Thursday, April 8, 2010

Review: Double Play by Jill Shalvis

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-challenged Pace Martin fits the bill.  But when she realizes there's more at stake than just a win, she starts to see the handsome, broad-shouldered jock in a different light.

Pace and Holly begin a seductive game, but in the face of unexpected betrayal and challenges, they'll have to find the courage to swing for the fences...

[Please note I typed the back cover copy here.  The Amazon/Barnes and Noble description was sorely lacking, in my opinion.]

I've seen buzz about this novel everywhere.  Having only read Smart and Sexy by Ms. Shalvis -- and being left with a lukewarm feeling once I'd reached the end -- I was a bit skeptical of all the gushing for Double Play.  Now I know readers have their favorite authors.  If other readers are anything like me, they'll keep buying or reading these favorite authors until something happens to turn their attentions elsewhere. 

Well, allow me to jump on the gushing bandwagon.

I simply loved Double Play.  A good, believable story solidly placed firmly in reality; strong characters who are easy to love and identify with; an amazing balance of sexual tension and romantic spark.  And when Holly and Pace have to kiss each other prior to the games because of superstitions and streaks?  Yeah, okay, what a sacrifice!

Being a baseball fan isn't necessary to enjoy this novel.  Baseball is simply part of the package, the "meet cute" for Holly and Pace.  That the reader is given an insider's view of the sport (again, believable because of Pace's distinct voice) is a bonus.  Plus the cast of characters that make up the Pacific Heat -- those boys are having a lot of fun, and they're a lot of fun to interact with in both Double Play and Slow Heat, which I'm reading now.

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