The Book Worm: Review: The Pacific Heat Series

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Review: The Pacific Heat Series


jill shalvis, pacific heat, double play, slow heat, book reviews

The Pacific Heat Series

 

Double Play

Pace Martin is the ace pitcher for the Pacific Heat. He's got the arm, the experience and the wins. He's also got the pain, the pressure, and the possible end of his career looming over him. The last thing he needs now is a distraction, even if it comes in the form of a tough, beautiful, tell-it-like-it-is writer who sees past his defenses.

Holly Hutchins knows a good story when she sees one, and the tall, dark and slightly attitude-ridden Pace Martin fits the bill. But when she realizes there’s more at stake than just the win, she starts to notice the handsome broad-shouldered jock in a different light.

Pace and Holly begin a seductive game in which neither wants to drop the ball, but in the face of an unexpected betrayal and challenge, they’ll have to find the courage to swing for the fences…

Slow Heat 

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…




Genre: contemporary romance


Offensive content: mature content in the form of a few hot sex scenes. Not overly graphic, but consider yourself warned.

Review: 

Today, for a change, I'm reviewing two books instead of one. The Pacific Heat is a series of two books written by Jill Shalvis a few years ago already, featuring a baseball team, the Heat. Book one, Double Play, is the story of Pace & Holly and book two is the story of Sam (Samantha) &Wade. 

What I love about (most of) Jill Shalvis' books is that they are always so much more than simple romance novels. There's always added depth to the characters and the subjects and, if you take the time to look past the lust, the hot sex and the general feel good side of great love stories, they also contain interesting life lessons. 

This is the best aspect of this series. I read book one last year and enjoyed immensely, but book two ended up lost in between the zillion books on my reading list. I found it and finished it just last weekend, and figured it made sense to review them both as a set. 

 

Double Play - Pacific Heat Series book one


Pace Martin is the team's pitcher. He's been nursing a shoulder injury for a while, an injury that can break his career. The last thing he needs is a nosy reporter (Holly) following his every step. And when said reporter manages to land herself a job traveling with the team and writing articles about them, things take a turn of the worse. Or for the better, since Pace can't get Holly out of his head (or his hands away from her), and the feeling is mutual.

The romance in this book is great, the story makes sense from beginning to end, it's funny and interesting to accompany the day-to-day of a professional sports team and, on top of that, Pace's idea to coach underprivileged kids and get them playing baseball and out of the streets is downright heartwarming. I was falling for Pace myself halfway through the book.

Double Play has everything I love in a romance: amazing chemistry, wonderful characters, drama, humor and a happy ending.


 

 

 

Slow Heat - Pacific Heat Series book two 

 
Wade is the Heat's catcher and Sam's the team's publicist (and the owner's daughter). Wade has a reputation as a ladies' man and after a mishap which a crazy stalker (the same Tia that was all over Pace in book one) that made headlines in the newspapers, some of the team's sponsors were concerned with his behavior. Wade needed a makeover, in the form of a stable relationship with a woman in possession of 100% of her brain cells, and Sam was the chosen "victim". 

Now, Wade's reputation is exactly that, a reputation. Though women seem to throw themselves at him night and day (after a while it was a bit tiring), he really does not take advantage of that. He's mostly focused on his games. And he has never been able to forget the one night (part of a night, really) he and Sam spent together some time before. A one-elevator-encounter (you have to read it to believe) that was never really forgotten but that they now need to put behind them to be able to survive the three months of their "pretend" relationship. Or not. 

Add to the mix Sam's dysfunctional family and the nephew she has to take care of because no one else is available (but that turns out to be a great kid), Wade's alcoholic-on-rehab father and the ups and downs of a professional sports team, and you're in for a treat. 

Yes, the romance is hot, there is a much deserved happily ever after, and the family relationships' side is well explored, but I still liked book one better. Pace is a hands-on guy when it comes to helping others and that makes for a more interesting  story, in my opinion. Still, Slow Heat is still clearly a solid four stars book.


 

 ~ ~ ~


Like I said above, these are not very recent books, but their quality is the same as Jill's latest stories. If you've never read them before and are OK with the offensive content mentioned above, I totally recommend them. 

You don't need to know a lot a about baseball (baseball is not common in Portugal and I don't understand 99% of the rules, though the baseball quotes at the beginning of each chapter made me laugh most of the times), or sports of any kind, for that matter. Just sit back and enjoy the books. My only advice would be to read them in order (not that I usually listen to my own advice). Book two works well as a stand alone story, but you should not miss book one and reading them in the wrong order will just spoil half the fun of Double Play. 

Right now I'm reading another book by Jill Shalvis, My Kind of Wonderful (book two in the Cedar Ridge series) and while I will only post a full review after the last page has rolled by, I'm pretty sure the conclusion will be that it's even better than book one, so you will not want to miss it too. 

Happy readings!
 

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