The Heat is On by Elle Kennedy
Series: Out of Uniform #6
Published by Samhain Publishing on 02/27/2011
Genres: Erotic, Romance
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As a Navy SEAL, Matt O’Connor specializes in Bad Boy. At least, that’s what he thinks…until he finds himself face down on the floor during a bank robbery, arguing with a sexy, bad-girl blonde who wields her sharp tongue with surgical precision.
Just like that, Matt begins to wonder if maybe the idea of settling down with one woman isn’t as crazy as he thought.
Savannah Harte is addicted to first kisses and whirlwind romances. Once the thrill is gone, though, she’s outta there. She’s eager to follow the adrenaline rush she feels with Matt into the nearest bed, but when tangled sheets begin to feel like tangled heartstrings, her first instinct is to cut him loose. There’s only one problem: Matt’s not going anywhere. And not even a steamy threesome seems to dull her growing feelings.
Which leaves Savannah having to decide what she wants more. The casual thrill of now…or the scary thrill of forever.
Product Warnings: This title features a hot threesome with explicit sex, a bad-girl heroine, and two Navy SEALs guaranteed to make you sweat.
There was a lot to like about The Heat is On…but there was also a lot I didn’t like. And frankly, I’m going to chalk part of it up as a learning experience.
The Heat is On is one of those rare romance books where gender roles are slightly reversed. Savannah, the heroine, doesn’t like relationships – her drug of choice are relationship firsts: first kisses, first dates, first fucks, etc. As soon as a guy Savannah is dating starts getting serious, she starts packing her bags. This works for her until she meets the hero, Matt.
Matt is quite like Savannah: he’s always been a “relationship firsts” kind of guy himself – until he meets Savannah. What makes The Heat is On so great is that when Matt meets Savannah he realizes that she could be special and he was determined to not screw it up. He even gives himself a mini pep talk prior to their first date, which was adorable:
He didn’t normally think beyond the first date, but with Savannah, he already wanted more and they hadn’t even gone out yet.
Which was why he couldn’t have sex with her tonight. As much as he wanted to, as much as his body throbbed with arousal at the mere thought of her, he needed to force himself to keep his hands off her this evening.
Another first – he wanted to get to know a woman before he screwed her.
– page 21
Savannah plays the typical male role in The Heat is On: She has no interest in a relationship or even being friends with Matt. She’s only interested in the fun sexual times and prefers that Matt keep his personal details to himself. There’s no real reason for her aversion to relationships other than immaturity: her parents are super happy and in love but she’s never found “that one” and relationships were difficult (not easy like her parents!) – so she assumes that she doesn’t have the ability to form a strong and lasting relationship. Of course, none of that makes sense as all relationships take hard work and all relationships not meant to be eventually end. Savannah needs to grow up and put on her big girl panties.
Matt takes on the typical female role – he knows that he wants more than just sex from Savannah from the moment he lays eyes on her. Matt then actively tries to create an environment in which Savannah would trust him with more than just her body. Like the typical category romance woman, Matt is already half in love with Savannah at the very beginning – the incredible thing is that he realizes this and makes immediate changes to his behavior. I felt that this showed Matt was more mature than Savannah (and 99% of het male romance characters).
Sadly for Matt, Savannah isn’t too swayed by his determination to turn their fling into something more. She shuts Matt down on several occasions – including angling for Matt to invite his buddy Aidan over for a threesome the moment she meets him. And here’s where I start to have problems with the story. I don’t mind menage. I love reading menage books…but The Heat is On taught me something: I only like menage books when the
couple threesome group is working their way toward a committed relationship. I could give a shit if the romance starred one woman and seven bull shifting brothers – this book does exist, BTW: Scarlett Rose and the 7 Longhorns – as long as the group is monogamous. Or polyamorous. Or what the fuck ever you call a huge group of people who only have sex with each other. I don’t give a shit, I just want the committed relationship and all the feels attached. So the random menage in The Heat is On was a turn off for me. ESPECIALLY the way the hookup went down – which was clearly meant to be hurtful to Matt.
My mediocre enjoyment of The Heat is On leaves me in a quandary. Per usual for me, I purchased multiple books in the Out of Uniform series prior to learning what the series was about. I still have books 1 and 7 to read…and according to reviews casual hook up menages are a major part of this series and occur in several books. 🙁 We’ll see what happens but there’s no guarantee that I’ll read them.