Double Play by Ranee S. Clark
Sophie Pope is devastated when she hears the news: her former boyfriend, college football star Anthony "Rocket" Rogers, is engaged to be married. Determined to win him back before he says I do, Sophie hatches a foolproof plan to stop the wedding. But when Rocket's best man, aspiring baseball player David Savage, thwarts her plot, she realizes the game is up. For David, though, it's just beginning . . .
David knows that Sophie is just another pretty face, and he's more than happy to save his best friend from her shallow advances. She's not his type at all, so he's baffled by his response to an awkward encounter with Donovan, another of Sophie's former flames. Despite himself, David feels driven by an inexplicable need to protect her. Pretending to be Sophie's new fiancé leads to unexpected sparks between the pair, and soon they're searching for excuses to spend time together. But when a curveball threatens to send them in opposite directions, will Sophie and David step up to the plate for the possibility of true love?
I got this book confused with another book blurb I'd read, and it took me a bit to realize the character I was expecting was not going to make an appearance. Even after I straightened that out, I was still a bit thrown that the focus was on Sofie. She'd been the "bad guy" in the first book (well, one of them). She was so shallow and so . . . opposite of everything I like in most human beings. ;) However, throughout the book the reader really gets to know her a lot better. Some of those shallow traits come across differently as we learn more about her. She started using her talents for good instead of evil, and became quite likable.
Luckily I did like David (he was great in Playing for Keeps and I'm glad he was given his own story), and his likability helped get me through the first part of the book. His character was sort of opposite of Sofie. He seemed perfect initially, and as the story went on we came to see some of his faults. But, that made him somewhat more relatable. I was pretty invested in seeing him make choices that would lead to happiness in his life.
It took some time to draw me in, but after awhile I didn't want to put it down. I liked that there was a lot less focus on BYU and athlete worship than in the first book. This is a clean, fast read.
Before I started reading this book, I didn't realize it was a spin-off of "Playing for Keeps," which I read a few months ago. It took me a few chapters before I remembered what happened in the previous book, and after that, it was easier for me to get into the story. That being said, this book stands on its own pretty well. I don't think you need to read "Playing for Keeps" first. (But that was a good book too, so I do recommend it.)
Let me just say that I could not relate to Sophie at all. I am so much the opposite of her when it comes to fashion. I frequently have to ask my husband if what I'm wearing matches, and he wears red shorts with an orange t-shirt. ;) At any rate, Sophie definitely comes across as pretty shallow for a good portion of the book, but I still couldn't help but start to like her after awhile. She is very insecure based on an incident in her past, and had built up a pretty thick wall to shield herself from more hurt.
I did really like David's character. He seemed to be the perfect guy, but as we come to find out, even he had a few issues that he needed to work through. All in all, I really enjoyed this book. :)
I'll admit that starting out, I wasn't too excited about reading this. I liked David in Playing for Keeps but I didn't like Sophie at all. At all. And the first few chapters were the same Sophie. In fact, in this book she's referred to as a "Mean Girl". But I kept reading, and I'm really glad I did. I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It was a light, easy, fast read, but it had a number of things that I enjoyed. I was surprised at the turn this book took. I was expecting more football, and more BYU, but instead I got baseball and topics like modesty and judgment. These themes really got me thinking. I know people like Sophie, and it became easier and easier to relate to the things she was going through. And honestly, what's not to love about David? He's pretty awesome. Whether you read the first book or not (this one can stand alone) I'd recommend giving his one a try.
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Title: Double Play
Author: Ranee S. Clark
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Published: January 2016
Source: We received copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book