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 received an Advanced Reader Copy of this story for an honest review.
What I Loved: Heat It Up is a sweet and charming second chance romance that I had a hard time putting down. Author Stina Lindenblatt created two stellar leads that were achingly real and easy to invest in. Insta-love has its place in romance, but give me a strong steady build from friends to lovers like Kyle and Sofia and I'm a goner. If Lindenblatt ever writes more on this pair I will be a happy reader.
What I Didn't Love: Though I loved the story line of Heat It Up the read at times felt a tad long. There are several scenes that give a lot of detail about the daily life of Kyle and Sofia and those occasionally slowed the flow of story.
"Maybe there's something to be said about our relationship. It's not just about sex. It's about friendship and trust. And that makes a huge difference."
"I just watch her walk away, taking a piece of my heart with her. A piece of my heart I've unknowingly, bit by bit, been giving her."
"She might come off as innocent, but what's beneath her skin is screaming to be anything but that."
I highly recommend checking out Heat It Up. If you're not a super fan of sports romance don't let the cover scare you off. Heat It Up is light on the sports and more focused on the heart.