Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I preferred Slow Heat over Double Play. The heroine, Sam, and the hero, Wade, were prominent in the first book so I already had a good understanding of who they were. The pretext for them to get together was also established in Double Play. You could probably get away with not reading Double Play first, but I feel like you won't enjoy Slow Heat as much as you would.
The main reason I liked this book was Wade, pure and simple. He's funny and charming in Double Play and he's even better here. I adored the imagery of this hotshot baseball player, dressed in a luxury suit, sitting on the lawn and eating a Big Mac. What we learn about his past adds to his complexity.
Sam, by contrast, isn't as well drawn. We are supposed to feel she is struggling to form her own identity separate from her father and her family. However, she already feels like a pretty distinct character so the tension there is lost. I did love the relationship she develops with her nephew as well as Wade's interactions with the kid. I think I would have also liked a skosh more of Sam and Wade as an established couple, especially since they'll be raising her nephew together.
It doesn't appear, at time of writing, that Shalvis is adding another book to this series. That's a shame because too many sport romances concentrate on football or hockey. I found another book at the library, Extra Innings, that I checked out, and I still have Changing the Game to read. I've opened Changing the Game once or twice, but something about the opening chapter is putting me off. I think I don't like the heroine. In the meantime, I'm revisiting Erin McCarthy's NASCAR series. I'm going to another baseball game next week so I'll probably finish the baseball books then!