Thursday, October 15, 2009

Jill Shalvis - Double Play

“Getting to first base is a cinch… But getting home will take a grand slam…”

“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…”

Lately I am reading more and more contemporary romance stories, I like to change genres to avoid reading slumps and contemporary romances are fun and easy to read. After reading the blurb of Double Play I knew immediately that this was a book I wanted to read. I pre-ordered it and shame on me, I totally forgot about it until I found it on my doormat. But my to-be-read-pile demanded of me that I read other books first. Then Stacy posted a great post on her blog about Double Play and I just had to read it.

I never read any story of Jill Shalvis before but I will now! I have to restrain myself because I really want to buy her whole backlist now; I had so much fun reading this story. From the first chapter this story takes off full speed, set against the backdrop of the baseball world with many temptations and secrets we meet Pace and Holly. I immediately fell in love with Pace, Jill Shalvis sure knows how to portray a baseball team full of hunk-a-licious, muscular, sexy men. The testosterone vibe flows from the pages in large waves! I knew from the start that I was in for an emotional and hot read for it was clear from page one that Pace is in the midst of an emotional turmoil and has to deal with it.

Pace is the pitcher of the Pacific Heat, a baseball team with great potential. Pace feels the pressure because he is the star of the team. A shoulder injury could not come at a more arduous time than now so he tries to hide it. Pace lives and breathes baseball, so this injury is his worst nightmare. The last thing he needs is some annoying and nosy reporter doing a series of articles on the team. Pace has always been uncomfortable with all the attention, he does not understand why people want to know more about him, he is arrogant and has a bit of an attitude. But underneath this layer of arrogance is a man who is intelligent, caring, charming and afraid, afraid that if he can’t play baseball his life is meaningless.

Holly Hutchins is a tell-it-like-it-is reporter. She has good instincts and can smell a secret a mile away. She had a troubled youth and only has one close friend. She practically lives out of her suitcase as she follows her story wherever it takes her. She had no luck with boyfriends in the past so she decided that she could live without one. She is no quitter; she is nosy and very persistent. She is also annoyed that she has butterflies in her stomach every time the subject of her first article in a new series, Pace, happens to be around.

Of course Holly gets her interview, and they get to know each other better and better, the attraction is growing and soon they do a lot more than just talking. While Pace is enjoying their blossoming friendship and working through his problems, Holly finds it increasingly more difficult to keep her distance, to stay neutral and write her articles. She has become friends with most members of the team but she also has to dig up the dirt on them, and of course she finds it. Now she struggles to balance her newfound friendships, writing her articles on baseball issues and at the same time maintaining her professional integrity.

What I like about Pace and Holly’s relationship is that they learn from each other that not everything is as black and white as they think. Holly shows Pace that there is more in life than just baseball and that he is so much more than a baseball pitcher, Holly learns that she does not have to be ruthless to tell a story and that not all secrets have to be revealed.

Furthermore I loved the way Jill Shalvis takes you by the hand and introduces you to the world of baseball, a world dominated by males. All of the secondary characters are charming and appealing, the baseball team is as close as a family, and they look out for one another, all that testosterone makes your heart beat faster. The kids pull at your heartstrings and then you have Sam and Wade. What to say about Wade? Let’s just say that he can come over any time! Jill Shalvis knows how to set up a story, at the end of Double Play I was craving for the next part in the series.

With Double Play Jill Shalvis rocked my boat! I really fell in love with this story, the writing is fluent and smooth, it is witty and has characters to die for. The plot is fast-paced and the romance is hot and steamy. With Double Play Jill Shalvis delivered me everything I am looking for in a contemporary romance and then some more!

4,5 stars


  1. Yay, I'm so glad you liked it! And thanx for the shout-out :) Now anxiously awaiting Wade's story.

    Have a great weekend.

  2. What a fab review Mariss! and as soon as I have read a few of my already shelved contemporary romances this will definitely go to the top of my buy list!

  3. Very nice review Marissa!!

    I am reading this one at the moment and agree with you! Even if I am not as smitten with Pace as you are :D My attention is too occupied with Wade.

    I wonder if there will be a story on Gage as well...He too intrigues me at a certain level.

  4. Great review! This is on my TBR shelf. I also enjoyed her Wilder Brothers books. The first one is 'Instant Attraction'.

  5. @Stacy I can't wait to read Wade's story either!

    @Leontine you really should give Jill Shalvis a try!

    @Pearl I hope Gage gets his own story too, just like some other teammembers!

    @Sarah Thanks! I have the Wilder Brothers on my wishlist, hope to read them soon.