Title: In Heat
Author: Felicity Heaton
Series: In Heat, #1
•Publisher: Smashwords (Indie Author)
•Publication Date: June 2007
Opening Line: "Don't fight it."
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?
In heat is one of those great easy read romance novels that I finished in an afternoon. I love the fact that Heaton took the typical shape-shifter mating and made it her own. First her shape-shifters or Lycans, they're called both, are immortal. They age differently than humans, at a slower rate. Think dog years in reverse, where thirty four "Lycan years" is around fifty "human years." Once their body matures, the aging process stops. They do not have to change with a full moon and you're either born a Lycan or under very specific conditions can be bitten and turned into one. Heaton's Lycans can also mate with Lycans that are a different animal. Example: Erik's mother was a black panther and his father was a puma. Erik carries the black panther and puma gene, but because the dominant gene in Erik is black panther he can only shift into a black panther. The opposite is true for Erik's brother who can only shift into a puma. It was a brilliant scientific take on how two different breeds of shape-shifters can mate.
Erik has been dreaming of Kim for 27 years. The dreams were infrequent at first and two years ago he started having them every night. Kim started dreaming about Erik a year ago when she went into heat. No it's not the same kind of heat that dog's go into. Other Lycans will be able to tell she's in heat, only her soul mate, Erik, will feel an intense attraction towards her. Kim being in heat is basically her bodies way of saying over here Mr. Dream Man Candy, I want you as much as you want me. The only way for Kim and Erik to complete their mating is for Kim to become a Lycan. The only time that Erik can change her is while she's in heat.
I love the dreams between Erik and Kim. For most of the book, it's the only time that Kim fully embraces her sexuality. Nothing's rushed, no one's drunk and there is no should I or shouldn't I. My favorite reason is that it's usually the only time Erik purrs.
I'm usually a little leery around self published books. I'm not saying that they're all poorly written with huge grammatical errors, there not. There are a huge amount that do, sometimes it's really hard to find a good one. That was not a problem with Felicity Heaton, I struck gold. While there were a couple errors, they were barely noticeable. They did not interfere with reading the book at all. My only complaint is that I wish there was a little more dialogue in In Heat. I'm not saying that the entire book is just sex, it's not. Heaton found that perfect balance between sex and story. There just seems to be a lot of inner thoughts. For example:
He was desperate to feel her mouth against his that a kiss could probably kill him. Even if that were true, he'd still beg her to do it.Not all of the inner thoughts are that...yummy. Hey, I figure if I'm going to give an example from a book that will make your blood boil, it might as well be one that's not from a sex scene and yet still manages to make you a little warm.
As much as I enjoyed reading In Heat, I just could not give it 4 Moons. It was a fun read, but probably not a reread. That automatically takes In Heat out of the 4 Moons category. It's a harsh system, but it's my system.