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

Blog Post and Giveaway for Bitter Heat (Heat of Love #3) by Leta Blake

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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.

 
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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An Alisa Review An Extra Alpha (Pine Wood Falls #2) by Sarah Havan

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Thomas escaped his ex and has settled in at Pine Wood Falls. He found himself a nice job, has a cute little house, and his twins are now four months old. The last thing he wants or expects is to go into heat again so soon. He tries to fight the urge but can’t hold off any longer.

Campbell catches the scent of his fated omega. He finally found the one and can’t wait to start a family. So he goes to one of Pine Wood Falls get togethers to do what nature wants of him, what he wants to mate with his fated one, but the situation gets turned on its head when there’s another alpha there that wants his omega.

All Griffin wants is a good time. He doesn’t believe he’s fated for anyone, that’s all in the past. He just wants his needs met, but another alpha stands in his way. Luckily, they all come to an agreement. The three of them together.

They don’t think they can both get the young omega pregnant. Thomas doesn’t think he’s fated for either of them, but when he ends up pregnant with quads, they all have some things to work out.

This was another great story by this author.  I had wanted to see Thomas find his happiness after everything he went through in the first book.

Thomas just wants to be happy and live a nice quiet life with his babies but his heat throws a wrench is his current plans.  Campbell won’t let anything get in his way of living his life with his mate, even the reality of another alpha in the mix doesn’t even seem to faze him.  Though Griffin tries to stay away, he quickly accepts those who fate gives him.

I liked that I got to see the points of view for all of these guys, it went a long way towards keeping track of what was going on and what they were thinking.  Thomas doesn’t really take as much convincing as he tries to make it seem, but there aren’t many reasons to since the alphas are so wonderful.  I had trouble with Griffin saying he has been fated before, when he described the “relationship” it didn’t really sound much more than him finding an omega in heat.  I felt for Campbell and how lonely his life had been, though he did have someone who loved him, but he is getting way more very quickly.

My only gripe with the story was that the issue of Thomas’s former “pack” wanting to force him back.  It was only brought up like three times and quickly resolved without any real problems.  It just felt like it was added to bring some angst to the story but I didn’t feel that is succeeded.

This is another great cover art by Melissa Liban, it’s adorable and gives some great little visuals.

Sales LInks Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 365 pages

Publication: February 25, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Pine Wood Falls #2

An Alisa Review: Omega Teacher’s Secret (Men of Meadowfall #5) by Anna Wineheart

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Saddled with debt and a crippling self-esteem, Professor Ian McMillan has struggled for decades with his demons. But that isn’t his biggest secret–seven years ago, he spent his heat with an alpha he shouldn’t have… his student.

Nothing should’ve come out of it. Except Ian conceived, and his baby’s father… is also the department head’s son. Under the threat of losing his job, Ian made a choice: keep his child, and sever all contact with Brad.

With no inkling of the baby he left, Brad Saxon graduated from college and joined the Meadowfall fire department, making mistakes along the way. Lives have been lost at his hands, and the guilt he carries is suffocating. How can he protect an omega, when he’s failed others before?

But Brad can’t forget about the omega from years ago–Ian, with his soft smiles and yearning eyes. When Brad enrolls in a Master’s course hoping to see his professor again, he finds something he doesn’t expect: Ian’s in heat. This time, there’s a child with him… a little girl with Brad’s eyes.

When Brad reaches out and Ian conceives again, the embers between them kindle back to life. Brad makes the decision to stay. As the sparks between them grow, will Ian and Brad heal each other, or will their pasts come to tear them apart?

This was another great book in this series.  Ian has been running himself ragged keeping up with his job and taking care of his daughter and her health problems.  Brad has never moved on from the one older Omega from years earlier and when he finds him again he finds even more reasons to stay.

Both of these guys have crappy family lives.  Brad’s dad is a jerk and is the one who kept these two apart and pushes them apart again.  Ian’s mom essentially hated him while doting on his brothers, I just has trouble understanding how they and his dad allowed him to be treated that way though it doesn’t seem he has any relationship with any of them.

I felt for both of them and neither seemed to really have any support, a friend or two but nothing to keep them going.  I loved Gwen and how dedicated they are to her.  I loved watching Brad work hard to show Ian how wonderful he is.

I love the cover art, how well it works for the story and the visuals of the characters.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 402 pages

Publication: October 30, 2018

Edition Language: English

Series: Men of Meadowfall #5

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