Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Recent Read

Oops!! Sorry wrong Picture - that was
another one from my Not a Mullet stash

Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis

Why this one: Some of her books I've really enjoyed and this one has been getting good reviews

Steam Level: Yep, steamy's the word

Blurb: Baseball player Wade O'Riley's bad boy image is about to be cleaned up by his publicist Samantha McNead. But the sexual tension between them is about to drive Wade to his knees

My Thoughts: I will forever think of this book as the book that coulda been a contender. It had a lot going for it. Wade was adorable. He had such a sunny fun outlook on life. He was so nice and laid back. And while certainly uptight, Samantha was a pretty good heroine. I quite liked her. In the books by this author that haven't worked for me, it's been mostly because of the heroine. And that was not the case at all in this book. I really did like Samantha. She had good reason for being the stick-in-the-mud that she was and she wasn't a stick-in-the-mud in a bad way at all.


Alas, I was taken out of this book again and again and again by the author's lack of knowledge in her subject matter. There were errors - GLARING errors, needlessly glaring errors in my not so humble opinion, that really downgraded this book for me. And that was such a shame because this really was a good book - apart from the GLARING errors.

Let me count them - and I'm sure I've missed some. I would have highlighted them to remember but as anyone who knows me - that would be against everything I stand for and I couldn't find sticky notes while reading.

I pointed out the first one in an earlier post. The hero of the previous game pitches a COMPLETE game the first game of the season. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! And as if that weren't bad enough, later on it was mentioned that he'd had surgery the previous year!!! Oh dear lord, that made that error even worse!!

ERROR: during one part of the story, they have TWO days off in a row!! Not gonna happen during baseball season!! It's rare they get one day off, but the only time they would have two days off is during the All Star game - and that would only be for the players not going. According to the book, both the pitcher and Wade, the number one catcher, would both be going.

ERROR: she has them playing a FIVE game series against the same team!! Not going to happen. Most are either three or four game series, maybe a rare two game series during the middle of the week - but a five game series????? Nope!!

ERROR: During one game, the author mentions that Wade pinch hit in the ninth inning and then later the heroine made a comment that he had such a tough game he must be tired. Uh - no!! If he pinch hit, that means he didn't even PLAY in the game. I don't know for sure - he might have helped out in the bull pen with pitchers warming up - except I don't think the author grasps the idea of relief pitching - so whatever - he wouldn't have been that tired!

ERROR: It seemed that Pace, the pitcher and the hero of the previous book, pitched an awful lot of games. He always seemed to be pitching.

HUGE GIGANTIC ERROR THAT PRETTY MUCH RUINED THE BOOK FOR ME : was almost a throw away line that Pace - who seemed to pitch an awful lot, threw a no hitter. One line was all that was granted to that bit of news. I have a feeling the author might have meant a shut out, but obviously she don't know baseball because many, many pitchers have never pitched a no hitter!! It would be cause for MUCH rejoicing!! Wade, our hero, would have caught a no hitter and would have been flying in space. I know this!! Years ago, I was AT the only game where a Blue Jay pitcher (Dave Steib) pitched a no hitter. It was in Cleveland, September 2, 1990!!. Pat Borders caught for him. I still remember that game as if it were just last season - the thrill, the electricity. Wendy's Justin Verlander had a no hitter in 2007 and I'm sure she will agree with me on how rare that is!

So now we come to the grade. If the reader doesn't really know baseball that much and likes sports romance than this is one they might like.
But if the reader is a baseball fan and decides to read this, best have a pillow on the desk for when they bang their head against it, while muttering 'no, no, no, no, no.

Me - it's probably unfair that I know so much because it annoyed me that the author got so many things so wrong. Because the grade would have and should have been so much higher. But because I've watched baseball for years, my sons played baseball for years and Ron coached baseball for years, I couldn't give this book a higher mark.

I saw that the author has a third one coming out. I surely do hope that she does a hell of a lot more research and goes to some games before she sends it in to the publisher.

Grade: 3 out of 5


Phyl said...

I'm seriously considering returning this to the library unread. I love JS's books (Instant Temptation two weeks to go!), but the baseball stuff is going to seriously annoy the heck out of me. Everything you mentioned is something even a mildly-serious baseball fan would recognize. Especially the no-hitter!

There should be a rule that sports books get copy edited by sports fans. I'd be happy to volunteer my services, lol!

Kristie (J) said...

Phyl: And *sobbing* you now have a pitcher who I think, is quite capable of throwing a no hitter.
I can maybe understand a few minor errors, they would bug me and knock the grade down a little bit, but these ones weren't minor to anyone who follows the game! I mean - all she had to do was watch For The Love of The Game with Kevin Costner to get how rare a no hitter is. How hard would it be to watch Kevin Costner?!?!
What's so sad is that apart from these, I probably would have given the book at least a 4.5 as apart from that, it was quite good.

Phyl said...

I begin to understand your grief. I admit to not paying much attention to Halladay before, but I am just loving the guy now. He has an amazing work ethic. And apparently one of our younger pitchers is following him around like a puppy. Let's hope it rubs off. So, in sum, he's talented, has character, is a mentor, and isn't too hard to look at. He's a total package. Here's hoping he gets his WS ring :-)

Kristie (J) said...

Phyl: By the time the season is half over, you'll be patting me on the back going there, there. He's everything you say - and more. And on top of that - a great nickname!! There was a commercial he did for promo that was hilarious. There were a bunch of kids throwing rocks at a hornet's nest - and missing - and then he comes along and smacks that hornet's nest right smack in the middle. I tried finding it - but I couldn't.
I'm telling you -- it just won't be the Jays without Doc.

Kaetrin said...

ummmm, what's a no hitter?

I'm in Australia and baseball's not all that popular here. Plus, I know virtually nothing about it apart from a vague identification of the positions from high school softball (an experience I am still trying to wipe from my memory, tragic as it was). I know a lot more about cricket - but no-one writes romance about cricket.

I really enjoyed the book (apart from that I thought the ending was a bit abrupt and I thought the imagery of the sex in the bed theme could have been added to by, I don't know, SOME SEX IN THE BED) - a solid B for me - very likely helped by that I know nothing about baseball.

Kristie (J) said...

Kaetrin: A no hitter is when not a single player on the opposing team gets a hit. They could still get on with a walk or an error, but not one player gets a hit. They are rare. For example, the Toronto Blue Jays, the team I cheer for, have been around for 33 years and in all that time only one pitcher has pitched a no hitter - the game I happened to be at *g*.
Even more rare is a perfect game. That's when every single player on the other team is retired (out). In a nine inning game, 27 players come up to bat, and 27 players get out.
If one doesn't really know baseball, I could see why they would really enjoy Slow Heat. Apart from the baseball part of it, I really did myself. I loved both the main characters and the secondary characters were great too.
But I know too much about the game of baseball to overlook what I thought was something the author should have looked into more.
I don't know if you follow Rugby or not - I know it's a big sport in Australia, but it would be like someone writing a book where the main characters played rugby, and the author wrote it as if they were playing American football (not soccer - the other football *g*) Because you, the reader, it's called a scrum and not a huddle, or made mention of the shoulder pads they wear (and as any mother whose son plays rugby - they know there is no protective shoulder pads), or if they called it touchdown instead of a try, it would drive you crazy that the author didn't bother to learn the difference.
Hopefully that helps a bit :-)

Kaetrin said...

Thx for that Kristie.

I'm not a big rugby fan either but I get the gist of what you mean. It would be very frustrating to get all those references wrong.

All things considered, it's probably a good thing I'm a baseball ignoramous!

Stacy~ said...

See, this doesn't bother me one bit. First off, I had no idea of any of those things. I'm not a big baseball fan, so sorry, I don't freakin' care LOL. In this case, I am there for the romance.

But I definitely see your point. If the author wrote about something I like and/or was very knowledgable about, it would really aggravate me and most likely take away from my enjoyment of the book. So I can't argue with you about that. But since I don't know baseball rules, or even care to learn, I was blissfully ignorant while reading this book. Sorry it was such a frustrating experience for you. I admire your passion and understanding of the game :)

Love the hottie pic, btw ;)

Kristie (J) said...

Stacy: Baseball's been a big part of who I am for years - even more so than hockey!!! Well - maybe not - hockey in the winter and baseball in the summer. Every spring and summer if I wasn't sort of half watching the game Ron was watching while I was reading, I was listening to it on the radio with Tom and Jerry (sports announcers for the Jays - not the cat and mouse) and if I wasn't doing either of those, I was watching Ron coach the boys. Our summers were spent around the game and just about every year I had my birthday 'rearranged' since they had a game - and I never minded *g*.
And as I said - apart from the baseball errors, this was a great book and I can completely understand all the great reviews it's gotten.
But alas and very sadly, not from me.

Kaetrin: Your welcome :-) I had fun thinking up comparisons. While in some ways simple, once you get into it more, the game can be quite complex. But I felt the errors made were of the easy to check variety.

Carolyn and Lori said...

The glowing reviews made this book a must-read but I was put off for a different reason: it was like a trope-stew.

Almost the only classic romance trope missing was amnesia. Since saying any more would be a complete spoiler I'll be a good girl but this was a huge meh read for me.

Once or twice I might even have considered tossing the book against the wall but I didn't want to break my reader.

Leslie said...

Well, I liked it a lot more than you did but I don't like baseball. *grins* Had I read your review before reading the book, being aware of the errors, I do think they would have bothered me. I wonder why Ms. Shalvis didn't do a little more research?

Susanna Kearsley said...

And Kristie, thanks to your mention of the Blue Jays' no-hitter, THIS is how I'm picturing the character of Wade now in my mind...:-)


Those were the days.

Wendy said...

I could have probably rolled with the no-hitter, BUT like you said, they are a major cause for celebration. I remember when Verlander threw his no-no, Pudge Rodriguez (our catcher at the time) ran out to the mound, and practically tackled him. It's a BIG deal. People talked about it for weeks. The game was replayed on TV at least a couple of times. BIG deal. Very big deal.

LOL - and I love how you mentioned how often the pitcher pitched. Hello? 5 man rotation? Anyone? Beuller...Beuller....?

Poor research is sloppy. Period. But it really annoys me with sports stuff because I get this picture in my mind of the author sitting at her desk, typing on her computer and saying out loud, "Well women only care about hunky heroes and hot sex, so I don't need to do any sports research because girls don't care about sports."

Seriously, just shoot me.

This is a huge peeve for me and sadly I've been burned badly by more than one author on this score. I pretty much avoid all sports-themed romances now. It's just safer for my blood pressure that way.

Anonymous said...

hot love baseblall can wiat

any winner from last week

azteclady said...

You know, if the book is coming out soon... it may already be with the publisher.

Mind, I know nothing but I wonder that those things are not caught during the editing and revisions

Anonymous said...

Eeek! I don't know anything about sports, but I can see how that would be frustrating to read about. I've yet to encounter a situation like this but huge props to you for finishing the book. I would have most likely stopped reading after getting a headache from banging my head against the wall, LOL. I'm still looking forward to reading this book though since all the sports stuff will just go straight over my head. :D

Marg said...

All of those things would have just passed on by me (I only know the very basics of baseball), but I can see how they would throw you out of the story if you do enjoy the sport!

nath said...

I didn't pick up as many error as you did, Kristie. I thought that having Pace throw the whole game was not a good thing, but that was about it.

My love of baseball disappeared after the strike of 1994 which cost the Expos the series. Make not mistake, they would have made the series and probably won it too! After that, Montreal didn't have enough $$ to keep all of the players and while the team remained for a couple of years after that, it was pretty much decimated T_T

Anyway. I pretty much agree with your grade. I had problem with the H/H relationship and mostly the heroine.

Strange how it seems nobody can write great sport romance. Sigh.

orannia said...

I don't know much at all about baseball, but, thanks to your rugby analogy....the errors in the book would drive me batty. Rule No. 1 - ALWAYS do your homework, especially in an area you're not familiar with...EVEN in an area you're familiar with. Because those errors throw people out of the story.

Hmmm. Any books in which an author got the sports right? The SEP books? (I like those, but know nothing about American Football, so the errors might have sailed right by me :)

Kristie (J) said...

Sorry - didn't mean to drop off there!! I've been in heavy duty reading mode.

Carolyn and Lori: Yep - that would be a rather costly throw wouldn't it? Although apart from the errors, I would have liked this one a lot more *g*

Lesly: She might not have been aware that us baseball fans would have picked up on those mistakes. I hate being critical of authors since I spend hours and hours enjoying their work, but to me it just says sloppy work. And that's what really ticked me off the most I think.

Susanna: I always found Pat Borders so adorable - well, until he lifted his mask to spit out chewing tobacco - that was a turn off. But I LOVED it when he won the World Series MVP award. And I was so sad when he left Toronto.

Wendy: Yep - sloppy. If I were to make suggestions to an author - it would be know of what you speak - because if you don't - someone else will trip you up on it. The ONE sentence on a NO HITTER was a serious head banger moment for me.

KH: You just stumbled upon something that would drive Ron absolutely NUTS about me. I often don't do things in a timely manner. But I haven't forgot and will do it this weekend - for sure. The main problem was all my books were in such a disorganized MESS - all over the place. But I have been working on it and pulling out doubles.

AL: Probably the editors weren't that big of baseball fans themselves so it went over their heads too. And since it's a romance, that's what the main emphasis is/was.

Anna: See - my worlds collided on this one *g* My love of romance books and my love of baseball. If one isn't that big a baseball fan and doesn't know the ins and outs of the game, then this one works. But the baseball fan in me couldn't get past the fact the author doesn't know the game.

Marg: *sigh* I really felt torn about this book - as you can see.

Nath: What happened with the Expos was tragic wasn't it??? All those incredible players they developed and then all of them leaving - and then the team itself leaving. I really felt for all Expos fans over the whole situation. And I'd be bitter too!!

Orannia: I'm glad you asked that question because YES!! There is an author who KNOWS the game. And that's Rachel Gibson with her hockey books. She is the perfect example of someone who writes great sports romance.

nath said...

Yes, it was tragic and damn frustrating! I mean, if it wasn't for the strike, I'm sure we'd have been able to keep them! Money would have been pouring in!! Ugh.