Heat It Up by Stina Lindenblatt
Series: Off the Ice #1
Published by Diversion Publishing on June 14th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
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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."
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Well, the blurb for Heat It Up is a perfect summary of this book: that is exactly what happens in the story. Sofia took a summer work exchange in Finland where her Grandmother lives, and although her mother is Finnish and as a child she visited in the summers, even though she’s been there a couple of weeks she’s barely getting by with the language.
Kyle was an NHL star until a car accident killed his young wife and his career as a professional hockey player. Having married young he decided he had to experience all he had “missed” i.e. sex with random women while drunk, because clearly, that is the life.
The whole book has a strong NA feel to it and not the good kind. Both our main characters had issues they had to work through but they pretty much looked the other way and pretended everything was fine in order to not deal with them.
I felt Sofia’s whole attitude about not dating because men cheat was a bit over the top. I mean, she did have two separate bad experiences but I didn’t think that would entail the kind of response she had.
While Kyle’s situation was more understandable, the way he didn’t cope until suddenly he is all ready to move on was a bit hard to swallow. He was heavily leaning on alcohol and random hookups to forget about his loss, but in no way was he dealing with it, and he never gets professional (or otherwise) help.
Sofia’s trust issues with men and Kyle thinking he didn’t want anything serious made for a lot of back and forth between them. Add in the pseudo love triangle with the other guy and the dirty tricks he played to get Kyle out of the way and it was hard for me to enjoy the book. I also never felt like Sofia warranted such a response from either guy. Plus some things were just too “convenient” to be believable, for instance, every person Sofia and Kyle met suddenly end up working or training at the sports center.
So, while Heat It Up is not a bad book per se, it was not a particularly engaging one for me. I didn’t care that much for either of the main characters, their situations were a bit over-dramatized by the author and I can’t say I was overly invested in anything in the story.
Sparkles’ Rating: 2.5 – 3 “Totally meh” Stars
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