Thank you so much to Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words for having me here to today to talk about the third book in my Heat of Love series, Bitter Heat. This book features a damaged omega (Kerry) and an alpha who’s trying to prove himself (Janus). It has a lot of tenderness, hurt/comfort, and high stakes, but the happy ending is guaranteed.
When I started working on the Heat of Love series, various unconscious themes made themselves known almost from the start. The themes of gender, bodily autonomy, and reproductive rights have played through all three books thus far.
Recently, the first book in the series, Slow Heat, appeared on the Learning the Tropes podcast series (https://learningthetropes.podbean.com/e/slow-heat-by-leta-blake-episode-38/) which features Erin, a woman who is a romance-reading “veteran”, and Clayton, a man who’s a romance-reading “virgin”. I was deeply gratified to hear from them both that the intended themes of Slow Heat came through loud and clear. Especially for Clayton, who pronounced the important and visceral experience of imagining these reproductive conundrums on the male body as so profound that he thought the book should be taught in schools. (!!! Surely he was using hyperbole in that opinion, but perhaps not.) By the way, this podcast was hilarious and I highly recommend listening to it and subscribing to their future episodes!
Bitter Heat, the third in the Heat of Love series, continues the exploration of gender, bodily autonomy, and reproductive rights, but this time it takes the story out of the upper classes and into the poverty-stricken areas of the mountains. While the book, like the others, focuses on the effects of the fictional society on a small group of characters and doesn’t lack for steamy sex, it is also akin to the social novels of the of the nineteenth century in the way it calls out social problems of our current times by demonstrating the effect of those problems on a character’s individual life. And by posing questions in a fictional world that have real world applications.
In other words, yes, we have pregnant men in this book, and that might seem over-the-top, titillating, or disturbing depending on your point of view, but the effect of posing specific social questions on the male body can’t be underestimated.
What to expect from this book:
- Pregnancy – this is the first of the main novels in this series to deal with a pregnant main character
- Hurt/comfort – the main character of this book is in dire need of comfort
- Angst – there is plenty of angst for those who love some good pain
- Revisiting some older characters – namely we’ll see Caleb and Yosef, along with Janus as a main character
- Reproductive anxiety – if you’re sensitive to issues regarding reproduction, please be aware going in that the fictional world set up in this book is oppressive in that regard
Should a reader have read the first two books in the series before diving into Bitter Heat? I’d say that Bitter Heat might be read as a stand-alone but would be best enjoyed if the first two books, Slow Heat and Alpha Heat, were read first.
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Strange Designs
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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