Time Out by Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order
When two of his players get in a fight that generates negative publicity, NHL coach Mark Diego needs to repair the damage. He does so by signing himself and the two players up for an off-season of volunteering in Mark’s hometown. Santa Rey has been hit hard by wildfires and Mark is happy to help rebuild — heck, he’ll even suck it up and coach a softball team made up of teenage girls. But what throws the unshakeable Mark for a loop is rec center coordinator Rainey Saunders. Rainey has certainly grown up from when she was a young girl with a major crush on him. And if Mark can convince Rainey to let him past the barriers she’s erected around her heart, it’ll be a long, hot, sexy summer in Santa Rey.
Time Out is signature Jill Shalvis — sexy, fun, and utterly delightful. I found myself drawn into Rainey and Mark’s story from the start. Youthful friends that grow up to be lovers who fall in love is an often-used romance trope, but Ms. Shalvis makes it feel fresh and new in Time Out. Rainey and Mark’s mutual history makes for an instant connection while at the same time creates obstacles in their romance. The one-sided crush on Mark that teenage Rainey had still affects her, which is understandable given the circumstances (though I won’t spoil the story by saying why). I liked both protagonists so much that I practically devoured Time Out, as Ms. Shalvis had me rooting for Rainey and Mark to get together.
A host of likeable secondary characters rounds out Time Out, making the story, people, and town of Santa Rey come to life. I’m a big fan of Ms. Shalvis’s work and Time Out is an example of why Ms. Shalvis is an autobuy author for me. I adored Time Out and I can’t wait to read Ms. Shalvis’s next book!