idea about her feelings, as she's taken great pains to never let him know. So, he's determined to get her to change her mind about leaving. This book was heartbreaking to read, as someone who can totally identify with Tenny's dilemma. She loves Dom and she has put him and his happiness above her own for so many years, because she felt she owed him for how he's cared for her all these years. But, she comes to realize that it's killing her, and she can't keep it up. She has to change the situation, and put herself first finally, before she shatters apart for good. But, they know each other so well, and can see so much, she has to go about it in a way that doesn't raise Dom's suspicions. She can't stand for him to know about her feelings, when she knows they won't be reciprocated, and so she figures out another way. But, best laid plans... This book was different than I thought it would be, because this wasn't your typical friends to lovers story. The history between the characters was so much longer and deeper than you typically see in this trope, and I loved watching them carefully navigate their issues. I fell hard for both of these characters, both individually and as a couple. I also love all the side characters in this series, and I cannot wait to find out who the next book will be about. There are a few options, and I'm so excited to see what's next. I highly recommend this story, as well as book 1 in this series, which was also 5 stars for me.
I think this novel really captured the struggle of loving someone who doesn’t seem capable of loving you back in the way you need. It shows the hard decisions you need to make and the process of finally learning to put yourself first. Tenny had spent so much time letting her life revolve around her best friend, employer and crush and accepting what he was willing to give her. Her deciding that she needed to take control of her own life and distance herself from the painful situation is what really disturbs the status quo and gets Dom to see her as more than just that sad little brown-eyed girl he met in the foster system. When Dom and Tenny finally decide to take their friendship into the bedroom, the sex is passionate, dirty and addictive. They know it’s a bad idea but it’s something they just can’t resist. And despite having the whole “this is just sex…we need to make sure we’re still friends after this” conversation, we know, and I think they do on some level, that this setup is just going to result in at least one person getting their heart broken. It takes Dom a little while to realize that Tenny means more to him than his career ever could but when he finally gets there he’s all about the romantic gestures and showing her that she’s never been a liability, but rather an inspiration and guiding force in his life. Both Tenny and Dom have their own personal scars and emotional struggles. Despite having always been there for each other, it’s interesting to see how they have to learn to find their own personal strength and overcome their burdens before they’re capable of really being together. I loved seeing Tenny make tough decisions and take charge of creating her own happiness. It was pretty empowering and inspiring. I really enjoyed the friendship and group dynamic in this novel. The supporting characters were great for providing perspective into the couple’s situation and I actually really enjoyed getting to know their individual personalities. Ronin sounds like my kind of guy. The author did a great job of making you interested in the supporting characters and wanting to read more of the series to find out how some of the other friends find love. If you love a protective, athletic hero and a curvy, smart heroine who’s finally taking control of her life, check out SCORING OFF THE FIELD. Disclosure: I received an advanced reader's copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions shared are my own.
Scoring Off The Field is a friends to lovers story that I quite enjoyed. It's hot, steamy and has a bit of unrequited longing. I loved all of that including the characters but what kept me submerged was the author's ability to create vivid mental pictures that engaged the other senses. At the beginning of the book she described the hero, Dom's scent and all I could think was my nose could live there, right in the crook of his neck because he smells so good. I couldn't literally smell him, he isn't real but in my mind's eye I could through her words. That's what she does, fully immerses the reader in the world she created. I adore that about her writing and cannot wait to read the next book in this series. I definitely recommend this book. ARC provided by publisher in exchange for a honest review
This friends to lovers story is an absolute winner! Dom and Tennyson are great characters and you can just feel how much they care about each other. Tennyson has been in love with Dom most of her life but he's always kept her squarely in the friend zone. Dom is a no relationship guy and Tenny knows she needs more though so if it can't be with Dom then she needs to find someone else. Finally Tenny has decided it's time for her to move on and find a life of her own. This throws Dom's world off it's axis and he fears losing Tenny forever. How much is he willing to risk to keep Tenny in his life? Highly recommended read.