A MelanieM Audio Review: Mr. Frosty Pants (Home for the Holidays #1) by Leta Blake and John Solo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Frosty former friends get a steamy second chance in this Christmas gay romance!

Can true love warm his frozen heart?

When Casey Stevens went away to college four years ago, he ghosted on his straight best friend, Joel Vreeland. He hoped time and distance would lessen the unrequited affection he felt, but all it did was make him miss Joel more. Home for the holidays, Casey hopes they might find a way to be friends again. But Joel’s frosty reception reminds Casey of just how hard he had to fight to be Joel’s friend in the first place. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle to get past that cool façade again.

Joel isn’t as straight as Casey believes, and his years of pining for Casey have left him hurting and alone, caring for his abusive father and struggling to get by. Unable to trust anyone except his rescue dog—and with no reason to believe Casey is interested in him for more than a holiday fling—Joel’s icy heart might shatter before it can thaw.

Can Casey and Joel’s love overcome mistrust, parental rejection, class differences, and four long years apart?

Mr. Frosty Pants is a stand-alone, Christmas gay romance by Leta Blake featuring a virgin hero, childhood friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, and romantically steamy scenes.

Mr. Frosty Pants (Home for the Holidays #1) by Leta Blake is one of those stories that got better for me in the audio format.  I have to admit that I like my holiday stories to either be unusual in content (i.e., Nordic mythology, twists on Christmas fantasy, etc), or heartwarming contemporary stories.  For me, the  holidays aren’t really the time for angst, angst, and yes, more angst which is how this read for me for one character when I dived into it in eBook form.  I liked it but didn’t enjoy it if you know what i mean.

Then came the opportunity to revisit the story in its new audio format and as I have found in the past, this can sometimes present the book in a new light for me.  And it did for Mr. Frosty Pants because John Solo did such an excellent job of bringing Leta Blake’s layered characters to life.  He gave them a voice that made Joel Vreeland’s angst filled struggles realistic and connectable, I “saw” Joel more this time around, I felt for him more this time around, and somehow, maybe my frame of mind has changed, what had felt unrelenting, now became believable and heartbreaking.

Same goes for Casey Stevens and his nouveau riche family with their high expectations and overbearing ways.  I understood Casey and his battles better this time around.  John Solo’s choice of voices for all the family members highlighting the strained family dynamics so well that it elevates Leta Blake’s narrative and characters, just as it should.  A great partnership in every way.

Mr. Frosty Pants has it share of interesting side characters that I wanted to get to know better and a location that felt real as well.  This author’s touches are everywhere that I have come to expect from her writing!  That includes a heartwarming ending, perfect for the holidays.  Oh, and there is a sweetheart of a dog too.

If you love audiobooks and Christmas stories, put Mr. Frosty Pants (Home for the Holidays #1) by Leta Blake and John Solo (Narrator) on your list of books to listen to.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and think you will too.

Cover art is adorable and perfect for the characters for the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audio Book Details:

Audible Audio, 11 pages
Published November 11th 2019 by Leta Blake Books (first published November 7th 2018)
ASINB08176KCZM
Edition Language English
Series Home for the Holidays #1
setting Tennessee (United States)

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Mr. Naughty List (Home for the Holidays #2) by Leta Blake

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

I’ve held off for 24 hours before writing this review so I could digest the story, revisit some of my favorite scenes, and confirm that, yes, I did indeed love Aaron and RJ and their journey to love. All the feels are still present, and it’s hands-down one of my favorites of the year. Why? The characters drive this story and they are fully developed nice guys I wish I could meet IRL. Neither fit a standard mold and the couple together has quite a unique dynamic. These men made me want to crawl between the pages and hang out with them. I wanted to attend RJ’s concerts and sit in the back of the classroom as Aaron wrote on the board (you’ll know why when you read the book). And I wanted more, more, more of the development of their relationship as it went from a one-night stand to lovers (with lots of spanking) to boyfriends to more.

Aaron is a middle-school teacher who was told he’s lucky to have been hired there after an unfortunate strike against him when he was caught with pants down in the high school football coach’s office having sex with the married (unknown to Aaron) man. Why he was blacklisted and the coach continued with no consequence is something all US high school football fans might understand. But here’s the rub—his domineering, punishment-prone, nasty principal is none other than his mother. She gives evil mother a whole new twist with the evil boss angle added in. Aaron is in his late twenties and has about given up on finding a forever man. Naturally submissive, he wants to be dominated, spanked, and managed with a firm hand. Always in control in the rest of his life, he recognizes that he needs to trust someone enough to take that from him.

Enter RJ Blitz, musician, wanderer, and the Dom Aaron needs in his life. But RJ is Aaron’s former student—in his first year teaching high school, RJ was a senior in his class. Only a few years separate their ages but Aaron is sure this is insurmountable. Until RJ exerts his dominant personality and takes RJ by the hand for a night neither man will ever forget. It was messy, hot, and kinky. Oh, yeah!

I can’t find words to fully describe their dynamic. Every scene with these men was just wonderful—either hot, sexy, and steamy, or tender, loving, and caring. Both men have a lot to learn and they learn it together. RJ’s past taught him that relationships don’t last. Aaron’s past taught him that he’s not okay as he is. He’s gay and submissive and that’s just not good enough for Mom. After all, what if he embarrasses her? When he realizes it’s time to live for himself, with RJ’s encouragement, and when RJ embraces his own mother’s code—love is trust—the two finally move together toward their hopeful future. 

I very, very highly recommend this story to those who enjoy a D/s relationship, a younger Dom and older sub, and some kinky hot times. Family dynamics, including family of the heart, are front and center in this one. Definitely a book to be read any day of the year but most certainly perfect as a stocking stuffer. 

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 292 pages
Published November 11th 2019 by Leta Blake Books
ASINB07ZZDMG6W
Edition Language English
Series Home for the Holidays #2

An Alisa Review: Slow Birth (Heat of Love #2.5) by Leta Blake

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Rating:  2 stars out of 5

Jason and Vale are back in this side story set in the Heat of Love universe!

A romantic getaway turns dramatic when an unexpected heat descends on Vale, leaving Jason with no choice but to act. The resulting pregnancy is dangerous for Vale and terrifying for Jason, but with the help of friends and family, they choose to embrace their uncertain future. Together they find all the love, joy, and heat they need to guide them through!

While this story follows the characters from Slow Heat, it will be most enjoyable if read directly after Alpha Heat, as it takes place contemporaneously with that book.

This book just did not hit the mark for me.  I mean I read Alpha heat so I know how it all works out in the end but was hoping for more of an in depth story.  I felt what I got was way too much sex and too much emphasis on them being Érosgápe.

I understand that pregnancy is supposed to make omegas horny but it seemed all Jason and Vale did was have sex for a good 75% of the book and I can only read about how great their ass or cock feels before it’s just too repetitive and too much, I mean Bitter Heat had a pregnant omega and it wasn’t focused this much on the sex.  I had trouble with them using their Érosgápe connection as the reasoning for everything like no other couple who are not Érosgápe wouldn’t have the type of connection at all and I felt it degraded Xan and Urho’s relationship from Alpha Heat even as they were supporting them.

I felt bad for Jason throughout the whole book because everyone blamed him and put everything on his shoulders if something went wrong (like the unexpected heat), like Vale wasn’t a person and couldn’t make his own decisions, and I don’t know it didn’t help with my frustration at all.  The book was well written as usual I just felt it went off in the wrong direction.

The cover art by Dar Albert is very nice and I like that it is the same models that were used for Slow Heat.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 167 pages

Published: October 17, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Heat of Love #2.5

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Slow Birth (Heat of Love #2.5) by Leta Blake

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

This story takes place concurrently with Alpha Heat, but this one focuses on Jason and Vale in their early months together—a follow-up to Slow Heat—as the men are finally living together as Erosgape fated mates. Vale, an older omega, a bookworm, professor, and artist, and Jason, a much younger Alpha and a businessman with a love for gardening, are happy and in love and having sex every time they lay eyes on each other. Or so it seems.

Caught in a freak storm without condoms, Vale has a sudden onset of heat and there’s no way they can stay away from each other. Jason would do anything to keep his omega from the terrible pain of heat and as a result, oops, suddenly Vale is pregnant. He once had an abortion that left scarring, so this pregnancy could lead to both miscarriage and possibly his death. Jason quite epically falls apart for much of the early segment of the story when Urho, their doctor (Alpha Heat) agrees Vale can likely carry to term or close to it. I wasn’t a fan of Jason’s whining and tantrums, but I guess it was necessary to the story. To me, it just emphasized their age gap and not in a good way.

Then toward the latter part of the pregnancy, also concurrent to Alpha Heat, they travel to Virona where Jason’s BF, Xan, now resides with his omega, Caleb. Without spoilers on the previous books, I will say that Urho accompanies them and that works out quite well for him and his secret love. This story is light on plot—being primarily only about the pregnancy and repercussions and it’s heavy on the sex scenes. In fact, I consider this more erotica than romance.

All ends well and we gets lots of family feels as Jason and Vale bond with their baby and look forward to a happy future. A nice bit of fluffy happiness to fill in the gap of what was happening with this couple while the couple from book two were focused elsewhere.

This book should only be read after Slow Heat and Alpha Heat as the basic story and character development primarily takes place in those books. But for readers who have read those stories, this one is going to be the cherry on the ice cream sundae.

The cover by Dar Albert is done in the same sepia tones as the other books and features a younger man standing behind and kissing the shoulder of an older bearded man. It’s a nice representation of the characters.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 167 pages
Published October 17th 2019 by Leta Blake Books
ASIN B07WSDZ4FT
Edition Language English

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Slow Birth (Heat of Love 2.5) by Leta Blake

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited


Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Designs


Heat Of Love Series


Book #1 – Slow Heat – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #2 – Alpha Heat – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #3 – Bitter Heat – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link


Blurb

 

Jason and Vale are back in this side story set in the Heat of Love universe!


A romantic getaway turns dramatic when an unexpected heat descends on Vale, leaving Jason with no choice but to act. The resulting pregnancy is dangerous for Vale and terrifying for Jason, but with the help of friends and family, they choose to embrace their uncertain future. Together they find all the love, joy, and heat they need to guide them through!


While this story follows the characters from Slow Heat, it will be most enjoyable if read directly after Alpha Heat, as it takes place contemporaneously with that book.



Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

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An Alisa Review :Bitter Heat (Heat of Love #3) by Leta Blake

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Rating:  5 stars out of 5

A pregnant omega trapped in a desperate situation, an unattached alpha with a lot to prove, and an unexpected fall into love that could save them both.

Kerry Monkburn is contracted to a violent alpha in prison for brutal crimes. Now pregnant with the alpha’s child, he lives high in the mountains, far above the city that once lured him in with promises of a better life. Enduring bitterness and fear, Kerry flirts with putting an end to his life of darkness, but fate intervenes.

Janus Heelies has made mistakes in the past. In an effort to redeem himself, integrity has become the watchword for his future. Training as a nurse under the only doctor willing to take him on, Janus is resolute in his intentions: he will live cleanly in the mountains and avoid all inappropriate affairs. But he doesn’t anticipate the pull that Kerry exercises on his heart and mind.

As the question of Kerry’s future health and safety comes to an explosive head, only the intervention of fate will see these desperate men through to a happy ending.

This gay romance novel by Leta Blake is the third in the Heat of Love universe which began with Slow Heat. It’s 111,000 words, with a strong happy ending and a critically-acclaimed, non-shifter Omegaverse. It features alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, mpreg, heat, and knotting. Content warning for a violent and oppressive society regarding reproductive rights.

Oh man, the other books in this series have been emotional but this one is even more so.  Kerry has had to endure so much and continues to suffer at the hands of his alpha’s parents even while the vile man is in jail.  Janus is trying to make up for his mistakes and really he seems to have completely turned over a new leaf since I saw him in the last book.

I hate the society that these men have to live in but this author has done such a wonderful job of creating this world and all that it entails.  Kerry was wooed by a bad man and due to the rules of this society he is essentially owned by his alpha’s family even if they don’t care about his wellbeing more about what they want.  And let me tell you his in laws are horrible with how they force him to be beaten during his heats (and plenty before that) since they won’t allow him to not spend them with their son, all for the chance at a grandchild.

I was glad to see Kerry find solace in going home to his pater but even happier when him and Janus finally realize what they are to each other after the baby is born.  Janus is making great strides towards being a good man and his move to the mountains does so much more to help.  I loved how caring he was with Kerry even when he didn’t agree with his decisions.  I could see the pull these two had for each other from their first encounter and how it confused them but it wasn’t clear as to why they were so drawn to each other until the baby came.  I really liked the little time jumps at the end that helped to show how Kerry and Janus’s relationship grew.

The cover art by Dar Albert is very nice once again, though the models don’t quite seem to match the descriptions to me.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 325 pages

Published: September 12, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Heat of Love #3

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Bitter Heat (Heat of Love #3) by Leta Blake

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Length: 110,000 words approx.



Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Strange Designs

Heat Of Love Series
 

Book #1 – Slow Heat – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Book #2 – Alpha Heat – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
 
Blurb
 

A pregnant omega trapped in a desperate situation, an unattached alpha with a lot to prove, and an unexpected fall into love that could save them both.


Kerry Monkburn is contracted to a violent alpha in prison for brutal crimes. Now pregnant with the alpha’s child, he lives high in the mountains, far above the city that once lured him in with promises of a better life. Enduring bitterness and fear, Kerry flirts with putting an end to his life of darkness, but fate intervenes.


Janus Heelies has made mistakes in the past. In an effort to redeem himself, integrity has become the watchword for his future. Training as a nurse under the only doctor willing to take him on, Janus is resolute in his intentions: he will live cleanly in the mountains and avoid all inappropriate affairs. But he doesn’t anticipate the pull that Kerry exercises on his heart and mind.


As the question of Kerry’s future health and safety comes to an explosive head, only the intervention of fate will see these desperate men through to a happy ending.


This gay romance novel by Leta Blake is the third in the Heat of Love universe which began with Slow Heat. It’s 111,000 words, with a strong happy ending and a critically-acclaimed, non-shifter Omegaverse. It features alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, mpreg, heat, and knotting. Content warning for a violent and oppressive society regarding reproductive rights.

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

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A Jeri Review : Mr. Frosty Pants (Home for the Holidays #1) by Leta Blake

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

This was a little bit of a surprise. Not often are Christmas themed books full length. We get a lot of shorts and novellas. So even though the time span (not including epilogue) is less than two weeks, it is packed full enough for a regular sized book.

It almost seems inconsequential that it takes place during Christmas. The holiday brought Casey home to Knoxville for the first time in almost 4 years. He went away to NYU and his parents visit him there. But he left behind his best friend and serious crush, also the boy from the proverbial wrong side of the tracks.
Joel is not thrilled with Casey just showing up at his store. And he had every right to be pissed. His best friend just ghosted him almost 4 years ago. But Joel is a broken man. He grew up mostly without a mother and with a homophobic abusive father. And now that he bought out the family business after his father had a stroke, he is barely making ends meet and honestly doesn’t know how to let someone love him.
Joel just broke my heart. He had a little bit of a martyr complex going on. He didn’t HAVE to buy out the business. He doesn’t HAVE to deliver breakfast to his father everyday. But at the same time I get that he was holding onto the tiny bit of family he had. Equating family with love, although his father didn’t seem to love him at all.
Casey could have been a stuck up snob. Rich parents who finance everything, wanting for nothing. But he really was a down to earth guy. Even what he wanted to do as a career was fairly down to earth. It didn’t come across as fake- just sincere.
I think my only real sticking point is that they were so mature. I mean, they were 22 year old guys. Casey had his own apartment in NYC. Even with the responsibility that Joel shouldered, you would think a 22 year old kid would pop out once in a while. But no. They really had basically mature discussions about life and love. And while they laughed some- they weren’t kids. And at 22, you are still a kid in some ways.
Best friends to lovers, second chances, a demisexual virgin…..and a slobbering dog at Christmas. This is a solid 4 stars for me.
Cover art: Wicked Smart Designs.  This cover delivers.  Christmas, a  kissing couple, everything but the dog.  It needed that.
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 273 pages
Published November 7th 2018 by Leta Blake Books
ASIN B07KB2BX82
Edition Language English
Series Home for the Holidays #1 setting Tennessee (United States)

Want a New Holiday Story? Look No further than Mr Frosty Pants by Leta Blake

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UKExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow in Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 90,000 word approx.
 
Cover Design: Wicked Smart Design
 
Blurb
 

Can true love warm his frozen heart?


When Casey Stevens went away to college four years ago, he ghosted on his straight best friend, Joel Vreeland. He hoped time and distance would lessen the unrequited affection he felt, but all it did was make him miss Joel more. Home for the holidays, Casey hopes they might find a way to be friends again. But Joel’s frosty reception reminds Casey of just how hard he had to fight to be Joel’s friend in the first place. It’s going to take a Christmas miracle to get past that cool façade again.


Joel isn’t as straight as Casey believes, and his years of pining for Casey have left him hurting and alone, caring for his abusive father and struggling to get by. Unable to trust anyone except his rescue dog—and with no reason to believe Casey is interested in him for more than a holiday fling—Joel’s icy heart might shatter before it can thaw.


Can Casey and Joel’s love overcome mistrust, parental rejection, class differences, and four long years apart? Mr. Frosty Pants is a stand-alone, Christmas gay romance by Leta Blake featuring a virgin hero, childhood friends-to-lovers, second chance romance, and steamy mm first times.



November 16Joyfully Jay, November 19 Gay Book Reviews, November 22Love Bytes, November 28The Novel Approach, November 30Bayou Book Junkie

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here. We highly recommend it for your holiday reading.

Author Bio


Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

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An Alisa Audio Review: Alpha Heat (Heat of Love #2) by Leta Blake and Michael Ferraiuolo (Narrator)

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Rating:  4.25 stars out of 5

 

A desperate young alpha. An older alpha with a hero complex. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.

 

Young Xan Heelies knows he can never have what he truly wants: a passionate romance and happy-ever-after with another alpha. It’s not only forbidden by the prevailing faith of the land, but such acts are illegal.

 

Urho Chase is a middle-aged alpha with a heartbreaking past. Careful, controlled, and steadfast, his friends dub him old-fashioned and staid. When Urho discovers a dangerous side to Xan’s life that he never imagined, his world is rocked and he’s consumed by desire. The carefully sewn seams that held him together after the loss of his omega and son come apart—and so does he.

 

But to love each other and make a life together, Xan and Urho risk utter ruin. With the acceptance and support of Caleb, Xan’s asexual and aromantic omega and dear friend, they must find the strength to embrace danger and build the family they deserve.

 

Another great book in this series.  I felt for Xan in the first book and to see how he has struggled the last few years made my heart break.  Urho finds out about Xan in the worst possible way but what he thinks is a straight forward plan to help quickly becomes more complicated.

 

I loved both Xan and Urho and could easily see their struggles to accept themselves and how their lives would be but how wonderful it was once all the walls were broken down.  I also adored Xan’s omega, Caleb, he is so accepting of Xan and Urho; it’s his unconditional support that helped them the most.  Their support for each other and family in the end was great and the fact that they were pretty much giving societal standards the finger was nice.

 

Michael Ferraiuolo did another great job narrating this story.  I was easily able to connect with the characters feel their emotions as he used different voices for the characters.  I have to just say again he does speak quite slowly and with increasing the speed it was made better, which also shortens how long the book takes to listen to, if that deters anyone.

 

Cover art by Dar Albert is great, I love the visual of the characters together and that it follows the same style as Slow Heat.

 

Sales Link:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 15 hrs 22 min
Published: October 22, 2018 by Leta Blake
Edition Language: English

Series: Heat of Love #2