Time Out by Jill Shalvis
February 21, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
In high school, Rainey had a crush on Mark who was a few years older than she was. So much of a crush that one night she decided to go to his place for a surprise strip tease. But to her surprise, when she walked in, Mark was busy with another woman. Embarrassed, Rainey fled and they each went their separate ways. Now, Mark is the head coach of NHL team The Mammoths, while Rainey spends her days working at the sports rec center. This rec center is located in the part of California devastated by recent forest fires, and many of the youth come from poorer families. The rec center is in need of some cash to keep the program going, something Rainey is much invested in.
Mark’s NHL team just lost the Stanley Cup, and while letting off some steam, a few of his players got in a bad bar fight, which then got posted all over the media and YouTube. Mark is looking to teach his players a lesson in a more positive role, so when he learns the rec center (which his brother owns) needs some help coaching their baseball teams, he brings the two hot-headed hockey players to Rainey’s center to help out for the summer. Mark and Rainey haven’t seen each other for a while, but now they are in a point in their lives where they might make that move toward romance.
I really enjoy books by Jill Shalvis but have never read any of her Harlequin Blazes, so I was happy to try this one out. She gives us a very alpha, protective male in Mark. He is wealthy, powerful, always in control, and gorgeous. He is also very popular in the sports world, appears on many television programs and dates lots of supermodels. And when Rainey sees him again for the first time in a long time, she immediately feels like her old teenage self with a massive crush. No matter how much she tries to tell herself that Mark isn’t good for her, her body doesn’t listen. Plus, she doesn’t stand much of a chance when this unfolds in the first chapter:
He went still at the contact, then instead of trying to pull free, merely folded her into his arms, trapping her against him. And damn if her body didn’t burst to life, as if all this time it’d been just waiting for him to come back.
"Yeah, you’re different," he murmured, doing as she had, pressing his mouth to her ear, giving her a shiver. "The little kitten grew up and got claws."
When she choked out a laugh, he closed his teeth over her earlobe.
The chemistry jumps off the pages quickly in this one. I really enjoyed Rainey. She is a down-to-earth sort of heroine. Works hard, likes to laugh and it is fun to watch her try to resist the very charming Mark.
Mark is very over the top in his alpha status. It almost feels as though he claims Rainey a little too quickly. He becomes extremely protective of her and even makes some decisions for her that sometimes made me frown. At least twice, Rainey starts a date, and Mark comes along and makes the other guy go home. He just may have been a tiny bit too pushy for me. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his suave, charming moments. I like how their romance plays out. I just wanted him to take it a step down at some points.
Time Out is a quick read and has that fantasy of the rich, no excuses, gorgeous, overprotective male who knows all the right moves. It’s a sexy, fun book.
Note: This review first appeared at USA Today’s Happy Ever After.