Some games are hotter off the ice…
Sofia Phillips feels cursed. Her father cheated on her mother, her boyfriend cheated on her—she’s done with dating. A summer work-exchange program in Finland is the perfect escape. But instead of gaining experience as an athletic trainer, she’s cleaning toilets. Awesome. The trip is a disaster, and even better, she meets Kyle Bennett. In the sauna. Naked.
Sexy hockey player Kyle was the star right wing for an NHL team. But after an accident killed his wife and left him injured, Kyle has appreciated the “therapeutic” benefits of booze and puck bunnies. Now in Finland for the summer, he’s coaching in an elite hockey-training camp for teens. When Sofia’s grandmother decides to set her up with a nice Finnish man, Sofia recruits Kyle as her make-believe boyfriend. Neither expects their first kiss to sizzle. And neither expects, while stranded on an island during a storm, to have a scorching night of passion.
But as their charade, and then their attraction, develops into something deeper, the past comes back, threatening to destroy them. They must decide if their feelings for each other are strong enough to survive—or it will be game over.
What I thought about Heat It UP
Sofia and Kyle are both running from their feelings in the wake of some upsetting life events and end up meeting in Finland. Sofia is on a work exchange program that has her cleaning the facilities in an athletic complex. Kyle is there too, helping a friend with some coaching.
When Sofia meets Kyle, there's a spark between them that grows, although neither thinks they are ready for a relationship. Sofia has had her heart broken by a cheating boyfriend, and Kyle's lost his wife in an accident. They were right about taking it slow, but the attraction between them is not something they can get under control easily.
When Sofia's grandmother tries to set her up with another guy, she turns to Kyle to be a "pretend" boyfriend. Unfortunately, Grandmother doesn't give up and situations arise that disrupt Sofia's and Kyle's budding relationship.
I really liked the setting of this book. It helped to make it interesting and exotic. Kyle and Sofia are good together and I liked their story. I did have a problem with the first person present tense writing in this Heat It Up, because I thought it slowed down the pace and scenes that could have been tension-filled and exciting fell flat for me.
Overall, this is a story you've probably read before, but Kyle and Sofia are interesting enough to make you want to know how they will handle their relationship. Great cover too!
ARC provided for review.
About Stina Lindenblatt
Born in Brighton England, I have lived in a number of countries, including England, the U.S, Finland, and Canada.
I have a Physical Education degree from the University of Calgary and a Master’s of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Alberta, where I specialized in energy metabolism. Definitely cool stuff (seriously, it is!). I also had the opportunity to work with elite athletes through the universities and at several sport-training facilities (you know, in case you’re wondering why I always have athletes in my stories). During my undergrad, I worked in Helsinki (Finland) for one summer, cleaning bathrooms and saunas in a recreation center for the elderly. The seniors were great. The bathrooms, not so much. I eventually became a pharmaceutical sales representative (not a great one may I add) and now I write full time.
In addition to writing fiction, I love photography, especially the close-up variety, and currently live in Calgary, Canada, with my husband and three kids.