Heat it Up is the first standalone Off the Ice book by Stina Lindenblatt. I knew I wanted to read this one when I saw the cover and read the blurb, but I have to admit that I have had some issues with Stina's books not completely working for me before. Unfortunately that was the case here as well, and as much as I wanted to like this one it just didn't wasn't the book for me.
Sofia Phillips is done with love. Her father cheated on her mother and her boyfriend cheated on her, so she heads to Finland to stay with her grandmother and work in a summer work program to help her get experience as an athletic trainer. But she quickly finds out that instead or working in her career field, she is put on cleaning the facility including the toilets. But then she meets Kyle . Kyle is also in Finland in the summer looking to escape and also has no interest in love. When Sofia's grandmother starts pushing a guy named Joni on her to date, Sofia asks Kyle to be her fake boyfriend to get her grandma to stop. But the lines soon begin to blend between real and fake. Can two people not looking for love find it together?
Unfortunately some of my issues here were with the characters themselves. I wasn't a fan of the love triangle going on here. Joni was horrible. At first I kind of felt bad for him, but then we get to see who he really is and he was not a good person in my opinion. I hated that Sofia didn't really do anything about all the stuff he tried to pull either. I understand Kyle had been through a lot, but he was pretty much a drunk. He knew he had a problem yet continued to overdo it the entire way through this book. It was a huge turn off. There was also an incident in a bar that I didn't care for at all. I know he and Sofia weren't exclusive or anything, but I felt like he let it get too far before doing anything about it. Sofia was my biggest issue though. I'm not sure if Sofia was oblivious or just stupid, but there were so many times that I wanted to shake her because she seemed to have no clue when it came to Joni. He did so many things that were beyond easy to see through, and yet she just blindly went along. It was ridiculous and so frustrating! I also hated how she handled things at times with Kyle. He would tell her things and she would do nothing, but there were things she should have told Kyle and didn't. Honestly she was just awful and super immature.
I think my biggest problem overall though was that this book felt very YA, so most of it was so unrealistic that I couldn't buy into the story. These characters were supposed to be college aged and with Kyle having been married, you would think that there would be a certain level of maturity there. But that wasn't the case at all here and I just felt like the entire story fell flat. Besides being unrealistic, it was drawn out at times and I found myself bored a lot. This one was just a miss all around for me. I spent most of the story alternating between irritated and bored. If this book sounds like one you might like, I encourage you to give it a shot. It might just be me that this one didn't work for. I just found the characters to be unlikable and the story hard to get into and this isn't a story I would recommend based on my personal opinion.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**