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Review: Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis

Dear Ms. Shalvis,

Cover image to Slow Heat by Jill ShalvisSlow 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.

Best Regards,

Jaclyn

This book can be purchased at Amazon (affiliate link), Kindle (non affiliate link), Books on Board (non affiliate link), or other etailers.

The first book Jaclyn can recall reading all by herself was Cinderella (a pink Disney edition) and all these years later she remains an avid reader of fairy tales, myths, and historical romances. Jaclyn's TBR also overflows with science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, contemporary, thrillers, and mystery. During the workday she can be found navigating the digital transformation at a university press.

19 Comments

  1. J.
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 16:10:54

    I loved her book Double Play and after reading this review I think I’ll have to get Slow Heat too =] Thanks~

  2. Sally
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 16:37:13

    I also loved Double Play so I can hardly wait to read Slow Heat. Are there any other books coming about this team?

  3. Jane
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 16:37:52

    I liked this book but not as much as you did. I found Samantha’s actions to be terribly manipulative and intrusive. I understand your point that Wade had to come to terms with his relationship with his father before he could have had a committed relationship with Samantha but I didn’t like how it was forced on him.

  4. Heather
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 17:49:36

    I really enjoyed Double Play as well, and could tell that secondary characters, Samantha and Wade would get their story…so glad you liked Slow Heat…I can’t wait to pick it up.

  5. katiebabs
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 18:45:48

    I had major issues with Pace and Holly’s book that I couldn’t finish it. But I am really enjoy this one. Jill’s writing reminds me of Erin McCarthy’s.

  6. Jaclyn
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 21:15:30

    @Sally
    That’s a good question. There were no obvious set ups for a future book, at least that I noticed.

    @jane
    I think I understand what you mean about Sam being intrusive, but I felt that Wade needed that push–that in getting Wade to deal with his dad, Sam was exactly the partner he needed at that moment; thata unless he dealt with his dad and his fear of being abandoned, Wade wouldn’t be able to be anyone’s long-term boyfriend.

  7. Mary G
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 21:33:50

    Jaclyn you lucky girl. Now you have a huge backlist to enjoy. I have read almost all of Jill’s books & they are all wonderfully sexy hot and funny too. I dare you to read Smart & Sexy & not get hooked. It’s one of trilogy. I enjoyed you review.

  8. Robin
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 21:38:14

    Welcome, Jaclyn!

    This was a B read for me. Sam and Wade had more chemistry to me than Holly and Pace, but I thought Double Play was a more original story with fewer overt manipulations.

    Like Jane, I felt the plot line with the father was forced and that while it worked within the structure of the book, it felt like a cliche to me. Also, too rapid of a resolution for the depth of the problem. Also, I really, really didn’t think the sub plot with Sam’s nephew worked as anything but a softener for her, as well as a heart tugging prop. And I felt like the end was a long drop off a steep cliff.

    But Wade and Sam were a great pair, I loved the balance they provided for one another, and there was a breezy sexiness about the prose I really enjoyed. You could feel their “heat,” and both were sympathetic and likable.

  9. Dear Author Recommends for February | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Feb 05, 2010 @ 22:54:34

    [...] Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis by new reviewer Jaclyn and Janet/Robin (review coming today) Share Recommended Reads Adele-Ashworth, Carolyn McSparren, Gena-Showalter, Jill-Shalvis, Larissa-Ione, Laura Kinsale, lynne-connolly, Nalini-Singh Friday Midday Links: Pricing Debate Continues Review: Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis [...]

  10. Maili the Shallow Cow
    Feb 06, 2010 @ 13:45:03

    Excuse me for being so shallow, but I’m thinking that the cover artist badly needs a crash course in human anatomy. Either that or the model wore a tight corset for too long. Or maybe s/he started off with a female body until s/he was told the body was supposed to be male, so s/he made some changes to hide the mistake? Or maybe I have too much time on my hands? Hmm, I’m thinking I do.

    Welcome, Jaclyn! (And I’m sorry for making my first response so shallow.)

  11. Jaclyn
    Feb 06, 2010 @ 14:00:28

    Thanks, everyone, for your kind welcome!

  12. Jill Shalvis
    Feb 06, 2010 @ 14:04:46

    Jaclyn, I was thrilled to see your wonderful review, thank you so much.

  13. brooksse
    Feb 06, 2010 @ 14:56:55

    I have this one in my TBR pile. I’ve been waiting for Sam and Wade’s story since reading Double Play, which was one of my favorite reads last year.

  14. Kelly Jamieson
    Feb 06, 2010 @ 15:46:57

    Yes you have been missing out! Jill Shalvis has long been one of my favourite authors, with her mix of humor, tenderness and heat. I haven’t read this one yet, but I will be!

  15. Joan/SarahF
    Feb 07, 2010 @ 09:48:20

    Welcome, Jaclyn! Good to have you on board.

  16. Babs
    Feb 07, 2010 @ 09:55:29

    I love books by Shalvis…once I discovered her I hit my library and scrounged all her older tiles!

    I looked forward to this one and while it was okay I honestly felt it seemed rushed at the end. I was reading it on my Kindle and not paying attention to how far along I was but when I turned the page after what was the end of the book I honestly was expecting there to be more of a wrap up to the story. Gack!

    That being said, I look forward to more by Shalvis…would love to see Gage have his own story.

  17. Naomi
    Feb 07, 2010 @ 14:07:17

    This book sounds good, i am in the UK and have not heard of the author but will look her up. Thanks for the review.

    Naomi

  18. Amy
    Feb 07, 2010 @ 15:00:43

    @Naomi:

    I’d recommend you read Double Play first to see some of the interaction/tension between Sam and Wade before they got together as a couple.

  19. Susan
    Feb 08, 2010 @ 13:26:26

    I’ve enjoyed several of Jill’s books and they never disappoint. Can’t wait to read this one. I believe she did mention on her daily blog that there will be a third book in this series.

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