Series: Pacific Heat #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley on 7 July 2009
Reading Challenges: 2013 In Uniform Challenge
Pace Martin is a champion pitcher for the Pacific Heat who unfortunately is suffering from a debilitating shoulder injury. He figures he’ll do his best to stick it out for the season. Holly, a good looking but thorough journalist has been given exclusive access to the Pacific Heat team and he’s afraid she’ll uncover his secret.
Pace might have a reputation for being surly with reporters but he has a heart of gold. He coaches a group of kids in his spare time and although he whinges about it, is always there to support his friends. His reaction to his injury felt real as did his wariness of reporters. I felt he was a little naive at times when it came to the allegations of doping within his team and a bit too trusting of his friends. Not reporting his stalker though was just weird and given what some are capable, seemed fairly short-sighted.
Holly was a bit of an oddity in bookworld. As a reporter, she ought to have done everything she could to nail a story including lying and cheating but instead she’s honest and sets boundaries around her work. She gets one heck of a story at the end but she does it on her terms. I think this is why the conflict between the two was a bit unsatisfying – she’d done the right thing but Pace couldn’t or wouldn’t accept it.
The romance is fun but could have been enhanced if we had been given a bit more back story. I wanted to know in more detail why falling for each other was such a big deal and much of the reason for that lay in their past. The whole kissing Holly before a game so we can win was more than a little contrived but no more zany than many contemporary romances.
Shalvis incorporates an awful lot of baseball into her novel. This might seem like a silly notion but there are plenty of authors that use a sport or hobby as a hook and then neglect it. I honestly knew very little about the sport before I read it so it was a learning curve for me that I enjoyed. I worked out very quickly what the main conflict was going to be because of the sheer number of times it was mentioned and got a little impatient waiting for the big reveal.
Was it fairly predicable? Yes. Was it enjoyable though? Yes. It’s not an epic romance but it was a fun, solid read.