Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Review: Slow Heat

Slow Heat
Contemporary Romance
Pacific HEAT series/Book 2
Berkley/February 2010

From the back cover ~

After a woman claims she’s pregnant with Wade O’Riley’s love child, Major League Baseball’s most celebrated catcher and ladies’ man is slapped on the wrist by management and ordered to improve his image. His enforcer is the team’s publicist, the tough and sexy Samantha McNead.

When Wade needs a date for a celebrity wedding, Sam steps up to the plate as his “girlfriend.” But given her secret crush on him and that one awkward night a year ago in a stuck elevator with too much scotch, the whole thing is an exercise in sexual tension.

Wade is thrilled when the pretense turns into an unexpected night of hot passion. But the next day Sam is back to her cool self. As a catcher, Wade’s used to giving the signals, not struggling to read them. Now, to win the love of his “pretend” girlfriend, he needs a home run–even it involves stealing a few bases…

Book 2 in Jill Shalvis' series about the baseball players from Santa Barbara's HEAT and the women who love them is another hit for this reader. If you read the first book, Double Play (review here) then you're familiar with Wade O'Riley and Samantha McNead. Wade is the star catcher for the HEAT and Sam is not only the publicist for the team but also the daughter of one of the owners.

Sam is very career minded. You could say her life is her career, she lives baseball. She travels with the team and works not only before and after the games but also does publicity during her off hours. So Sam knows Wade. She's familiar with his public life of partying and women. She doesn't know his private life so much and what she eventually finds out surprises her. I really liked Sam. She's dedicated to the team and her family, even when they mistreat her. She's a good friends with Holly (heroine, book 1). She's smart and not afraid to use her brain. The times when she gave in to her attraction for Wade, even though it may not have been the best thing to do at the time, I liked her so much more for that. When she let herself feel without thinking about how it affects everyone else. Sam had a habit of putting everyone else first; her job, her family, her friends. It was good to see her put herself first. And Wade was very good at putting her first too. :)

Wade O'Riley plays one of the toughest positions in baseball. His abilities on the field are as famous as his abilities off the field are infamous. Wade has a rep as a ladies man. But all that changes when he and a certain publicist have a very hot encounter in an elevator. Months later he finds himself in trouble and his public image is causing problems for the team. It's up to Sam, the team's publicist, to improve Wade's image and they've got a month to do it. It's up to Wade to cooperate and act the perfect boyfriend to Sam. Wade agrees but it's hard for him to play the role when he can't forget the encounter in the elevator. To him, Sam should be off limits, but that never stopped him before.

I loved Sam and Wade together. They knew each other, had known each other for years but still had so much to learn about each other. They're both in denial about their attraction. They both say they want to keep the past in the past and what happened in the elevator was because of the alcohol and just a one time thing. Yeah, right.

"Well, one thing's for sure," he murmured, eyes on the spot where her pulse beat, a spot he'd once ravished and suddenly wanted to ravish again. "It's going to be an interesting month."


Something about the doubt loaded into the single syllable made him want to push her buttons. "I'll be sure to carry around a flask in case you feel the need for another quickie."

Eyes still closed, her mouth tightened. "You can carry an entire bar with you, I'm not interested in anything happening between us ever again."


Opening her eyes, she leveled him with one single withering stare. "Ever."
"Yeah." He slid his sunglasses on and eased back. "Me either."

"Good," she said.

Better than good, he thought. Except for two small points. She was lying.

And so was he. pages 17-18

The chemistry is there in the tension, the smart remarks, the witty repartee, the way they let each other see a side they rarely show.

Though she wanted to remain far, far away so that she didn't actually fall to her knees and try to lick him like a lollipop, she allowed him to pull her down next to him.

And then she saw what was in his other hand, the antique pearl pin she always had on her. "That's mine."

"I know. I've seen it on you. It's pretty. Soft and pretty." He cocked his head to look at her, and she knew what he was thinking.

"And I'm not soft," she said. "I know. It was my mother's." Who had been soft and pretty.

At least in photographs.

"I think you're soft," he said quietly. "When it counts."
page 80

Awe, Wade is such a sweetie at heart. I loved those little moments when they let the other see behind the public persona. When they went past the pretend relationship to the potential of a real relationship. And I shouldn't forget the sex. It's hot, steamy and I had my doubts as to whether they would ever make it to a bed. LOL Let's just say the lack of a bed never stopped Sam and Wade from scoring. :)

In addition to working on Wade's public image, new crises arise in both Wade and Sam's lives. New responsibilities challenge their patience and they both find themselves out of their comfort zones. I felt this added another facet to their characters. Seeing how they deal with situations that make them feel uncomfortable and unsure really showed another side of both Sam and Wade.

The Shalvis humor was in full force in Slow Heat. I truly lost count of the number of times this book had me laughing. Shalvis writes witty dialogue but natural too. It never feels forced or like something real people wouldn't say. I've enjoyed both books in this series and will certainly be reading the next book in the series, due out next February.

Rating: A

Review Double Play/Book 1


  1. Great review, Leslie! Totally agree.

  2. Thanks Lori! I can't believe we have to wait another year for the next book. :(

  3. AHA!!!! I just got this book myself on Sunday. I didn't really love Double Play - in fact I haven't finished it yet - but I Slow Heat since most of the reviews I've seen of it are very good ones.

  4. Kristie ~ I'm wondering if you'll like Slow Heat since it takes place in the same world as Double Play. Was it the setting or the writing/characters that you didn't like about Double Play?

  5. Okay, EVERYONE is reading this one. Seems I might have to join the bandwagon after this stellar review.

  6. Christine ~ climb aboard! :) Did you read Double Play?

  7. No I haven't read Double Play yet. I should start with that one?

  8. Ahhh Leslie! I want, I want this book! I'm in such a mood for contemporaries... that's IT! I'm getting Double Play and Slow Heat.

    Thanks for the review. :)

  9. Christine ~ you don't have to but I thought it was a good book. :)

    Slow Heat does have the h/h from Double Play, they are friends with Sam & Wade. But Slow Heat could be read as a stand alone.

    Hils ~ It's Shalvis so how can you resist? LOL

  10. It wasn't so much that I didn't like it - it was more that it just didn't engage me - or rather the characters didn't. But I haven't ruled out finishing it - it might have just been the mood I was in.

  11. Kristie ~ mood can definitely play a part in getting into a story.

  12. Excellent review, Leslie. I adored this book while I read it, though I did realize after I reviewed it that some things bothered me more than others.

    I liked it a lot more than Double Play, though. That isn't so say I didn't like DP, I just like this one a lot more. :D

  13. Thanks Holly! Shalvis has become a go to author for me. She's made me actually like baseball. LOL

  14. You definitively enjoyed this book way much than I did, Leslie :D So good for you :)

    I've read this one and while I think it was better than Double Play, I still have a lot of issues with it.

  15. nath ~ we might not agree on all but we'll always have Kate Daniels. And Cal and Niko. :)