Dear Ms. Shalvis,
Slow Heat is the first book by you that I've read, and hoo-boy, I've been missing out. Slow Heat is captivating from page one, and I might have even gotten a little teary-eyed near the end of the story-’it is exactly what a romance story should be: believable characters with challenges in their lives who work to find a satisfying path forward. Slow Heat deftly weaves a complex web of four wounded people into a whole that allows each one of them to find hope and the start of a happier future.
The story opens with Samantha, a publicist for a professional baseball expansion team, and Wade, the all-star catcher for the same team, reluctantly thrust into pretending to be a couple to help playboy-Wade's image in the wake of a PR scandal.
Both have key roles in the success of a fledgling professional baseball team in southern California, and over the course of the book readers experience a little slice of the day-to-day of a baseball season.
As Samantha and Wade navigate their way through their "fake" relationship, they can't keep their hands off each other, and each of them-’wary of relationships-’wants their PR stunt of a relationship to become something real.
Wade is sexy, funny, and vulnerable. He is also an emotional loner with a fear of abandonment who is thrust into turmoil when his alcoholic father comes back into his life. He has a public image of carefree love-"em-and-leave-"em playboy, but there is real substance behind that public image that comes out when he is with Samantha.
Samantha-’who comes from a selfish, power-hungry family–suddenly finds herself playing mother to her ten-year-old nephew who is thrust without any advance notice into her care. Samantha is strong and smart and takes to becoming the de facto mom to a lonely kid with aplomb.
Their mutual family challenges draw Wade and Sam closer together even as their family problems and their mutual fear of trying to be a couple for real create tension and conflict between them.
The chemistry between Wade and Sam is explosive and scorching, and makes for some hot and steamy encounters throughout the book-’in a women's bathroom, on the beach, in a car, on a couch, in the shower…did they ever make it to a bed?
What makes this book so very satisfying is the emotional relationship that develops between Sam and Wade as they slowly and reluctantly begin to trust each other. The dialogue between these two is by turns funny and poignant. Whether they are laughing together, crying, arguing, or just talking about day-to-day life, the mutual affection between Sam and Wade shines through every word.
But Ms. Shalvis, there is one part of the book that I absolutely cannot believe. When Samantha is in the clubhouse with the players, she is oblivious to all the yummy nakedness around her (except for Wade, of course). I just don't believe that any normal woman could really ignore all that naked hotness. But maybe it's just me. ;)
I've read Slow Heat three times; I suspect I'll read it a few more times before baseball season is over. Slow Heat is a sexy, hot keeper. *fans face* A.