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book cover Limecello’s review of Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis
Contemporary romance released by Berkley 2 Feb 10

Jill Shalvis is an author that is definitely growing on me. I’ve liked her books, generally, but some were still hit or miss for me. Well, her recent ones, have been all hit. I really enjoyed Slow Heat. I powered through at the end, staying up til the wee hours to finish it. Aside from being a terrific romance, this book renewed my affection for baseball. It reminded me that before I loved football (and we all know I love football), I was a baseball girl. America’s game. Slow Heat put a giant smile on my face, and I’m hoping for more.

Sam McNade is a have it together heroine, that you root for all the way. She’s at the top of her field, and she knows it. However, this doesn’t make her arrogant or a bitch. Samantha isn’t a ball buster – she doesn’t need tricks or put downs to be the best. I liked that she had her own insecurities, and troubles. Sam is incredibly capable, but little things still trip her up, and she’s just trying to make her way like the rest of us. Sam would be a great friend – or you know, a great person to be.

Wade O’Riley is such a lovable hero. He seems emotionally unavailable, and in a way, he is – but Wade has a lot more depth than he’s willing to own to. Yes, he keeps himself removed, and it’s frustrating throughout the story… but the little things he does show a softer side. For example, Wade pays off every person in a carnival to not dunk Samantha while she’s sitting in the booth. He cares about her and his family, but isn’t willing to admit it. Wade grows a lot – and has to deal with his past. It’s nice that not everything is easy for him.

I loved that for all Wade seemed to be an immature idiot… he and Sam were adults throughout. Yes, they didn’t act perfectly, but then, who does? Nevertheless both make the best of their respective situations, and step up and take responsibility. Wade was a playboy, and I liked that it came to haunt him a bit. While it was pretty easy to take care of the problem, it did give Sam some pause, and make them both question the relationship. I have to say, I didn’t really go with the premise of “pretend” relationship – to me, it was real from the start.

I’m not for series. I’m totally over series, really… but I’m breaking my own rule, and wanting more of this one. I loved the quotes about baseball Jill found. I’d have read a book of just that. Not that I’d be willing to give up Sam and Wade’s story… but here? I’m asking for Gage’s story. Please let Gage have his own story. If not a series (which I’m totally cool with), let it be a stand alone. A man who can holds his own alongside professional athletes, with extremely interesting parents? He’s gorgeous and scary and would make a perfect hero. Ms. Shalvis – please write Gage his romance. He needs a lady love. I’m open for the position. And if anyone from Berkley reads this (hi!) please buy that story. I needs it!

Anyway, it’s clear that I was attached to the characters in Slow Heat. I “met” Wade and Sam in Double Play, and I knew they’d have a fantastic romance. I was right. All the secondary characters were a lot of fun too. I liked that Double Play and Slow Heat were connected, yet can stand alone. (For all you authors out there – pay attention. This is what books should be like.) I think I also want Gage’s story so much because there were no hints or hooks for a sequel. He just is- a fantastic character- so I’d like to read more about him. And revisiting Pace and Holly and Wade and Sam would just be gravy.

In conclusion, I really liked this book. I know I’ll be re-reading it soon. I love reading a story with a strong, yet normal heroine, and a hot guy who is a better guy than he thinks. I definitely recommend this book.

LimecelloGrade: A-

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 homerun–even it involves
stealing a few bases…
Read an excerpt here.