Length: 110,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Strange Designs
Heat Of Love Series
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.
After reading Alpha Heat, the second book in this series, my curiosity was already piqued regarding Janus, so I was eager to get started on Bitter Heat to see how he’d be redeemed. To be honest, it had been a while since I’d read the second book when I started this one so it was almost like I was starting from scratch—and that’s actually a good thing on two fronts.
First, it means if you haven’t started this series you won’t be lost if you’re reading this one first. There’s enough background to allow Bitter Heat to stand on its own. Second, I went into this story with a neutral attitude towards Janus thanks to the time gap between reading books two and three. For me, that means it was easier to give Janus a chance and not allow my opinions from before color my perception of him now.
I did feel like the beginning of the story started off a bit slowly, but after about a third of the way in things started picking up. As with the other books in the series, the writing is solid and the world building as strong as before. And the sex scenes? Once they get started, it’s hard to decide which of the books in the series have the steamiest ones. I mean, damn…talk about getting tingles…
While I did correctly interpret the subtle signs the author planted throughout the story regarding Janus and Kerry’s relationship, I have to say I was slightly disappointed that she went that route as the way to resolve the issues with Kerry’s contracted alpha and his family. Don’t get me wrong—I absolutely do NOT begrudge Janus and Kerry anything at all; I love them together, and I love how their situation allowed things between them to develop slowly on an emotional level (not a physical one though…once that starts, it’s off to the races for these guys). I just was hoping (like one of the supporting characters was as well) that things would lead to a successful challenge on the legal as well as cultural/religious levels to start making headway for omegas in this world. I guess I’ll be holding on to that hope for now.
Bitter Heat was a 4-star read for me overall, but I will say that the relationship development and Janus and Kerry’s physical chemistry were 5+ stars all the way. As I mentioned previously, this story could be read as a standalone, but you’ll get a lot more satisfaction from it if you read this series in order…which will also give you better insight into the road Janus traveled to get here. This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and erotic sexual content.
About the Author
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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