Title: In Heat
Author: Felicity Heaton
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
A heat wave isn’t the only thing making London too hot for lawyer Kim. She’s been spending each night with a man who sets her body and heart on fire. The problem? He’s a man that always sprouts black fur and purrs, and he’s only a dream. Walking into work on the hottest day of the year, the last thing she expects is to meet Erik, a man who sends her temperature soaring and who resembles her dream guy exactly.
A black panther shape-shifter, Erik Blackwell has been searching for his mate for twenty-seven years. The visions they share each night are getting hotter but finding her is proving impossible as he’s never seen her face. That is, until it turns out she’s working as his lawyer on his contract negotiations with his brother, Alistair.
Kim can’t deny her attraction to Erik. The heat she feels with him is intense and it’s only a matter of time before they surrender to their carnal desires.
When Kim discovers Erik’s secret, will she turn her back on him, or will she complete the mating and become like him so they can be together forever?
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
I really liked this book. I wasn’t expecting to. You have to understand that shape-shifter romances tend to tread a very thin line. There’s always the chance that the author will push it a little too far and stray into bestiality, or towards violence. Both are a rather icky subject area for me (don’t even get me started on characters that have animal faces… yuck.) So going into a book like In Heat, I’m always a little hesitant, and maybe even somewhat afraid that things may go horribly wrong at any point in time.
I’m happy to report, that despite my initial misgivings about what this story might entail, I actually found it to be a very decent read. The narrative was jam-packed with steamy sex scenes, tentative encounters, and moments where we whirled around the character’s brains, trying to get glimpses at the driving force behind their actions. The characters were likeable, and the narrative was clean and easy to follow.
There are only two—okay, maybe three—gripes I had about the entire story. A) Skillful was misspelt at least once. Author: You forgot an L. B) The author had a tendency to repeat certain words a terrifying amount. Ghosting was one of those words, the other was an alternate name for a woman’s vagina. I wasn’t a huge fan of having the word shoved in my face six times on one page. Buy a thesaurus please. C) I was so sad about the ending. It wasn’t a sad ending per se, or even a bad one, but I wanted it to end another way. Maybe that’s not so much of a complaint as a fan girl pleading for fan service—but it dropped the star rating nevertheless.
Other than that? I loved the story. It was a quick read, easy to follow, and in the end I was glad I’d read it. I’d happily recommend it to anyone who wants a more steamy shape-shifter romance. The sex scenes are plentiful (if a bit… bluntly worded at times) but they’re well written, just like the rest of the story. It may not have been horribly genre-breaking or an original in plot, but that certainly didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. I’ll definitely be looking to pick up the second book in the series soon.