Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mini-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, an 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...
Double Play by Jill Shalvis is a contemporary sports romance. I've read a few category romances by Shalvis and enjoyed them, but this is my first full length Shalvis novel. Overall I would say this was a good choice.

Holly, our heroine in this book, is a writer-reporter writing a series of articles about a baseball team - The Pacific Heat. The hero is the Heat's ace pitcher, Pace Martin. Holly pretty much expects everyone around her to hide things or lie, but she doesn't come off as completely cynical or hard. On the contrary, I found her to be a likable character who makes tough choices when it comes to writing her articles, the team, and her relationship with Pace, but who doesn't hurt people to advance her career. Holly is also honest and up-front about what she's doing at all times. Pace is a pretty private man whose life revolves around baseball and his career. He could have been a self-centered athlete, but instead he is a giving, kind man.

As a couple Holly and Pace have some great chemistry. Shalvis can write some steamy scenes and she certainly didn't skimp on those in Double Play -- it's amazing what she accomplished with the kissing scenes in this book. In the process of reading this romance, I fell in love with a few of the secondary characters -- baseball players and some kids that are part of the story.

Research-wise, there are some major problems when it comes to the sports/baseball part of the story. So, if you're a baseball super-fan, or if you have a problem with flawed research when reading sports romance, this might not be the book for you. However, if that's not an issue for you as a reader, in my opinion this book is definitely good on romance.

Despite some minor personal frustrations due to the errors in baseball research, as a contemporary romance, Double Play was a good, fast read for me.

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Baseball Series, Book 1
Released: July 7, 2009
Grade: B

Visit Jill Shalvis here.


  1. Nice review Hils :) I gave it the same grade, IIRC.

    As a whole, this was an okay book. Enough to satisfy my contemporary kick, but not a wowzer. Holly and Pace were okay characters, and that says a lot about Holly since she's a reporter :P

  2. Thank you Hils! I have to admit to not being a sports fan when it comes to romance novels...apart from SEP's books, which I just fell in love with :)

  3. Thanks Nath. I liked both Pace and Holly and really enjoyed their chemistry. LOL on the "good journalist"... I know you don't like them, so yeah, Holly was definitely a good character. Definitely a contemp/romance satisfying read. I'll probably read Slow Heat. :)

    Orannia, I've also enjoyed SEP's sports romance books. I don't look for these types of books as a rule, but when I read them I try to enjoy the sports "flavor" and not the sports "details" so the frustration although there, is not too high for me, I still get to enjoy the romance. In this one the romance/chemistry made it a good read.

  4. I liked Double Play but it wasn't a wowser for me.

  5. Tabitha that seems to be a good description. Enjoyable. :)


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