Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Slow Heat by Leta Blake

Title: Slow Heat
Author: Leta Blake
My Rating: A-

Genre: Paranormal Romance (m/m)
Main Characters: Vale and Jason
Release Date: May 2017
Publisher:  Leta Blake Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past. 

Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-thirties, he's long since given up hope that he'll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He's fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends. 

When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can't be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion. 

But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha--as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn't sure it's worth it. But Jason isn't giving up his destined mate without a fight. 

This is a stand alone gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong HFN ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath.

My Review:
Wow, wow, wow! This book is spectacularly creative and I loved reading it. It's long, but I devoured it...because I simply couldn't bear to put it down and close the file. 

This world is a version of a dystopian world that evolved somehow from ours. In this world, everyone is human, everyone is male, and everyone is either alpha, beta, or omega. The men have lots of traits like imagined wolf shifters do...knotting and the hierarchy, but without the shifting into animal form. In this world, alphas and omegas mate. Only omegas can give birth. And the social protocols are very strict with contracts set up between omegas and alphas based on family ranking and the bonds between them.

The two heroes in this book are not what anyone would consider ideal mates. Jason is only 19 and just starting his alpha training. At this age alphas are kept away from available omegas so they won't imprint before they can control themselves. No one considers Vale as a risk around the alphas. He's a 35 yo unmated omega, but everyone assumes he's past the point of imprinting...until Jason smells him and loses control. While finding their mates is an amazing thing, no one quite knows how to deal with this possible union. Vale will have to give up everything he's worked his entire life to gain...his career, his home, his independence...if he accepts Jason's contract. 

This story was so good. While the two have a May/Dec romance, I loved how aware Jason is of that. He works so hard to not give Vale anymore doubts. Yes, he's having such a hard time controlling himself, but he wants Vale so much, he matures rather quickly to be what he needs to be for his omega. 

In the background there is a whole side story of how unfair this world is for the omega. They are in this society simply to service their alpha and breed for them...something that Vale can't do. Jason's fathers have to approve of his mating with Vale...but they are facing their own omega issues that just highlight the rough road that Vale and Jason may have to follow. It was a heartbreaking story that was so well-done just in the way that Leta Blake showed all the different viewpoints. Add in the story with Xan (who absolutely stole my heart...I really hope we get his story, too) and the unfairness of this set of circumstances for everyone isn't right.

But the highlight of the story absolutely had to be the romance between Jason and Vale. They are so wonderful just in that they are so respectful of one another even with all the emotional turmoil within this incredible draw between these two. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and most definitely recommend it. Go check out this world!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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