Categories
adult - 18+

Recent Release: Bitter Heat (Heat of Love #3) by Leta Blake

Good reads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47888575-bitter-heat?from_search=true

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.

Review

Finally!! Finally we get a new story in this amazing series.

Ever since Alpha Heat I’ve been anxiously waiting to find out how Janus would fare and if he’d get a chance to redeem himself and find the happiness and love he yearns for. He was such an awful, but also such a tormented, almost tragic character. We only got hints of Kerry in Alpha Heat, but enough to know he is a very deserving candidate for true love.

Kerry, as an omega, has very little rights and no way out of his hellish contract with the man who tormented and abused him and so many other omega’s for years. Kerry goes through some really dark times when he discovers he’s pregnant with the child of a man he considers a monster. His pregnancy and all the turmoil and difficult decisions that come with it are handled so very thoughtfully in this story. I loved that Janus did his utmost to be there for Kerry instead of judging him from a place of ignorance and privilege.

Kerry is a man without hope and seeing him ever so slowly fall for Janus, learning to trust, taking that leap of faith, was so satisfying. It reminded me all over again of why I love, no need, romance novels in my life. The draw between Janus and Kerry is undeniable, even when their love seems doomed from the start, so there’s certainly a lot of angst but also the absolute wonder of falling in love, and all the heat and tantalizing sensuality that comes with that.
The world-building in this book, and series, is amazingly intricate, with so much food for thought in its approach to religion (“mainstream” and pagan), family, love and last but not least, gender roles in society. The omega freedom groups are facing almost impossible odds, but I sincerely hope we’ll get to see some changes for the better in coming books.

I loved seeing Caleb and Janus together as friends and the glimpses we get of Caleb’s happy life with Xan, Urho and their children were a treat. I only wish we could’ve gotten a scene with Janus and Xan bonding or finding more on page closure.

The epilogue was surprising in its focus and brought tears to my eyes, because it was so moving and unexpectedly emotional instead of just a sweetly fluffy look into Janus’ and Kerry’s HEA.

Recommend, obviously.

 

Number of stars out of 5: 5

 


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Categories
adult - 18+

Audiobook: An Unlocked Mind (Secrets book 2) by K.C. Wells and Parker Williams narrated by Joel Leslie

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/an-unlocked-mind-by-kc-wells-and-parker-williams-10272-b

Blurb

Rob Daniels is determined to prove to himself that his brother Alex got it wrong. Alex believes he found love through BDSM; Rob is certain that’s not possible. He even makes several visits to a London club to prove his point. But when he attends the grand opening of Secrets, Rob gets a shock, one that has him fleeing, vowing never to return—until he does… and runs into the brick wall that is Dom Vic Prentiss. As first meetings go, theirs is a disaster.

The more time he spends around Rob, the more convinced Vic becomes of two things—one, something is eating away at Rob, and two, he’s looking for something. Every instinct tells Vic to help him, but trying to unlock the secrets hidden in Rob’s mind requires a key. All Vic has to do is find it. Because maybe then he’ll get to see the real Rob, the man who’s scared to let go….

Review

The Secrets series soars to new heights with this one and to me it really stands out from the other books in the Collars and Cuffs & Secrets universe. I enjoyed reading all the books in these two series, but a couple of them resonated with me more than others and An Unlocked Mind is absolutely joining Dom of Ages at the top of my list.

Rob makes for a very unlikely sub with his cocky attitude, which he never loses, and that’s definitely part of why I adore him so much. The vulnerability he hides behind his bravado and the guilt he struggles with for how he treated his brother tugged at my heartstrings so much. I love the way Rob grows throughout this story, trying so hard to redeem himself, though sometimes stumbling along the way. I’m a sucker for redemption stories, especially of characters who messed up for MC’s from previous books in a series, so Rob was an unexpected treat for me!

Vic is the perfect match for Rob and at times almost too amazing and insightful. I loved seeing such a strong and outwardly tough looking guy be so caring and gentle, oh the magic of a Dom written exactly right. He’s there for Rob even when they barely know each other (or even like each other yet), no strings attached. I also adored him for not being too hung up on “the way things are usually done” and being open to it when Robs steps up to steer their relationship forward. The only thing that could have made this better for me was if Vic had also had a bit more of a growth arc himself. Apart from his love for Rob, he’s pretty much the same guy at the end as he was at the beginning of the book.

I loved seeing Jarod and Eli again, and I especially liked the burgeoning friendship between Jarod and Rob, which gets off to a rocky start because of the awful way Rob treated his brother Alex, who’s one of Jarod’s closest friends. We get the start of a new group of friends here and I hope their circle will continue to grow. Because I need the stories!

Narration: Joel Leslie did a truly wonderful job and I hope he’ll get to do the entire series. I very much enjoyed his performance, as I always do. He takes such care with the accents and has a great take on all the characters, main and secondary. I also love the consistency he can bring to the voices throughout the series. I cannot imagine Jarod or Eli sounding different all of the sudden from how they were in Dom of Ages, for example. That would not be a good thing. At all.

Number of stars out of 5: 5


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review