Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

REVIEW: Storm Watch by Jill Shalvis

Dear Ms. Shalvis:

I like the blurb for this book. A search and rescue member of the National Guard having served umpteen tours of duty is finally home. He can barely think of what he should do tomorrow. All he wants is to rest, relax and recoup. But even that is a challenge because his family is pressuring him to settle down, the government wants him back, and Jason Mauer can’t catch his breath long enough to process even one demand. The situation isn’t helped when a terrible storm sweeps through his small beach town of Santa Rey, California, and Jason’s skills are marshaled to help an old flame.

Lizzy Mann is a nurse whose sister seems to have gotten herself in a pickle. Her sister is 9 months pregnant in an area of Santa Rey that needs to be evacuated. Lizzy needs to get to the evacuation site and get her sister out there. Lizzy’s sister is congenitally irresponsible and thus cannot be trusted to remove her pregnant self even in these dire circumstances.

Lizzy and Jason have a small past which appears to be the basis of the romance, told in small flashbacks and reminisces. This story takes place in a little over twenty four hours. In the space of twenty four hours, give or take, a bit of time, Jason and Lizzy renew their acquaintance, search for Lizzy, have time to make torrid love, fight, and then find their HEA in each other’s arms. Unfortunately this Speed like romance failed to work for me.

The pacing of the story started off wrong for me. Lizzy appears at Jason’s house thinking she would get his brother. Instead she finds a near naked Jason. Despite Lizzy’s impending emergency, three chapters pass as the two talk about the past, make out, and figure out what to do to help Lizzy’s sister. During these passing pages, I kept thinking “where’s the urgency here?” It seemed like enough time passed to have the hurricane wind down or the sister to have floated away. Every time they took a break to do something, like kiss or have some heart to heart chat, I wanted to shake them a bit. Okay, a lot. Shake them a lot.

It wasn’t just the brevity of time that was allotted for Lizzy and Jason’s story because I was more captivated by the tiny romance sub plot included regarding Lizzy’s sister, Cece, and the handsome neighbor who ends up helping Cece find safety. At one point, she’s trying to get him to give her a flaw and he finally confesses to liking his plasma tv better than half his co workers.

In other words, I felt like I got to know Cece and her neighbor better than Lizzy and Jason whose past was less interesting than the present for me. Plus, given the urgency of the situation, all the reminiscing seemed out of place. Further, given that Lizzy was so concerned about Cece, I just got frustrated with the kissing and flirting in the middle of the raging storm.

Finally, I was irked that Lizzy kept making Jason take her through the storm with him. He’s a professional search and rescue guy. If he says she should stay back then I need Lizzy to make a good case that she needs to be with him, otherwise I’m thinking she’s a liability no matter how many times she comes in handy. Just let him do his job.

Maybe I’m not cut out for the storm induced romances even if they are based on a couple that had a past. C-

Best regards


This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Katie
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 15:52:19

    I had the exact same issues when I was reading this book. About halfway through I just gave up, which was a bit surprising for me because I’ve read a few other books by this author and really liked them.

  2. ASable
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 16:53:51

    I love Jill Shalvis, but all I kept thinking the whole time reading this was huh? Maybe she’s never been caught in a bad storm, but I suspect that there’s not a lot of time (or inclination) for making out. There was an entire sequence that supposedly took place outside, in the middle of the storm, after they ditched the car. In my visual, these two people are soaking wet and can barely hear each other because, yeah, heavy winds and rain are not conducive to conversation. Yet they had some profound revelations during their walk across town. Again, huh? I did like the secondary romance between Cece and the bad-boy-biker. They had some pretty cute lines.

  3. Jayne
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 18:18:28

    So….Lizzy and Jason don’t rescue Cece after all that talking and screwing? It’s the neighbor who saves her?

  4. ASable
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 18:34:21

    @Jayne: Yup. After all that . . .

  5. Jane
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 19:15:01

    @Jayne – yes, Lizzy and Jason spent so much time kissing, reminiscing, and then having sex that someone else had to save Cece.

  6. Lori
    Aug 18, 2009 @ 22:22:57

    I wasn’t going to ask this because it makes me sound like an obsessive nut, but I apparently I am an obsessive nut so I can’t let it go. Does the book actually say that Santa Rey is having a hurricane?

    I ask because California really doesn’t have them. It rarely even gets tropical storms. The number of hurricanes California has had in the last century is in the low single digits. The state has other kinds of floods so using a weather condition that’s incredibly rare seems like a weird choice for a plot point.

  7. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 08:26:42

    Does the book actually say that Santa Rey is having a hurricane?

    I ask because California really doesn't have them.

    I had the same WTF moment. We get the tail end of tropical cyclones (aka hurricanes), but I’ve never heard a call to evacuate because of one.

  8. Nonny Mouse
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 15:51:49

    A 24-hour time limit and the hero is called Jason Mauer?


  9. SandyEB
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 18:47:59

    Does the book actually say that Santa Rey is having a hurricane?

    Not really. The book mentioned 50 mph winds occurring at a house right on the ocean. Unless that was just the outer bands, 50 mph would put it well below hurricane strength, especially for a town right on the coast. And the evacuation was due to flash flooding. The only reference to “hurricanes” occurred in the following sentence.

    He’d seen bad weather in his time — hello, hurricanes Rita and Katrina — but nothing here on the supposedly mild Central California coast.

    I think the reference to Rita and Katrina in the above sentence just gave some people the impression it was a hurricane. Everywhere else it was referred to as a storm. I live near Houston — hello Tropical Storm Allison and Hurricane Ike ;) — and for me this just read like a bad storm. I got the impression that it wasn’t even a named storm.

  10. SandyEB
    Aug 19, 2009 @ 19:11:31

    Forgot to mention that I felt the same way about all the delays in Jason and Lizzy’s effort to “rescue” her sister. I thought it took them forever to just get away from the darn house. And Jason was thinking about boarding up a broken window before leaving. The lack of urgency just didn’t ring true. I kept thinking “hello? flash flood! hurry up already”

%d bloggers like this: